History

The name of Smederevo was first recorded in the Charter of the Byzantine Emperor Vasilije II from 1019, in the part related to the Eparchy of Braničevo in Ohrid Bishopry. Another written record is found in the Charter of the Duke Lazar from 1381 by which he bestowed the Monastery of Ravanica and villages and properties ’to the Great Bogosav with the commune and heritage’’.
The City of Smederevo is located along the direction of Roman border (Limes) and the Road of Constantinople which through the past significantly defined its importance and role in historical events. As such, this place has the continuity from pre-history, through the Greek and Roman period and Middle Ages until modern times. There are several sites in and around the City to witness the rich cultural heritage of the Smederevo region.

Smederevo gained particular importance at the beginning of the 15th century, during the reign of Despot Đurađ Branković, when it became the last capital of Serbian medieval state and the center of religious and economic life. The Smederevo Fortress was built and its walls still stand today to witness the dynamic past of the city but also the importance of Smederevo who had at that time already overcome local and regional dimension. Smederevo became the center at the crossroad of civilizations where the influences of the East and the West intertwined.
     
The Fortress is located on the right bank of the river Danube, at the confluence of the river Jezava anther Danube. The inner space occupies 11 ha and its wider surrounding meets urban structures. It was built after the model of the Fortress of Constantinople, as a defense fortification and represents one of the largest fortresses in Europe.
After its fall in Turkish hands, Smederevo maintained its wide regional importance as a center of “sandžak” until 1521. During 16th and 17th century it developed into an oriental town. By the end of the 17th century, during Austrian-Turkish wars, the town went from the hands of one warring party to another. It was devastated and economically declined. During Austrian rule, Smederevo was the center of the district.

In the restored Serbian state, Smederevo had a major role, first of all as a Soviet center from 1805-1807, but also as a developed urban settlement, trade center and the capital of Smederevo “nahija”.
During the whole of the 19th and the 20th century, it had its place among the most developed towns of Serbia using its potentials sometimes more, sometimes less.