Serbia is well known for having a turbulent past, and all the fortresses and palaces scattered throughout it are the proof. However, these old stone walls are likewise monuments to numerous love stories and bohemian nights.
So, if you are on a hunt for history adventures of Serbia, make sure these castles and fortresses are on your list. Medieval fortresses, palaces or manor houses standing proud above valleys, rivers, and cities, all have their own legends and stories carved in stone.
This medieval fortress near the town of Bač, was built between 1338 and 1342, at the time of the Hungarian King Charles Robert, and the final form was given one century later. According to the categorization of the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, this castle was declared to be of great national importance.
The Petrovaradin fortress
On the right bank of the Danube, on the Petrovaradin rock, there is a famous fortress, built on the site of an earlier medieval building. This castle was built by Austria, and the rise of the fort was from 1692 to 1780, due to the constant danger from the Ottomans and the fact that the border with the Ottoman Empire was very close. The first settlement on this soil existed around 4500 BC, and according to some recent information it is possible that it was even earlier. Today, this historical monument is the place for one of the world’s most famous music festivals, the EXIT.
In the very center of today’s Nis, on the right bank of Nišava, the remains of the famous Nis fortress, on whose territory the people lived even two millennia ago, are rising. It is one of the most preserved in the Balkans, and the Turkish fortress at this place was built (in just one year) on the remains of ancient and medieval insurrection. The first written sources of the restoration of this fortress date back to 1165, when the Byzantine historian Honijat wrote that Manojlo I Komnin and Nisus (Niš today) itself surrounded the walls.
The fortification around which, the today’s capital city of Serbia, Belgrade, was developed and spread was first built at the beginning of the 1st century as a palisade. And, in the later centuries, it was used and upgraded by the Roman empire, and later by the Byzantine empire. The today’s version we see was lastly developed by the medieval fortified capital of Serbian Despotovina and the Austrian Empire and used as an artillery fortress against the Ottoman empire.
Despot Đurađ Branković built the Smederevo fortress in the first half of the 15th century at the mouth of the river Jezava into the Danube. It is a classic water fortress (surrounded by water), built on the model of Constantinople and its walls. It is one of the largest fortresses of the Old Continent. And, it kind of reminds of the Castle Black from Game of Thrones, doesn’t it? Minus the great ice wall of course…
The establishment of the settlement of Nisava, on the territory of today’s Pirot, was built during the reign of Prince Lazar, and today it is still largely preserved. It is believed that the fortress of Pirot was built by the Duke Momcilo from the southern Rodop Mountains, which is why the fortress is called Momcilo’s city.
This monument of culture of exceptional importance is located in the National Park Djerdap, on the right bank of the Danube, at the entrance to the Djerdap Gorge. Golubac is mentioned for the first time in written sources in Hungarian documents from the first half of the XIV century. It has not yet been established who laid the first foundations, but the upper city was erected by one Orthodox nobleman, as evidenced by the chapel of the fourth tower.