Updated: Mar 10
On this day in 1748, Novi Sad was declared a free royal city. Since 1998, this date has been marked also as a City Day, and prestigious February Award is being presented to the most deserving citizens.
This day represents an important date for Novi Sad or Serbian Athens, as it is also called. The reason is simple- the capital of Vojvodina celebrates its birthday.
Namely, in the far gone 1748, the empress Marija Terezija gave Novi Sad a status of a free Royal city, which was bought for 80.000 rajina forints by the rich citizens.
With that, the city was given a right to judicial, legislative and executive power, as well as to tax collection, and also its today’s name (along its Latin name Neoplanta, German Neustatz and Hungarian Újvidék). First names of Novi Sad were Rački grad (Ratzen Stadt, Ratzenstatt) and Petrovaradinski šanac (Peterwardeiner Schantz).
With the Imperial sign under the Charter, today’s settlement Petrovaradinski šanac was excluded from the jurisdiction of state, military and civilian country governments and acquired a status of the city, coat of arms, the right to self-government through the Magistrate made of 12 “domestic” citizens, the right to make the town charter and collect taxes and new name.
By recognized rights and commitments, Novi Sad equalized with the other urban communes of the Empire, which had been slowly turning into bourgeois epoch from the feudal one.
Because of that, February 1st was declared the City Day of Novi Sad in 1998, and prestigious February Award is presented to all the citizens who contributed and promoted libertarian values which were recognized as the most important symbol of the city and citizens.
Novi Sad is nowadays a home of about 367.000 people of various ethnicities and the capital of autonomous province of Vojvodina. It was that diversity (cultural, ethnic, religious etc.) that has made tolerance and open-mindedness for new things and ideas the key features of the city.
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