Where the Danube Resembles the Sea
Veliko Gradište lies on the shores of the Danube 114 km from Belgrade. This port town is an ideal stopping point for ships heading from the Black Sea into Central Europe. The Pek River meets the Danube at Veliko Gradiste.
Owing to its strategic position on the Danube, Veliko Gradiste served as an important export station in the 19th century. The 1856 Saint Archangel Gabriel chuch which overlooks the Danube, is one of the city’s key attractions. Built in 1879, Veliko Gradiste’s high school is next to the church. Stroll to the other side of the church and you will discover the beautiful City Hall building. The park next to the building features several monuments that commemorate the victims of WWI and WWII. This part of town is called Gradištanska čaršija (Gradište bazaar). If you stop to look at the Danube in Gradiste, you will appreciate how expansive it is. At a width of nearly 2,000 m, it is no wonder this stretch of the river is sometimes called the Danube Sea.
Explore beyond Veliko Gradiste and your will discover the beautiful Srebrno (Silver) Lake. Just 3km from Veliko Gradiste, the lake attracts locals and visitors alike. Though it was once quite insignificant in size, today it is 14 km in length, 100-300 m wide and 8-9 m deep. Ostrvo (island) is a beautiful river islet located between the Danube River and Srebrno Lake.
The Beli bagrem (White Acacia) recreation zone near the Danube extends south to the road that leads to Pozarevac. The whole area abounds with beautiful acacia forests, meadows, agricultural lands, and a network of channels.
If you are a nature enthusiast, head to Jaz, which is located just a few kilometers upstream from the intersection of the Pek and Danube Rivers. It is a perfect place to swim. A small bay was created at the confluence of the two rivers when the Đerdap hydroelectric power plant was built.
The bay quickly became a natural habitat for a number of bird species, particularly for migratory birds that stop at the river isle in Gradiste, near the village of Ram. In autumn, these migratory birds fly in from North and Northeast Europe and Northern and Western Asia. They all congregate here by the end of January. A few years ago, an international expedition identified approximately 136,000 examples of 25 species of birds here. If you would like to see this phenomenon for yourself, you can rent a boat through one of the local hunter’s associations.
If you are interested in hunting, head to the 18,000 ha Ramski rit (Ram swam) hunting grounds. The area abounds with fawn, wild boar, rabbit, pheasant, partridge, and even predators like foxes and jackals.
For cyclists, there is the scenic EuroVelo 6 bicycle path that passes through Golubac, Gradište, Zatonje and Ram. There are plans to establish a ferry system, which would transport cyclists across the Danube from Ram to Vojvodina.
The Nimnik monastery, also known as the Marian monastery, is located 2 kilometers from the village of Kurjače. It was built to commemorate the transport of Saint Father Nicolay’s remains. The old monastery, which dates back to the 14th century, was the metochion of the old Ravanica Monastery. Historians believe that Prince Lazar’s Duke Bogoslav was its patron. Though it was destroyed during the occupation of the Turks, Prince Miloš later rebuilt it. Today, it is a women’s monastery.
Though Golubac is located on the Danube, it looks more like a maritime town. It is no wonder! The Danube is almost six kilometers wide here. Golubac is 130 km from Belgrade on the Belgrade-Kladovo highway. Perched on the cliffs of the Danube, the 14th century Golubac fortress is one the key landmarks in this region. Stefan Lazarević built the fortress at this precise spot so he could control river navigation.
According to historical records, Duke Jeremija sold the fortress to the Turks for a sum of 12,000 ducats. This impressive structure has nine towers, of which the largest is also the tallest. The fortress is under state protection as a symbol of Serbia’s cultural heritage.
Explore beyond the fortress and you will discover the Đerdap national park and the Golubački grad natural resort. The area abounds with spectacular flora, including acacia, hornbeam, mountain ash, honey oak, and beech. The fauna is also well diversified here.
Every January, the city of Golubac organizes a hunt for jackals in the area’s sandy terrain. The hunter’s encounter with the wolf event is held every February.
In May, the city celebrates the Days of Perch at the Ram fortress. Dog expositions and an ethno festival take place at the end of July. The ethno festival includes the Sajam Dunava: Blago Srbije (Fair of the Danube: Heritage of Serbia) exposition, and the Golubački kotlić (Golibac pot) and Etno sabor (Ethno convention) events. There is also a kayaking regatta and sailing championship.
The Golubac convention is held on the day of the Ascension of the Most Holly Mother of God. Every September, Golubac organizes horseracing competitions starting in Golubac and ending at the Tuman monastery. There is also a beach volleyball championship.
Overall, Golubac offers a range of fun and activities year-round. Come and see for yourself!
When in Veliko Gradiste and Golubac, we recommend:
– A stroll through the quaint Gradište čaršija section of Veliko Gradiste
– Sailing on the Danube near the village of Zatonja
– Sampling some wonderful perch and other seafood in Golubac
Ram is a medieval fortress located one kilometer from the village of Ram and apprx 15km from Veliko Gradište. Bayezid II built Ram in 1483, following completion of the nearby town of Kuliča. Today, the fortress is a symbol of Serbia’s rich culture and history. The Ram fortress and archeological site draw approximately 5,000 visitors per year. They come here to admire its architecture and to marvel at the view of Vojvodina at this spot on the Danube.
INFORMATIONSTourist Organization of the Veliko Gradište Municipality 2 Vojvode Putnika Street, 12220 Veliko Gradište Tel: +381 12 663 179 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.tovg.org
Tourist Organization of the Golubac Municipality 1 Gorana Tošića-Mačka Street, 12223 Golubac Tel: +381 12 678 614 e-mail: email@example.com www.sajamdunava.rs