The renovated Fetislam fortress with a reconstructed summer stage was officially opened yesterday, on April 26th, on Kladovo Municipality Day, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, Head of the Delegation of the European Union Emanuele Giaufret and the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany Anke Konrad, Minister for European Integration Tanja Miščević, as well as Vice President of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and Minister of Culture Maja Gojković, Minister of Tourism and Youth Husein Memić, representatives of the diplomatic corps and a large number of citizens of Kladovo.
“Today we see the concrete results of the cooperation between the European Union and Serbia to preserve something we all care about – our common European heritage, to preserve it for our common future. After Golubac and Bač, the EU supported the restoration of the Fetislam fortress in Kladovo, another impressive fortification on the Danube and its summer stage, with co-financing from the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. By investing in the preservation of cultural heritage and the development of tourism capacities, we are also creating opportunities for employment and economic development,” Ambassador Giaufret said.
During the opening of the fortress, President Vučić said: “Fetislam looks magnificent today, since 1867, that is 156 years, since it passed into our hands, it has never looked this beautiful, nor has Kladovo looked this beautiful. We are grateful to our European partners for the significant amount of money they have invested here, not only in Fetislam, but also in the infrastructure in Rajac, Smedovac, Rogljevo, in the Golubac fortress, in many other activities that they implement, in helping local businesses so that they can create tourist facilities to attract many people, not only from Serbia but also from Europe.”
At the opening of Fetislam, German Ambassador Konrad said: “Tourism plays an important role in creating jobs in rural areas. The municipality of Kladovo is an excellent example of how the combination of tourism and cultural heritage is used for local development. Tourism offers a variety of opportunities, from job creation in the hospitality industry to the production of local products and crafts. Additionally, tourism can help raise awareness of the importance of cultural heritage, essential for the identity of regions and communities.”
The official opening was followed by the concert of “Cine and Rock” orchestra, which breathed new life into the summer stage of Fetislam fortress with its performance.
The European Union and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany have invested over 1,300,000 EUR into the reconstruction of the Varoš Gate and accompanying casemates, entry into the Small Town and the Summer Stage, through the project “EU for Cultural Heritage and Tourism” implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation GIZ. The goal of the project is to use the potential of the cultural heritage and tourist offer for the economic development of Lower Danube and Eastern Serbia.
Passing through the Đerdap Gorge, the Danube takes us to the town of Kladovo and the Fetislam fortress, which is located on the very bank of the river. The construction of this Danube edifice is the work of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, who in 1524 ordered the construction of a fort on the Danube to serve as a strategic stronghold for further conquests to the north. The name Fetislam comes from the Turkish language (Feht-ul-islam), which is translated as the gates of Islam. Originally, only a small town was built, and in the 18th century, as a result of increased military operations by the Turkish army, the walls that make up the Great City were built.
Read more about the fortress HERE.