Aug 20

Belgrade Fortress (Fortareata din Belgrad)

Belgrade Fortress is also known as Kalemegdan Fortress due to the fact that it encompasses within its structure the Kalemegdan Park. The fortress is the oldest citadel in Serbia and it is located in the Belgrade, where the Danube River and Sava Rivers converge. The importance of the construction has been recognized near the end of the 20th century, in 1979, when it has been declared a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance, being considered a historical heritage of the Republic of Serbia.

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The natural location in which it is found bestows the monument with a mesmerizing landscape. What is more, the fortress bears most of the history of Belgrade within its walls. Being the oldest construction on this territory, the past of the Serbian capital city revolved around this particular place, the majority of the events which occurred here were representative for the evolution of the city, in as much as they defined it. There is evidence from ancient times of the city-fortress which reinforce the fact that the fortification was an innate part of Belgrade.

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The fortress, situated at the confluence of the Danube and the Sava River, was known at the time as the “military frontier” which was meant to separate the Roman Empire from the barbaric peoples dwelling in Central Europe. As a consequence, the fortress had witnessed various battles and had lost much of its structures in these conflagrations. The Belgrade Fortress had been rebuilt more than once, but each time its fate was the same: total destruction.

For the tourists interested in learning the historical past of the construction, it is worth mentioning that the fortress changed several hands. While in the 11th century it was a part of Serbia, it shifted to being under Hungarian control between 1282 and 1319, and later on it came under Ottoman ruling. The exact events will not be presented in this article as they will transform the presentation into a historical one, rather than focusing on the details which make the fortress worth visiting from a touristic point of view. It is only natural that its history plays an important part in this respect and thus it should be taken into account.

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As it happened with the majority of the edifice which had seen the wrath of the two world wars, the Belgrade Fortress underwent severe damages.

The name by which it also goes, the Kalemegdan Fortress, is of Turkish origin and translated ad litteram means the “Battlefield Fortress,” as “kale” means fortress and “maydan” stands for battleground.

The fortress is divided into four sections: the Lower Town, the Upper Town, the Little Kalemegdan Park and the Large Kalemegdan Park. The first section is situated on the hill towards the water’s edge. The Upper Town is the most important section of the fortress being endowed with beautiful esplanades, statues, wells, grounds especially arranged for sports (such as tennis courts), to which are added the Observatory and the Planetarium.

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In the Little Kalemegdan Park one can find the central zoo of the city as well as an art pavilion, an edifice where many exhibitions and cultural events took place throughout the years, thus contributing to the artistic life of Belgrade. The latter section, the Large Kalemegdan Park is defined by geometrical walkways, the Military Museum and the Museum of Forestry and Hunting.

It is no wonder that people who find themselves in Belgrade do not miss the opportunity to visit this impressive monument which contains within its walls numerous tourist attractions. Belgrade fortress is renowned for its underground passageways and tombs which are still shrouded in mystery as these have not been explored to the fullest.