Ever been to Belgrade? It’s an interesting city, isn’t it? Did you now when you cross the Sava or Danube from Belgrade into the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina you’ve basically left the Balkans and entered Central Europe? Part of the reason Belgrade has such a long history involving many wars is where it’s strategically situated because before there were roads, rivers were what people used to get around.
When you cross either the Danube or the Sava into Vojvodina you’ll be entering the Pannonian Plain. and a truly multicultural part of this planet with 26 different ethnic groups and five official languages and six different religions. As a result, this province is often referred to simply as “Little Europe”.
This was a busy day and we started by driving to Krusedol Monastery which is home to some of the finest remaining fresco paintings in all of Serbia. It’s quite a peaceful place and can only imagine what they looked like in their former glory. The church which houses said frescoe was burnt down years ago and rebuilt so on the pillars there are original works of art from early 1500’s, the rest are from the 18th century.
Next up it was time to visit Sremski Karlovci which became the most important Serbian city outside of Serbia for a time. It was the site where a congress met on the first round table used for international politics to diffuse the hostilities in the area between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy league which was a coalition of various countries in the area. This city is only 8km away from Novi Sad which is the capital of the Vojvodina province.
This is also where I tried Bermet for the first time which is a high-end dessert wine. The wine is only produced in this region of Serbia and was created for nobility as a dessert option which made people more apt to get involved in deep conversations. It was blended so that it left your head clear and your legs heavy aka the perfect combination to get someone to stick around and talk. I tried some and it’s incredibly sweet and can see how a few glasses could open one up to some conversations.
Following that it was off to Novi Sad which is the second largest city in Serbia and the capital of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. What’s interesting is that most of the public areas have signs in all six official languages and this province in general is a great example of how people from all walks of life, culture and religion can get along in harmony. Novi Sad was a fun place and besides strolling the streets and going over some local history, also enjoyed a pint or so watching the world go by.
We can’t talk about Novi Sad without going into the Petrovaradin Fortress. This place is a monster of a fortress which I only had the time to scratch the surface of. To give you an example of how large it is, it has 16k m of underground tunnels throughout it meant to be escape routes for those living in it and traps for those attacking. It’s also home to the present day EXIT Festival which is considered to be one of the best festivals of its kind worldwide; I can only imagine an event like that in such a setting, unreal.
You could easily spend days simply exploring the fortress and taking photos of the surrounding area, beautiful spot. If you have time, you can eat at fortress with great views of Novi Sad. I really enjoyed my time in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and should I return to Serbia one day which I think is likely, I’d like to see more. I really like how multicultural and scenic the area is, if you’re into history you could spend a lifetime studying the area.
Ironically, the fortress was never actually attacked. The Turks had planned on attacking the fortress while it was still under construction which made sense. They were camped less than 10km when a gent named Eugene the Savoy had a dream of “Snowy Mother” who told him he had to do something extreme to win. He woke up in the middle of the night and it was snowing so he called all men to gather arms and march to meet the Turks. They caught them off guard, slaughtered the much larger army and that was the last they saw of them.
I went with a gregarious guide called Srdjan from Explore Belgrade and we had a great time. I’d of written this earlier but it was a full day and I left the next morning to Zlatibor. If you’re looking to link up with a guide who literally knows it all about the area, highly recommended. In closing, I’d like to also thank Serbia Tourism for their hospitality; appreciated!