Petrovaradin Fortress - History and Facts | History Hit

Petrovaradin Fortress

Vojvodina, Vojvodina, Serbia

Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia is a vast 17th century fortress.

Peta Stamper

07 Jun 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Petrovaradin Fortress

Nicknamed ‘Gibraltar on the Danube’, Petrovaradin Fortress is a 17th century fortified structure in Novi Sad, Serbia. There has been a fortress on the site by the River Danube since the Bronze Age; the first fortifications on the site of Petrovaradin Fortress were built by the Romans and expanded by Cisterian monks in the 13th century.

In 1991, Petrovaradin Fortress was made a member of the Spatial Cultural-Historical Units of Great Importance list in Serbia.

Petrovaradin Fortress history

The remains of a Paleolithic settlement at the upper fortress was found dating back to 19,000 to 15,000 BC, establishing that since there has been continuous settlement on the site. Ramparts found in 2005 suggest their was a fortified settlement existed at Petrovaradin.

When the Romans arrived, they built Cusum the fortress, part of a border along the Danube. The turning point in the area’s history came in 1235 AD when King Bela of Hungry brought over a group of Cistercian monks from France. Between 1247 and 1252, the monks built a monastery on the Roman remains.

The fort was captured first by the Ottomans in 1526, falling after a 2-week siege, and then by the Austrians in 1687. Under the remit of Austrian Emperor Leopold I, the fortifications were destroyed and rebuilt in 1692. In 1694, Petrovaradin Fortress was attacked by Ottoman forces once again and subjected to a siege, but was not captured.

Renovated and reinforced in 1753 and 1776, Petrovaradin Fortress now contains a maze of underground passageways.

Petrovaradin Fortress today

Today, Petrovaradin Fortress is a popular tourist destination and visitors can tour its walls as well as its buildings. Walk up the sweeping steps and under the portico gateway, covered in moss, with the impressive whitewashed clock tower standing above.

One of the most popular aspects of Petrovaradin Fortress is its catacombs, which are believed contain the riches of Serbia’s medieval leaders.

Getting to Petrovaradin Fortress

Located on the banks of the Danube just down from the Varadinski Bridge. There is car parking just off Preradovićeva on the 100 road that leads into Novi Sad from the south.

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