Golubac Fortress was a medieval town situated on the south of the Danube River, around 4 km downstream from the modern town of Golubac, Serbia.
It is located 130 km south-east from Belgrade, and it is a perfect place to visit in a day-trip from Belgrade.
This glorious fortress has witnessed centuries of turbulent history decided by mighty empires, kingdoms, and despotates on the banks of the Danube. At the Fortress, the Danube is more than 6 km wide and resembles the long-gone Pannonian Sea. While on the other side, after entering the Djerdap gorge it narrows down to a couple of hundred meters. The fortress view from the Danube is truly spectacular and a memorable impression. The Danube in this area is a natural border between Serbia and Romania.
The name of the Fortress has changed several times over centuries, but the word ‘pigeon’ remains constant in every language. This prestigious fortress holds a distinction of successfully resisting over 120 conquering attacks in history. It is now a famous tourist attraction in Serbia and a sightseeing spot on Danube boat tours. Breathtaking views from the high towers and its powerful walls take you back to the time of knights and tournaments. The Golubac Fortress can be accessed by both land and water. River cruises regularly berth by the fortress bringing guests from all over the world. Those who come by land take the same route once treaded by Emperor Trajan and his Roman legions Some visitors come for the region’s 11 millennia-long history and others for the magical natural beauty of Djerdap National Park.
History of Golubac
The first written historical sources of Golubac Fortress dates back to 1335 A.D, when it was under the control of the Hungarian military. Recent findings revealed that it was built in the early 14th century. However, it is still unknown who built the fortress and when. An orthodox chapel built in the tower tentatively points to Serbian origin of the fortress but the claim is not yet confirmed by historiography.
Before its construction, the Golubac Fortress was the site for the Roman settlement. In the Middle Ages, it was a battleground between Turkey, Hungary, and Serbia. Whoever possesses the fortress had the control of the border between two worlds. It kept on passing between Turks, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Serbs, and Austrians till 1867 Serbian Knez, Mihailo Obrenović III gained control over it. The remnants found in 2010, point the link with the Roman and Byzantine settlement, predated to fortress.
The fortress was designed to withstand attacks from land and water. It was split into three compounds that were built in stages. The fortress consists of ten towers that are not connected to make defense easier. The three compounds are shielded by 9 towers, 2 portcullises, and a palace, all linked by 2-3 m thick walls. There is a forward wall in the front of the Fortress, doubled as the outer wall of the moat connected to the Danube, was likely filled with water. The structure of Golubac Fortress was altered over time. Four more towers were added and western towers were fortified with cannon ports and reinforcements. In 1481, Hungarians added the last tower, with cannon embrasures and galleries.
With the help of the EU and the Austrian Development Agency. Golubac Fortress underwent a complete reconstruction between 2014-2019. All the towers and walls were renovated and a visitor’s center complex was built. All the restoration turned the ancient fortress into an increasingly talked about a tourist destination in Serbia.