90 | The banks of the beautiful, blue Danube, which cruises through Europe for exactly 2,860 kilometres, are adorned by more than 120 castles and fortresses, and Serbia can boast of being home to seven of them, the most famous of which are certainly Kalemegdan and Petrovaradin, which are symbols of the country’s two largest cities – Belgrade and Novi Sad. The ramparts of these two fortresses, which are recognisable almost worldwide, o er incredible views, while both also provide authentic tourist experiences, but also a kind of time travel experience, considering the fact that every corner has its own story – some of which are “only” a century old, while others date back many centuries. Petrovaradin and Kalemegdan are woven into the hearts of the people of Novi Sad and Belgrade, attached inseparably to these centres representing the souls of their cities, because both fortresses are places that haven’t only written global history, but also personal, individual histories, with their cobblestone streets lled with mementos and memories... The interest of the public was also piqued recently by the restoration of Golubac Fortress, which was formally opened to visitors at the end of March and which, despite years of neglect, is unrivalled as one of the most beautiful and imposing forti cations in the Balkans. The list does not end there. Actually, it’s just the beginning, because there are four other fortresses that tower over the Danube – they may have been somewhat forgotten, but they all have a glittering past and, we believe, a future too. GOLUBAČKI GRAD Nacionalni parkĐerdap Na samom ulazu u Đerdapsku klisuru, tamo gde široki, opasni Dunav najviše podseća na more i gde vam se čini da rukom možete da dotaknete Rumuniju, uzdiže se Golubačka tvrđava iz 14. veka. Ova utvrda sa deset kula, čijoj je lepoti teško odoleti, kako iz vazduha, tako i sa zemlje, potpuno autentično dočarava srednjovekovnu atmosferu, a neverovatni okolni pejzaži daju joj dodatnu draž. Golubac je teškim lancem povezan sa stenom Baba-kaj, koja se iz reke uzdiže do visine od šest metara, a za koju se vezuje i neobična legenda o devojci Golubani, po kojoj je utvrđenje i dobilo ime. Glas o lepoti ove devojke stigao je i do turskog paše, ali ga je ona odbila, a kazna je bila drakonska – vezana je za usamljenu stenu u vodi, dok su joj uzvikivali: „Baba kaj, kaj“, ili „pokaj se, ženo“. Tako stenu i dan-danas znamo kao Baba-kaj, a tvrđavu, koja je bila u rukama Ugara, Turaka i srpskih vladara – kneza Lazara i Đurđa Brankovića, kao Golubac. GOLUBAC FORTRESS, ĐERDAP NATIONAL PARK At the very entrance to the Đerdap Gorge, at the point where the wide, dangerous Danube most resembles a sea, and where it seems that Romania can be touched with your outstretched hand, rises the 14th-century Golubac Fortress. This forti cation, with ten towers and beauty that’s all but irresistible, both from the air and and from the land, fully encapsulates an authenticate medieval atmosphere, while it is provided with additional charm by the incredible landscapes that surround it. Golubac is connected by a heavy chain to a rock called Baba-kaj, which rises from the river to a height of six metres and is linked to an unusual legend about a girl called Golubana, after whom this fortress was named. Talk of this girl’s beauty reached the Turkish pasha, but she refused his advances and was subjected to draconian punishment – tied to the lone rock in the water, while onlookers shouted “baba kaj, kaj” or “repent, woman”. We still know this rock as Baba-kaj, while the fortress - which was under the possession of Hungarians and Ottoman Turks, but also Serbian rulers Prince Lazar and Đurađ Branković – is known as Golubac. KALEMEGDAN Beograd/Belgrade 3 2