Serbia’s tourist offer is based on rich tradition, history and culture, natural beauty and human achievements that are worth seeing, and fortress architecture represents an important aspect of Serbia’s tourist offer.
The castle of Užice, a medieval fortress built in the second half of the 14th century, is the historical and cultural pearl of the city of Užice. The imposing fortress complex, located on a hill above the Djetinja River, was first mentioned in written documents from the 14th century as the main seat of the prefect Nikola Altomanović, built to protect the caravan route that connected the Moravian Valley with Bosnia, Huma and the Adriatic coast.
The medieval castle is located on a high, steeply cut and inaccessible rock on three sides, at the bend of the Djetinja river, west of today’s Užice. The defense system of the castle consisted of three separate units of stone walls and towers, interconnected. On top of the rock was the main part of the castle, which was dominated by a six-sided donjon, surrounded by walls. A four-sided tower rose above the river itself, and a semicircular tower hid a well. That part of the castle was connected by stone walls to the most spacious, quadrangular middle part, in which there were three towers and several buildings for the crew, and it was separated from the upper part by a wall in front of which there was a defense tower.
From 1373, the castle of Užice came under the possession of Prince Lazar, then became part of the Serbian Despotovina, and in 1445 fell under Turkish rule. The fortress was finally abandoned at the end of 1862 when, according to the agreement with Prince Mihailo, the Ottoman military crew left. In 1863, it was blown up and disabled for further military use.
Today, the partially reconstructed fortress, with preserved walls and restored citadel and tower in Gornji Grad, is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Užice.
Expert collaboration: Historical archive of Užice
Artistic realization of the issue: Miroslav Nikolić