Swis Nature

Đerdap National Park


Djerdap region used to be the center of one of the most brilliant and complex cultures, whose characteristic was a planned constructed settlements of fishermen, hunters and gatherers. This culture is called the culture of Lepenski Vir. A lot of tools made of stone, bones and antlers, tiles with engraved, similar to letters, signs and numbers were found in this area. Initially, archeologists found an ancient settlement with tombs and monumental sculptures made of giant pebbles from the period before 5,000 BC. The culture of Lepenski Vir, in its final stage, spread out of the territory of Djerdap, especially along the Danube river towards the east as evidenced by findings from Bansko ostrvo, Kladovska skela, Korbovsko ostrvo, Veliko ostrvo and Kula.

Numerous Roman conquerors left an indelible trace on Djerdap by cleaning and construction of roads and navigable channels through the gorge, as well as by setting the boards in honor of the completion of such grandiose works. Trajan’s Bridge near the village of Kostol is an example of such work, claimed to be the longest in the world for a thousand years. Trajan’s Table bears evidence of the construction of Trajan’s military road running along the edges of mountains of the right bank of the Danube, sporadically carved in the rocks. It was carved in the rocks above Djerdap gorge and it was dedicated to Roman emperor Trajan during his military campaign against the Dacians, north of the Danube 100-103 AD. Romans attributed special importance to this part of their empire. Dijana deserves special attention among the numerous Roman sites, since it was the largest and most important fortification and today it is one of the best preserved Roman fortifications in the area from Golubac to Prahovo.

One of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Serbia and the famous fortress at the entrance to the Djerdap gorge is Golubac Fortress. This fortification was extremely significant since it enabled an easy control of all movements along the Danube and its banks. It is curious that the builders of the fortress are unknown because there are no written documents on its construction. It is assumed that the construction of this fortress began in 13th century. There are many stories and beliefs related to the building and history of Golubac fortress. According to a legend, Byzantine queen Jelena was captured in the fortress, who fed the pigeons (golubove in Serbian) in order to alleviate the solitude and sadness, so this is how Golubac got its name. According to another legend, the name comes from a girl Golubana who did not want to marry a Turkish pasha, so she was tied up and tortured to death on a rock in the middle of the Danube, which now bears the name of Babakaj, coming from the Turkish words meaning: Babo, repent (Babo, pokaj se).