If you are interested in visiting Serbia or you happen to come here as an Erasmus student, you should be introduced to all the beautiful places our country has to offer. Since ESN Novi Sad represents the capital city of a province of Vojvodina, in this guide we are going to give you some tips about places to visit and insight into its beauties, both cultural and natural. Vojvodina is situated in North Serbia and it is divided into three main districts: Banat, Srem and Bačka. It is a province of culture, diversity and tolerance.
The City of Zrenjanin
Banat is the biggest district, though the bigger part of it actually extends across Romania. The city of Zrenjanin is the administrative center of Central Banat as well as the third biggest town in Vojvodina. It counts more than twenty nationalities. Former name of the city was Veliki Bečkerek, but in 1946 it got a name after a WW2 national hero Žarko Zrenjanin. Due to its cultural diversity, the city is full of interesting architecture. For instance, the very famous one is The City Hall (or County Palace) at Liberty Square, which is built in a neo-baroque style in 1820. In the backside of a building there is a beautiful City Garden, which is open for all the citizens to enjoy. Across the City Hall stands the Cathedral from 1868. Some other architecturally interesting buildings are Palace of Justice, Piarist Church, Uspenska Serbian Orthodox Church, Reformed Church, National Museum and Gallery of Contemporary Art. One of the most enjoyable festivals that are held in this city is The Days of Beer, founded in 1986 and held at the end of August. The festival gathers a population of all ages, popular musicians of the region, amusement park lovers and of course beer and traditional food lovers.
Not far from Zrenjanin, on the left bank of the river Begej, the village of Ečka is settled. In that village in 1820, a nobleman Lazar Agošton built the castle Kaštel Ečka. The ceremonial opening of a castle has gathered not only the residents of the village, but also guests from Vienna and Budapest (for instance a famous Count Esterhazy). The Castle has been a favorite place for nobles such as Franz Ferdinand and Aleksandar Karađorđević, who loved to be engaged with nature and hunting. Today it is renovated and turned into a hotel, which has made it a tourist attraction with an authentic experience since the style of the whole Castle is a mixture of a Medieval and Modern. It also offers a great national and international cuisine, beautiful park, good wine and music.
The neighbourhood of Zrenjanin is full of natural beauties as well. The largest individual bog in Serbia, Carska Bara alongside with the pond of Stari Begej makes a Special Nature Reserve „Carska bara“. It is also placed nearby the river Begej which flows in the river Tisa. Carska bara is full of beautiful, rare and protected flora and fauna, for instance many autochthonous plants, 500 registered, like water fern, European white water lily, Nuphar lutea, lax-flowered orchid and water farina, yellow pheasant’s eye, St John’s wort, Orchis, water caltrop. When it comes to animals there are 24 different species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, herons (which are the most important for the ecosystem), cormorants, birds such as the white tailed eagle and mammals, for instance otters, European ground squirrels, feral pig, weasel etc. Carska bara is open for all the tourists to visit, go on a cruise tour and enjoy everything it has to offer.
Tisa is the largest tributary to the Danube river and one of the main rivers of Central and Eastern Europe. It used to be called “The most Hungarian river”. It is practically flowing through the middle of Vojvodina, forming a natural border between Banat and Bačka district. It is a great place for tourists, swimmers and fisherman. One of the most popular fishing destinations in Serbia is Biserno Ostrvo terrains, located nearby the Dead Tisa River, where it is possible to swim and take boat tours. It offers an amazing view and many small vineyards and orchards and restaurants which serve only fresh-caught fish.
Medieval Romanesque church Arača is located in the North part of Vojvodina, near the city of Novi Bečej. This church is a pretty intriguing monument since the precise data about its occurrence is not discovered, the assumption is around the 12th and 13th century. Since the Ottoman Turks left Banat, in the 18th century, it has remained in ruins. The basis for this building is typical for the Franciscan churches with the romano-gothic style. Some parts were added later in history and others, such as graves and residents around the church, were discovered by the archeologists. However, this interesting building probably still hides many other secrets that are yet to be discovered.
One of the most beautiful cities in Balkan, near the border with Romania surrounded by the Vršac mountains, Vršac is another great place for enjoyment in nature and clear air. This small city is also full of cultural and architectural sights. Things worthy visiting are The Vršac tower, whose date of occurence is also not discovered, Saint Gerhard’s cathedral, city museum, monastery Mesić, Saint Cross Chapel, the bishop’s palace and a beautiful town square. It is also surrounded by vineyards that, alongside with the tower make a symbol of this city. One of the greatest Serbian painters Pavle Paja Jovanović (1859-1957) was born here.
City of Vršac partially takes the territory of the largest European Continental sandy terrain as well as one of the most important centres of biodiversity in Europe and the most important steppe in our counrty – Deliblat sands. This sandy terrain forms another unique ecosystem with the variety of the rare species. It covers nearly 35,000 ha, the forming of the vast layers of silica-carbon sand allegedly took part in the Ice Age. This place is not only perfectly suitable for recreation and nature enjoyment, but also for science: The Educational centre Čardak with the capacity of 500 persons.