PRIVATE DAY TRIPS FROM BELGRADE TO THE RIVER DANUBE - TOURS OF THE IRON GATES
Europe's second-longest river, the DANUBE, carved a passage through the Carpathian Mountains and the Balkan Mountains, creating a series of four steep gorges separated from each other by ravines and broad basins, known as the Iron Gate. Within the last of the four gorges is the Danube's second iron gate: the Iron Gate Dam.
The Iron Gate gorges created rapids and whirlpools that made navigation very difficult. In 1970-ties, Yugoslavia and Romania built a massive lock and the Iron Gate Dam to help control the river's speed and make navigation safer. After constructing the Hydroelectric Power Plant of Djerdap, water was 130 feet higher, and the river flowing through the Iron Gates finally calmed.
The Danube River has been one of the most important European traffic and trading routes since prehistoric times. Along the Danube's left and right banks, numerous archaeological sites reveal the presence of ancient human settlements. Two splendid cultures of Lepenski Vir and Vica left their traces on the banks of the Danube. Romans built Via Militaris and Limes with many strongholds. Roman emperor Trajan built the famous bridge spanning the Danube. In the Middle Ages, the Byzantines, Hungarians, Serbians, and Ottoman Turks started many battles and fought for supremacy and control of one of the most important European routes.
All our private day trips to the IRON GATES of the DANUBE are guided in English or Spanish by a professional Serbian Heritage Interpreter and licensed Tour Guide. Day trips from Belgrade are organized from Monday to Sunday and start at 8 a.m. and end at 8 p.m. in Belgrade, from your hotel or any other place of your choosing within the town area.
PRIVATE DAY TRIP TO THE IRON GATES AND THREE FORTRESSES ON THE RIVER DANUBE
We will travel eastwards through the countryside to visit three medieval fortresses, where Serbian, Hungarian, and Ottoman armies waged wars and where many of the most distinguished European knights fought for control over the Danube River.
SMEDEREVO FORTRESS was erected as the last Serbian capital before the Ottoman invasion. Mile-long crenelated high thick walls and twenty-five tall towers encircle the Small Town and the Outer Town, built in a triangular shape on the Danube River's right bank. It is one of the best-preserved and most massive fortresses in Serbia. Smederevo Fortress is on the UNESCO's Tentative List of World Heritage Sites.
GOLUBAC FORTRESS stands on a cliff right at the entrance to the Iron Gates. Due to its strategic position, the mighty fortress, with its eight tall towers and crenelated walls, was a scene of many battles. It was erected in the 14th century at the borders of the medieval Serbian Principality and the Kingdom of Hungary. Golubac was an important stronghold controlling the land and water routes connecting the East and the West of Europe.
RAM FORTRESS overlooks the Danube's opposite bank and the extensive marshlands of Deliblato Sand in the Banat region. In the late 15th century, on a steep slope in the marshy areas of the river Danube's bend, Sultan Bayezid II built a present fort with five cannon towers for the elite Ottoman units and the heavy artillery. Apart from the defensive role against the Hungarians, it also controlled the traffic on the Danube and served as the starting point in Turkish excursions in the northern areas and the Pannonian Basin.
PRIVATE DAY TRIP FROM BELGRADE TO THE IRON GATES AND DJERDAP NATIONAL PARK
We will head to the east via the countryside, enter the Djerdap National Park and travel to the Iron Gates following the Danube. As we enter the border region between Romania and Serbia and Danube banks narrow into a series of high cliffs, you will enjoy spectacular views of the river, its gorges, cauldrons, the Carpathian, and the Balkan Mountains.
During the visits to the Museum of Lepenski Vir and the Museum of Vinca, you will learn about two splendid cultures of the Danube Valley Civilisations.
We will step inside the medieval GOLUBAC FORTRESS for a visit and drive through the most beautiful part of the Iron Gates and its gorges to the Hydroelectric Power Plant of Djerdap. Later we will see the remarkable rock sculpture of Decebalus - the king of Dacians carved on the massive rock at the Romanian side of the Danube.
The Neolithic culture of VINCA represents a unique society of our desired ideal future. Vinca was a metropolis, a prosperous trading center, and the meeting point of the routes from different parts of Europe and Asia. It was a society of industrious artisans, traders, farmers, and miners who lived peacefully without wars and any social ranking for over two millennia. Their homes in large and comfortable multi-storeyed buildings had perfect insulation.
Vinca tablets are dated to 5,500 BC, and the glyphs on the tablets are a form of the language yet to be deciphered. Their symbols have been found in multiple archaeological sites throughout the Danube Valley areas and are inscribed on pottery, figurines, and other clay artifacts. Leading specialists in ancient scripts and ancient languages firmly support the view that the Vinca script is the oldest writing in the world that predated Egypt and the Near East regions by 1000-2000 years.
LEPENSKI VIR is a unique prehistoric site with traces of life since the early Mesolithic period - from 9500 BC to the early Neolithic - 5500 BC. Planned building of settlements with habitats, trapezoid-base sanctuaries, necropolises indicating special burial rituals, and monumental sculptures in stone testify that this site was a settlement and a religious center.
Although all original stone fish-like sculptures are safely kept in the National Museum of Serbia in Belgrade, excellent copies are displayed in the Museum of Lepenski Vir. Remains of the settlement were moved from the original location on the bank of the Danube to the nearby hill, and we can see them inside the museum.