Liman, Novi Sad
What Novi Sad lacks in, say, large expanses of interesting architecture or captivating museums, it makes up in the production of thought and intellectual culture. Once known as the Serbian Athens, it should be no surprise that the city that is home to the body governing Serbian language and official culture is also home to a fairly large University. I happened to stumble upon the University while I was trying to make my way back to the main centre from the seedier suburbs, and it really does feel more like a typical American campus – cut off from the city, a green oasis of culture and learning in a sea of apartment blocks – than the traditional European set-up where the university is crammed into the urban setting. The University Park, which is in Liman and quite close to the Danube, holds seven of the University’s 9 faculties. The rather ugly, modern buildings are not the aftermath of destruction during the Second World War or the NATO bombing campaign – this university was founded and built in the 1960s, which is why, unlike Belgrade University, it lacks the sort of old-world academic feel one would expect from the University of Novi Sad. Nevertheless, it is rather fun to visit, with all the students running around with their books – just don’t expect any great architectural sights.