Novi Sad was founded in 1694, when Serb merchants formed a colony across the Danube from the Petrovaradin fortress, a Habsburg strategic military post. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it became an important trading and manufacturing centre, as well as a centre of Serbian culture of that period, earning the nickname of the Serbian Athens.[3][4] The city was heavily devastated in the 1848 Revolution, but it was subsequently restored. Today, Novi Sad is an industrial and financial center of the Serbian economy, as well as a major cultural center.