You can discover natural and historical landscapes while following the Danube route.
Following the Danube from Hungary, you can enter Serbia at the Hercegszántó–Bački Breg border crossing. After leaving the border, you can reach Bezdan through the village Kolut, which has a small zoo.
Bezdan got its name during Turkish rule and means whirlpool in Serbian, likely referring to the wide Danube river. The Danube–Tisa–Danube Canal (also known as the Franz Canal) is located before Bezdan. It has a lock built in 1856, which is an industrial monument. This lock was used to let water into the Franz Canal, which connects the Tisza and Danube rivers. Its renovation was done through an IPA tender between Serbia and Hungary. Bezdan is known for its damask factory which still uses a loom from 1871 today.
The Upper Danube Special Nature Reserve (Specijalni rezervat pripodne Gornje Podunavlje) is located on the border of Hungary–Serbia and Croatia–Serbia and is an internationally recognized biosphere reserve. The Upper Danube Special Nature Reserve incorporates the floodplain forests, swamps, and backwaters that were previously flooded by the Danube. Its largest part is located in Vojvodina, but part of it reaches into Croatia. Preserved natural biotopes like this are rare in Europe. It can be divided into four main sections: the Karapancsa forest, the Kozara forest popular among hunters, the large Danube forest, and the marshy Kopački Rit.
Sombor is one of the most significant settlements along the this part of the Danube, it a municipality capital and the central town of the West Bačka District. Its old town center boasts a number of baroque, rococo, neoclassical and secession buildings. The old county hall’s ceremonial hall displays Franz Eisenhut’s 1896 painting titled “Battle of Zenta” which, with a size of 4×7 meters, is the largest oil painting in Serbia. Local sights and activities:
Kupusina is located a few kilometers from Sombor and has the richest collection of sacred outdoors momuments in Bačka. The statue of Saint John of Nepomuk is dated 1833, but the Saint Wendel statue is also unique in the region. One of the buildings has an interesting feature: its facade displays the seal of Bács-Bodrog county made of glazed tile. River tour trips head out from here on the Danube during the summer.
From Sombor through Kupusina, we can also reach Apatin. Apatin is a humble small town by the Danube with pedestrian streets lined with trees, cafés and outdoor restaurants. Gyula Pártos, a pioneer of Hungarian secession style architecture, was born in Apatin.
The village of Bogojevo has a holiday resort by the river. Bogojevo is an important village in West Bačka from the aspect of preserving traditions and is known for local folk attire and folk dance.
Heading towards Bačka Palanka, we can reach Karađorđevo, which is actually a special nature reserve. It is one of the most protected water habitats by the Danube, with rich floodplains, forests, islands, shoals, branches, and diverse flora and fauna. It is one of the 669 biosphere reserves acknowledged by UNESCO which serve the preservation of valuable environmental features, and is also part of the Európai Amazonas (European Amazon) reserve, which is one of the largest nature reserves in the continent, sprawling across a 700 kilometer long area, connecting five countries.
Novi Sad, the capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina is located on the left side of the Danube. It is an architecturally and ethnically diverse city and is constantly developing. The buildings in the city center are from the age of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and offer a unique atmosphere with a feeling of bohemian lifestyle. The Name of Mary Church, a neo-gothic style Catholic church, at the Freedom square, and the neo-renaissance style City Hall are only two of many local sights. Festivals, events, and the city’s other attractions bring thousands of tourists here every year. Novi Sad will be the European Youth Capital in 2019, and the European Capital of Culture in 2021. Details: www.novisad.travel.
On the Danube’s side opposite to Novi Sad (and practically in Srem) you can find Petrovaradin. The 112 hectare Petrovaradin Fortress is also known as “Danube’s Gibraltar” and has a 16 km long, four-level defensive underground tunnel system. It is one of few monuments where tourists can walk around in the well-kept courtyard, enjoy a coffee on the fortress’ terrace, and get to know the building’s past in the town museum. For many years, the Petrovaradin Fortress has been home to Exit festival, one of the most well-known music festivals in Europe. Details: www.novisad.travel/petrovaradin/ and www.exitfestorg/sr.
Tekija, a famous place of pilgrimage, is located on the northern slopes of Fruška Gora, on the right side of the Danube. There is an interesting story about this place. Here, a Turkish army of 200,000 men fought a a Christian army half its size lead by Eugene of Savoy. The Christian army won the battle on august 5, also known as the day of Our Lady of the Snows.
Sremski Karlovci is where the Treaty of Karlowitz was signed by members of the Holy League and the Ottoman Empire on 26 January 1699. The Peace Chapel was built on the spot where the peace treaty was signed. This town has many other sights as well: www.karlovci.org.rs.
The Kovilj-Petrovaradin Nature Reserve (Koviljsko-Petrovaradinski rit) is the totality of marsh and forest areas in the Danube floodplains. The smaller Petrovaradin Rit is located on the right side of the Danube, while the larger Kovilj Rit is on the Danube’s left side. They are significant IBA, IPA and Ramsar sites.
Stari Slankamen is a small settlement southeast of Sremski Karlovci, on the right side of the Danube. It is significant from a geographical perspective, since the River Tisza meets the Danube under this village. The settlement was once an important river crossing location. Ruins of the medieval border fort can still be seen on a hill by the town.
Zemun can be found on the right side of the Danube. Even after being absorbed by Belgrade, this place has kept its small town atmosphere with its slower tempo and small streets with elegant buildings from the age of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Zemun is full of churches, chapels, and other buildings that showcase the town’s ethnical and religions diversity. One of Zemun’s extraordinary sights is the memorial tower built in 1896, also known as the Hunyadi Tower. Tourists can enjoy local cuisine while walking on the Danube’s river bank or inside one of many famous restaurants on the river.
The River Sava meets the Danube at Belgrade; this is where the naturally and historically rich Lower Danube region begins. One of its most interesting features is the Kazán-szoros (part of the Iron Gates).