Smederevo Fortress
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Panoramic photo by Saša Stojanović EXPERT Taken 19:36, 11/05/2011 - Views loading...

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Smederevo Fortress

The World > Europe > Serbia

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Smederevo Fortress is situated on a wide plateau at the confluence of the rivers Jezava and Danube. It was built with the intention of making it the country’s capital and the permanent residence of Despot Đurađ Branković, to replace Belgrade which, after the death of Despot Stefan in 1427 had been returned to the Hungarians. Great effort was invested in its construction and it represents the last great achievement of Serbian military architecture.

The Turks conquered the town in 1439, for it to be returned to Despot Đurađ under the Peace of Szeged treaty in 1444. It fell decisively into Turkish hands in 1459, which also signified the fall of the mediaeval Serbian state. During 1480 the Turks strengthened the fortifications by adding three low octagonal artillery towers at the corners, connected by a lower external wall. The small town and larger suburb had water-filled moats outside their walls.

The Turkish armies left Smederevo in 1867 when, together with six other Serbian towns, they handed it over to Prince Mihailo.

Today Smederevo Fortress is a cultural property of great importance, a popular tourist site, and an exclusive venue for musical, theatrical and other cultural events.

Text source: http://www.serbia.travel/culture/fortresses-and-fortified-towns/smederevo-fortress/

Fortresses in Serbia

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This panorama was taken in Serbia, Europe

This is an overview of Europe

Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.

The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.

Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".

Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.

Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.

In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. 

Text by Steve Smith.

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