Petrovaradin Fortress - Gibraltar on the Danube

Rain, clouds, sun, then rain again ... not a perfect time for a long walk. But we had to go to Novi Sad because of some work. Although my husband was able to go alone, I didn't miss the opportunity to go to this beautiful city, which I adore. When you visit Novi Sad, which is known as "Serbian Athens", you must go to the Petrovaradin Fortress, the so-called "Gibraltar on the Danube". So, now I'm taking you for a walk through an amazing fort and a small journey through time. Enjoy!


Just a look at the bridge, which connects Novi Sad and Petrovaradin, brought back memories of one of the biggest outdoor music festivals - Exit, which takes place at this fortress every year and which I loved to go to. During the festival, the bridge was full of people, who went there, but now it was almost empty. I associate many beautiful memories and emotions with this fortress, where I enjoyed the concerts of Moloko, Billy Idol, Pet Shop Boys, Manu Chao ... During the Exit Festival, this place is very lively and full of energy.


When you cross the bridge over the Danube from Novi Sad, you arrive in Petrovaradin, a picturesque and sympathetic place that is part of the city of Novi Sad.


The charming narrow streets and colorfully decorated facades of the houses leave a wonderful impression. We walked the streets bit until we entered the fortress itself.


And here we are, at one of the entrances to this beautiful fortress.


The Petrovaradin Fortress is a true example of military architecture and a fortress from the 18th century. Primarily, the fortress was of strategic importance. Upgraded and demolished, it changed its appearance over time. Today it is a place for rest, recreation, and enjoyment.


But let's go back in time. In fact, the history of this area is very old and long. The first settlements in this area date back to 4500 BC. Some data show that the hill on which the fortress is located has been inhabited before. Here the Celts, Romans, Huns left their traces.

In the Middle Ages, there was a fortress here, which was conquered by the Turks, and which was only a step on their way to Vienna in the 16th century, during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. However, as their plan did not materialize, the Turks withdrew, leaving the fortress to the Austro-Hungarians. At the end of the 17th century, the Austro-Hungarians demolished the medieval fortress and used the material as the foundation of the new Petrovaradin fortress.


Engineering Colonel and Count Matthias Kaisersfeld and Engineering Colonel and Count Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli were the creators of the fortress's appearance and they drew up a plan to build the fortress.



The construction of the fortress took a long time and these data are different. But the information I came across the most was that the construction of the fortress took 88 years. There are many reasons why it took so long to build, the southern border with the then Ottoman Empire was changing, epidemics, and so on and so forth.

After the Second World War, the fortress was rebuilt, placed under state protection, and adapted to civilian needs. Today, this is a very dynamic place. In the area of the Petrovaradin Fortress, there is a museum, art studios, and colonies, cafes, souvenir shops, planetarium ...


When we arrived in Novi Sad the weather calmed down a bit, but the sky was strewn with clouds. The sky is the most beautiful in the plain.

When we climbed the stone steps, passing under the tunnel, we found the most famous point of the fortress - the famous Clock Tower, which is a symbol of both the fortress and the city of Novi Sad.


This baroque tower is specific and beautiful for many reasons. Namely, the small hand of this clock shows the minutes, and the big one the hours. At the time when this clock had a function, the hours were more important than the minutes,due to the change of guard. The Clock Tower was also seen from ships and boats on the Danube. This clock is wound by hand every day because the mechanism is old. It is also known as "Drunken Clock" because it is in a hurry in summer and late in winter.



The view of the plain of Bačka and the beautiful city of Novi Sad is magical, especially in such weather conditions. In fact, the entire Danube side of the fortress is the most beautiful. Although there is no story, at least to know it, couples in love leave padlocks on the fence, as a symbol of eternal love.




A look at the surroundings explains why this fortification was strategically important and why it is called "Gibraltar on the Danube".





We enjoyed walking through this fortress, going through tunnels, crossing bridges, and of course the beautiful view from the fortress walls.


Although everything was closed due to the current measures, although it rained from time to time, the fortress was not empty. It was not visited as usual, but there were people who walked with friends or pet dogs, played sports, took photos ...


The Petrovaradin fortress is full of legends and mysteries, about which a lot is written. For example, there is a whole labyrinth of corridors and tunnels under the fortress, which have been very popular lately. You can visit them accompanied by a guide if you are not claustrophobic, but the ventilation system is very interesting because the tunnels are very deep. The tunnels are up to 20 kilometers long and are located on several levels. Very interesting underground.


It is believed that one of the tunnels leads under the Danube to Novi Sad. There are also legends about dragons and supernatural beings, but also one that says that cats were inserted into the foundation of the fortress because they have nine lives, which would ensure the longevity of the fortress.


In any case, much is known about the fortress, but it leaves more stories to be explored and told.



We have made a wonderful circle through this amazing fortification. We couldn’t stay longer because we were in a hurry to finish what we came for. So our walk ends here.




What to say in the end? If you pass this way, stop by this fortress, if you like music come to the famous Exit festival. Novi Sad is a city of wonderful and hospitable people, who will delight you, especially this fortress.

The story of the Petrovaradin fortress does not end here, I have not said everything yet. I plan to visit the mentioned tunnels, which I will be happy to write about. Until then, we'll tell some other stories.

I wish you a pleasant evening.

Your Snežana😊


Sources of information: here and here