Golubac Fortress (Cetatea Golubac)

The Golubac Fortress is an important tourist attraction located in Serbia. The history behind the edifice together with the impressive natural surrounding have contributed extensively to the way in which the fortress has established itself as a valuable touristic site located in Serbia.

The position it occupies offers a breathtaking view of the Danube River, but the moment it was constructed, the only thing that mattered was the strategic position it held. Built around the 14th century, the fortress is situated in the southern part of the Danube, at approximately 4 kilometers of the town of Golubac.

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The edifice was constructed in three stages – one dedicated to each of the 3 parts which form the Golubac Fortress, and contains 10 towers and 2 portcullises.

The historical background of the fortress is definitely worth looking into. Even before the stronghold was erected, the site  was inhabited by Romans. The Middle Ages were a tumultuous period in the history of the fortress as it became the battlefield of many wars, the most frequented oponents being the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary. In time, the fortress had changed many masters, having been owned by Turks, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Serbians and Austrians.

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At present, Golubac is visited by tourists coming from all over the world. It is situated right near the Romanian border and it marks the entrance to the Derdap National Park. The historical past of the fortress is actually shrouded in mystery. Even if there is certain evidence about the development and evolution of the fortress, there are still certain details which remain unknown even to this day. For instance, it is ambiguous who the founders of the edifice are. Should the construction of the fortress be attached to the Serbian or to the Hungarian population? And how many towers were there originally? These are only two of the questions which might never find their answer.

The exact moment when the construction work began cannot accurately be established, but the first time the fortress was mentioned was in 1335 when it is said to have been occupied by the Hungarian military.

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Golubac Fortress has experienced certain modifications throughout time. For instance, the towers were actually constructed as squares which meant only one thing: that at the time when the fortress was built, and for years to come after that, the battlefield was conquered with swords. Only when the firearm was invented, did the structural design of the edifice shifted. The towers were ‘upgraded’ so to speak in order to contain within their walls cannons, but more importantly, there were alterations conducted to the walls in order to allow the combatants to fire at their opponents.

Nine towers measure 20-25 meters in height, while the tenth, the cannon tower, is the shortest of them all and it has been created with the purpose of controlling the traffic on the Danube River. The oldest tower of the fortress has been nicknamed ‘Hat Tower’ consists of an octagonal base. The towers vary in terms of the shape they have at the base. While the second tower to the west is circular, the third is square, as well as the fourth and the fifth.

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One of the towers, the 4th one, contains an Orthodox chapel within its walls.  The interesting thing about this is that the chapel seems to have been erected the same time as the tower, not that it had been constructed at a later date. As time went by and as the fortress fell prey to the decaying process that naturally instills itself with the passage of time, restoration work was initiated with the purpose of enforcing the structure. As a result, some of the towers had had their square base improved.

Golubac Fortress bears a significant value not only to the Serbian history, but to the historical past of the world as important battles have been carried out here. Due to the historical events it had witnessed throughout time, the Golubac Fortress had been recognized as a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance back in 1979, becoming a protected monument under the State of Serbia.