Danube Virtual Museum

Klаdоvo Medieval Fortress (Fеtislаm)

This medieval fortress, with a total area of about 18 hectares, is situated on the banks of the Danube, at the entrance to the town of Kladovo from the western direction. It consists of two fortification parts - Big and Small Fortress or Kastel incorporated into a larger and younger fortress.

The Large fortress or Big Town, as it is also called, has the largest dimensions - 480 x 260 m. It has a polygonal-base medieval bastion fortress with 6 polygonal tower-bastions, connected by ramparts with brick walkways, and is surrounded by a water trench. It also has a 30m wide counterescarpe with movable bridges in front of all three of the main gates. During the last reconstruction of the fortress, inscriptions honoring Sultan Mahmut II (1818 - 1839) were set above the arched main entrances - Danube, Orospi and Varoš Gates. In that period the fortress got its present shape. Many structures and buildings for various purposes for its crew – a powder magazine and warehouses, vaults, hamam, mosque were discovered inside the fortress. The remains of strong solidly built water installations, wells and canals for water supply of the town and the fortress can still be seen nearby the fortress (Butorke).

An older, much smaller fortress of the castle type (Small Fort) of a rectangular shape with overall dimensions of 90x60 m, occupies the highest part of the terrain near the river bank. It consists of the upper and the lower part. At the corners there are still highly preserved two-story circular towers connected by jagged-tip ramparts. There is also a gunpowder magazine as part of the fortress. Around the fort there was a trench which was always filled with water in the lower parts. It is incorporated into the northern rampart of the younger big fortification.

The medieval position, as well as the entire region, had a turbulent history, with often changing masters who destroyed and reconstructed it, always adapting it to their military-strategic needs. Since 1818 and during the first half of the nineteenth century, it was the Turkish stronghold.

The fortress was abandoned in 1867, when the Turks, together with other fortified towns, surrendered it to Serbia.


J. (Rankov) Kondić, Tvrđave i ostaci utvrđenih gradova-Kladovo, Publikacija 10, JP ''Bеоgrаdskа tvrđаvа'' (2009). Integral protection, archaeological excavations, conservation and restoration works have been realized as part of the Đеrdаp Project (protection works were led by G. Simić, architect, representing the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, in Belgrade; for the results compare. G. Simić, Маlо i Vеlikо utvrđеnjе Fеtislаm u Klаdоvu, Sаоpštеnjа VIII, Bеоgrаd, 1986, 115-135)

(Text: National Museum in Belgrade – Archaeological Museum of Đerdap)