Petrovaradin Fortress – Gibraltar on the Danube. This is a magnificent military fortification, which is located on the right bank of the Danube, on the slopes of Fruska Gora in the town of Petrovaradin.
According to ancient traditions the name Petrovaradin was formed from three words – “Petra” – a word that in Latin means wall, “var” in Hungarian represents the city, and “din” in Turkish faith. From these words has emerged today Petrovaradin, “a city on a wall as sturdy as faith.”
This imposing building is has changed its appearance through the centuries, Austria being responsible for its present appearance, building the fortress as a defense against the Turks. The fortress was built between 1692 and 1780.
Because of its dominance and remarkable size also called the Gibraltar on the Danube.
The underground galleries
Petrovaradin fortress is spread over 112 hectares and below its incredible exterior dark tunnels form a maze, which reach up to 40 meters below the surface and longitudinally extending more than 20 kilometers. The tunnels, or as locals of Novi Sad popularly call them – “Catacombs”, spread over four levels and represent communication system. They are spread out in what seems to be an endless maze of tunnels. Every level is marked by a different color. The first story is red, the second story is green, third is blue and the fourth is black.
The most mysterious place can be found at the bottom of the fourth (black) story known as the Kaiser well. It is said that the Austrian emperor Joseph II, who was the son of Maria Theresa, drank water from this very well.
Legend says that there is buried treasure in the vicinity of the fortress, which makes the galleries a frequent stop for many treasure hunters.
Some of the interesting discoveries in the galleries were a Maltese cross, as well as evidence pointing to Masonic movements throughout the tunnels. Another one of Masonic emblems is “Ipam miam”. This is an inscription used by alchemists and masons to mark doorways as a symbol that they are moving toward the Creator, moving toward something becoming out of nothing and vice versa.
This museum has always been known as a wondrous place where mythical meets history.
In early November of 2010 the inner treasure of the Petrovaradin Fortress was also graced by a visit from the famous “Ghost Hunters International”. The episode with their experience was originally aired February 2nd 2011 on the
American science fiction television channel SyFy and was seen in many countries of the world.
Their presence and airing of the episode stirred up a lot of attention from the locals.
“Ghost Hunters International” consists of a team of paranormal investigators who, with the help of cutting-edge technology attempt to record video and sound proving the presence of otherworldly and supernatural forces. Their locations are always closely related to tales and myths of the supernatural so it is not surprising that the Petrovaradin Fortress was one of their stops.
SyFy channel’s crew brought with them hypersensitive equipment which interestingly enough was able to identify the existence of some paranormal activity within the long maze of tunnels under the Petrovaradin Fortress.
The fortress is rich with family and individual attractions, especially from spring to late autumn.
If you like the starry skies take a trip to the Planetarium, the Museum of Novi Sad, Academy of Arts, various restaurants, bars and just enjoy the view that stretches to Novi Sad. You can also visit the biggest European festival – EXIT, which is organized every year in July and provides experience to last a lifetime.
Each year EXIT brings famous, and local performers spread out over 20 stages.
More than 150,000 people worldwide annually visit this festival.
Another of the many attractions that make the fortress so special is the clock tower.
The tower was built in the Baroque style, and is higher than 20 meters. The numbers are written in Roman numerals. The clock is located on the Bastion of St. Louis.
The most interesting is that the clock is daily retracted by hand, and the big hand shows hours, while the little hand shows minutes.
The clock is also known as the “drunk clock”, because when it is cold winter the clock runs late, and when the warm weather strikes in the summer the clock hurries.
Weekends at the fortress abound with visitors and newlyweds who come to make the most beautiful pictures.
Mid-twentieth century, Petrovaradin Fortress was protected under the Serbian government and was declared and historical monument.