The pearl of our heritage, the Gibraltar on the Danube River, the unconquerable fortress – these are the synonyms for the rocky rise where the greatest fun for four days during the Exit Festival happens. Most of the visitors miss the chance to explore other parts of the Fortress during the day while the Festival takes place. If you give it a look you will immediately notice its magic and secrets. If you venture under the ground, there are 16 km of catacombs and tunnels, open to visitors with an adventurous spirit. Visits are available only with a previous appointment that must be made with the guide service sector at least a few hours in advance. Nevertheless, one should come back to the surface to see the most beautiful sunset view in Novi Sad. From the upper plateau of the Fortress the whole city is visible, as if it stood on the palm of one’s hand. Former military structures conceal a few small taverns and inns with pleasant ambience. In these baroque surroundings with a magnificent view, sip homemade brandy, called rakija, or wine from the slopes of Fruška Gora, and you will experience the true pleasure and happiness of being in Novi Sad!
One of the most emblematic sights on the fortress is the drunken clock on the upper platform. Check it out. Can you tell what time it is? The secret is that the hands have switched places. The small one shows the minutes and the big one - hours. If you were a sailor looking at this watch from a distance this would make much more sense, wouldn’t it?
Tired of thinking about the passage of the time? Take a stroll. The time has stopped here in the 18th century. Not much has changed since then. In the City museum you will discover who has conquered this fortress before you: Neolithic people, Celts, Romans, Huns, medieval empires, the Habsburgs, the Turks…
Feeling artistic or dreamy? Go to one of the numerous art ateliers and galleries, to the Observatory or The Academy of the Arts.
In the place of the old medieval Hungarian castle from the thirteenth century on a hill 40 meters above the Danube, Austrian engineers laid the foundation stone of the new fortress on 18 October 1692. The first phase of building of then the most modern border fortress in the Habsburg monarchy lasted till 1726, while the second phase lasted from 1753 to 1780. Built on more than 112 hectares, with an arsenal of 400 pieces of artillery of various calibers and a system of underground mine galleries, it was the strongest fortress of the monarchy and was considered to be unconquerable. Due to its strategic position on the Middle Danube it was named the” Gibraltar of the Danube".
Petrovaradin fortress is where the Austrian general Eugene of Savoy defeated twice bigger army of the Ottoman Empire (120,000) led by grand vizier Damad Ali Pasha, in 1716. During the First Serbian Uprising, two canons were secretly smuggled to rebels in Belgrade . On 12 June 1849, at the time of the Revolution from the fortress the Hungarian army opened fire on the counter-revolutionary army, which was located in Novi Sad. The bombing caused the withdrawal of the army. The population fled and the city was almost totally destroyed in a fire that engulfed him.
During the XX century the fortress went through several critical moments when it was saved from certain destruction. After World War II the fortress was protected as a historical monument and pass under the civil administration. To date, almost all facilities that were built during the eighteenth century have been preserved so it represents one of the largest, best preserved and finest examples of military architecture of the eighteenth century.
Today, the fortress is historical, cultural and artistic center with numerous studios of local artists. Novi Sad City Museum, the Historical Archives of Novi Sad, Academy of Arts, Astronomical Observatory, several equestrian and archery clubs, a hotel and many restaurants, bars and discotheques are located at the fortress.
EXIT Festival, the biggest music event in Southeast Europe, has been taking place on Petrovaradin since 2001, gathering some of the most famous musicians on the planet and visitors from all continents. The Festival is visited by 50,000 people per day. Besides the magical atmosphere felt all by visitors and participants of the Festival, the fortress offers superior acoustics with amazing possibility to have different events, which are quite close to each other, at the same time without the interference of sound.