Smederevo is located 45 km east of Belgrade on the Danube. Dominating the Danube, its medieval fortress imposes itself by its dimensions and its history. But Smederevo is also an important river port on the road to Romania due to its strategic position downstream from Belgrade. Finally, Smederevo is a city emblematic of the economic restructuring carried out since 2001, as it is home to a steel complex, Sartid, bought by the American giant US Steel, while the port facilities were sold to an Austrian company.
History. Smederevo is known to have been the capital of the Kingdom of Serbia, and its history is closely intertwined with that of its fortress. In 1427, the despot Djurdje Branković, driven out of Belgrade by the Hungarians and threatened in the south by the Turks, decided to establish the capital of Serbia there. To defend his city, the tyrant had one of the largest fortresses in the Balkans erected between 1428 and 1430. But with the capture of the city by Sultan Mehmet in 1459, not only did the city lose its importance, but the medieval Serbian state came to an end. The Austrians seized it three times in the 18th century, but each time they had to give it back to the Turks. Serbian insurgents, led by Karadjordje Petrović, seized it on 8 November 1805, and Smederevo became the seat of the first Serbian uprising. In 1867, the Turks left the city for good: Smederevo entered the industrial era and developed its river trade. But the Second World War was to leave its mark on the town: on 5 June 1941, the Germans blew up an ammunition depot, killing 2,500 people, and in 1944 American bombing destroyed part of the town.
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