Belgrade Fortress

Belgrade Fortress
The fortress of Belgrade, more properly known as the Kalemegdan, sits atop o­ne of the highest hills of Belgrade. It is currently a park open to all visitors. It was constructed in prehistoric times and is believed to be the oldest continually occupied section of Belgrade. It has a unique history, serving as a fortress for many famous natives and invading armies due to its key control over local trade routes. The walls of the fortress have been built, destroyed and rebuilt many times, and to this day it is still a site of much archaeological study and discovery.

The first major recorded instance of the fort of Belgrade was the construction of a wooden fort by invading Celtic armies in the 3rd century BC, which they named “Singidunum.” The Romans kept this name when they conquered the city later o­n, however they replaced the wooden palisade with o­ne made of local stone. By the 4th century the Roman Empire had begun to decay to the point where the fortress was being repeatedly overrun by local barbarian tribes, finally being destroyed by invading Huns. It is rumored that Attila the Hun was in fact buried there, however his grave has never been found.

Belgrade Fortress
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the ground was again built up by the Byzantines, o­nly to have it change hands constantly among Serbian and Hungarian warlords and chiefs as the Byzantine grip o­n the region. These intervening noblemen built the fortress as it is seen today, with the impenetrable walls and extensive anti-siege fortifications. A Hungarian King eventually gave it to the Serbs as a wedding present. A major battle there stopped the Turkish invasion of Hungary, but it did not save Belgrade or Serbia from the Turks. It is the Turks its modern name of “Kalemegdan,” which means “Battlefield Fortress” in Turkish. This name is a reference to the fact that the fortress had been fought over so many times by so many nations.