Serbia, as with many other old European countries , boasts a rich historical heritage that involved numerous wars and struggles, and as you already know, mighty citadels were the main line of defense during medieval times. As such, Serbia is dotted with a plethora of extraordinary fortresses, many of which are visited and appreciated by numerous tourists each year. Flaunting unique appearances and stories that spark the imagination, the fortresses of Serbia are undoubtedly deserving of a personal visit, especially if you are interested in the history of this picturesque country. Below you will find a list regarding 11 of the most spectacular fortresses in Serbia. All you have to do is pick your favorite and pack a bag.
1. Belgrade Fortress
The Belgrade Fortress of Serbia is a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance since 1979 and was built by Justinian I in 535. The fortress can be found in an urban area of Serbia’s capital and comprises the old building itself as well as the Kalemegdan Park. The landmark sits on top of a 410-foot ridge and directly overlooks the Great War Island. Belgrade Fortress is divided into several areas called Donji Grad, Gornji Grad, Mali Kalemegdanski park and Veliki Kalemegdanski park. The latter includes the Museum of forestry and hunting as well as the Military Museum.
2. Bač Fortress
The Bac Fortress is located within Serbia’s Vojvodina autonomous region, more specifically within the town of Bač. The story of this stunning landmark begins in the 14th century, when it was built by King Charles Robert I. The fort later came into the hands of the Ottomans in 1526, but it was destroyed and left into ruin during the Rákóczi Rebellion. One of the highlights of this amazing fort is a large tower that was used in defensive and observation purposes during its glory days.
Gamzigrad is a very important Cultural Heritage of Serbia as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This amazing complex includes its own archaeological site and spa resort, and it can be found along the southern part of the Danube river, in close proximity to Zaječar city. The primary part of the site covers a total area of 10 acres and includes a series of temples and palaces that form the old Roman complex of Felix Romuliana. The construction process of this complex commenced in 298 AD at the behest of a Roman emperor called Galerius.
4. Kalemegdan Fortress
The Kalemegdan Fortress saw its fair share of war and destruction throughout its existence, since it was actually destroyed several times by invading forces. During the 12th century, the Byzantines rebuilt this stunning landmark as a castle, and when Stefan Lazarevic made Belgrade the capital of Serbia, the fortress was improved even more. Since the Serb Despot’s palace was built right within the fort’s old castle, the surrounding lower areas of the fort gradually became livable and formed a medieval town.
5. Niš Fortress
As its name suggests, the Niš Fortress can be found within the Serbian city of the same name. Built in the 18th century using stone, this incredible landmark rises on the right side of the Nišava River and flaunts an age of over 2,000 years. The fortress occupies about 54 acres of land and boasts a polygonal base, 4 gates and 8 terraces. Deep within the fortress, there is a weather station ensuring that the citizens of Nis would always benefit from accurate weather reports.
6. Kruševac Fortress
Also known as the City of Prince Lazar, the Kruševac Fortress is actually a fortified medieval town that is now in ruins. Built in 1381, the fortress was likely built during the reign of Prince Lazar. The most important surviving parts of the fort include the church of St. Stephen as well as the Donjon Tower. The remains of the tower are particularly impressive because the walls of the building were apparently covered with pebbles. In 1979, the Kruševac Fortress became one of Serbia’s Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance.
7. Petrovaradin Fortress
Petrovaradin fortress can be found within the large Serbian city of Novi Sad, on the right side of the of the Danube river. As a very important historical landmark of Serbia, this fortress became a Spatial Cultural-Historical Unit of Great Importance in 1991. Built between 1692 and 1780, the fortress took part in numerous battles across the centuries, especially during the wars between the Austrians and the Turks. Even though numerous fortresses in Serbia were destroyed after World War I because they lost their military importance, Petrovaradin Fortress was spared by Colonel Dragoš Đelošević because he apparently found it too beautiful. The main attractions of the fortress today come in the form of its numerous underground passages and amazing clock tower.
8. Ram Fortress
Also on the right bank of the Danube river stands the incredible Ram Fortress – one of Serbia’s oldest and most impressive landmarks. The current version of the fortress was built under the watchful eye of Sultan Bayazid II, and it features a distinct pentagon shape that ensures adequate resistance to cannon fire. The fort’s highlights are represented by its 4 corner towers that house impressive Masonry fireplaces.
9. Smederevo Fortress
The Smederevo Fortress was once a temporary capital of Serbia and a very fortified establishment that proved essential in numerous wars and battles. Built between 1427 and 1430 by Despot Đurađ Branković, this superb fort was later improved by the Ottoman Empire after its armies captured the city. During the clashes between the Serbs and Ottomans, Smederevo Fortress soldiered on through numerous sieges, but it was severely damaged much later during World War II. In 1979, this fortress became a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance.
10. Golubac Fortress
Located just a few miles away from of Golubac, Serbia, the Golubac Fortress was built during the 14th century using stone, and it is split into 3 main areas that were built in several stages. This fort flaunts 10 towers in total, many of which received their own fortifications as well as special spots for firearms. During the Middle Ages, the fortress saw many battles, especially between the Ottomans and the Hungarians. Before it was handed over to Mihailo Obrenović III in 1867, Golubac Fortress was owned by Bulgarians, Hungarians, Austrians, Turks and Serbs.
11. Maglič Fortress
The Maglič Fortress dates all the way back to the 13th century and can be found just 12 miles away from Kraljevo, Serbia. As with many other fortresses in Serbia, Maglič was added to the list of Cultural Monuments of Exceptional Importance in 1979. The main layout of the structure involves 7 towers as well as a single dungeon tower, while its interior design currently comprises the remnants of a church of Saint George, a palace and a barracks. After World War I, the landmark was restored partially, but the most important renovation work was done in 1980. This stunning fortress represents the starting point for the very popular annual event called Merry Ride, which involves a journey across the Ibar River to Kraljevo.
About the author :
Graduate in Psychology, Madalina is passionate about travel, expensive things, fashion and blogging.