On the walls of the magnificent Golubac fortress the “košava” windbreaks the waves of the Danube where the river is possibly most powerful, just before entering the largest gorge in Europe between the mighty Carpathian mountains
Like a sad, lonely Byzantine princess, like an eternal vigilant guard by whom no one can slip into the Djerdap gorge (eng. The Iron Gates of the Danube), the famous Golubac fortress has been defying centuries.
Its founder remains unknown and one can guess it originates from the 14th century. It has always been of great significance so everyone wanted it.
Numerous conquerors walked in it considering it their own, but during centuries it only had one master, the Danube, the only one that knows all its secrets. We would like the Danube to tell us who built this perfect fortress on a cliff just by the road, and also which of the legends about its name is true.
One thing is certain, all stories about this fortress are sad, and the saddest one takes us back to the time when this part of Serbia was under the Ottoman rule.
A girl named Golubana was the most beautiful in the area. A word was spread about her beauty, and the story came to a cruel Turkish Pasha who fell in love with her. She refused his love. To get his vengeance, the Pasha tied the poor girl to a rock sticking out from the water in the middle of the river opposite the mighty fortress, where she died in pain watching the city that was later named after her.
The second legend tells the story about the city that was named after the Byzantine princess Jelena (Irene Kantakouzene), the wife of despot Djuradj Branković. She tried to drive away from her loneliness and sorrow by keeping pigeons that would come and sit on her white hands and she would tell them the story about her sadness and far Byzantium she longed for since she wasn’t popular among the Serbian people…
The actors of the third legend are wild pigeons that lived on the rocks surrounding the fortress, and after them, that have chosen this place to be their home, the fortress was named after.
And what stories about Golubac the history wrote?
It is supposed that this stone witness of numerous historic revolutions and battles, after the Battle of Kosovo (1389) fell in the hands of the Ottoman Empire, and then Golubac was the matter of dispute between two great empires, the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires.
Golubac fortress has ten towers. The first and the true builder of this fortress gave it nine towers set in front, back and lower town, but Turks added another tower and strengthened the fortress with cannon openings. All towers are built in a shape of a square except the donjon tower (the strongest tower of the fortress, the last stand of defense) that has a polygonal base, and the cylindrical top, thus the name “Šešir kula” (Hat Tower).
Not far from the fortress, a great settlement was created, also called Golubac and there was an old road leading to it and going around the fortress. However, after World War I, a new road was constructed passing through the very walls of the fortress, and now a days a major roadway to Romania leads through the fortress.
So today passengers are left breathless when passing through an unusual tunnel above which the old fortress rises and their eyes seek the ending of the blue river Danube that here resembles the sea.
How to get to the Golubac fortress?
When you are already here, don’t miss…
Visiting the magnificent Djerdap gorge, the Djerdap National Park and the archaeological site from the Stone Age – Lepenski Vir.
Don’t miss seeing Ram fortress, also on the bank of the mighty Danube, 15 km from the city of Veliko Gradište. And once you are already here, relax at Srebrno jezero (eng. Silver lake), Google map to lake >>HERE, of magnificent beauty, located also near this town.
Biker Friendly locations
- Vila Dunavski Raj – Villa Danube Paradise / distance 11 Km >>Go there