Sremski Karlovci, located in the foot of the only mountain in Vojvodina, the Fruska Gora, are remembered for the good wine, architecture or cultural monuments, but also for the interesting stories from the rich history of the Serbian people.
Sremski Karlovci represents one of the oldest places in Vojvodina, as remnants of Neolithic settlements were discovered there.The oldest written records of this town, situated in the immediate vicinity of Novi Sad, date back to 1308. The first mention of the name Sremski Karlovci appears in the mid 16th century, but only at the end of the next century did the town begin to prosper and later became the residence of the Karlovac Metropolitan. Sremski Karlovci remained for a long time the residence of the Serbian Patriarch. Several important churches and church buildings, seven of them, have survived. The oldest, so-called Lower Church was built in 1712. In the churchyard there is still an old plane tree planted at the same time when the foundations of the church were laid and believed to be the oldest of its kind in Europe. As to original edifices, the oldest are the Upper Church and the Orthodox Cathedral. The iconostasis in the latter is one of the most significant Baroque works in Serbian sacral painting, while wood carvings are in the early Rococo style. The Cathedral was restored in 19th century, when it was enriched with 11 Biblical and historical compositions by famous Serbian painter Paja Jovanovic.
Sremski Karlovci is also interesting because every house in the center of the town has its own story. Either someone important was born or lived in it, or it was the center of an important national institution. The oldest and most beautiful buildings have been preserved on the square, which bears the name of the poet Branko Radicevic who immortalized this town with his beautiful Romantic verse. We should mention that the first Serbian grammar school was established here in 1771, and two decades later the first Serbian academy of theology.
Three centuries ago peace negotiations were completed in the town between the Christian Alliance and Turkey, making this town part of European history. Namely, at the time Austria, Poland, Venice and Russia on one side and Turkey on the other negotiated as warring sides, while England and Holland acted as intermediaries. A few curious details are connected with this event. Thus for example the building where the negotiations were held had four entrances so all participants could enter at the same time. For the same reason, for the first time in diplomatic history, a round table was officially used. At the place where the Peace of Karlovac was signed, a few years later, the Chapel of Our Lady of Peace was erected.
Sremski Karlovci belongs to a fertile winegrowing region of Vojvodina. The vine plant was first brought from Sicily by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus in 273 AD. Since then the growing of vines has become an important economic potential of this town. Especially numerous were the types of red grapes from which the famous ausbruch and bermet wine served even at the court in Vienna, and sold at stock markets in Rotterdam and London as an exclusive beverage. The dedication of the local population to vineyards and wine has been lasting for centuries, and today almost every household makes their own wine from their own vineyards, and as often pointed out for the visitors of the town, it should be tasted.