History and Culture
At the bank of the river Danube, in the heart of Panonija lowland, Novi Sad emerged in the middle of the 17th century. Extremely favourable geographical location based on the easy crossing over the river Danube above all, influenced this area to be marked in rich and various historical events. At the spot where the river passes by the Petrovaradin rock there were first settlements even in the Neolithic period and fortresses had been built and survived since the Roman times. Opposite the Fortress, on the left swampy bank of the Danube, after expelling the Turks at the end of the 17th century, the Austrians built a bridgehead and a settlement of soldiers, craftsmen and traders emerged around it. The settlement was first called Racka (Serbian) village, then Racka town (Ratzen Stadt) and after that Petrovaradin Sanac. Military functions were disturbing the economic development and on 1st February 1748, freedom desiring citizens bought the status of a free royal town from Maria Theresa and named it Neoplanta, i.e. Novi Sad.
Certain economic power and the position in the middle of a vast region left an indelible mark on the town development. The immigration of Serbian, Greek, Yermenian, German, Jewish and Cincar traders fostered further trading development to a great extent. The first Serbian school started working in 1703 on this place and five years later, from 1708, the Viennese bishop had its residence here. At the beginning of 19th century, in 1825 precisely, the first literature magazine called “Serbski letopis” was published and in 1845 street lanterns were working and chariots were circulating while workshops began to grow into factories. Novi Sad gets a post office and cobbled streets in 1853, a theatre in 1861 and in 1864 Matica Srpska, our oldest and most prominent cultural institution was moved from Pesta to Novi Sad. This is just a short introduction into the rich history of Novi Sad and development phases it was going through not getting behind the biggest European cities.
Ever since the emergence of Novi Sad, the citizens have taken care of their spiritual and cultural life by building churches and other evidence of different cultures, religions and nationalities historical encounter. The first orthodox churches built in Novi Sad were Nikolajevska Church, Congregational Church, Uspenska Church and Almaska Church. Roman Catholic Church, Greek Catholic Church, Reformed Church, Protestant Church, Yermenian Church and later Jewish Synagoge gathered their own followers. In the city centre at the Liberty Square, the monument to the greatest Serbian politician in 20th century – Svetozar Miletić was built as well as the City Hall – former Magistrate, leaving every passer-by breathless with their richly decorated facade in Neo-Baroque style. Today Novi Sad is a place ideal for living, the city of culture, rich history, interesting and significant events, prominent figures and above all a city of special and well-intentioned people where even Albert Enstein lived (14 March 1879-18 April 1955) with his wife Mileva Marić-Einstein.