Discover Kladovo – hidden gem of Serbia

August 29, 2020

Kladovo is the best starting point for discovering Iron Gates – the most beautiful part of Danube river. But there is so much more to see and do around Kladovo – ancient Roman cities, museums and waterfalls.

First thing that you will feel in Kladovo is unique – almost mediteranean atmosphere. Town beach is one of the best public beaches on the Danube river.

Blederija Waterfall, an exceptional natural attraction, is located near the village Reka, around 15 km from Kladovo. The Blederija river source is at the height of 190 m and it flows towards the South-East. The waterfall, which from the height of 7 m and after spilling over a tufa rail, vertically falls down in the form of a water curtain into a tufa tub, a big whirpool or a small lake, is of turquois-green colour. On the side of the big waterfall, there is another small one which, during the summer period, when the water capacity in the river drops, disappears, however it always reappears in the spring when the river is rich in water and when the flow is several hundred meters per sec.

There are many ancient Roman sites in and around Kladovo. Trajan’s board is unique Roman site in Europe. As part of the operation against the Dacians (the territory of present-day Romania), Roman emperor Trajan constructed a road from Belgrade through the Iron Gate gorge, up to the point where he constructed a bridge over the Danube (Trajan’s Bridge). He finished the road in 103, and the whole construction period was perpetuated with a name board. The board is now known as Trajan’s board (Tabula Triana) The board has the following words in Latin engraved: CAESAR, THE EMPEROR, THE SON OF GODDESS NERVA, TRAJAN AUGUST US GERMANICUS, THE SUPREME PRIEST, THE REPRESENTATIVE OF PEOPLE FOR THE FORTH TIME, HAVING CONQUERED THE ROCKS OF THE MOUNTAINS AND THE DANUBE, IS NOW CONSTRUCTING THIS ROAD.

Trajan’s board is visible just from the river, so you have to use one of the boats available, and the best possible cruising boat that you can find in Kladovo region is Trinity boat

Beside Roman forts and sites in Kladovo you can visit also Turkish forts, from the Otoman period. This fort on the Danube was constructed by the Turks in 1524. They named it Fetsialm, which means ‘the victory of Islam’ and separated it in two parts – the Small town and theBig town. As it is presumed, the Small town was an artillery base protected by circular towers. The gates leading to the fort have marble plates installed on them which honoured the Sultan Mahmud II. The fort also included an open-air amphitheater, while near the fort there was a sports centre with a complex used for recreational and professional sports.

Diana Fort was constructed on the coast of the Danube, on hill located near the village Sip. Construction of the oldest earthen and wooden fort is linked to the arrival of the first military formations to the Danube, at the beginning of the first century. The stone fort of bigger dimensions was constructed during the construction activities of Trajan the Emperor. During the period of six centuries, Diana had a significant economic centre with a port and a harbour. A building with an apse, military barracks and other structures were discoveredinside of the fort, while the principia with a portico was discovered in the central area of the fort. Outside of the walls, a sanctuary has been identified, the explored remains of martyrium and one part of necropolis, as well as the part of the settlement located West of the military camp. The first sonic excavations started in 1964 and they have been conducted, with some pauses, up to today. Diana is one of the best preserved Roman forts in the region, and the explored structures have been conserved.

The remains of Trajan’s Bridge and the Pontes Fort are located near the village Kostol, 5 km downstream from Kladovo. The bridge, constructed between 103 and 105, in only two years, was the work of the Syrian architect Apollodorus from Damascus, and it represents one of the most remarkable ancient construction works. The length of the bridge, together with the portals, was 1133,90 m, while the part across the riverbed had the length of 1071 m. Auxiliary camps, Pontes on the right and Dobreta (Romania) on the left coast of the Danube, were constructed simultaneously with the bridge. The remains of the 16 columns of Trajan’s Bridge were discovered in 1932. Half a century later, archeologists managed to discover 12 of them, and the remaining four had probably been swept away by the water. The remains of the first columns on the both sides can even today be seen on the coasts of the Danube.

As early as 1735, the town of Kladovo had a small St. George’s Church, where manuscripts were kept, thanks to which even today we can clarify some part of the history of the Orthodox community, and maybe even the origin of the name of the town. The existing St. George’s Churchwas constructed in 1856, during the rule of Obrenović royal family, and it was consecrated a year after. This church is also the only one in Kladovo and religious service is still performed in it.

While you are in Kladovo you should visit the most beautiful part of Danube river – The Iron Gate – Djerdap national park. Đerdap gorge (the Iron Gate) and the nature surrounding the gorge, as a spatial unity which occupies the area of 63 608 h, is known for its tremendous cultural and historical values, significant ecosystems whose contents are of extraordinary value and rarity, native flora and fauna and well-preserved forests of natural composition and excellent appearance.

In 1974, this territory was put under protection asthe Đerdap National Park, the biggest national park in Serbia. One part of the national park is located in Kladovo Municipality area also. The public company “the Đerdap National Park”, with their seat in DonjiMilanovac and with one of the two work units in Tekija, is in charge of the national park. The National Park gives tremendous opportunities for development of various types of tourism in the nature (bicycling, mountaineering, bird observation), as well as of hunting and fishing tourism, complying with the rules for behaving in a national park.

As Kladovo is the best starting point for your Danube adventure I am recommending to stay at least 3 days or more to have enough time to visit nature, museums, Roman sites and have boat excursion around Iron Gate. The best possible choice for your stay in Kladovo are Atrijum Apartments as beside beautiful rooms and appartments they also have excursion boat for cruising around Iron Gate – Trinity boat tours.

Their accommodation capacities (38 beds) make Atrijum Apartments perfect for smaller seminars and business meetings. The design and construction of a confenrence room is in progress. Location within the city is ideal. Far enough from the center (1200m) in order to have quiet while neighboring one of the cities parks, and only 500m from the city beach, market and bakery.