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A quick tour down the Danube and the castles and fortresses which occupy the banks of the Balkan's most strategically important waterway. This collection are all within present day Serbia.

Kalemegdan Fortress - Belgrade

One of the largest fortified networks in Europe it dominates Belgrade and the junction of the Sava and Danube rivers. There was a Roman fort on the site and a medieval castle. However, most of the fortifications today were built by the Austrians in the early eighteenth century. The fortress houses Belgrade's impressive army museum.

 

Smederevo

A former capital of Serbia, Smederevo is a vast castle on the Danube west of Belgrade. Triangular in shape it has 25 huge towers together with a moat and citadel. A perimeter of nearly a mile.  It was built in only one year (1429-30) as the last Serbian bulwark against the Ottomans. It took the Turks twenty years to subdue the castle, eventually by treachery in 1459. It then became the headquarters of the Ottoman Pasalik until 1805.

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Ram Castle

A sixteenth century castle downstream from Smederevo. A much smaller ruin built on a bluff over the village.

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Golubac Castle

A superb  Serbian medieval ruin opposite the island of Moldova. Nine large towers rise above the river.

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Petrovaradin

Opposite the modern city of Novi Sad, upstream from Belgrade, is the massive fortress town of Petrovaradin. A network of fortifications to rival the Kalemegdan for size. Originally a Roman fortress most of what you can see today is early eighteenth century. Petrovaradin is also the site of Prince Eugene's famous victory over the Turks in 1716.

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All photographs from the editors collection.

 

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Copyright 2005 Balkan Military History
Last modified: 01/23/12