After the Release Party in the Informatik & Mathematik campus, some people wanted to show me the city before I’d leave. So these two girls who came with me to the event took me to the riverside to show me the Donau (Danube) and the fortress in Petrovaradin. Incidentally we also witnessed a beautiful festival by the river beach.
Earlier that day
We stood in Vera’s flat (thanks!) so I had the chance to take some photos of the city as seen from her balcony. We talked a bit so she had the chance to explain me her points of view and some insights of the city and the country.
She also talked to me about history and circumstances of this city. It’s long and very interesting so if you want to know more you can read here and here. I for myself I hope to come back at some moment because just a day isn’t enough.
University and later
The day was nice and misty (Serbia seems to live in the mist) and the event in the university was a blast. That picture above shows a small place for students in the campus. It’s empty now but surely has a lot of visitors in spring and late summer.
After the Release Party, we went to walk to the promenade by the side of the Danube. As soon as I heard the name Strauss’ waltz came to my mind and surely it was clear in my face because Vera said “Yes, the same river coming from Germany”. That’s right, Danube is the English name for Donau. A friend sent me this article in Wikipedia if you’re interested to know more about its origins.
Petrovaradin, the river, the medieval city
By the riverside, electronic music called our attention and that’s how we learnt about this flying lanterns festival. I can’t recall the name in Serbian, but it’s a beautiful spectacle to attend indeed.
From what I know, this kind of festival are usual in Serbia. They place a small candle inside a gas balloon so when the air inside gets hot the balloon rises and drifts away in the wind.
The river used to have many bridges but they were destroyed during the wars so they built new ones. One of them, nicknamed the Bra Bridge (it looks similar to a brassiere) and the other one, shown in the picture above, the Rainbow Bridge because of the coloured lights.
Crossing the bridge we got into the historical part of the city. It’s forbidden to build new houses or change anything in them except in order to repair them. We walked through the narrow streets until finding a big church, built in the XIV or maybe XV century, if my knowledge of architecture and history of art doesn’t betray me.
By now, my camera started to fail. Yet that, I took some photos from inside where the light was better and the phone seem to work quite smoothly.
As usual, only few elders attend masses nowadays (here more than in my home countries though) but the grandeur and devotion of this place it’s not lost.
Petrovaradin, the fortress, the art
As I already said my camera was failing so I couldn’t take pictures from the fortress and its surroundings. Also we were late and by no means we wanted to miss the train. It would mean a delay to take the bus from Belgrade to Nis or even missing it all, which wasn’t a nice option really. Serbia is very cold and we have no place to spend the night there. Anyway, we managed to know the place a bit.
The clock tower was sent as gift by Marie Therese of Austria and has a peculiarity: its major arrow points to hours while the smaller points to minutes, that is exactly the inverse to all other clocks. I don’t remember the reason if they said it to me, but in any case it’s still working so it’s not only beautiful but also impressive.
Inside the fortress (the few metres we could walk before fleeing to catch the train), we saw the dungeon where Tito was imprisoned and an art gallery. I talked a long while with the girl in the desk (who was very kind and had a good English) and bought a pencil holder. If I ever come back I’ll buy a shirt… or another pencil holder! xD
The artist, owner of this gallery, realised that I speak German and brought my attention to one of his designs. He explained to me, in perfect German, how the fortress is an enigma yet to be discovered as many tunnels, traps and hidden places lie beneath the rocky island and the riverbed. It’s known that thousands kilometres of tunnels cross forth and back the river (under water) from the fortress to the city. But the exact details remain unknown. Also there are 7 levels under the fortress and maybe more. Again there is more what is suspected than what is actually confirmed. I thanked him his courtesy and unwillingly left.
Lanterns were still flying over Petrovaradin when we left to take the train in Novi Sad centre city.
Thanks to Vera, Jelena and Nemanja for this awesome trip to Novi Sad. And to Herr Radošević for his explanations and his great designs.