Sunday, 15 August 2010

The Streets of Novi Sad

I was chatting to a new Twitter friend this week and was explaining that as an expat, I am still very much in the honeymoon period with my relationship with London but as I’d had two affairs with New York and Novi Sad, I did not know for how long I would be faithful.  That is exactly how I feel!  I might have only spent four very short days in Novi Sad but I fell in love and haven’t been able to think of much else since my return to London.  I would really love to live and work in another foreign city and I wouldn’t say no to either New York or Novi Sad.

The strangest thing is that I didn’t actually spend much time being a tourist during my visit to Serbia as the visit was primarily about visiting with Maja and attending the festival.  Nevertheless, we did manage to drag ourselves out of bed by noon on the Sunday and we took a walk through the streets of Novi Sad towards the city centre.

Remember, you can click on all of the photographs for larger images.

Masarikova Street, Novi Sad
Corner of A. Teodorovića and Masarikova Streets, Novi Sad

The first thing that struck me about the city was how much graffiti there was on every available surface, except for the churches of course.  Much of the graffiti was political and referred to things such as the Kosovan independence and there were many Serbian crosses around too (see: Only Unity Saves the Serbs).  Being the bad, tired and hot blogger that I was, I naturally failed to take any photos of those specific examples!

The Slovak Lutheran Church, Novi Sad
The Slovak Lutheran Church, Novi Sad

There are many different religions in Novi Sad and each is represented by its own place of worship. Above is the Slovak Lutheran Church which was built in 1886 in the Baroque-Classicist style.

Below is the Serbian Orthodox Church of Dormition of Holy Theotokos which is simply known locally as Uspenjskai  It was built between 1765 and 1776 in the Baroque style and is right next to the Serbian National Theatre.

Uspenjska crkva Novi Sad (Serbian Orthodox Church of Dormition of Holy Theotokos) Uspenjska crkva Novi Sad (Serbian Orthodox Church of Dormition of Holy Theotokos)

Most of the people in Serbia are Orthodox Christians and most belong to the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Ulica Šafarikova Ulica Šafarikova

One thing you will notice in Serbia is that you can see Cyrillic everywhere.  One unexpected but predictable outcome of my visit to Serbia is that I fell in love with Cyrillic and indeed, with the Serbian language.  I’ve been secretly learning how to speak a bit of Serbian so that I can hold a conversation with Maja next time I visit.  So far, I can say the basic greetings and kreditna kartica (credit card).  Don’t ask me why the language programme decided that should be one of the first things a tourist should learn.  The street sign above says Ulica Šafarikova or Šafarikova Street.

The Reformed Christian Church, 5 Šafarikova Street, Novi Sad The Reformed Christian Church, 5 Šafarikova Street, Novi Sad

This was actually one of my favourite churches but it was difficult to get a good shot of it.  It was built in 1865 and is built in the Neo-Gothic style.  I suppose it is just typical that an ex-coffin kid such as me would be so attracted to the Gothic style.

The Jewish Synagogue, 9 Jevrejska Street, Novi SadThe Jewish Synagogue, 9 Jevrejska Street, Novi Sad

This is the Jewish Synagogue which was built in 1906 in what is apparently the Hungarian Secessionist style but this synagogue is the fifth to be built on this site.  I think it is gorgeous and it is certainly one of the major landmarks in Novi Sad.  It is really heartbreaking but apparently it is no longer used for services and it is used as a concert hall.  However, the synagogue is at the disposal of the Jewish community (numbering only about 400) should they ever require to hold services there.

Once again I struggled to get a decent photo of the building which is a pity because it really is exquisite.

Jevrejska Street, Novi Sad
Jevrejska Street, Novi Sad

This is Ulica Jevrejska or Jevrejska Street (translated as Jewish Street).  I took this photo to show a contrast between the pristine condition of the religious institutions and the rest of the buildings in Novi Sad.

Post Office, Novi SadPost Office, Novi Sad

I think this was meant to be a post office but that it has been left in an unfinished state for years and years.  Hopefully Maja will be able to clarify the exact details.  I thought it was incredible that the building could be so beautiful but they obviously ran out of either funds and/or interest and never quite finished it.

Next we turned into the city centre of Novi Sad towards Trg Slobode or Liberty Square.  There was a lot to see there so I will leave that for another day.

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16 comments

  1. i really like churches architectures, they are one of the most stunning, unique and creative architectures in the world.

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  2. I'm really loving the photography that you're putting up Emm. Really great to read about other parts of the world that I'm probably never going to be able to see. London is still on the top of my list on places to visit. I don't know how anyone could fall out of love with that city.

    Keep up the great work.

    -Matt

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  3. It is embarrassing how quickly we can fall in love with a place far from home and want to make some sort of permanent commitment to that place within a month. I couldn't even decide to marry my husband in that time :)

    Even if it is utterly unrealistic, I still yearn to move to London (where I once lived for 2 years) AND to Tel Aviv (where I once lived for 2.5 years). Then Paris, then Florence and often Barcelona. It is insane, since I hate British winters and I don't speak either Italian or Spanish. Oh fickle, fickle heart!

    Love your photos of religious architecture, by the way. I think a town always looks after its churches and synagogues well, even if there is some neglect or dirt elsewhere in town.

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  4. Loved the description and the pics...looks like u really love the place eh? But c'mon it cant be better than London!!!

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  5. Emm great photos and commentary. I guess the grass is always greener to people like you and I who have "gypsy" blood.

    I always reckon on three years before I fancy somewhere new to explore :-)

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  6. This are beautiful photos, Emm! I'm so glad you had a chance to see a bit of the city in between visiting and the concerts. Did you get a good sample of the local cuisine?

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  7. Fruska Gora is gorgeous place. In the seventies and eighties I think, there was a 100 km hike being organized. Kind of " Walk-a-ton". Do not know if they still have that. Open heart falls in love and lives full life. Please keep traveling and making friends. Next time ask Maja to take you to Cortanovci. Regards Zdralezdravko

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  8. Novi Sad looks like a beautiful part of the world, but you only really get to know a place when you start living and working there.

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  9. That's a great little article Emm thanks. Its excited me all over again that I'm going to be in Belgrade in October - I can't wait!

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  10. I like the way they construct this churches. I'm so happy that I was able to have a chance to go to Jerusalem last year.

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  11. Great photos, Emm, and such a beautiful place! I swear, your pics look like postcards. Good job.

    Oh...and thanks so much for stopping by to comment on our anniversary!

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  12. Great pictures Emm. I love to see the contrast between some of London's places of worship and Serbia's. I have to say, I think Serbia wins! :P

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  13. Really neat churches! And I'm with you on loving Cyrillic. I don't remember much Russian vocabulary from my two years of study but I can transliterate Cyrillic and always enjoy doing that. It's fun to write it, too.

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  14. Thanks so much for this informative post, Emm.
    Great pictures too! :)
    It seems such an interesting place to visit.


    B xx

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  15. It's really fascinating to see a place that isn't on the main tourist routes. In fact I think I prefer the hidden gems to the sometimes over-hyped "must-sees". I don't suppose I'm ever likely to make it to Serbia, so thank you for this first instalment. Looking forward to the next.

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  16. Hi everyone! Please excuse the late reply as I went away on holiday since I posted this! This is one of my favourite posts ever though so I am happy to revisit it!

    @ Fifty States Travel: I am with you there! I love church architecture and am slowly realising how unique and intricate it can be.

    @ Phoenix: I agree and I hope it will be a long time before I fall out of love with London. It can be a really unforgiving city if you're alone or broke though!

    @ Hels: Thank you! I always think of you when discussing this type of architecture! And yes, I am very glad that I am far less fickle with my marriage!!

    @ Ash: That is a really good question and my immediate answer would be to say that it is infinitely better than London! But alas, the standard of living is much better here as are our salaries. I would love to live there on my £ salary!

    @ Mike: You are so right about grass being greener and gypsy blood! That is why i was determined to appreciate my life here and to see it through a tourist's eyes.

    @ JaPRA: Definitely! Maja's mum cooked for us on the Sunday and it was great! It was really good staying with a family, in fact.

    @ Mihailo: I'll have to find out about the walk! "Open heart falls in love and lives full life" - that is beautiful. I will definitely go back to the country and am planning my next trip within a year.

    @ William: You are absolutely right and my chances of going to work there (aka dragging Mister Emm there) are as slim as his chances of dragging me up to Manchester so he can be near Old Trafford.

    @ The Londoneer: Really? Belgrade?? Fab cannot wait to see your photos! I intend to visit there next year.

    @ El Cid: I am so keen to go to Jerusalem but unfortunately, my husband isn't.

    @ Holly: Thank you for saying my photos look like postcards - that is my aim! Maybe not the most imaginative or best photography but certainly what I am looking to achieve.

    @ Gemma: I agree - I also think Serbia wins!

    @ Kathy: I know! I've had so much fun learning Cyrillic in the past couple of weeks. I was well chuffed to realise I was recognising text on my Russian friend's blog the other day too.

    @ Betty: Thank you! I would certainly recommend visiting the coutnries of the former Yugoslavia.

    @ Sheila: I have always defended the appeal of so-called tourist traps but now I understand the benefits of stepping off the beaten path!

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