Golubac Fortress: Castle of the Danube

Until modern times, the Golubac Fortress was itself a town with its inhabitants living together inside the walls. Although for many years people thought that the history of Golubac started in medieval times, further excavations showed that it was much earlier than that. Historians believe that the Romans once settled in the town which later became a Bulgarian and then a Byzantine settlement. The most interesting aspect of the Golubac Fortress is that it has one of the most complex ownership lists in medieval history. Many nations, states, princedoms, kingdoms, and two different empires once held the castle under their control at certain times in history. Golubac saw invasions, conquests, conflicts, and wars and received damage in the process as well. However, thanks to renovations in the 21st century, it is now a museum and open to the public.

Golubac Fortress

The Golubac Fortress is located on the Iron Gate Gorge of the Danube; therefore, locals and all those who saw it have always associated the castle and the river together.

Golubac Fortress walls

While former settlements existed before it, the first mention of the castle comes from a 14th-century record. During those times Hungarians invaded Golubac and took the castle. They described it as a stone watchtower and guardian of the Danube. After some local conflicts between some noble houses, the castle was under the control of Serbia in the late 14th century. However, after the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, the Ottoman Empire took the Golubac Fortress and disposed of the former lords. This marked the beginning of an era of exchange between the Ottoman Empire, the Serbs, and the Hungarians. In a span of nearly a century, the castle changed hands nearly 10 times between these nations.

Golubac Fortress walls close up

The exchange of hands benefited the castle because the Golubac Fortress still carries traces from each of these cultures. Elements from Roman, Turkish, Serbian, and Hungarian architecture coexist in harmony on the exterior and the interior of the castle. This makes the Golubac Fortress one of the most impressive medieval castles in Europe.

Golubac Fortress representation
Golubac Fortress farthest tower
castle tower
castle armory
castle and danube