Gates of Belgrade

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This article describes 23 gates of Belgrade .

Roman gates

Remains of southeastern gate of the Singidunum's castrum were found when adapting the building of the Belgrade Library, with one of its towers now being in the library depot and the other across the street in the small park with Milan Rakić's bust. The gate was located exactly at the end of Knez Mihailova and entrance of Kalemegdan park, at 44°49′12″N20°27′12″E / 44.82000°N 20.45333°E / 44.82000; 20.45333 (Singidunum's castrum gate) . Thus this entrance stayed at the same place for nearly 2,000 years. [1]


Northwestern gate of the castrum was located roughly at the same place as today's Defterdar's Gate. [2]

Fortress gates

Upper city gates

These are gates in the walls of the Upper City of the Belgrade Fortress. Gates that are connected to each other are not exactly aligned. This was done to prevent use of siege engines on the inner gate, if the outer gate would be breached.

Clock Gate-
Baroque Gate complex
Sahat kula i Sahat kapija, Kalemegdan, Beograd.jpg 1688 44°49′23″N20°27′2″E / 44.82306°N 20.45056°E / 44.82306; 20.45056 (Clock Gate) Southeast gate in the innermost city wall, it is connected via a bridge to the Inner Stambol Gate. This section of the Upper Town's rampart, which was originally built during the reign of despot Stefan Lazarević as a wall without the gate, was completely transformed during the reconstructions and upgrades up to the 18th century. The complex includes two gates, Clock and Baroque (connected by the small, side room), the Clock Tower (Sahat kula) and two ramparts which cross all three objects - medieval one and the one constructed by the Venetian architect Andrea Cornaro, the so-called Cornaro's Wall, built in front of the old rampart in c. 1700. [3] [4] The gate is also sometimes referred to as the Cornaro's Gate.

The original passage was built for the first time in 1688, after the Austrians conquered Belgrade from the Ottomans. After the Ottomans retook the fortress in 1690, they reconstructed this section of the ramparts and walled the gate. After the Austrians again conquered Belgrade, from 1717 to 1739, a massive Baroque reconstruction of both the fortress and the city began. A new, Baroque Gate, was dug through, next to the older, walled gate. This new position was better suited for the Austrian new design of the bastions along the southeast front of the artillery fortification (symmetric bastions and main gate in the center). New gate was built from brick and had semi-circular ceiling. After another takeover by the Ottomans, this gate was walled after 1740 and the Clock Gate became operational again. [3] [4]

This is also when the clock tower was built above the gate, on the outer section of the rampart, giving the gate its name. It was the first clock tower in Belgrade, built from 1740 to 1789. It was characteristic for baroque architecture, mimicking religious objects from the same period. It is a mechanical clock, and the original hands are kept in the Institute for the Cultural Monuments Protection in Belgrade. In the late 19th century and the 1900s, along the rampart three auxiliary guard houses were constructed by the Serbian army. [3] [4]

The Baroque Gate was revitalized in 1987 and in 1989 the gallery of the Belgrade Fortress moved in, which included three rooms, central gate passage and two auxiliary, side rooms. Restoration works were held in 2003, when it became obvious that a much serious reconstruction is needed. 2003 works unearthed evidence that the area was inhabited by humans in prehistory. The foundations of the medieval rampart were also discovered. The earthen mound which covered the rampart and the gates was removed to reduce moisturizing of the inside rooms. It was also expected to reclaim two side rooms which were thought to be collapsed, but it turned out they were actually never finished, even though the openings for the doors and windows are made on the gate's inner walls. A temporary, protective wooden eave was built above the entrance of the Clock Gate. [3] [4] [5]

The Baroque Gate deteriorated a lot nevertheless, so it was closed for the visitors. The temporary eave was removed in 2019. A complete renovation of both gates began in 2020, and was finished by December. The roof of both gates is adapted into the plateau from which the visitors can access the Clock Tower. Plateau is ornamented with glass lanterns and one section is adapted into the green roof. Protective roof slab was placed between two gates to protect the space which connects them. Remains of all, various reconstructions and adaptations are clearly visible on the gates. [3] [4] [6]

Defterdar's Gate Defterdarova kapija.jpg 44°49′26″N20°26′56″E / 44.82389°N 20.44889°E / 44.82389; 20.44889 (Defterdar's Gate) Northwestern gate in the innermost city wall, accessible only via a steep stairway. Entrance complex at the gate is partially preserved.
Despot's Gate Despot's gate, Kalemegdan, Belgrade.jpg 1404-1427 44°49′30″N20°27′2″E / 44.82500°N 20.45056°E / 44.82500; 20.45056 (Despot's Gate) Northeastern gate in the innermost city wall, located right next to the Despot's Tower. It is connected via a bridge to the Zindan Gate. The gate is named after despot Stefan Lazarević. The gate and tower are the best preserved medieval part of the fortress and the only fortress gate preserved in its original appearance. The gate makes one architectural unit with the adjoining Dizdar's Tower. Also known as the Easter Upper Town Gate, it was the main entry gate into the fortress in the Middle Ages. [7]

As it was built in double ramparts, it had two parts, outer and inner ones. The inner gate had a defensive balcony, machicolation, with a niche below for the city defender saint's icon. The adjoining Dizdar's Tower is a massive, square based object. It was named after dizdars , the commanders of the fortress, who lived in it in the second half of the 18th century. The tower was damaged during the Austro-Hungarian bombing of Belgrade in 1915 during World War I. Partially reconstructed in 1938, today it hosts the observatory of the "Ruđer Bošković" astronomical society. The battlement of the tower, including the embrasures, was reconstructed in 1979. [7]

The gate itself was reconstructed in 2020, including works on outer facade, inner walls and stabilized statics of the object. [7]

Inner Stambol Gate Belgrad twierdza2.jpg around 1750 44°49′21″N20°27′3″E / 44.82250°N 20.45083°E / 44.82250; 20.45083 (Inner Stambol Gate) The main gate of the fortress. Southeastern gate in the second city wall, connected via a bridge to the Clock Gate, and via a land bridge to the outer ravelin, where the way forks towards Karadjordje's and Outer Stambol Gate. The gate is named after Istanbul.
Karađorđe's Gate Karadj kap.jpg 18th century 44°49′18″N20°27′3″E / 44.82167°N 20.45083°E / 44.82167; 20.45083 (Karadjordje's Gate) Southern gate of its ravelin, built in the early 18th century. In the 19th century it was named after Karađorđe, cause it was erroneously thought that he passed through this gate during the liberation of Belgrade from the Ottomans in 1806. Karađorđe, however, entered via the main road and outer Stambol Gate. For the most part, the gate was walled, already in the late 18th century, and then again after 1813, only to be re-opened after World War II. It is accessible over the small bridge which is being regularly restored (1987, 2005, 2020). [8]
King Gate Kralj kap.jpg around 1725 44°49′22″N20°26′52″E / 44.82278°N 20.44778°E / 44.82278; 20.44778 (King Gate) Southwestern gate in the innermost city wall. The gate is descended to via a short stairway which passes next to the Roman Well. A bridge then connects it with the King Ravelin.
Leopold's Gate Leopold's Gate.jpg around 1690 44°49′30″N20°27′6″E / 44.82500°N 20.45167°E / 44.82500; 20.45167 (Leopold's Gate) The outermost northeastern gate, connected via a bridge to the Zindan Gate. It was named after Leopold I.
Outer Stambol Gate Outer Stambol Gate.jpg 1840-1860 44°49′20″N20°27′7″E / 44.82222°N 20.45194°E / 44.82222; 20.45194 (Outer Stambol Gate) Eastern gate of its ravelin, it is named after Istanbul.
Southern GateBuilt in the 15th century, also called the Baroque Gate; [9] it existed right next to the Clock Gate and was built shut when the later was opened. Today it is turned into a museum.
Zindan Gate Zindan kapija (2).JPG mid-15th century 44°49′33″N20°27′5″E / 44.82583°N 20.45139°E / 44.82583; 20.45139 (Zindan Gate) The middle southeastern gate, between two round towers. Since the 18th century, the Ottomans used towers' basement as dungeon, a zindan, hence the name of the gate. [10] It is connected with bridges to the Despot's Gate on the inside and Leopold's Gate on the outside.

The wooden bridge in front of the gate was reconstructed in 2005 and 2020. [11]

Lower city gates

Dark Gate Dark Gate.jpg 44°49′19″N20°26′49″E / 44.82194°N 20.44694°E / 44.82194; 20.44694 (Dark Gate) The southern gate of the lower city. The gate and entire complex surrounding it saw extensive renovation in 2007 and 2008.
Gate of Charles VI (Gate of Karl VI) Kapija Karla VI.jpg 1736 44°49′33″N20°26′57″E / 44.82583°N 20.44917°E / 44.82583; 20.44917 (Gate of Charles VI) Built as triumphal arch of Charles VI, it is one of very few baroque buildings in Belgrade. [12] It was built during the Nicolas Doxat's reconstruction of Belgrade under the orders of Prince Eugene of Savoy in the 1720s and 1730s. The monumental gate at the entry into the town was destroyed later. During the World War II occupation, the Nazi fringe organization Ahnenerbe conducted numerous surveys and diggings in the fortress, including specific search for the gate. By 1943, the Germans completely rebuilt the gate in greatest detail, but the gate was damaged already during the heavy Allied Easter bombing in April 1944. [13] After the war, the gate was left to the elements for a long time, but in May 2021 city administration announced its reconstruction later in the year. [14]
Inner Sava Gate Inner Sava Gate.jpg
Outer Sava Gate Outer Sava Gate.jpg
Port Gate Port Gate.jpg 44°49′39″N20°26′58″E / 44.82750°N 20.44944°E / 44.82750; 20.44944 (Port Gate) Main entrance to Belgrade's port.
Vidin Gate Vidin Gate.jpg 18th century 44°49′37″N20°27′6″E / 44.82694°N 20.45167°E / 44.82694; 20.45167 (Vidin Gate) Northeastern gate of the Lower City.
Water Gate I 44°49′28″N20°26′45″E / 44.82444°N 20.44583°E / 44.82444; 20.44583 (Water Gate I)
Water Gate II 44°49′36″N20°26′49″E / 44.82667°N 20.44694°E / 44.82667; 20.44694 (Water Gate II)

Outer city gates

When Austrians occupied northern Serbia, including Belgrade, in the early 18the century, apart from rebuilding and renovating the Fortress, they dug a moat outside of the Fortress, as the first line of defense. It became known as the "Laudan trench" (Serbian Laudanov šanac or simply Šanac). It was up to 6 meters wide, 2 meters deep and on the outer side had reinforcements in the form of earth embankments or walls. In order to get to and out of the city, a system of many gates and bridges was built through and on the trench. They all had a permanent military crew and were always locked at night. [15] These outer city gates were demolished from 1862 to 1866, [16] together with the outer city wall they were in. Commemorative plaques mark their former locations now.

Sava Gate Sava Gate plaque.jpg 44°49′6″N20°26′58″E / 44.81833°N 20.44944°E / 44.81833; 20.44944 (Sava Gate plaque) The Southern city gate. It was through this gate that revolutionaries entered Belgrade to capture it during the Siege of Belgrade (1806), in the First Serbian Uprising, after it was opened by Uzun-Mirko and Konda Bimbaša.

It was connecting Savamala, the former village, and later the first Belgrade neighborhood outside of the fortress built from 1834, with the fortress. The gate was demolished in 1862. [16]

Stambol Gate Tabla na mestu Stambol kapije rt.jpg 1723-1739 [17] 44°48′59″N20°27′37″E / 44.81639°N 20.46028°E / 44.81639; 20.46028 (Stambol Gate) The southeastern and main city gate, it was located in front of today's National Theatre. It was built by Austria. [17] Later, the gate was used for public executions. A symbol of Turkish oppression, [17] it was demolished in April–May 1866. [17]
Varoš Gate Varos Gate plaque.jpg 44°48′59.5728″N20°27′11.1276″E / 44.816548000°N 20.453091000°E / 44.816548000; 20.453091000 (Varoš Gate plaque) The gate was in the wall between Stambol and Sava gates. It was located where Pop Lukina today receives Maršala Birjuzova street. Remains of the gate can still be found as part of the foundations of the neighboring houses. Varoš Gate (in Serbian Varoš Kapija) gave its name to the surrounding neighborhood. [15] It was demolished in 1862. [16]
Vidin Gate Vidin kapija - spomen ploca crop.jpg 44°49′14″N20°27′55″E / 44.82056°N 20.46528°E / 44.82056; 20.46528 (Vidin Gate plaque) The eastern city gate, located near today's First Belgrade Gymnasium. A road which started at the gate was called Vidin Road (Vidinski drum). Section of the road between the Tadeuša Koščuška and the "Bajloni market" was later renamed Cara Dušana, while the remaining section, to the Takovska, is today named Džordža Vašingtona.

The gate was demolished in 1862. [16]

Modern gates

Eastern Gate of Belgrade Eastern gate of Belgrade.jpg 1980 44°47′3″N20°30′44″E / 44.78417°N 20.51222°E / 44.78417; 20.51222 (Eastern Gate of Belgrade) A complex of three highrise residential buildings easily visible on approach to Belgrade from east on the E75 highway.
Western Gate of Belgrade Genex Tower.jpg 1977 44°49′13″N20°24′17″E / 44.82028°N 20.40472°E / 44.82028; 20.40472 (Western Gate of Belgrade) A highrise, easily visible on approach to Belgrade from west on the E70/E75 highway. While the building looks like a gate, having two towers connected at the top, the highway actually passes southwest of the building.

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  1. Beograd-Singidunum, treći deo
  2. Beograd-Singidunum, četvrti deo
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Branka Vasiljević (27 December 2019). Најзад обнова Сахат и Барокне капије[Finally a reconstruction of the Clock and Baroque gates]. Politika (in Serbian). p. 15.
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  14. Daliborka Mučibabić (22 May 2021). Крунски венац и Светосавски плато - културна добра[Krunski Venac and Saint Sava Plateau - cultural monuments]. Politika (in Serbian). p. 14.
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