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This morning we went to Novi Sad (which means New Garden), the largest city in Vojvodina, which is an autonomous province in Northern Serbia and home to 26 nationalities. Our local guide is another Milosc, and Steva is our driver. I took some pictures on the bridge over the Sava river as we left Belgrade. Before WW I the area including New Belgrade (across the Sava from new Belgrade) was part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. Old Belgrade (on this side of the Sava) has been Serbian from the 9th century AD.

Novi Sad is in the Penonian (?) flat plain. In Yoivodina province there was a sea which 300 million years ago washed out through the Iron Gates and down the Danube. Belgrade is halfway from _ to Istanbul. It has 26 different nationalities and 6 official languages in Volvodina (which means the land of the dukes, a dutchy). The Serbs call Voivodina “the breadbasket of Europe”, because it provides 50% of Europe's food. A lot of the agricultural land was owned by the government, but it is undergoing privatization now. By the end of this year (2008) all the fields will be private. Vojvodina is mostly Serbs and Hungarians, with only 2.5% self-declared Yugoslavians. The old Yugoslavia consisted of 6 republics, which are now all independent. Since life was much better in Yugoslavia than it was in Romania, many Romanians tried to swim across the Danube to escape to Yugoslavia.

Our guide, Milosc, blames Milosevic for the pogroms, horrors, and disaster that befell Serbia. He said that people lived together happily, but Miloseciv and Tuchman in Albania and _ in Bosnia encouraged (and greatly profited from) raging nationalism and ethnic cleansing. The Serbs are still paying for Milosevic's 10 years in power. They've lost all their provinces. Even Kosovo has declared independence (which has been recognized by about 30 countries and not recognized by about 100 countries).

Novi Sad is set in the flat plain, and is clearly an agricultural city. The Danube flows through it. There are about 350,000 residents, of which about 30,000 are students. All the bridges in Novi Sad were destroyed in the NATO bombardment.

We first went to the fortress in Novi Sad, which was an impressive and massive bastion above the Sava and Danube confluence. Human settlement in the territory of present-day Petrovaradin has been traced as far back as the Stone Age (about 4500 BC). This region was conquered by Celts (in the 4th century BC) and Romans (in the 1st century BC).

The Celts founded the first fortress at this location, and during the Roman rule, a larger fortress was built (in the 1st century) with the name Cusum and was included into Roman Pannonia. In the 5th century, Cusum was devastated by the invasion of the Huns.

By the end of the 5th century, Byzantines had reconstructed the town and called it by the names Cusum and Petrikon. The town was then conquered by Ostrogoths, Gepids, Avars, Franks, Bulgarians, and by Byzantines again.

The town was conquered by the Kingdom of Hungary (in the 12th century), by the Ottoman Empire (in 1526), and by the Habsburg Monarchy (in 1687).

During the Ottoman rule, Petrovaradin had 200 houses, and three mosques. There was also a Christian quarter with 35 houses populated with ethnic Serbs.

Petrovaradin was the site of a major battle on August 5th, 1716 in which Prince Eugene of Savoy defeated the forces of the Ottomans. Eugène later defeated the Ottomans at Belgrade before the Turks sued for peace at Pozarevac.

During the Habsburg rule, Petrovaradin was part of the Habsburg Military Frontier. In 1848/1849, the town was part of Serbian Vojvodina, but in 1849, it was returned under the administration of the Military Frontier. With the abolishment of the Military Frontier in 1881, the town was included into Croatia-Slavonia, the autonomous kingdom within Austria-Hungary.

Recent archeological discoveries have offered a new perspective not only on the history of Petrovaradin, but on the entire region. At the Upper Fortress, the remains of an earlier Paleolithic settlement dating from 19,000 to 15,000 B.C. has been discovered. With this new development it has been established that there has been a continuous settlement at this site from the Paleolithic age to the present. During the excavations carried out in 2005, archeologists also discovered another significant find. Examining remains from the early Bronze age (circa 3000 B.C.), ramparts were discovered which testify that already at that time a fortified settlement existed at the Petrovaradin site.

The first larger fortifications were created with the arrival of the Romans who built the fortress (Cusum) which was a part of the fortified borders (Limes) along the Danube.

The turning point in the history of the area came in 1235 when King Bela IV of Hungary brought a group of the Order of Cistercians from France. This order of monks built the monastery Belakut upon the remains of the Roman fortress of Cusum. The walls of this monastery were built between 1247 and 1252 and represent the fortifications at this sight during the middle ages.

The fortress was strengthened due to the threat of Turkish invasion. However the fortress fell after a two week siege in 1526.

driving to Novi Sad, Serbia

map of the municipality of Novi Sad, Serbia

Novi Sad, Serbia:

Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia

Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia

Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia: Upper and Lower Ludwig's Bastion
Leopold's Powder Magazine
Petrovaradin Fortress, The Royal Gate
underground passage
Milos, our local guide
Petrovaradin Fortress cobblestones
view of Novi Sad, Serbia from the fortress
Novi Sad, Serbia:
view from the fortress
Novi Sad, Serbia:
Novi Sad, Serbia:
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Arthur Luehrmann and statue of Johan Johanovich, poet for the children
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Novi Sad, Serbia:
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Arthur Luehrmann
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After leaving the fortress, we went to the main square and saw some churches and shopping (and ate some GREAT ice-cream cones!)

We then drove to “The Family”, a monument to the 4,000 families of Serbs, Jews, gypsies, and others who were rounded up by a Hungarian military and para-military group in January, 1942, beaten, killed, and thrown under the ice in the Danube.

It is a simple and beautiful memorial with the listed names, a star of David, an Orthodox cross, and a hauntingly beautiful statue of a family of four - right at the spot on the Danube where they were killed.

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Monument to the Family
Monument to the Family
After lunch on the boat, Martha went back to the fortress where she had left binoculars. P1000825.JPG
Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia: historical model
fortress museum
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Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia: pigeon
After leaving the fortress, I stopped to check out the windows at the Goethe Art Institute P1000840.JPG P1000841.JPG
sculpture by Jovana
and stopped off at a street fair for farm produce P1000843.JPG
Belgrade, Serbia: street produce fair
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That night we were treated with a boisterous crew show aboard the Adagio P1000849.JPG
Belgrade, Serbia:
Aboard the SS River Adagio, Belgrade, Serbia: crew show
Adaggio crew show
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Aboard the SS River Adagio, Belgrade, Serbia: crew show
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Aboard the SS River Adagio, Belgrade, Serbia: crew show
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crew show. Third from left is Marjeta.
at the Adaggio crew show: Marcos & Janet Maestre
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