Smederevo Fortress Explosion

Smederevo, a fortress on the Danube downstream from Belgrade, was built between 1428 and 1430 during the reign of Despot Djuradj Brankovic, the last of medieval Serbia's rulers.

The fortress encircled by crenelated walls and towers, was for a long time the last bastion against the Turkish assault. The main tower is well preserved and an inscription on it mentions Despot Djuradj and the date of its construction. Smederevo fortress suffered severe damage to its towers and walls during World War II, when a big ammunition depot exploded within its walls in 1941, and from bombing in 1944.

In the First World War, the city of Smederevo was attacked by the artillery from the Danube side. In the Second World War the city was transformed into a warehouse ammunition which exploded on 5 of June1941. That explosion, which destroyed the town , was badly damaged also the fortress. Some parts of the fortress walls were destroyed near the main entrance with the tower which were in the center of the explosion, Finally, the city of Smederevo was bombed from the air in 1944. One bomb fell next to the tower to the wall faced to the town and that’s why even today the tower remained slightly inclined.

Smederevo Fortress was finally surrendered in 1459 to Sultan Mehmet I, which marked the final victory of the Ottoman Turks over Serbian territory. Immediately, the Turks made the castle the headquarters of their pasalik in the region and it remained in Turkish occupation, with the exception of a brief period of Austrian control, until 1805 when Karadorde formally received its keys following his initial successes with the First National Uprising. Having survived the medieval period more or less intact, the fortress suffered considerable damage in far more recent times when a German ammunition depot blew up part of it in 1941 claiming more than 5,000 lives, and then later in 1944 when it was bombed by Allied forces.