The Belgrade Fortress (Serbian Cyrillic: Београдска тврђава, romanized: Beogradska tvrđava), consists of the old citadel (Upper and Lower Town) and Kalemegdan Park (Large and Little Kalemegdan) on the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, in an urban area of modern Belgrade, Serbia.
The strategically favourable position of the ridge located at the confluence of the Sava and the Danube, which dominates the surroundings and provides conditions for control over the plains to the north and west, has been used for settlement since prehistoric times. Judging by the archaeological findings on the vantage point of the Upper Town of the Belgrade Fortress, the first settlement was founded during the Neolithic.
Located in Belgrade’s municipality of Stari Grad, the fortress constitutes the specific historical core of the city. As one of the most important representatives of Belgrade’s cultural heritage, it was originally protected right after World War II, among the first officially declared cultural monuments in Serbia. The fortress was declared a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979, and is protected by the Republic of Serbia.
The Belgrade fortress was built during a long period of time from the 2nd to the 18th century. Destroyed and rebuilt numerous times, the fortress has become the symbol of the city that keeps raising and growing.
It is the most visited tourist attraction in Belgrade.
The fortress in general functions as a major archaeological, artistic and historical treasury. As of 2019 it comprised:
- 19 memorial busts of important people from Serbian history, science and arts (Jovan Skerlić, Miloš Crnjanski, Jovan Dučić, Đura Daničić, Stevan Mokranjac)
- 18 registered archaeological digs (horseshoe towers, remnants of the Metropolitan’s palace, Roman Castrum, building of the main guards)
- 6 monuments and memorials (Pobednik, Monument of Gratitude to France, Despot Stefan Lazarević’s Monument)
- 4 restaurants and coffee shops
- 4 sports terrains
- 3 sculptures (“Genius of death”, “Tired fighter”, “Partisan with children”)
- 2 fountains (“Awakening”, “Fisherman”)
- 2 drinking fountains (“Japanese”, “Mehmed Paša Sokolović”)
- 2 churches (Ružica, Saint Petka)
- 2 galleries (of the Natural Museum, Inner Stambol Gate)
- 2 museums (Military Museum, Nebojša Tower)
- Cvijeta Zuzorić Art Pavilion, City Institute for the protection of the cultural monuments, Belgrade Planetarium, Luna Park, Belgrade Zoo, People’s Observatory, Music Pavilion, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts’ Archaeological Institute’s Science and Research Center for the Fortress, Memorial Ossuary for the 1914–15 defenders of Belgrade
- Tomb of People’s Heroes, containing the remains of the Communist party members and war heroes Ivan Milutinović, Đuro Đaković, Ivo Lola Ribar and Moša Pijade.
The Knez Mihailova and Uzun Mirkova streets lead to the Belgrade Fortress. At that direction are the main Fortress gates – Stambol Gate (inner and outer) and Sahat Gate. The entrance to the mediaeval fortress was on the eastern side (near today’s Zoo), through Zindan Gate and Despot’s Gate of Upper Town. The access to Lower Town is from Bulevar Vojvode Bojovića (Vidin Gate) and from Karađorđeva Street (Dark Gate).
Kalemegdan Park – also divided into Great Kalemegdan Park and Little Kalemegdan Park – was built on the site of a former city field and is a place of rest and enjoyment.
Together, Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park are a cultural monument of exceptional importance; a place for numerous sporting, cultural and artistic events, a place of fun and entertainment for all generations of Belgraders, and a top destination for the rising number of visitors to the city.
The view of the city from the rivers Danube and Sava is breathtaking. You will see the monumental “Victor” rising above the walls of the city, the symbol of Belgrade and victory over time. Bronze sculpture of a nude man holding a pigeon and a sword, the work of sculptor Ivan Meštrović, was set on occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Salonika Front breakthrough.
It was built to commemorate Serbia’s victory over Austro Hungarian and Ottoman Empires. Came into place in the 1928. Its hight is 14 metres.
How to get to?
City bus lines,that can take you to the Belgrade fortress are:
Tram No 2 and 11. Kalemegdan park station.
Trolley No 28, 29 и 41.
Bus No 31. and 22a.
The entrance is free.