Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia. It is the capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina and the administrative center of the South Bačka District. In 1694 Serb merchants created a colony across the Danube from the Petrovaradin fortress and that was the time when Novi Sad was founded. In the 18th and 19th centuries Novi Sad was called „The Serbian Athens“ . It became an important trading and manufacturing centre, as well as a centre of Serbian culture. Many Serbian poets, jurist, writers and publicists at the end of 19th century and at the beginning of 20th century had lived or worked in Novi Sad including Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, Mika Antić, Đura Jakšić, etc.
There are several historical and cultural spots in Novi Sad which nowadays preserve Serbian tradition and language. One of these places is Matica srpska, the oldest cultural-scientific institution of Serbia. It was moved from Budapest to Novi Sad in 1864, and it is considered to be the second-largest library in the country with over 3.5 million volumes. Also, The Serbian National Theatre, the oldest professional theatre among the South Slavs, was founded in Novi Sad in 1861.
Since 2000, Novi Sad is a hometown to „Exit“, one of the biggest music summer festivals in Europe. It also hosts many art exhibitions and performances during the year, especially for the youth. Because of its great interest towards art and culture life in Serbia, in 2016 Novi Sad was named to be one of the 2021 European Capital of Culture cities.