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SREMSKI KARLOVCI – VOJVODINA’S JEWEL

Sremski Karlovci is a charming town in the South Bačka district, but it belongs to the geographical region of Srem, whose name therefore stands in the name of the village. They are tucked in greenery, on the right bank of the Danube river, just 12 km from Novi Sad and 79 km from Belgrade.

This destination can be easily reached from Serbia’s capital, Belgrade – by car, by bus, which leaves every half an hour, or train. We went by train. Train is, in our opinnion, romantic, and most preferably. Train ticket from Belgrade to Karlovac costs about 3 euros, or for those who want to try their luck – give a train conductor couple of beers, or put couple of euros in his pocket.

As for the history of this little village it was very turbulent and diverse. Intersection of the nation, religion, and conquerors. Even at the time of the great Roman Empire, a little fortress was located on the site of today’s Karlovac. As a city, it was first mentioned in 1308 and as a fortress under the name “Kara”, built on Roman foundations. Kara’s 1521 finding and the settlement of the Kingdom of Hungary, and it was ruled a noble family Bathory (see the infamous Elizabeth Báthory, bloody Baroness) and Morović.

After the Hungarians, the Turks have come. Ottoman military leader Bali Beg took this place in 1521. In 1545, Karlovci had only 547 Christian inhabitants (Serbs), and in the city there were three Orthodox churches and a monastery. Since than it was repressed under the cruel heel of the Turkish empire, and it rested there in the next 170 years.

Under Ottoman rule, Karlovci existed until 1688, until the Great Vienna War (1683-1699), when the Turks retreating to Belgrade, in retaliation burned and destroyed this place. From 16 November 1698 to 26 February 1699 in Karlovci Congress was held, which marked the end of hostilities between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League. This arrangement is well known in history books as – Carlowitz.

Treaty of Karlowitz, Sremski Karlovci became part of the Hapsburg possession under the name “Military Frontier”, and which is inhabited predominantly Serbian population that served as the defensive wall and defense of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from the Ottomans.

At the place where the peace agreement was signed, a beautiful chapel was built in 1817. And, it was dedicated to our Lady of Holy Peace.

WHAT TO SEE

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The statue in front of the Seminary building in Karlowitz, indicator of freemasonry in Serbia in 18th century

Sremski Karlovci, despite the Turkish devastation, and a large fire that occurred in the mid 19th century, preserved a number of important buildings from the 18th century. Among these, the urban area of Sremski Karlovci and the following structures:

Orthodox church of St. Nicholas was built in 1758, the Church of introducing into the temple of the Holy Virgin from 1746. In the building of the Patriarchate, Peace Chapel, Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity, Karlovac gymnasium built in the late 18th century, which has a rich library with about 18,000 books. This is the oldest school library in Serbia, and is also the first high school in Serbia. Fountain Four Lions, built in 1799 to celebrate the construction of the first sewage system in the city. Townhouse, Karlovački Stefaneum from 1903 on which the city is today the Institute of the Serbian people and the diaspora.

What particularly caught my eye, is the architectural style of the old buildings here, and that the strong symbols of Freemasonry are very present in all these monuments, as well as in religious buildings, the Cathedral Church and the Seminary building.

Palatine Garden is located in the village, 500 m from the center of Sremski Karlovci. Used to be one of the oldest botanical gardens in the country. It spreads on two levels. In the upper part of the sport and recreational facilities, and the lower for promenade.

BEAUTIFUL STRAŽILOVO AND BRANKO RADIČEVIĆ’S GRAVE

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Monument to the great charmer and even greater poet, Branko Radičević, at the foot of StrazilovoStražilovo is absolutely the most famous resort in the National Park Fruska Gora, and is only 4 km distanced from Sremski Karlovci. Thanks to the fame and importance of Branko Radičević, one of the most famous serbian poetry writers, Stražilovo became a students’  famous meeting place and a place of unique poetic pilgrimage.

If you did not come by car to Sremski Karlovci, the best would be that you call a local taxi company where at a regular price (small regression – taxi drivers in Karlovci don’t usually turn on taximeters, but they form their own price depending on the request and the distance of the drive) which is 350 serbian dinars (less than 3 euros) you can go from any point in Karlovci to the bottom of Strazilovo.

Warning! Do not go to this adventure unprepared. Autan spray, or any other effective mosquito repellent, an insecticide is an indispensable requisite for this sightseeing tour. The hiking track is almost a kilometer long, and your final destination is the top of Strazilovo where there is a small clearing, on which rises the magnificent tomb Branko Radičević. “Much liked, a lot have started, and his time of death disrrupted everything” – So reads the epitaph on Branko monument, a poet himself, sensing that his end was near, in verse his desire to put right on this jewel of nature rests, “Al ‘ when snores like a larger sea, let the dark from between these mountains. ” Sooner said than done. Around Branko’s grave has a beautiful view of the whole of Sremska Karlovci, the Danube, and one hundred and fifty shades of green and blue and blue that blend harmoniously into the sunlight. As if all of nature is dancing last game for the great poet, and for you. Spectators. As if the whole hill – all forests, maple, small forest animals and coils – silk bassinet beautiful Branko, the great poet and eternal bohemian, for his eternal rest.

WHERE TO STAY

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Although it is a small village, Sremski Karlovci have a full storage and touristical capacity – fancy hotels, less fancy hotels, farms, ethno-houses and private apartments and motels – for those who have deep pockets.

We strongly recommend villa PREZIDENT, which is part of the luxury chain accommodation “Prezident” (hotel and villas in Karlovci, as well as unforgettable pleasure in wellness & spa hotel Prezident has in Novi Sad). This villa is away from the center of Sremski Karlovci, just enough to avoid the noise and crowds, the smell of asphalt and bustle. Vila Prezident is located  at only 1 km from the center of Sremski Karlovci to Stražilovo, which will undoubtedly evoke Vojvodina’s atmosphere and allow you to enjoy a traditional lunch, the sounds of tambourine, a wide wine range and divine surrounding area. It will take you about 7 minutes walk, to the city center, through the Imperial gardens and local houses.

I came here immediately after the wedding. Frankly, I needed to rest my body and soul and recharge my batteries by nature, and refresh my lips with some excellent local wine. This combination of tradition and luxury is an experience that you will remember forever! The experience that you sense here will encourage the secretion of endorphin in your body and a sense of incredible happiness and pleasure.

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From the moment that we stepped out of the taxi, friendly staff immediately helped us to bring our bags inside. The beautiful smell that filled our nostrils as soon as we entered the front door was the smell of healthy and tasty domestic Serbian food, the loaf under the bell and a young lamb. Immediatly we got hungry! The friendly receptionist referred us to the room and introduced us to a variety of content which this gorgeous villa offers. Shopping cart with fruit, a bottle of wine, scented bath and relaxing bath in the private hot tub, indoor swimming pool with a beautiful interior and a Roman mosaic. What I could immediately notice was the stunning purity of the whole villa, hall, toilets, restaurants, gardens, rooms, and wine cellar. Everything sparkled and smelled clean. All the time. Bravo for the cleaning lady!

20160829_141507-576x1024In Villa Prezident there are nine units – 1 VIP suite, 2 classic apartments, 4 rooms with double beds and 2 double rooms. For our first wedding night we booked VIP Apartment and what we got was worth every penny, and even more than that! The whole VIP apartment is designed for creative perversions and  hedonists who like to enjoy their life to the maximum, who love sex and love luxury. It is ideal for both erotic and for romantic evening. All around the room are mirrors, and in the center there is a huge double bed which can store up to six people (though if they would be squeezed like sardines) and it’s height is from the floor to my hip (the distance from the floor to my hip, according to the tailoring meter, is exactly 117 cm). We got a jug of wine from a local distillery, as we later heard from a very limited variety, that there is no more commercially available and cart of fresh fruit decorated nicely and with taste, which my starving husband immediately devoured. The room where the jacuzzi is, has a full wall mirror and a small table with two chairs, for visual pleasures. Also, you can find a large TV hanging on the wall, so you can watch something if you get bored in the jacuzzi.

The bathroom is also spacious and equipped with all sorts of things – not just shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, but cleaning sticks for ears, hermetically packaged sterile razors, thread and needle,… They will provide you with literally everything you might ever need!

In Villa "President" you, certainly, can't get hungry! And, this is only a modest part of the offer that you'll receive when you pay for the half-board.
In Villa “President” you, certainly, can’t get hungry! And, this is only a modest part of the offer that you’ll receive when you pay for the half-board.

In villa Prezident you cannot stay hungry for long. Also, if you have planned a diet for loosing some extra weight – you can forget all about it! Because here, as in all Vojvodina – every dish is prepared with great care and skill, experience and patience, according to local recipes, along with how they told us, little secrets. There is no skimping – they give their guests only the best, and all the best in abundant quantities. And with homemade chow the thing which will complete your enjoyment and be mild to your ear – is tamburashi – serbian old music, and songs that have for years, decades, and some say even for centuries,  was loved and listened in our northern province. Ethno restaurant in Villa Prezident offers a truly superior service combine with real traditional specialties. In this we are well assured, and we will come back definitely to determine the material! The authentic, rustic ambience, you will simply forget what year it is and with the warm light of the fireplace, you will experience unforgettable moments.

An additional plus to give to this restaurant is the rustic terrace, a balcony, on which, for breakfast, dinner or lunch, you can enjoy a fantastic view and experience some really magical moments. My mind was lost in the rows of vines above our heads when we finished breakfast, and I thought – how is it possible that God created so many enjoyment in just one place, in Sremski Karlovci, in Villa Prezident, on this terrace … Yes, as I was bathed in the rays of the September sun as they reflected through the rosy grapes that matures over our heads, we are honored and settled. A perfect happiness. A total satisfaction. There, you can close your eyes and for a moment feel zen and joy that you are blessed to be able to breathe healthy air of Fruska Gora, to hear the whisper of the wind in verses, with Strazilovo to feel the scent of the Danube and hear the sounds of tambourine. If only for a moment you  can go back in time and experience unforgettable moments by the light of the fireplace… Allow yourself this escape from the present!

WHERE TO EAT

Chicken "a la Danube" with arugula amd gnocchi.
Chicken “a la Danube” with arugula amd gnocchi.

We highly recommend hotel Dunav (hotel Danube) and it’s beautiful restaurant. It is situated on the Danube river, on a huge terrace, beautifully decorated in romantic style, with colorful hanging greenery and flowers, with a joyful and melancholic music of tamburine orchestra and a flock of swans who will dance, just for you, on the old, good, blue Danube.

Rich and diverse menu (as both – for the food and the drinks), complete the magical atmosphere that provide interior and musicians, but also a sense of warmth and luxury that will help create a friendly staff.

The waiter who serviced us was so well-acquainted with the variety of wine, and the menu, and had such a high level of working and professional ethics, what is rarely seen, that I had to ask him for his name. Congratulations to the hotel management on such trained, experienced, dedicated and hardworking staff like this young guy, named Boris.

After he recommended the best offering from their menu, he left us to enjoy music of tambourine and joyful gathering of people who were celebrating a baptism in this same restaurant.

Swans were gliding on the blue Danube below us, accustomed to fellowship with people waiting for the “pity” of one of the guests who will threw a piece of the delicious cake, or at least a tiny bit of some of the delicatese from the banquet table.

The whole scene is absolutely harmonious and serene, gentle, romantic, and creates  lethargic  atmosphere … The type of atmosphere that helps you fall in SEVDAH!

 

As for the menu, I would recommend you to try the fish soup (one serving is more than enough for two or three people), a chicken leg in a sauce of four cheeses (they are really generous on the quality of the material and size of the portions. They are so huge that they practically uneatable! So, you just come to weeping because you can not eat the whole thing, and also you can’t leave it just like that – considering that it is sooo fu*king delicious!), chicken breast fried in peanut with arugula, the gnocchi in a special sauce (Chicken a la Danube), and of course – homemade red wine. We will certainly come again, but next time we will come here starved to death!

Read here what is considered the best aphrodisiac of Fruska Gora.

After we finished eating, we “rolled-out” like two little bowling balls from the restaurant to the docks, where boats were continously leaving and arriving. Twilight slowly began to put yellow though the horizon, and then we saw a strange man.

– “Jaws?”

– “Yeah, that’s me!  Get in the boat and let’s go!”

We went into a small motor boat and ventured into the great adventure on a hidden island near Sremski Karlovci …

If you want to be part of this adventure, or any other fascinating place that we wrote about on our site, please contact us HERE and we will make sure that you enjoy visiting our beautiful country, Serbia. We are here to make your dreams come true!

7 thoughts on “SREMSKI KARLOVCI – VOJVODINA’S JEWEL

  1. Belgrade is alredy booked for November 15th… for sure i will visiti this remarkable city also! Thanks for the advices a lot!

  2. Mmmm this chicken looks delicious… And the way that you’re writing about all this… I wish I was there right now so I can enjoy all those pretty things.

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