Smederevo is located on the south coast of the Panonian see and on the north-east slopes of Sumadija hills. It is surrounded by the Danube in the north and by the Velika Morava in the east. This area is under the influence of mild continental climate, the average annual temperature is 11-12 C. Dominant wind is Kosava. The town consists of 27 rural and 11 urban communities. The total area is 480 km2 and it has 110.000 inhabitants of which about 65.000 live in the central town area.
Diversified town traffic net enables good connectivity of Smederevo with its road, railway and water lines. Smederevo is 45 km away from Belgrade. The town is connected to Belgrade and to the north of the country by its railway, and to the south parts of the country through Mala Krsna. There is a highway that runs through Smederevo, it is 30 km long.
Smederevo is one of the oldest settlements in the Serbian District Podunavlje. The settlement which was located on the current position of Smederevo was mentioned for the first time in 1019 in the charter of Byzantine Emperor, Vasilije II, and the present name of Smederevo is mentioned in 1381 in the charter of Monastery Ravanica. In the 15th century Despot Djuradj Brankovic chose this very place on the Danube to be capital of the Serbian state. In the period between 1428 and 1430 “mali grad” was built as a ruler’s castle at the lower end of the river Jezava into the Danube, and then looking up to the Fortress of Carigrad the construction of “Veliki grad” on an area of 10,5 ha was continued in the period between 1430 and 1439. During the time of Despot’s reign Smederevo was the centre of political, economical and cultural life of Medieval Serbia. In the beginning of the 20th Smederevo’s opulent agricultural area with significant production of fruits and wines with the famous “Smederevo’s vineyard”, its excellent geographic position on the Danube and growing trade made the basis of its further development.
Many events take place in Smederevo during the whole year and certainly the most important of them is “Smederevo’s autumn”. This touristic and business manifestation take place every year at the end of September, it is devoted to fruits of autumn (fruits, grapes and vine) with carnival of medieval knights and a rich cultural and artistic program. One cannot talk about Smederevo without mentioning “Smederevka”, one of leading autochthonous types of grapes from Smederevo’s vineyard. Presence of vines on Smederevo’s area date from ancient history. Illyrian, Thracians and Celtic tribes were raising grapes in these areas before the arrival of Roman conquerors who forbid raising grapes in provinces on Balkan during the emperor Domitian. Marcus Aurelius Probe abolished this prohibition and started, with soldiers from his legions to plant vines again on these areas. After the prohibition, numerous conquers and wars, viticulture and growing of Smederevka still keep the Smederevo’s tradition. Many people wrote about their grapes and wines but the name Smederevka as the name of the brand can be found in written sources from the 19th century. From 1879 merchants from European countries are buying wine from Smederevo and selling it in Switzerland, France and other countries. In 1882 on World Fair in Bordeaux, wines from Smederevo received significant recognition. Winegrowers from Smederevo still keep the tradition of growing Smederevka and still produce quality wines that can be tasted in their cellars.
If you are visiting Smederevo, don’t miss the following tourist’s destinations and historical and cultural monuments:
Smederevo’s Fortress (Serbian capital from 15th century, the biggest plain fortress in Europe)
Museum in Smederevo (learn about Smederevo’s history from ancient times until today)
The main city square (in this area are many cultural and historical monuments)
Orthodox temple of St George (the third biggest temple in Serbia, built as a Monastery Manasija)
Community Court building
Former Community House building
Assumption of Holy Mother of God Church (built in 15th century, is on Smederevo’s old cemetery, and it is believed that it was the family tomb and the church of Despot Djuradj Brankovic.