Driving on the old road which connects Belgrade and Novi Sad, on the bank of the river Danube, you cannot miss Sremski Karlovci, a town of around nine thousand inhabitants, well-known for its rich history, wine, honey and cake kuglof, but also for the poets who lived there
The majority of visits to this town are school excursions from other sides of Serbia. The children are brought to see lavish library with 18.198 titles and the oldest Serbain grammar school from 1791, which “brought up” hundreds of generations of children, among which also Branko Radičević. He is the one poet, a former pupil, that the said grammar school is most proud of.
Four lions’ fountain
The main town square was named after him, and in the centre of it there is the “Four lion’s fountain” from 1799. It was made by the Italian architect Giuseppe Aprili, who designed it in baroque style in red marble. The legend says that whoever drinks water from this fountain will come back to Sremski Karlovci, fall in love and stay there forever.
The place where the Great Turkish war was ended
Tourists, around one hundred thousand a year, apart from school groups, mostly come in organized tours to visit the Chapel of Lady of Peace where the famous Treaty of Karlovci between Austria and its allies – Poland and the Republic of Venice on one side and Ottoman empire on the other side was signed in 1699. With it the Great Turkish war was ended, as well as the presence of Ottomans in Central Europe. Sremski Karlovci then became a part of the Habsburg monarchy. During the negotiation one interesting thing happened. Namely, when the parties arrived to sign the treaty, there was the question who would sit at the head of the table, which would symbolically give this party a greater importance. As none of the opposing parties wanted to offend the other, they mutually decided that they should all sit the way the knights of the round table sat. So, the round table was made, the first round table for meetings in political history.
Cathedral church of St. Nicholas
You should definitely visit the Cathedral church of St. Nicholas in Sremski Karlovci. It was built in baroque style, with stained glass windows, among which there is a stained-glass window of St. Nicholas, a work of German masters. In altar space there iconostasis in 24 carat gold, and you should also see 11 paintings of Serbian artist Pajo Jovanović which depict scenes from the Old and New Testament, as well as events from medieval history. Almost all archbishops and patriarchs of Sremski Karlovci were buried in the crypt of the Cathedral church.
Wine routes and Vinske ceste i Museum of Beekeeping
Those the road takes to Sremski Karlovci must not miss to visit one of its wineries. Inhabitants of Karlovci are extremely proud of their wine drops, especially of Bermet which was served at the British court, and allegedly was also served at the ingloriously sunken ship, Titanic. The visitors usually go to the Museum of beekeeping and wine house Jovanović, where the schools go, too, and special guests were Prince Charles and his wife Camilla. Do not forget to come to a rich Syrmian breakfast which has to start with a good brandy or to one of the many excursion sites in the vicinity of Fruška gora. There is also a belvedere at Magarčev Breg, where there is a beautiful sight of the whole town and Fruška gora. There is also an impressive gilded cross and monument of the poet, Duško Trifunović. Even though he was born in Bosnia, he wanted to be buried here, so today he is looking at Danube and his favourite Sremski Karlovci from the heights.
Cake kuglof of Sremski Karlovci
The competent claim that you will try the best cake kuglof in the world. It has always been the inevitable part of a rich table of grandmothers and mothers in Sremski Karlovci, and it has been eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with coffee, milk or wine, and today it is experiencing its renaissance thanks to the Germans (Danube Germans- Podunavske Švabe) for whom the cake kuglof or Gugelhupf is the main component of tradition. If you wish to learn how to make it, nice people in Karlovci will be glad to share their recipes and secrets with you, and if you just want to try it or buy it as a souvenir, there is a charming small shop with this cake in all varieties and sizes, not far from the Four lion’s fountain.
Uncle Jovo’s house in Sremska Kamenica
Those who visit Sremski Karlovci with children must not miss a visit to Sremska Kamenica which is 11 kilometres away from Sremski Karlovci, because there you can see Uncle Jovo’s house. Namely, in the centre of Sremska Kamenica there is the Zmaj museum, dedicated to the writer Jovan Jovanović Zmaj. His house represents the testimony of life and work of one of the greatest Serbian romanticists. Uncle Jova Zmaj spent last days of his life in that house, which was adapted and opened for public in 1933. The monument “Children to Uncle Jova Zmaj”, work of the sculptor Stevan Stojanović, which symbolises the strength of Uncle Jovo’s personality and at the same time the world he created through children’s poetry, was set up the same year.