A Fortress With a View – Belgrade Walking Tours

A Fortress With a View

Contemplation and Action
Called Contemplation Hill by the Ottomans, this place has indeed seen a lot of action, too much perhaps. Some historians claim that Belgrade is the town for which the record number of battles was fought.
Roman sarcophagi
The Romans built the original fortress as a part of their fortification system along the Danube river.
The iconic symbol has a bit of amusing history of its own. Less cheerful and more sumptuous was the victory it stands for.
Sun sets on New Belgrade
Not the Eye of Sauron but what was once the capital of the communist SFRY. The skyscraper in the middle was the seat of the Communist Party.
Ladies and Styles
A Serbian despot ruled Belgrade and built the castle in the early XV century. The lady of the castle was his wife, a Genovese noblewoman Elena Gattiluso. Very little is known about her life. However, there is a style on Polyvore.
Hidden in Plain Sight
What looks like a hillock was actually a ....

This is a story of epic past of a town. The story starts almost 2000 years ago on a rock above the river confluence. It unfolds with rising and falling empires that built the town and destroyed it serially. On such imperial playground, heritage of Serbian and Yugoslav history is little in size, but very particular. Many historical layers of the fortress make this walk a little cultural adventure in itself.

The setting is picturesque. What looks like an elegant park at first, turns into a system of towers and gates that ends in panoramic views.

But then there is more than meets the eye. The fortress has it secrets, some hidden in plain sight, other calling us inside some dark places.

We start with the original wall of the ancient Roman castrum. We will walk through gates and past the monuments and memories of war and peace and life and death, left by different cultures and epochs. Tales will be told of intriguing historical personalities of the battles and sieges of Belgrade…. European noblemen, Sultans, viziers…

Views literally paint the big picture here. A physical and cultural border between Central Europe and the Balkan Peninsula is on display. When we connect some historical dots against this backdrop we better appreciate local traits. Quite a bit can be understood from this perspective, about the history of the Balkans and the particular present that grew upon that past.

Some thrill and chill is served in a mysterious underground ambient that was a scene to several horror stories. For a different feel and insight, yet again underground, we get inside one of the best kept secrets of the Yugoslav army from the Cold War era.

We end on a more romantic note, in a church of ivy-clad exterior, where a very particular and unique memorabilia of World War I is kept. From the fresco decorated walls you can learn a bit about the orthodox iconography.

As all nice things come to an end, so does this history & ambient immersion. We end our walk at a spot from where you can choose: a bite or a sip with a beautiful view, or you visit the Zoo (best in spring and early autumn) both still within the fortress walls or ….you get back to the urban vibe in the near-by central neighbourhoods or head for a promenade by the Danube.

Tip for romanticising it: For those with a soft spot for dramatic sunsets we recommend getting on the tour at the sunset time.

Level of physical activity:  Light-medium, some going up and down stairs

Children and teenagers: friendly

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