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Novi Sad, Serbia
Novi Sad is a city located in Serbia; it lies in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, on the banks of the Danube river. It is the capital city of the Vojvodina province and the administrative centre of the South Backa District of Serbia, as well as a large industrial and cultural centre. Its name means "New Planting" (noun) in Serbian.
The urban area of Novi Sad comprises "Novi Sad proper" and the towns of Petrovaradin and Sremska Kamenica. The metropolitan area of Novi Sad also comprises Futog, Veternik, Bukovac and Ledinci. There are also several other settlements in the municipalities, but these settlements are not connected to the urban part of the city.
At the outset of the Habsburg rule, people of Orthodox faith were forbidden from residing in Petrovaradin, thus Serbs were largely unable to build homes in the city. Because of this, a new settlement was founded in 1694 on the left bank of the Danube. The initial name of this settlement was Serb City (Ratzen Stadt). Another name used for the settlement was Petrovaradinski Šanac. In 1718, the inhabitants of the village of Almaš were resettled to Petrovaradinski Šanac, where they founded Almaški Kraj ("the Almaš quarter").
However, before the foundation of Ratzen Stadt in 1694, several other settlements existed on the left bank of the river Danube in the territory of present-day Novi Sad. In 1237, several settlements were mentioned to exist here: Vašaroš-Varad (Varadinci), Mrtvaljoš, Sent-Marton, Bakša (Bakšic), Sajlovo I, Sajlovo II, Bivalo (Bivaljoš), Rivica, and Cenej.  Etymology of these names show that most of them are of Slavic origin, thus that indicate that these settlements were initially inhabited by Slavs. For example, Bivalo (Bivaljoš) was a large Slavic settlement that dates from the 5th-6th century.  Most of these villages also existed during the Ottoman rule in the 16th century, and were populated by ethnic Serbs. Another two Serb villages that existed in the territory of present-day Novi Sad in the 16th and 17th century were Bistrica and Kamendin. In the year 1590, population of all villages that existed in the territory of present-day Novi Sad numbered 105 houses inhabited exclusively by Serbs. However, Ottoman records mention only those inhabitants that paid taxes, thus the number of Serbs that lived in the area (for example those that served in the Ottoman army) was larger. 
According to 1720 data, the population of Ratzen Stadt was composed of 112 Serbian, 14 German, and 5 Hungarian houses. The settlement officially gained the present name Novi Sad (Neoplanta in Latin) in 1748 when it became a "free royal city". In 1780, Novi Sad had about 2,000 houses, of which 1,144 were Serbian.
The edict that made Novi Sad a "free royal city" was proclaimed on February 1, 1748. The edict said: "We, Maria Theresa, by the God's mercy Holy Roman Empress, Queen of Hungary, Bohemia, Moravia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Rama, Serbia, Galicia, Lodomeria, Carinthia, etc, etc. Cast this proclamation to anyone, who might concern...so that the famous Petrovaradinski Šanac, which lies on the other side of the Danube in Backa province on Sajlovo land, by the might of our divine royal power and prestige...make this town a Free Royal City and to fortify, accept and sign it in as one of the free royal cities of our Kingdom of Hungary and other territories, by abolishing its previous name of Petrovaradinski Šanac, renaming it Neoplanta (Latin), Újvidék (Hungarian), Neu-Satz (German), Novi Sad (Serbian), Mlada Loza (Bulgarian)".
For much of the 18th and 19th centuries, Novi Sad was the largest city populated with ethnic Serbs (The reformer of the Serbian language, Vuk Stefanovic Karadžic, wrote in 1817 that Novi Sad is the "largest Serb municipality in the world"). It was a cultural and political centre of Serbs, who did not have their own national state at the time. Because of its cultural and political influence, Novi Sad became known as the Serb Athens (Srpska Atina in Serbian). In 1820 Novi Sad had 20,000 inhabitants, of whom about 2/3 were Serbs. According to the 1843 data, Novi Sad had 17,332 inhabitants, of whom 9,675 were Orthodox Christians, 5,724 Catholics, 1,032 Protestants, 727 Jews, and 30 adherents of the Armenian church. The largest ethnic group in the city were Serbs, and the second largest were Germans.
During the Revolution of 1848-1849, Novi Sad was part of Serbian Vojvodina, a Serbian autonomous region within Habsburg Empire. In 1849 the Hungarian army located on the Petrovaradin Fortress bombarded and devastated the city, which lost much of its population (According to 1850 census there were only 7,182 citizens in the city compared with about 20,000 in 1820).
Between 1849 and 1860, the city was part of a separate Austrian crownland known as the Vojvodina of Serbia and Tamiš Banat. After the abolishment of this province, the city was included into Backa-Bodrog County. After 1867, Novi Sad was located within the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary. During this time, the Magyarization policy of the Hungarian government drastically altered the demographic structure of the city, i.e. from the predominantly Serbian, the population of the city became ethnically mixed. According to 1880 census, the percent of Serbian language speakers in the city was 41.2%, and the percent of Hungarian language speakers was 25.9%. Until 1910, the percent of Serbian language speakers decreased to 34.52%, while the percent of Hungarian language speakers increased to 39.72%.
According to the 1910 census, the city had 33,590 inhabitants, of which 13,343 (39.72%) most frequently spoke Hungarian language, 11,594 (34.52%) Serbian language, 5,918 (17.62%) German language, 1,453 (4.33%) Slovak language, etc. It is not certain whether Hungarians or Serbs were largest ethnic group in the city in this time, since 1910 census is considered partially inaccurate by most historians because this census did not recorded the population by ethnic origin or mother tongue, but by the "most frequently spoken language", thus the census results overstated the number of Hungarian speakers, since this was official language at the time and many non-Hungarian native speakers stated that they most frequently speak Hungarian language in everyday communication. The city was also home to 2,326 Jews, of whom many were native Hungarian speakers. Another lasher of the census was that it did not recorded only permanent residents of the city, but also temporary residents, who did not lived in the city, but were situated there as part of the civil and military services.
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