Grbavica, one of the most sought-after and popular neighbourhoods in Novi Sad, is also one of the oldest neighbourhoods, which was once named ‘in a hurry’. In the following text, we bring you the story of today’s urban city neighbourhood, which can boast of a number of cultural monuments, as well as other city symbols.
The Novi Sad neighbourhood, which has about 15,000 inhabitants, is located among Adamovićevo Naselje, Liman, the old city core and Sajmište. This city neighbourhood stretches between Futoška Street, Liberation Boulevard, Cara Lazara Boulevard and Cara Dušana Street. The neighbourhood was built on the alluvial terrace of the Danube, at an altitude of 76 to 78 m, and since the lower parts lie on the flooded banks of the Danube, and the higher ones on the coastal beams, we can say that it is only symbolically ‘humped’ (Sr.Grbava). However, that is not the main reason why Grbavica got its name.
How Was Grbavica Created?
What is interesting is the manner the neighbourhood was named. In the sixties of the last century, during the planned construction of Grbavica, the construction of apartments had to be accelerated, so the urban engineer Milan Cvetkov took over the finished projects of the Sarajevo neighbourhood called ‘Grbavica’. The name remained not only temporary but also the final name of the neighbourhood. Although it got its present appearance and name at that time, Grbavica existed before as a peripheral part of the city. What you may not have known is that in the 16th century, there was a village of Bakša in this neighbourhood area.
Therefore, from the 60s until today, the neighbourhood is becoming more and more popular among Novi Sad residents, especially students, because it has everything a resident needs. There are several primary and secondary schools, as well as two student dormitories. There are Sonja Marinković, Milan Petrović and Branko Radičević primary schools, and a branch of the Mileva Marić School, Mihajlo Pupin High School of Electrical Engineering School and the 7 April Medical High School. In addition to schools, there are also kindergartens, as well as an Orthodox church under construction. Despite the fact that construction of buildings has taken off in this neighbourhood as well, the neighbourhood is still characterized by some houses with spacious and well-kept yards.
The ‘Egység’ Cultural Station
At the beginning of Antona Čehova Street, there is the Egység castle, which is one of the eight Novi Sad cultural stations. Egység is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful buildings in Grbavica, built in 1890, on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the Rifle Association. It was designed by the famous Hungarian architect György Molnar. In the past, Egység was a place of gatherings and balls. The first craft and industrial exhibition, the forerunner of today’s Novi Sad Fair, was held there. After World War II, Egység was abandoned, after which this once magnificent building began to rapidly deteriorate. Thanks to the renovation, which was initiated by the local population, cultural events, performances and other creative contents have been held in Egység since 2012. The extraordinary acoustics of this building provide additional magic to the concerts held inside.
Catholic and Jewish Cemetery
Passing through Doža Đerđa Street, in the immediate vicinity of the Medical School, we can see the Jewish cemetery. It was created at the beginning of the 19th century, and burials stopped in 1974, only to be reopened ten years later. You may have known that before this cemetery, there were two Jewish cemeteries in Novi Sad. The first cemetery was located at the corner of Mihajla Pupina Boulevard and Kralja Aleksandra Street. It was established in 1717 and closed in 1749. Afterwards, Jews were buried in the cemetery in Alekse Šantića Street, and since the last century in the cemetery in the Doža Đerđa Street. There are family monuments of special artistic and architectural value in the cemetery, and there is also a very valuable monument to the victims of fascist terror.
The Roman Catholic cemetery, created in 1860, located in Futoška Street and Vojvode Knićanina Street, near Iodine Spa was declared a cultural monument. No funerals have been held at the Catholic cemetery since 1974. From 1991, the cemetery has also been reopened for burials. The chapel in the Roman Catholic cemetery was built in 1875, as an endowment of Elizabeth and Leopold Guker, as noted on the medallion above the entrance. A large number of famous people of the Roman Catholic, Evangelical and Reformation religion, significant for the history of Novi Sad, rest in the cemetery. The Catholic cemetery complex consists, in fact, of five cemeteries – the Roman Catholic cemetery, the Reformation (Calvinist) and Evangelical cemeteries, as well as the German and military aviator cemetery.
Although territorially located in Grbavica, Limanska market is one of the best-supplied markets in the city. In its place once upon a time there was the building of the first railway station in Novi Sad, and today there is a Post Office. On the side of Cara Lazara Boulevard, along the entire market, you will notice a flower market where you can buy more affordable bouquets of fresh flowers for all occasions, and the enchanting scent of roasted coffee beans and warm pastries will not leave you indifferent. At the corner of Vojvođanska and Puškinova streets you will find a small stall with old magazines, comics and books, where you can buy rare copies.
Vremeplov Pastry Shop
Another symbol of Novi Sad is the Vremeplov pastry shop, which is located on the corner of Liberation Boulevard and Vojvođanska Street, near the aforementioned Limanska Market. Although it is only been around for 21 years, Vremeplov has truly become what the name suggests (En. Time machine). Part of the pastry shop is full of antiques – furniture, a cash register from the nineteenth century, a telephone switchboard, a gramophone, etc. Of course, what primarily attracts the residents of Novi Sad, but also tourists, are the excellent cakes.
The wonderful owners Jasmina and Nemanja do not compromise when it comes to ingredients, so the cakes are fresh and delicious, and made from Belgian chocolate and Dutch cocoa. If you are visiting the pastry shop for the first time, our sweet recommendation is a slice of the Mira Banjac cake, in honour of the famous actress from Novi Sad. The pastry shop sells as many as 1,300 kilograms of the cake annually, which, we believe, is reason enough to visit Vremeplov at the first opportunity.
Photo: Jelena Ivanović, Uroš Dožić, Vremeplov Pastry Shop