The area of the city of Smederevo and its immediate hinterland encompass the north-easternmost section of the hilly terrain of Šumadija. It is characterized by slightly wavy slopes and plateaus intersected by smaller watercourses and there is the Danube and Pannonian plain in the north and the Velika Morava valley with its branch Jezava in the east. Natural characteristics of the area had impact on development of main communication routes, which follow the courses of these two big rivers, while meeting of roads along the Danube and Velika Morava had decisive strategic importance and also influenced population migrations and historical circumstances. Natural center of this meeting place is the area where Smederevo fortress had been built in the beginning of the 15th century.
Nature was generous to this area abounding in water, fertile soil and in the past also in woodlands and that attracted people to come and settle permanently here from the time immemorial. In peaceful times numerous advantages became apparent but on the other hand they provoked troubles in the tumultuous periods of wars.
By its very nature gentle and pleasant Smederevo regions embody also numerous ambiguities personified in the mighty Danube and gentle but unpredictable Morava, Smederevo hills facing the immense plain, north wind and košava and finally the roads open to all four sides of the world. Probably that is how appear the dilemmas and confrontations between two thousand years old grapes and hundred years old iron, mildly sourSmederevka and ferocious Smederevac, fruit growers and farmers, citizens and peasants and mostly between old and new immigrants.
From the beginning it was sufficient that one generation born on this soil leaves descendants in the same area and opposites resulted in new quality instead in sterile conflicts creating and recognizing distinct cultural heritage represented not only in the Smederevo fortress but also in the summer house of the Obrenović family, old industrial installations of SARTID, monumental church of St. George from 1854 and medieval church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God, valuable public and residential buildings from the period when Turkish small town was transformed into modern commercial city between two World Wars, as well as the distinct structures in the spirit of Moderna and autochthonous national style from the period of restoration of the city after great explosion in the Second World War.
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.