The Harvest of Life
Smederevo lies on the Danube River 46km from Belgrade via Grocka. In Serbian history, the conquest of Smederevo marked the beginning of three and a half centuries of Ottoman rule in Serbia.
The monumental Smederevo fortress, the largest from medieval Serbia, dominates the city landscape. At one time, Smederevo’s bastion walls spanned 500 m along the Danube, 400 meters along the Jezava, and 502 m on its inland side. Twenty-five massive towers marked its walls. Six were located in the Small Town, while the other 19 were located in the Main City. The foundations of a church were uncovered here in the early 1980’s. Built between 1851 and 1855, Smederevo’s Saint George church, was the first of several churches erected in Serbia by Andrej Damjanov, a mason from Veles.
Smederevo’s city commissioners requested that the temple and all prominent buildings in the city be built in the same style as Manasija. Damjanov therefore constructed a five-domed church, a combination of a basilica structure and a church plan with a cross-in-square base. The tall, monumental baroque classical bell tower rises high above the narthex. This church is of great significance to Smederevo because it marked the beginning of the city’s urbanization.
Stroll in Smederevo’s city center and you will discover the District Courthouse, which was built between 1886 and 1888 and designed by Aleksandar Bugarski. Its architecture is a combination of the 19th century Academism and Neo-Renaissance styles. You will also find the 1919 Gymnasium building and the 1920’s Municipal Hall by Pera Popović on the main square. Above its main entrance, the Municipal Hall’s building crown roof features four statues depicting Justice, Order, Science and Culture.
Present day Smederevo is the seat of the Danube Valley region. The town is well known beyond Serbia’s borders for its wine tradition. In the 3rd century, the Roman emperor Prob brought the grapes that now comprise the vineyards along the Danube. The Smederevo Autumn festival honors the tradition of wine and grape harvesting. It takes place every year in late September. Nušić’s Days is a contest for comedy theater troupes held in Smederevo every April. The event honors the famous comedian Branislav Nušić, who spent a part of his life in Smederevo.
If you are in Smederevo make certain to visit the Plavinac vineyards, the Obrenović country house and the Zlatni breg (Golden hill) villa.
Once known as Bela Crkva, Smederevska Palanka lies 80 km from Belgrade and 30 km from Smederevo. Throughout its history, this town had many names, including Bink Palanka, Jeni Palanka, Velika Palanka, and Hasan-pašina Palanka, among others. This municipality is located at the confluence of the Kubršnica and Jasenica Rivers. It is home to Goša industries, which manufactures wagons, bridges and other types of steel construction.
The Holy Transfiguration church was built in Palanka between 1865 and 1890. The famous Serbian Romanticist painter Steva Todorović and his colleagues painted the murals and the iconostasis of this beautiful temple.
Located just 15 m from the church, the old stone bridge is a testament of the old Constantinople thoroughfare, which once passed through this region. The oldest urban remnant of the city is the Stara čaršija (Old Bazar) on Karađorđeva Street, along the stretch from the church to the stone bridge. The charming church of Saint Petka is located on King Peter Street near the town center.
Smederevska Palanka abounds with thermal and mineral water springs. Locals and visitors alike head to the nearby Kudreč Lake to cool off during the hot summer months.
Velika Plana was once considered to be the largest village in Serbia. It is situated 10km from Smederevska Palanka off the Belgrade-Niš highway. If you are in Velika Plana, there are two Serbian heritage sites you must see! They are the Koprino monastery and the Pokajnica log cabin style church.
The Korpino monastery in the town of Koprino is located just six km southwest of Velika Plana. The monastery’s church honors Saint Stefan and is closely tied to the Despot Stefan Lazarević, whose despotic insignia is featured on the western wall of the structure.
A log cabin style church with a symbolic name of Pokajnica (pokajati – to repent) is also located near Velika Plana. This quaint church has a unique history. The forest surrounding the church is the very place Vujica Vuličević murdered his godfather Karađorđe in 1817. To demonstrate his repentance, Vuličević built the church in the exact spot where he sat down to rest after removing the clothes, weapons, and emblems of honor belonging to Karađorđe. Wooden churches are a specific expression of indebtedness to Serbia’s village areas. They are built of quality oak wood and can be easily disassembled and moved to another location.
When in Smederevo, Smederevska Palanka and Velika Plana, we recommend:
- Participating in Smederevo grape harvesting
- An outing at Jugovo
- A visit to Pokajnica
THE SMEDEREVO FORTRESS
Smederevo’s trademark is its massive fortress. Spreading across 11 acres of land, the fortress was erected as the new Serbian capital at the confluence of the Jezava and Danube Rivers during the time of Đurađ Branković. The Residence, a fortified court known as the Small Town, was completed just two years after it was begun in 1428. The terrain also stipulated the triangular shape of the city, which was built to resemble Constantinople. The brother of the Despotess Irina led the construction of the fortress. The Main City was completed in 1439. It fell under Turkish rule in 1459, the same year that marked end of the medieval Serbian state and the beginning of several centuries of Turkish occupation in Serbia.
INFORMATIONSTourist Organization of Smederevo Municipality 1 Omladinska Street, 11300 Smederevo Tel: +381 26 222 952 TIC Smederevo, 8 Kralja Petra I Street Tel: +381 26 615 666 e-mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.tosd.com, www.tvrdjavasmederevo.com
Municipal Tourist Organization Smederevska Palanka 2/6 Prvog Srpskog ustanka Street 11420 Smederevska Palanka Tel: +381 26 322 982 e-mail: email@example.com
Tourist and Sports Center Velika Plana Street Nikole Pašića bb, 11320 Velika Plana Tel: +381 26 521 131, 514 538 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.velikaplana.org.rs