Petrovaradin Fortress,Novi Sad,Serbia

Recent archeological discoveries have offered a new perspective not only on the history of Petrovaradin, but on the entire region. At the Upper Fortress, the remains of an earlier Paleolithic settlement dating from 19,000 to 15,000 BC has been discovered. With this new development it has been established that there has been a continuous settlement at this site from the Paleolithic age to the present. During the excavations carried out in 2005, archeologists also discovered another significant find. Examining remains from the early Bronze age (c. 3000 BC), ramparts were discovered which testify that already at that time a fortified settlement existed at the Petrovaradin site.

The first larger fortifications were created with the arrival of the Romans who built the fortress (Cusum) which was a part of the fortified borders (Limes) along the Danube.

The turning point in the history of the area came in 1235 AD when King Bela IV of Hungary brought a group of the Order of Cistercians from France. This order of monks built the monastery Belakut upon the remains of the Roman fortress of Cusum. The walls of this monastery were built between 1247 and 1252 and represent the fortifications at this site during the Middle Ages.

The fortress was strengthened due to the threat of Turkish invasion. However the fortress fell after a two-week siege in 1526. New plans were developed in 1751 and major works began in 1753 and lasted until 1776. When these works were under way, engineer Major Albrecht Heinrich Schroeder proposed a branched system of anti-mine tunnels to the High Military Council in early 1764. In March of the same year the plan was approved, but their construction was delayed for a number of years. During his visit to the Petrovaradin Fortress in May, 1768, Emperor Joseph II observed a military exercise with mine equipment carried out in his honor. 

The construction of this system of tunnels, having four levels, was completed in 1776 and the total length of the system was 16 kilometers (9.9 mi).


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