Daniel A. Tanner - May 30, 2011
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The Serbian city of Smederevo is an undisputed cultural treasure. Its history dates back to Roman times and any time of year brings plenty of amusement opportunities in this medieval capital of Serbia, the city of grape and wine.

Smederevo lies 40 km downstream from today’s Serbian capital of Belgrade, on a beautiful plateau where the River Jezava meets Danube. First historical records date far back to 1st century B.C., when following the Roman conquest, a town called Vinceia was founded here.

Main events which completely changed the character of the city evolved in the 15th century, then despot Djuradj Brankovic chose Smederevo as the capital and his permanent residence, as Belgrade had been returned to Hungary in 1427.

Brankovic needed a spectacular city, well protected and easy to defend. The Smederevo Fortress is one of local gems; it was finished in 1430 and even today is considered the last great achievement of Serbian military architecture.

It should not go without notice that Smederevo is also the largest lowland medieval fortress in Europe. The second half of the 15th century brought about a Turkish invasion, and the city remained in Turkish hands until late 19th century.

Local warm weather conditions create an ideal climate for vineyards, and Smederevo is often called the city of grape and wine. Many festivals and artistic events are organized here each year to honor this on-going tradition.

Visitors find it very easy to fall for a local festive atmosphere and medieval charm. While the fortress itself impresses on first looking, there are several other places of interest. The Church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin from 15th century is a popular tourist landmark, as well as Karadjordje’s mulberry tree where once the fortress commander Muarem Gusa handed the keys to the city to Vozd Karadjordje. The Orbgrenovics’ Villa is another impressive building, which used to serve as a summer residence of the Serbian dynasty of the Obrenovics.

Smederevo’s charm is worth enjoying for more than just one day. There are several comfortable accommodation options; Hotel Car Smederevo is one of the most popular ones and offers all the modern amenities, including swimming pool and fitness centre, internet access, conference facilities, free parking and a lovely café and restaurant.

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