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Published on Dec 4, 2011
Smederevo is a city and municipality in Serbia, on the right bank of the Danube, about 40 km downstream of the capital Belgrade. According to official results of the 2011 census, the city has a population of 107,528. It is the administrative center of the Podunavlje District.
Its history starts in the 1st century BC, with the conquering of the Roman Empire, when there existed a town called Vinceia. The modern city traces its roots back to the late Middle Ages when it was the capital (1430--1439 and 1444--1459) of the last independent Serbian state before the Ottoman conquest.
Smederevo Fortress, in Smederevo, Serbia, was a medieval fortified city and temporary capital of Serbia. It was built by Despot Đurađ Branković of 1427 to 1430, during the era of the Serbian Despotate. Later that century it was further fortified by the Turks. Smederevo is the largest medieval lowland type of fortresses in Europe.
The fortress withstood several sieges by Turks and Serbs, which it survived relatively unscathed. It was not until World War II that it was heavily damaged, by explosions and bombing. As of 2009 it is in the midst of extensive restoration and conservation work, despite which the fortress remains "one of the rare preserved courts of medieval Serbian rulers."
Smederevo Fortress was declared Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979, and is protected by the Republic of Serbia. In 2010, Smederevo Fortress was placed on the Tentative List for possible nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.