HAP PY 29T H J UNE ! Showmewhere the Danube kisses the sky The Danube is the emperor among rivers - as eternal as the Tiber, as fertile as the Nile, as magnificent as the Mississippi, as loved as the Volga, as spirited as the Rhine. And we can’t disagree with Napoleon. Let’s head out together along the beautiful, blue Danube on the international day of this magnificent river… There isn’t a single tavern inSerbiawhere you won’t sing along to gentlemelodies andnostalgicversesabout theDanube. Even if you’ve never walked along its quaysides and sailed its stormy waters, you simply cannot be left feeling indifferent when musicians sing “I grew up beside the Danube, alongside good old anglers”. Zvonko Bogdan will carry you along the river from Petrovaradin, alongside eight tamburitza players, Josipa Lisacwill showyouwhere theDanube kisses the sky, whileĐorđe Balašević will apologise to the mighty river during the nightwhenhe swamacross theDanube because he simply had to, for love. And this is just a small selection of all the love and verses that have been dedicated to the Old Continent’s second largest river, which emerges inGermany’s beautiful Black Forest and flows through 10 European countries.TheDanube formsby the confluenceof the streams of Breg and Brigach near Donaueschingen, where the castle park boasts the 19th century Donauquelle Fountain that symbolises the official source of the river. From there its course carries it through Bavaria to northern Austria, then through southern Slovakia before crossing the entire length of Hungary from north to south, after which it reaches easternCroatia.TheDanube then makes its way into Serbia, forming part of the country’s borderwithRomania, beforeheadingon to formtheborder between Romania and Bulgaria. After flowing for 2,850kilometres, theDanube empties into theBlackSea at the point where Romania and Ukraine meet, forming a delta that’s one of the most beautiful natural phenomena and a protectednatural region that has beenon the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List since 1991. Throughout the course of its long history, the Danube has been a place of division, but it has also long been a place unifyingnations, history, love andbeauty. Its undeniable importance, beauty and uniqueness were already known in ancient times. Herodotus dubbed it the greatest of rivers, while Hesiod called it the brother of the Nile. It represented the border of the Roman Empire, with the Germanic tribes living on the other side GOLUBAC FORTRESS At the very entrance to the Đerdap Iron Gates Gorge, at the point where the wide, dangerous Danubemost resembles a sea, andwhere it appears as though you could reach out with your hand and touch Romania, rises Golubac Fortress, a site dating back to the 14th century. This fortress, with its ten towers and beauty that’s difficult to resist, both from the air and from the ground, evokes themedieval atmosphere in a completely authentic way, while the incredible landscapes that surround it provide additional charm. Golubac is connected by a heavy chain to a rock called Baba-kaj, which rises from the river to a height of sixmetres and is linked to an unusual legend about a girl calledGolubana, after whom this fortification was named. Talk of this girl’s stunning beauty reached the Turkish pasha, but she rejected him and the punishment she receivedwas draconian - she was tied to the lonely rock in the water, while the people shouted to her “baba kaj, kaj” or “repent, woman”. And thus today we still know this rock as Baba-kaj, and this fortress as Golubac. ensuring that theRomans didn’t dare cross it. Back then it wasn’t even known where the source of the Danube was located, and Aristotle believed it emerged somewhere in the Pyrenees… However, one Roman emperor left traces on the Danube that can still be seen today. In the area of the IronGates Gorge, Đerdap, Trajan constructed one of the Roman Empire’s most important roads. He also built a bridge there, which was the world’s longest for almost a thousand years. Merchants and soldiers crossed theDanube for cen86 | Dunav » Danube R I TAM SRBI JE / RHYTHM OF SERBIA