Fortresses and fortified towns

Across Serbia there are some 200 sites preserving the remains of old fortresses and fortified towns dating back to ancient times. However, following many centuries of war and destruction, only those fortresses which retained their military function into the Middle Ages, under Turkish rule, have been preserved. Most of these fortifications were extended and adapted as military technology developed, and in doing so lost their original mediaeval appearance. Some of them were the antecedents of contemporary Serbian towns, which even today boast portions of old walls and towers.

Fortresses were purely military strongholds, while castles were smaller fortifications, home to the courts of the gentry or rulers. Most widespread were fortified towns, with multiple, separately-defended sections, whose walls encompassed not only a castle but a civilian settlement.

Around the fortress of Stari Ras, near Novi Pazar, there is a group of mediaeval cultural properties that in 1979 were entered into the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List under the common name of Stari Ras and Sopoćani.


Permanent Conference of Cities and Municipalities
Department for fortresses and remains of fortified towns in Serbia
Kralja Petra I 71/III, 11000 Beograd
tel: +381 (0)11 2620-685