Danube & bridges, Novi Sad
Favorite thing: Freedom Bridge is a bridge on the Danube river in Novi Sad, Serbia. The bridge was built in 1981 and destroyed during NATO bombardment on April 4, 1999. It was rebuilt in 2005 and reopened on October 7, same year. THE TOTAL LENGTH of the Sloboda (Freedom) Bridge is 1,312 m and its width is 27.68 m. On the bridge there are 6 carriageways, two footways, two safety lanes and one verge (between the opposite directions of the traffic circulation) where the pylons and oblique tie-rods are positioned in the main structure. The longitudinal inclination of the bridge varies from 2% to 4%. The bridge is supported on 23 piers with their foundation on drilled HW system piles, except for one shore pier. The piers in the Danube were executed under the protection of the dike dam, and on the bank in the sheet-pile walls and in pits. The main steel structure is a system of beam with oblique cables anchored in the pylons and in the beam in twelve places, with interior span.
Eight bridges over the River Danube were destroyed or damaged during NATO's campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999. Three of these bridges were in Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina in northern Serbia.
The graceful Sloboda ("Freedom") Bridge opened in 1981 and carried the 6-lane Novi Sad - Sremska Kamenica road across the River Danube. It is sometimes referred to as the Kamenica Bridge. Designed by Prof. Dr. Nikola Hajdin the bridge was the pride of Yugoslavian engineering. Around 20:00 hours on 3 April 1999 the bridge was disabled by three NATO missiles.
Formerly called the Marshall Tito Bridge, the Varadin Bridge was built in 1946 and became one of the symbols of Novi Sad. It carried pedestrians and light traffic across the Danube, although was defined by NATO as a "strategic target" and was the first bridge to be attacked, at 05:00 hours on 1 April 1999. The lowest bridge on the middle and lower section of the Danube, this bridge caused problems to Danube shipping at times of high water. Vessels had to lower their masts to pass under and were sometimes forced to wait until water levels dropped to allow sufficient air draught. An ambitious scheme to raise the bridge by two metres to provide suitable clearance had been planned.
The first permanent crossing to be opened in Novi Sad following the NATO campaign was the Rainbow road bridge, built on the pillars of the Varadin Bridge (heightened by 2.5m to provide sufficient clearance for river vessels) and opened in October 2000.
International trains via Budapest to Belgrade could proceed no further than Novi Sad following the destruction of the Zezelj Bridge. The replacement railway bridge was a priority to the Yugoslavian government and was opened by Slobodan Milosevic in May 2000. However the bridge is very much a temporary structure and will need a more substantial replacement in the next few years. The bridge consists of a single flushed railway track, so road traffic crosses in turn except when a train is crossing.
Fondest memory: The old Varadin Bridge...
Favorite thing: Walking bzy the Danube quay is very romantic. The view at Petrovaradin old fortress and the Clock Tower is very pretty, and if you consider the proximity of the city center, this comes even more convenient. Just a few steps away you'll find yourself in a very pleasent surroundings, facing gorgeous sights.
Favorite thing: With the arrival of spring the Danube quay gets decorated with different flower arrangements, so as you walk by the river you can enjoy variety of colourful flowers beautifully arranged, it gives even more cheerful outlook to the quay!
Favorite thing: A view from Petrovaradin to the city by night. Petrovaradin is a perfect spot for the night views as you can see all the city lights like on the palm, and at the same time it is perfectly romantic, quiet place with a breeze always....
Favorite thing: There is a very nice view on the Petrovaradin fortress from the Danube. You can enjoy it if you're walking by the river in direction towards the bridges, coming from the Liman neighbourhouds. It is especially lovely on a sunny day.
Often in spring Danube floods around, and where once there was a path, there can be water, so beware where you're steppng!
I find the trees coming out of water especially lovely!
You can also run onto various dogs snooping around and taking a swim in the Danube.
Favorite thing: The great European river Danube runs through Novi Sad, and makes a beautiful quay along its flow, passing by Novi Sad's most elite neighbourhoods. The promenade is busy all the time, day or night, by walkers, love birds, pensative meditators, joggers, rollerbladers, cyclers, kids, people walking their dogs... It is always vivid there, even on the cold dark nights!
I was in Novi Sad during the summer and the most obvious place to go when the sun is shining and there is 35 degress outside is to go to ' Strand', which is an artificial beach on the shore of the Danube . There is sand on the beach and showers to make it look like a real beach . But just a warning to you all , dont go swimming too far off-shore as the stream is very strong . I was almost caught by it and if it wasnt for the help of a kind local I would have ended very far away from Novi Sad.
During the night the cafes are open and all the young people gather there to drink , meet with eachother and just to have fun
Favorite thing: This is the first permanent bridge built after NATO bombing of Novi Sad. Two banks of beautiful city of Novi Sad are connected again with two highway lanes and two footpaths. The mighty Danube is tamed... I admire people who create something. People who destroy are devil's children !
Connection between Novi Sad and Petrovaradin, Kamenica and Srem was the priority for the city after NATO bombing.
The pontoon bridge was built on the barges as the "first aid" device for people living on two banks of the same city. It is not the nice one, but IT WORKS !
From the Petrovaradin Fortress, even the pontoon bridge looks fantastic !!!
Favorite thing: The Liberty Bridge was a true masterpiece as it was the second largest in the world in its class. Prof. Nikola Hajdin designed it and the contractor was "Mostogradnja" from Belgrade, with co-operation of Hungarian and Swiss construction companies. Total length of the bridge was 1312 m, with two pillars that were 60 m high and slanted joints. The bridge was 27,6 m wide and it connected the Bulevar of 23rd October (Bulevar oslobodjenja today) and Miseluk. The exit to Srem side was through the two tunnel tubes while the traffic across the bridge was carried out along three lanes in both directions, with footpaths and safety belt aside. The bridge was built in the curve of the river and its construction weighed 9.700 tons. The construction was assembled out of welded parts that were manufactured in Hungary. The main span between the piers was 361 m and yokes were composed of 48 steel ropes that were slanted in the centre of the bridge. It was destroyed on April 3rd, 1999 at 07.55 p.m. Subsequent analyses proved that the bridge could be reconstructed...And IT WILL BE !
Favorite thing: Once upon the time there was a bridge that I have seen just on the pictures and finally when I was there, the bridge wasn't. It was hit by NATO bombs and I crossed through another bridge right on the place on that old one. Listening the stories about the destruction, detonation effects ... Who should think that something like this can happen so close to my country in civilised world ...
On April 1 NATO planes destroyed the Varadin bridge over the Danube to be followed 2 days later by the destruction of the Bridge of Liberty. Although Janvier Solana, the secretary-general of NATO, had declared right at the start of the bombing campaign that NATO was not at war with the Yugoslav people, this claim quickly lost any credibility with the citizens of Novi Sad. The Bridge of Liberty, for instance, was bombed at eight o'clock in the evening when traffic was busy. (The Varadin bridge had been bombed at five in the morning). Several people died in the attack while others were rescued by fishermen nearby. The first attack on the last remaining bridge - Zezelj's bridge - came on April 5 but it took NATO five attacks and three weeks before the bridge was finally destroyed. Locally known as 'Samantha Fox' in reference to the two arches that formed the construction, Zezelj's bridge collapsed into the Danube on April 26.
One reason for the destruction of the bridges seems to have been to prevent the Yugoslav army located in the Vojvodina from moving south to Kosovo. However, none of these troop movements took place during the war. Moreover, it would have been more logical to destroy two bridges thereby forcing any troops to cross the Danube over just one bridge. In that event the Yugoslav military columns would have been 'sitting duck' targets for NATO planes. At the same time, the danger of collateral damage would have been negligible given the width of the river at Novi Sad.
This view was shared by Bojan Pajtic, the spokesman of the Novi Sad Democratic Party. The Democratic Party and its national leader Zoran Djindjic are favoured by the West. Mr Pajtic expressed disappointment and anger with NATO's decision to destroy all bridges, whereas he could have understood the destruction of two for military reasons.
For the inhabitants of the city on the right bank of the Danube the destruction of the bridges meant the loss of water supply. Pipes attached to the bridges had transported the water to the quarter of Novi Sad known as Srem. The only drinking water available at the moment is transported by the Red Cross in tanks to serve the 34.000 inhabitants who are without running water.
Transport is another problem. Ferries cross the river regularly. But many people use the services of locals who cross the river in small boats of any variety and charge ten dinars. For someone, who has to cross the river twice a day to and from work 20 dinars is a lot of money on a salary of 1000 dinars a month. Stevan Vrbaski, the mayor of Novi Sad, estimated that 30.000 to 50.000 people a day cross the river in this way. With the start of schools and the university in the autumn this number is expected to increase. Moreover, bad weather and heavy winds can make the crossing hazardous even too dangerous to risk. So far the NATO states have refused to countenance reconstruction aid until President Milosevic is replaced.
Favorite thing: On Danube you will often find many geese, like swans on the lake! :))) Sometimes they can be quite agressive if you approach them.