Photo. Belgrade Fortress, also called Kalemegdan Fortress: beautiful, hstorical and mysterious in all ways. © Travel Explorations.
Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, has a rich history and many underground tunnels, chambers, and hidden spaces that are associated with various historical events and legends. While some of these places are accessible to the public, others may remain undiscovered or are not open for exploration due to safety concerns. Especially the Belgrade Fortress is known for its extensive underground passages and tunnels. Some of these tunnels were used for military purposes, while others are now used for art exhibitions and cultural events. The fortress also houses the Military Museum, which has underground chambers displaying historical artifacts and exhibitions.
Already before I took my first steps inside the site of the fortress here in May 2017, I past a dinosaur park. It was like starting over 60 million years back in history. Then I entered the gate to the fortress and took a time travel to 2000 years back in history. On my walking tours, I enjoyed myself in a beautiful large park. Centuries ago this park was a field where battles were fought. Nowadays park is a home for all generations.
The history of Belgrade’s Fortress is closely related to both the history of the city as well as that of the whole region. This fortress is a great place for people who love history, but also for people, who just want to relax and get a nice view on the Danube River. It`s nice to walk around here both in daytime and evenings. In the upper part of Kalelegdan Fortress I found a a highly visible symbol of Serbia`s capital, the Victor monument. It`s a bronz male figure of 14 meters hight, and stands strongly facing the magnificent rivers.
Two of the greatest mysteries in site of the Belgrade Fortress are about the Nebojsa tower and the Roman Well. Nebojsa tower is the only surviving mediaeval tower of the Belgrade Fortress. The name Nebojsa means fearless in Serbian. Tower was built in the early 15th century during the reign of despot Stefan Lazarevic. It was build as a part of the security system which was protecting Belgrade from the Ottoman invasion after the Siege of Belgrade in 1456. The Well was built in the period from 1717 to 1731 during the Austrian Baroque reconstruction. This building is designated and called “The Large Well”. Name “Roman well” was first recorded in the nineteenth century. It was based on folk tales about old buildings whose origins are forgotten. Its often attributed to the Romans. And there is more that meets the eye: the mysterious underground chambers!
Over the centuries, attackers and defenders have carved a vast network of underground tunnels, fortifications, storage areas, command posts and bunkers beneath Belgrade. Now it was time for me to take a closer look. It was interesting to go below ground to experience hidden sites through the ages, from Roman times to the 20th century. I explored remains of a Roman fortress and well; watched a gunpowder warehouse built by Austrian forces to defend against the Ottoman Empire; and observed a military bunker from the time of the Cold War.
Many mysteries are connected to this place, and interesting fact is that it was Alfred Hitchcock's favourite spot in Belgrade. At the Army bunker - from the time of the Cold War after the World War 2, I learned about some of the President Tito's political games between great countries. At my stop in Gunpowder warehouse I got the chance to touch the walls of the cave which Austrians built as the part of the fortress. It served as the defense of Christian Europe against Turkish Empire. This warehouse is also an exhibition place where I could see sarcophaguses and altars collected from different archeological sites on Serbian territory.
Other underground and secret locations in Belgrade are:
- NATO Bombing Shelters: During the NATO bombing of Belgrade in 1999, many improvised bomb shelters and tunnels were created beneath the city. Some of these tunnels still exist and can be explored, though their accessibility may vary.
- Church of St. Sava: While not necessarily a hidden chamber, the crypt of the Church of St. Sava is a significant underground space in Belgrade. It is the final resting place of Karađorđe Petrović, the leader of the First Serbian uprising against the Ottoman Empire.
- Karađorđe's Cellar: This is another underground attraction associated with Karađorđe Petrović, the leader of the Serbian uprising. It is a wine cellar located beneath the Old Palace, which was the residence of Serbian rulers in the 19th century.
- Rakia and Co. Wine Cellar: This is a modern wine cellar located in Belgrade, where you can enjoy wine tasting and explore their underground chambers filled with wine barrels.
The access to some underground areas may be restricted or require guided tours. Additionally, the availability of tours and access to certain locations may change over time, so I recommend checking with local tourist authorities or tour operators for the most up-to-date information for they who are interested in exploring these underground and secret spaces in Belgrade.
Belgrade Fortress is probably the most interesting site to explore. And as mentioned: the most interesting way to discover the hidden secrets of this fortress and it's long and dramatic history, to explore it's underground. The biggest mysteries are hidden here. The Belgrade Fortress covers two thousand years of history. I guess some more mysteries could be solved here, but since the site is beneath the city it would be limited opportunites to explore it fully. Who knows!
Stein Morten Lund, May 2017
Kasadoo - fortress - travel guide Belgrade
Information about Belgrade’s Fortress. Especially read som interesting facts in the bottom of the article.
Secrets about Belgrade (Belgrade at night)
Information about mysteries in Belgrade, among them is stories related to Belgrade`s Fortress.
Belgrade underground passages: Probably the most intriguing are underground passages and also the most mysterious phenomena in Belgrade. Believe it or not under the Serbian capital there are dozens kilometers of dungeons, caves, underground passages and hallways. Part of the mystery of the underground chambers is that they are largely unexplored, and reasonably assumed that there are many more. On the other hand, the purpose of some of them was never fully revealed.