Serbia: Petrovaradin Fortress

Petrovaradin Fortress is one of the largest fortresses in Europe. Some sort of fortification existed on this strategic high knoll on the Danube River since the 10th century and the fortress played an important role in the Austro-Turkish wars when it was finally captured by the Austrian army in 1687 after 150 years of Turkish control. The Austrians quickly decided to rebuilt it and modify it to make it the strongest fortress of the empire to defend against the Ottomans. It took over hundred years to built this double-star shaped monstrosity with 16km of underground tunnels! And the Turks never attacked again. Today, the fortress is an impressive place to view the Danube panorama and beautiful sunsets over Novy Sad. What’s more – you can actually stay at a hotel inside the fortress, complete with all the period furnishings and atmosphere (and dirt cheap as well). A dozen restaurants serve Serbian meat-overloaded cuisine just a step a way with local wines and spirits. And finally, an interesting fact – the fortress is famous for its clock tower that has the sizes of the arrows for hours and minutes reversed – the hour one is large while the minute one is small – made so that the sailors on Danube could see the time!