Oriental Heritage

At the height of its power, in the mid-16th century, the Ottoman Empire stretched across three continents. The independent Serbian state, the Serbian Despotate, survived until the mid-15th century. After the capital Smederevo fell in 1459, the Serbian state disappeared from the historical stage and all of its territory became part of the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottoman Empire brought, a new faith, new civilizational and cultural sphere, to Southeast Europe, whose presence is still felt today in most societies in the Balkans, which is defined as “Oriental cultural heritage”. Many fortresses in Serbia during the rule of the Ottoman Empire were built on previous place of ancient Byzantine and medieval towns. The most famous among them are: Belgrade Fortress, Niš Fortress, Ram Fortress, Fetislam Fortress and Šabac Fortress.

The imposing walls of Niš Fortress are among the best preserved in the entire Balkans. The fortress got its present-day appearance in the 1790s, when north Serbia, above the confluence of two Morava rivers, near Stalać, entered the Habsburg Monarchy, and Niš became the center of the Ottoman possessions in Europe. Along the Danube River, there used to be the Ottoman fortified line formed by Belgrade, Smederevo, Ram and Golubac fortresses, as well as Fetislam Fortress in the vicinity of today’s Kladovo. The “Old Fort” in Šabac protected the strategically important place on the Sava River.