Cultural Heritage

An important element of historical and cultural identity of the National Park is diverse and valuable immovable cultural heritage, with abundant architectural trails and remains of fortifications at the river banks of the Danube dating from Roman and early Byzantine period – remains of Roman Limes on the Danube, medieval necropolis and human settlements.

Based on the data from the Spatial plan for special purpose areas of Djerdap NP (2013), there are four monuments of culture in the area of Djerdap NP of exceptional value (Golubac Fortress, archeological site ‘Lepenski vir’, Roman archeological site Tabula Traiana, Roman and early Byzantine camp Diana at Karatas); eight registered immovable cultural goods, 11 recorded goods, six identified goods, 13 registered-flooded NCG, two recorded-flooded goods and one recorded- flooded NCG.

Golubac Fortress

The Golubac Fort lies on the Danube’s right bank, at the very entrance to the Iron Gates. It was built on a rocky outcrop of a smaller hill, a branch of the Homolje Mountains. City walls follow the natural form of the terrain. Nine massive towers 25 meters in height are connected by a rampart and distributed in a manner that enabled the residents to defend the town from both land and water. The town was reached over a bridge leading across a water-filled moat.

The year of its construction has not been ascertained, but the first written record of the town dates back to 1335. The history of Golubac is a tumultuous one: the town was owned by the Hungarians, followed by the Ottoman Turks, who held it until 1868.

All towers are square, except for the donjon tower, which has a polygonal lower section and a cylindrical upper part, which is why it is often referred to as the ‘Hat Tower’. The shape of the towers indicates that the town was constructed in the pre-firearms era. With the invention of firearms, towers along the west wall were reinforced by polygonal or cylindrical massive enforcements up to two meters thick. Inner towers retained their square shape. At the same time, a polygonal Turkish tower was added to the bastion, with shafts and galleries for cannons, deployed on two levels.

It is still unknown how old the fort actually is and who first began its construction. The only thing that has been established for certain is that the first fortification in Golubac on the Danube was built by the Romans in the first century AD. Roman Emperor Diocletian resided in the fort around 299 AD. The town was later destroyed by the Huns, only to be rebuilt by Emperor Justinian.

The earliest reference to the town in written historical records dates back to 1335, while somewhat later it was also mentioned by Constantine of Kostenets, a medieval writer and chronicler. Following the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, Golubac fell into the hands of the Ottomans and for centuries it remained a bone of contention between the Hungarians and Turks. It was freed in 1867, and was one of the last towns in Serbia to be liberated.

Austrian traveler and naturalist Felix Kanitz recorded in 1895 that the settlement in Golubac comprised 293 houses and had 1,533 residents, as well as a church dedicated to St Nicholas, built in 1843. Archeological research revealed over a hundred ceramic artifacts, iron tools, axes, scraping irons, pickaxes, door latches and spears, which are proof of the rich past of the Golubac fortress.

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Lepenski Vir

One of the most important archeological sites in Serbia is located on a terrace by the Danube, in the Djerdap Gorge. Archeological excavations in the 1960s uncovered valuable findings, sacred architecture and monumental sculptures from 7000 to 6000 BC which changed the global notion of the beginnings of civilization.

Beneath layers of settlements of early farmers and cattle breeders from the period 5300–4800 BC, seven layers of successive settlements of hunters, fishermen and gatherers were discovered, built upon one another.

Recovered artifacts, including a number of dwellings, graves depicting unusual burial rituals, various tools and jewelry made of stone, horns and bones, monumental sandstone sculptures and tablets etched with symbols resembling letters, suggest that early tribes of hunter-gatherers inhabiting the terrace next to Lepenski Vir managed to establish complex social relations, produce a specific architectural style and create monumental sculpture from huge pebbles and smaller boulders.

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Trajan's Plaque

Trajan’s Plaque (Tabula Traiana) is part of an assemblage of Roman monuments on the Roman Road through Djerdap, raised to commemorate the completion of works on two huge construction projects in the gorge, namely a road through Djerdap and a Roman canal near the present day Djerdap 1 hydroelectric power plant. The rectangular tablet is carved into the rock, with an engraved inscription in Latin devoted to Roman Emperor Trajan.

It was originally placed 1.5 meters above the Roman road along the Danube. The inscription suggests that a portion of the Djerdap route in the Lower Gorge was built by Emperor Trajan as part of preparations for the war on Dacians; more precisely, it reveals that in the year 100 AD this final and most difficult section of the road was completed. The Roman road and a number of strongholds indicate the importance of the Djerdap Gorge for the Roman Empire, until the final conquest of Dacia in the early 2nd century. The construction of the road, which stretched right along the river, was prompted by the need for faster and safer navigation.

EMPEROR CAESAR, SON OF THE DIVINE NERVA, NERVA TRAJAN AUGUSTUS GERMANICUS, HIGH PRIEST AND FOR THE FOURTH TIME TRIBUNE, OVERCOMING THE HAZARDS OF THE MOUNTAIN AND THE ROCKS OF THE DANUBE BUILT THIS ROAD

It was originally placed 1.5 meters above the Roman road along the Danube. The inscription suggests that a portion of the Djerdap route in the Lower Gorge was built by Emperor Trajan as part of preparations for the war on Dacians; more precisely, it reveals that in the year 100 AD this final and most difficult section of the road was completed.

The Roman road and a number of strongholds indicate the importance of the Djerdap Gorge for the Roman Empire, until the final conquest of Dacia in the early 2nd century. The construction of the road, which stretched right along the river, was prompted by the need for faster and safer navigation.

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Diana at Karatas

One of the largest and best preserved Castra (forts) on the Danube, Diana was built of ashlar, most likely between 100 and 101 AD, during the reign of Emperor Trajan, at the same time when a canal was constructed ensuring safer navigation on the Danube. At the time, Diana was the key fortification on the Upper Moeasian limes. Located on a strategic spot, it had a standing military troop tasked with guarding the border and securing the downstream entrance to the canal.

Diana is a rectangular Castrum, 100 by 200 meters, with recessed towers in the ramparts. Its final form was accomplished in the late 3rd and early 4th centuries with the addition of a rampart with protruding towers stretching towards the Danube, closing off and protecting a section of the bank. In mid-5th century the Roman Castrum was ravaged by the Huns, and later rebuilt by Emperor Justinian around 530 AD.

Apart from the ruins of the rampart with its gates and towers, the interior of the fortress revealed military barracks and other facilities, while beyond the rampart, remains of a smaller settlement were unearthed, along with a shrine and a necropolis. Marble and bronze sculptures and various everyday items discovered in Diana indicate that in addition to being a crucial Roman fortification, the castle was also a major economic centre and port.

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Vernacular architecture

Vernacular architectural heritage in Djerdap National Park, as part of its rich architectural legacy of diverse functions and forms, has been verified in the Spatial Plan for the area of Djerdap National Park, under the heading SPECIAL MEASURES AND TERMS FOR THE PRESERVATION, PROTECTION AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE AREA OF DJERDAP NATIONAL PARK, though in general terms only.

One of the reasons is insufficient and incomplete valorization and the lack of an adequate registry of all preserved forms and types of vernacular architectural heritage in the National Park and the protected area.

Basic distribution of vernacular architectural legacy on the territory of Djerdap National Park is insufficiently explored and registered. Field research conducted so far has determined a variety of forms, purposes and types of facilities, their diversity and preservation degree. A number of derelict and completely derelict houses and habitats have been recorded.

The most valuable elements of architectural heritage are found on the entire territory of Djerdap National Park, particularly in the settlements of Brnjica, Dobra in Golubac municipality, Boljetin, Oreškovica, Mosna, Topolnica, Golubinje, Miroč in Majdanpek municipality, and most notably Petrovo Selo in Kladovo municipality.

Invaluable elementary forms of vernacular architectural heritage in the National Park have been preserved and defined according to their purpose, materials, construction and type, and divided into:

  1. housing facilities – houses as parts of villages, hamlets and farmsteads – farmsteads on hilltops, household furniture and movables;
  2. production facilities – watermill;
  3. auxiliary farm facilities – stable and corncrib;
  4. farming tools and accompanying transportation vehicles etc.

Planning documents drafted by Public Company Djerdap National Park Donji Milanovac envisage the composition and publishing of a Registry – a documentation basis for facilities and vernacular habitats on the territory of Djerdap National Park and the Park’s protected area, which implies data gathering in the field, recording all typical forms and collecting the basic characteristic data.

Boljetin

Watermill

Brnjica - Watermill

Boljetin

The farmhouse under Glavica

House on Krumatura

Peter's Village

Boljetin

Golubinj house on Lepenski Vir

Boljetin - housing

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