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The most attractive excursion from Belgrade is to be had on a trip down the Danube to the Đerdap gorge (“The Iron Gates”), which figures high on the list of natural world attractions. We will mention only a few points of interest for the traveller while in route to his main goal. In addition, this entire stretch of the Danube offers any number of opportunities for fishing.
Smederevo was the capital of the Serbian principality in the 15th century. The most conspicuous sight is its large fortress. Although damaged in the course of centuries, especially in the Second World War, the fortress speaks for the might of the prince, Đurde Branković, who built it in 1430. Its groundplan is in the shape of an uneven triangle, with 25 forts which strengthen its defensive capacity. As such it is considered one of the largest in Europe.
On the spot where the Danube encounters the first foothill of the Carpathian mountains, rises the Ram fortress, built in the 16th century. Its significance is confirmed by the fact that it was built on the site of an even older fortress.
Further down the river Danube downs to a width of 400 metres – this is the beginning of Đerdap. The spot is marked by the mighty and well preserved 15th century fortress Golubac.
The importance of the Đerdap approaches are also emphasized by the ruins of a fortress on the Romanian side of the river.
The Đerdap “break through” is 100 kilometers long, and is divided into Mali (“Little”) Đerdap (from Golubac to Donji Milanovac) and Veliki (“Big”) Đerdap (from Donji Milanovac to Kladovo). This water-way of rare beauty has been accompanied by various sailing obstacles most of which are clustered in front -of the island Ada-Kale in theIron Gates.
In the place where the old Roman road penetrated through Đerdap – partly cut into live rock and partly running over planks that were supported by girders a tablet commemorating the engineering feat and honoring the name of the then Roman emperor Trajan, was placed by the original builders. It is called TABULA TRAIANA, and the present-day builders of the new power-station have undertaken special efforts to preserve and make the tablet visible in its original state.