Novi Sad (Cyrillic: Нови Сад, , ; Hungarian: Újvidék; Slovak: Nový Sad; Rusyn: Нови Сад) is the capital of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, and the administrative centre of the South Bačka District.
According to the 2002 Census, Novi Sad is Serbia's second largest city, after Belgrade, with around 300,000 inhabitants. . In its most recent official census from 2002, the city had an urban population of 216,583, while its municipal population was 299,294. The city is located on the border of the Bačka and Srem regions, on the banks of the Danube river and Danube-Tisa-Danube Canal, while facing the northern slopes of Fruška Gora mountain.
Since it was founded in 1694, Novi Sad became the centre of Serbian culture and earned its nickname Serbian Athens. Today, Novi Sad is a large industrial and financial centre of the Serbian economy; and it is also one of the biggest construction sites in the region.
The official names of Novi Sad used by the local administration are:
Other relevant names for the city are:
In its wider meaning, the name Grad Novi Sad refers to the "The City, Novi Sad", which is one of the four city-level administrative units of the Republic of Serbia. In its narrower meaning, the name Novi Sad refers to the Novi Sad municipality, one of the two urban municipalities that compose the City of Novi Sad (the other municipality being Petrovaradin). Novi Sad could also refer strictly to the urban part of the City of Novi Sad (including "Novi Sad proper", and towns of Sremska Kamenica and Petrovaradin), as well as only to the historical core of urban Novi Sad, i.e. "Novi Sad proper" (excluding Sremska Kamenica and Petrovaradin).
By the end of the 5th century, Byzantines had reconstructed the city and called it by the names Cusum and Petrikon. The city was later conquered by Ostrogoths, Gepids, Avars, Franks, Bulgarians, and again by Byzantines.
The region was conquered by the Kingdom of Hungary between the 10th and 12th century. The city was first mentioned under the name Petrovaradin (Pétervárad) in documents from 1237. In the same year (1237), several other settlements were mentioned to exist here (on the left bank of the Danube): Vašaroš-Varad (Vásárosvárad) also known as Varadinci (Várad), Mrtvaljoš (Mortályos), Sent-Marton (Kűszentmárton), Bakša (Baksafalva) also known as Bakšić, Sajlovo I (Zajol), Sajlovo II, Bivalo also known as Bivaljoš (Bivalyos), Rivica, and Čenej (Csenei). Etymology of these names show that most of them are of Slavic origin, thus indicating that these settlements were initially inhabited by Slavs. For example, Bivalo (Bivaljoš) was a large Slavic settlement that dates back to the 5th-6th century. Between 1526 and 1687, the region was under Ottoman rule. Most of these villages also existed during Ottoman rule in the 16th century, and were populated by ethnic Serbs. Two additional Serb villages that existed in the territory of present-day Novi Sad in the 16th and 17th century were Bistrica and Kamendin.
Etymology: Vásárosvárad in Hungarian language means "marketplace at castle" (Várad means "castle"), Baksafalva means "Baksa's village" (Baksa/Bakša was a Hungarian asristocrat family, although the name itself is obviously of Slavic origin - compared to other similar Slavic names like Janša, Nikša, etc; there is also South Slavic surname "Bakšić", meaning "the son of Bakša" ), Bivalyos means "place with buffalos" (the word "bivol / bivalo" as a designation for buffalo is also of Slavic origin ).
According to 1720 data, the population of Ratzen Stadt was composed of 112 Serbian, 14 German, and 5 Hungarian houses. The settlement officially gained the present name Novi Sad (Neoplanta in Latin) in 1748 when it became a "free royal city".
For much of the 18th and 19th centuries, Novi Sad was the largest city in the world populated by ethnic Serbs. The reformer of the Serbian language, Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, wrote in 1817 that Novi Sad is the "largest Serb municipality in the world". It was a cultural and political centre of Serbs, who did not have their own national state at the time. Because of its cultural and political influence, Novi Sad became known as the Serbian Athens (Srpska Atina in Serbian). According to 1843 data, Novi Sad had 17,332 inhabitants, of whom 9,675 were Orthodox Christians, 5,724 Catholics, 1,032 Protestants, 727 Jews, and 30 adherents of the Armenian church. The largest ethnic group in the city were Serbs, and the second largest were Germans.
During the Revolution of 1848-1849, Novi Sad was part of Serbian Vojvodina, a Serbian autonomous region within the Habsburg Empire. In 1849, the Hungarian army located on the Petrovaradin fortress bombarded and devastated the city, which lost much of its population. According to an 1850 census there were only 7,182 citizens in the city compared with 17,332 in 1843. Between 1849 and 1860, the city was part of a separate Austrian crownland known as the Vojvodina of Serbia and Tamiš Banat. After the abolishment of this province, the city was included into Bačka-Bodrog County.
After 1867, Novi Sad was located within the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary. During this time, the Magyarization policy of the Hungarian government drastically altered the demographic structure of the city, i.e. from the predominantly Serbian, the population of the city became ethnically mixed.
On November 25, 1918, the Assembly of Serbs, Bunjevci, and other nations of Vojvodina in Novi Sad proclaimed the union of Vojvodina region with the Kingdom of Serbia. Since December 1, 1918, Novi Sad is part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes; and in 1929, Novi Sad became the capital of the Danube Banovina, a province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
In 1941, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was invaded and partitioned by the Axis Powers, and its northern parts, including Novi Sad, were annexed by Hungary. During World War II, about 5,000 citizens were murdered and many others were resettled. In three days of Novi Sad raid (January 21 — January 23 1942) alone, Hungarian police killed 1,246 citizens, among them more than 800 Jews, and threw their corpses into the icy waters of the Danube, while the total death toll of the raid was around 2,500. Citizens of all nationalities - Serbs, Hungarians, Slovaks, and others - fought together against the Axis authorities. In 1975 the whole city was awarded a titile People's Hero of Yugoslavia.
The communist partisans from Syrmia and Bačka entered the city on October 23, 1944 under the leadership of Todor Gavrilovics Rilc. committing atrocities against Hungarian and German citizens who were accused for collaboration with Hungarian fascists. Executions started on 25th October. A drunken partisan officer read off 300 names. In a short time the executions started. The Hungarian captives got some water and bread only on the fifth day. During the first week about 1500 Hungarians were shot down into the Danube: One part of the corpses was either burnt or put into common graves in several rows.
Novi Sad became part of the new socialist Yugoslavia. Since 1945, Novi Sad has been the capital of Vojvodina, a province of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia. The city went through rapid industrialization and its population more than doubled in the period between World War II and the breakup of Yugoslavia. After 1992, Novi Sad was part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which, in 2003, was transformed into the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. Since 2006, Novi Sad is part of an independent Serbia.
Devastated by NATO bombardment, during the Kosovo War of 1999, Novi Sad was left without all of its three Danube bridges, communications, water, and electricity. Residential areas were cluster bombed several times while its oil refinery was bombarded daily, causing severe pollution and widespread ecological damage (See: 1999 NATO bombing in Novi Sad).
Novi Sad is located in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, with land area of 699 km², while on the city's official site, land area is 702 km²; and the urban area is 129.7 km². The city lies on the river Danube and one small section of the Danube-Tisa-Danube Canal.
Novi Sad's landscape is divided into two parts, one is situated in the Bačka region and another in the Syrmia region. The river Danube is a natural border between them. Bačka's side of the city lies on one of the southern lowest parts of Pannonian Plain, while Fruška Gora's side (Syrmia) is a horst mountain. Alluvial plains along Danube are well formed, especially on the left bank, in some parts 10 km from the river. A large part of Novi Sad lies on terrace deposit with an elevation of 80-83 m. The northern part of Fruška Gora is composed of massive landslide zones, but they are not active, except in the Ribnjak neighborhood (between Sremska Kamenica and Petrovaradin fortress).
The southeast-east wind Košava, which blows from the Carpathians and brings clear and dry weather, is characteristic of the local climate. It mostly blows in autumn and winter, in 2-3 days intervals. The average speed of Košava is 25-43 km per hour but certain strokes can reach up to 130 km/h. In winter time, followed by a snow storm, it can cause snowdrifts. Also it can cause temperatures to drop to around -30°C.
Novi Sad is a typical Central European town. There are only few buildings dating before 19th century, because city was almost totally destroyed during 1848/1849 revolution, so the architecture from 19th century dominates the city centre. Around the center, old small houses used to dominate the cityscape, but they are being replaced by modern multi-story buildings.
During the socialist period, new blocks with wide streets and multi-story buildings were built around the city core. However, not many communist-style high-rise buildings were built, and the total number of 10+ floor buildings remained at 40-50, most of the rest being 3-6 floor apartment buildings. City's new boulevard (today's Bulevar oslobođenja) was cut through the old housings in 1962-1964, establishing major communication lines. Several more boulevards were subsequently built in a similar manner, creating an orthogonal network over what used to be mostly radial structure of the old town. Those interventions paved the way for a relatively unhampered growth of the city, which almost tripled its population since 1950s, and traffic congestions (except on a few critical points) are still relatively mild despite the huge boost of car numbers, especially in later years.
Some of the oldest neighborhoods in the city are Stari Grad (Old Town), Rotkvarija, Podbara and Salajka which merged in 1694, in the time when the city was formed. Sremska Kamenica and Petrovaradin, on the right bank of the Danube, were separate towns in the past, but today are parts of the urban area of Novi Sad. Liman (divided into four parts, numbered I-IV), as well as Novo Naselje are neighborhoods built during 1960s, 1970s and 1980s with modern buildings and wide boulevards.
New neighborhoods, like Liman, Detelinara, and Novo Naselje, with modern high residential buildings emerged from fields and forests surrounding the city to house the huge influx of people from the countryside following the World War II. Many old houses in the city centre, Rotkvarija and Bulevar neighborhoods were torn down in the 1950s and 1960s to be replaced with multi-story buildings, as the city experienced a major construction boom during the last 10 years; some neighborhoods, like Grbavica have completely changed their face.
Neighborhoods with newer individual housing are mostly located away from the city center; Telep in the southwest is the oldest such quarter, while Klisa on the north, as well as Adice, Veternička Rampa and Veternik on the west significantly expanded during last 15 years, partly due to an influx of Serb refugees during the Yugoslav wars.
Besides urban part of the city (which include "Novi Sad proper", Petrovaradin and Sremska Kamenica), there are 12 more settlements and 1 town in Novi Sad's municipal area. 23.7% of total City's population live in suburbs, the largest being Futog (18,582), and Veternik (18,626), which are over the years, especially in the 1990s grown and physically merged to the city.
Most isolated and the least populated village in the suburb is Stari Ledinci (823). Ledinci, Stari Ledinci, and Bukovac are located on Fruška Gora slopes and the last two have only one paved road, which connect them to other places. Besides the urban area of Novi Sad, the suburb of Futog is also officially classified as "urban settlement" (a town), while other suburbs are mostly "rural" (villages).
Some towns and villages in separate municipalities of Sremski Karlovci, Temerin and Beočin which border City of Novi Sad, share the same public transportation and are also economically connected to Novi Sad.
|No.||Name||Town or village||Urban municipality||'''Population (2002 census)|
The city's administration bodies consist of city assembly as representative body, mayor and city government as executive body. Members of the city assembly and mayor are elected at direct elections. City assembly has 78 seats, while city government has 11 members. The mayor and members of city's assembly are elected to four-year terms; and city government is elected on mayor’s proposal by the city assembly by majority of votes.
Since 2002, when the new statute of Novi Sad came into effect, City of Novi Sad is divided into 46 local communities within two urban municipalities, Novi Sad and Petrovaradin, whose borders are defined by geographic boundaries (Danube river).
|Demographics of Novi Sad|
|2002 census||Municipal area||Novi Sad proper|
According to the last official census from 2002, the city's urban population was 216,583 and 299,294 with the surrounding inhabited places of the municipalities included. According to estimation from the end of 2004, there were 306,853 inhabitants in the city municipal area (estimation published on December 31, 2004 by statistical office of Serbia). From city's registry estimation in April 2005, population of the urban area of Novi Sad was 255,071, and the population of municipal area was at 333,895. The city has an urban population density of 1,673.7/km² (4,340.3/sq mi) - census 2002.
Most of the inhabited places in the municipalities have an ethnic Serb majority, while the village of Kisač has an ethnic Slovak majority.
In the 1990s, the city (like the rest of Serbia) was severely affected by an internationally imposed trade embargo and hyperinflation of the Yugoslav dinar. The embargo and economic mismanagement lead to a decay or demise of once big industrial combines, such as Novkabel (electric cable industry), Pobeda (metal industry), Jugoalat (tools), Albus and HINS (chemical industry). Practically the only viable remaining large facility is the oil refinery, located northeast of the town (along with the thermal power plant), near the settlement of Šangaj.
The economy of Novi Sad has mostly recovered from that period and it has grown strongly since 2001, shifting from industry-driven economy to the tertiary sector. The processes of privatization of state and society-owned enterprises, as well as strong private incentive, increased the share of privately-owned companies to over 95% in the district, and small and medium-size enterprises dominated the city's economic development.
The significance of Novi Sad as a financial center is proven by numerous banks such as Vojvođanska Bank, Erste Bank, Kulska Bank, Meridian Bank, Metals Bank, NLB Continental Bank and Panonska Bank; and second largest insurance company in Serbia - DDOR Novi Sad. The city is also home to the state-owned oil company - Naftna Industrija Srbije. It is also the seat of the wheat market.
At the end of 2005, Statistical office of Serbia published a list of most developed municipalities in Serbia, placing City of Novi Sad at No.7 by national income, behind some Belgrade municipalities and Bečej, with 201.1% above Serbia's average. In March 2007, the average gross salary in Novi Sad amounted to 42,476 Serbian dinars (approximately 525 euros or 715 US dollars) one of the highest in Serbia. The average net salary was 30,352 Serbian dinars (approximately € 375 or US $ 510 ). The region contributes to about 11% of the total national GDP, and its national income per capita is 60% over the national average.
In the 19th century, the city was the capital of Serbian culture, earning the nickname Serbian Athens. In that time, almost every Serbian novelist, poet, jurist, and publicist at the end of 19th century and at the beginning of 20th century had lived or worked in Novi Sad some time of his career. Among others, these cultural workers include Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, Mika Antić, Đura Jakšić, etc. Matica Srpska, the oldest cultural-scientific institution of Serbia, was moved from Budapest to Novi Sad in 1864, while Serbian National Theatre, the oldest professional theatre among the South Slavs, was founded in Novi Sad in 1861.
Today, Novi Sad is the second cultural centre in Serbia (besides Belgrade) and city's officials try to make the city more attractive to numerous cultural events and music concerts. Since 2000, Novi Sad is home to the EXIT festival, the biggest music summer festival in Serbia and the region; and also the only festival of alternative and new theatre in Serbia - INFANT, most prominent festival of children literature - Zmaj Children Games, Sterijino pozorje, Novi Sad Jazz Festival, and many others. Besides Serbian National Theatre, the most prominent theatres are also Youth Theatre, Cultural centre of Novi Sad, and Novi Sad Theatre. Novi Sad Synagogue also houses many cultural events in the City. Other city's cultural institutions include Offset of the Serbian Academy of Science and Art, Library of Matica Srpska, Novi Sad City Library, Archive of Novi Sad and Azbukum. City is also home to cultural institutions of Vojvodina: Vojvodinian Academy of Science and Art and Archive of Vojvodina, which collect many documents from Vojvodina dating from 1565.
Gallery of Matica Srpska is the biggest and most respected gallery in the city, which has two galleries in the city centre. There is also The Gallery of Fine Arts - Gift Collection of Rajko Mamuzić and The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection - one of the biggest collections of Serbian art from 1900s until 1970s.
Novi Sad is one of Serbian most important centers of higher education and research, with four universities and numerous professional, technical, and private colleges and research institutes, including a law school with its own publication.
Novi Sad is home to two universities and four private faculties. Largest educational institution in the city is University of Novi Sad with approximately 38,000 students and 2,700 in staff. It was established in 1960 with 9 faculties in Novi Sad in modern university campus. There are also Novi Sad Open University and Novi Sad Theological College in the city.
In Novi Sad there are 36 elementary schools (33 regular and 3 special) with 26,000 pupils. The secondary school system consists of 11 vocational schools and 4 gymnasiums with almost 18,000 students.
The number of tourists started to increase since the year 2000, when Serbia started to open to Western Europe and the United States. Every year, in the beginning of July, during the annual EXIT music festival, the city is full of young people from all around Europe. In 2005, 150,000 people visited this festival, which put Novi Sad on the map of summer festivals in Europe. Besides EXIT festival, Novi Sad Fair attract many business people into the city; in May, the city is home to the biggest agricultural show in the region, which 600,000 people visited in 2005. There is also a tourist port near Varadin Bridge in the city centre welcoming various river cruise vessels from across Europe who cruise on Danube river.
The most recognized structure in Novi Sad is Petrovaradin fortress, which dominates the city and with scenic views of the city. Besides the fortress, there is also historic neighborhood of Stari Grad, with many monuments, museums, caffes, restaurants and shops. There is also a National Park of Fruška Gora nearby, approx. 20 km from city centre.
Sports started to develop in 1790 with the foundation of "City Marksmen Association". However, its serious development started after the establishment of the Municipal Association of Physical Culture in 1959 and after 1981, when Spens Sports Center was built. Today, about 220 sports organizations are active in Novi Sad. Novi Sad is the second best developed sports city in Serbia (after Belgrade).
The most popular sport in the city is definitely football. There are many football pitches in Novi Sad's neighborhoods, as well as in every town and village in the suburbs. Besides FK Vojvodina, which is in the first league, there are many smaller clubs in the national second and third league. Most well known are: FK Novi Sad, FK Kabel, FK Mladost, FK Slavija Novi Sad, etc.
Citizens of Novi Sad participated in the first Olympic Games in Athens. The largest number of sportsmen from Novi Sad participated in the Atlanta Olympic Games – 11, and they won 6 medals, while in Moscow – 3, and in Montreal and Melbourne – 2.
Novi Sad was the host of the European and World Championships in table tennis in 1981, 29th Chess Olympiad in 1990, European and World Championships in sambo, Balkan and European Championships in judo, final match in the Cup of European Basketball Champions and final tournament of the European Cup in volleyball. Apart from that Novi Sad is the host of the World League in volleyball and traditional sport events such as Novi Sad marathon, international swimming rally and many other events. Between the 16th and 20th September 2005, Novi Sad co-hosted the 2005 European Basketball Championship.
|FK Vojvodina||Football||1914||Meridian Superliga||Karađorđe Stadium|
|KK Vojvodina||Basketball||2000||Sinalco Superleague||Spens Sports Center|
|KK Novi Sad||Basketball||1985||Sinalco Superleague||Spens Sports Center|
|OK Vojvodina||Volleyball||1946||/||Spens Sports Center|
Close proximity to the Fruška Gora National Park attract many people from the city on weekends in many hiking trails, restaurants and monasteries on the mountain. In the first weekend of May, there is a "Fruška Gora Marathon", with many hiking trails for hikers, runners and cyclists. During the summer, there is Lake of Ledinci in Fruška Gora, but also there are numerous beaches on the Danube river, largest being Štrand in the Liman neighborhood. Novi Sad has also one small nudist beach. There are also a couple of small recreational marinas on the river.
Novi Sad is connected by motorway to Subotica and Zrenjanin, by highway to Belgrade; and by railroad to major European cities, such as Vienna, Budapest, Kiev and Moscow. One of the most famous structures in the city are the bridges over river Danube, which were destroyed in every war and then rebuilt. The city is about 90 minutes drive from Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, which connects with metropolises across Europe.