The City of Many Cultures
Novi Sad was the centre of Serbian culture, politics and social life during the Habsburg administration in the 18th and 19th centuries, and because of that it received epithet ‘Serbian Athens’. Today it is not only the largest cultural centre in Vojvodina, but also one of the most important cultural centres of the Republic of Serbia.
Novi Sad is the city of museums, galleries and other monuments of cultural life, city that unites cultures i.e. cultural monuments of many nations that have lived and are still living this city. This is witnessed by religious buildings – besides Orthodox churches (Congregational Church, Uspenska Church, Nikolajevska Church, Almaška Church etc.), Novi Sad also has a magnificent Roman Catholic Parish Church Name of Mary, built in Neo-Gothic style, which people in Novi Sad call Cathedral although it does not have that rank, then Synagogue, Jewish church, built in the Art Nouveau style, which is used for concerts of classical music because of its exceptional acoustics, Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, as well as many others religious buildings.
The City of Theatres, Museums, Galleries and Festivals
The Serbian National Theatre, the oldest professional theatre of the Serbian people, was founded in Novi Sad in 1861. It is located at the Theatre Square, covers an area of over 20,000 m² and it has the largest theatre scene in Serbia. In addition to the Serbian National Theatre, other well-known theatres in the city are the Youth Theatre and Theatre of Novi Sad.
The Matica Srpska is the oldest literary, cultural and scientific institution of the Serbian people, founded in Pest on February 4/16, 1826, and moved to Novi Sad in 1864. Library of the Matica Srpska contains approximately 3 million publications. Gallery of the Matica Srpska is the largest and most respected in Novi Sad, and it is divided into two separate galleries located in the city centre.
The city is home to several museums and numerous private or public galleries. The most famous is the Museum of Vojvodina, which was founded by the Matica Srpska in 1847, which contains a permanent exhibition that represents Serbian culture and life in Vojvodina throughout history. The Museum of Novi Sad on the Petrovaradin Fortress has a permanent exhibition relating to the history of the fortress. There are also art gallery gift collection of Rajko Mamuzić and the memorial collection of Pavle Beljanski – one of the largest collections of Serbian art of the 20th century (from 1900 to 1970).
Other major cultural institutions in the city are the branch of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Academy of Arts and Sciences of Vojvodina, City Library of Novi Sad, Historical Archive of Novi Sad, Archives of Vojvodina (which preserves many historical documents from the territory of Vojvodina which are dating back to 1565), Cultural Centre of Novi Sad (which organises major events and represents the current culture of Novi Sad) etc.
Petrovaradin Fortress is the main symbol of Novi Sad. It was built on the right bank of the Danube and several centuries ago served as a defence of Habsburg Monarchy against the Turkish invasion. Today, the space of this magnificent fortress hosts one of the largest European music festivals – EXIT. The fortress also has a large Clock Tower, where the big hand shows hours, and the small one shows minutes, so that the boatmen could see what time is it from afar.