This is the largest fortress of its kind in these parts, covering the area of 10.5ha.
It has 25 towers and 2-4m-thick walls. Since at the time when the fortress was built there was no danger from the Danube, the walls on that side were thinner.
The fortress consists of Small Town (Mali grad) and Big Town (Veliki grad).
You should explore this remarkable site, its courtyard and towers, go up the stone and wood stairs and enjoy the wonderful view over the Danube and the modern town of Smederevo.
The fortress was built on the Danube downstream from Belgrade between 1428 and 1430, during the reign of Despot Djuradj Brankovic. By his order, each house had to send a male member to build the fortress.
Encircled by walls and towers, it was for a long time the last bastion against the Turkish assault.
The fortress was severely damaged during the WWII, when a big ammunition depot exploded within its walls in 1941 and from bombing in 1944. However, most of it is still preserved and attracts a lot of visitors, especially schoolchildren.
I have no doubt there are many things to do in Smederova but unfortunately pressure of travel deadlines meant that a group of VT members enroute from Belgrade South to our ultimate destination of Bitola in Macedonia for the beginning of the Euromeet proper had a very short time to visit the fortress, and I am really glad we did. This place really is very impressive.
As we pulled up and knowing nothing about it, the first thing I noticed about the outer wall was the huge crack you can see in one of the images. I was thinking about seismic activity perhaps but this is not the case as I shall explain later, rather a relatively modern catastrophe.
Begun in 1428 on the orders of Despot Ðurad Branković, what I would now describe as the inner fortress was constructed, and remains largely intact today. It is possible to walk the upper wall although not recommended for the vertiginous. There is a stage erected in the courtyard and I did mention to a travelling companion that I wouldn't half mind playing a gig there, it must be a tremendous venue. almost unbelievably, this huge edifice was constructed in a mere two years. Given the building techniques available in the 15th century, this is remarkable.
Later, the frankly massive outer Fortress was constructed and provided a safe place for the people of the area. Walking round the fairly vast space enclosed, you can just imagine daily life going on here. Markets, homes, tradesmen plying their trades, it really is an evocative place and I am so glad I had a chance to visit. Apparently, it is one of the largest fortresses of it's type in Europe and wandering round, it is easy to believe.
Obviously, times move on and Smederovo grew outside the fortress and, on my brief acquaintance, it seems like a lively town certainly if the traffic is anything to go by. During the First World War, the fortress suffered damage and then fast forward a few years to the Second world War when Germany again tried to take over Europe if not the world, and we come back to my original paragraph and the huge crack in the wall I mentoned in the first paragraph.
The Germans, apart from other military and non military purposes, were using the fortress as a huge ammunition dump and, for reasons not fully explained, a massive explosion occurred on 5th of June,1941 causing the crack I had noticed. Firtunately, the medieaval forebears of the town had built well and the catastrophe was not nearly as bad as it might have been because the huge walls absorbed most of the blast.
I know Smederovo is not perhaps on the general tourist trail but if you happen to pass through you really want to take a little time and visit this wonderfully impressive structure.
The last image shows the extremely pleasant man in charge of the ticket office who not only patiently posed with a VT flag but also gave us a huge amount of wonderfully produced publicity material when he found out that we had come from all over the world. He was justifiably proud of the place he worked and obviously proud to show it off. Nice one that man.
I cannot tell you about entrance prices as Keti arranged it all, There appears only to be an antrance fee for the old, interior fortress, the main part seems to be a public park complete whith a kids playground. The old fortress area would be accessible only on the ground level for wheelchair users, although the outer area is reasonably accessible.
I shall construct a travelogue to post some other photos that I do not have space to do here and hope you enjoy them.
Saborna Crkva Svetog Georgija – the Church Cathedral of Saint George in Smederevo is one of the largest and the most beautiful churches erected in Serbia in the 19th century. The church was built between 1850 and 1854 by Andreja Damjanov (aka Andrey Damyanov), a Macedonian Bulgarian, one of the most famous builders of sacred objects in the Balkans. It was based on the slightly modified plans of Czech architect Jan Nevola. Although it is not very obvious, the church is reminiscent of the 15th century Church of Holy Trinity in Manasija monastery. The bell tower is of the late baroque style. Above the church portal is marble relief depicting Saint George Killing the Dragon. The relief was donated to the church in 1892 by Vladimir Ljotic, known as father of Dimitrije Ljotic, but also the prominent Serbian politician and diplomat of the late 19th century, Serbian consul in Thessaloníki, mayor of Smederevo and a Member of the Parliament.
During WWI, in 1915 the church was demolished by the German troops. It was rebuilt in 1922. The new frescoes and iconostasis were painted between 1934 and 1937 by Russian artist Andrei Bitsenko, who created the frescoes in Ruzica church in Belgrade, iconostasis of Church Cathedral of Holy Mother of God in Kragujevac…
The Big Town (Veliki Grad) was built between 1430 and 1439 with 19 towers, more than 20m high.
There was a church here, with the remains of Saint Luka, the patron saint of Smederevo.
The town became a famous trade centre.
When the Turks came in 1459, a wall was built round the fortress and 4 more towers for cannons. A part of the wall was pulled down when the railway was built in 1880.
As soon as you go through the gate, you'll find yourself in the spacious courtyard. It was once called the 'magna sala audientie' (reception hall). This is where the last medieval Serbian ruler used to receive his subordinates.
On your left you'll see lovely windows (bifore) with stone benches on each side. People used to sit and watch the Danube from there.
On your right you'll see what once were the rooms of the gentry.
It took 2 years to complete the Small Town (1428-1430) which still has a triangular basis and 6 towers. The most powerful 1 is the Donjon.
Another interesting thing is that money was also made here.
Smederevo is a port on the Danube River. Its industries include oil refining and steel manufacturing. Wine is produced in the surrounding region, famous ''Smederevka''. Dating from Roman times, Smederevo was the capital of Serbia in the 15th century.
No fortress can be imagined without a moat and a bridge over it.
The bridge in the picture is the 1 you'll have to cross if you want to enter the fortress and find out how the gentry used to live.
The biggest Serbian Medieval Town
on the Danube.
It was built by the Serbian ruler Djuradj Brankovic in 15th century.
Many events an outstanding it's Smederevo Autumn.
Picturesque building in Smederevo town hall.
situated in town centre square,
this area is church,park, shops, fountain,
and relex place.
Many relic of the past about Serbia and
Smederevo Fortess history.
small museum but best collections possession museum.
don't miss museum.
This is the place ( one of many similar ) where medieval warriors kept their weapons expecting Turkish invaders to come .
Better to use it my way , don't you think?
This is the entrance ...
Ticket costs 10 dinars ( 1 euro = 65 dinars )
If you are entering woth the group , you can use a guide and in that case the ticket is 20 dinars .
On beatifull , blue Danube ....
This is the perfetc view from the top of the fortress, nice and romantic, to bad the fortress is open till 9 pm.
The time has stopped here. Everythihg looks like in medieval times. Great attraction for tourists. A must see !