Fetislam Fortress in Kladovo

About Fetislam fortress

To the west of Kladovo, on the banks of the Danube, is the Fetislam fortress, which was built by the Ottoman Turks on the orders of Suleiman the Magnificent. The name Fetislam comes from the Turkish language and translates to “the gates of Islam”.

The fortress consists of two separate units, today known as the Small and Big towns, which were created in different periods. The Small town was first built in 1524, as a starting point for the Ottoman conquest of the neighbouring Hungarian towns of Severin and Erdély, that is, the invasion of Transylvania. Two centuries later, during the Ottoman–Habsburg wars, the Big town with six bastions was built around the existing fortress. The ramparts of the Big town were additionally strengthened around 1818 during the reign of Sultan Mahmud II when the Turks conquered Fetislam for the second time and it remained in their possession until 1867 when it was handed over to Prince Mihailo Obrenović with six other cities. The date of handing over the keys, 26 April, is marked as the Kladovo Municipality Day.

Restoration project

This fortress, which was declared a cultural monument of great importance in 1979, has attracted interest from experts and the local public. The restoration of the Fetislam fortress lasted 13 years and included several stages. The European Union, within the Interreg IPA Romania-Serbia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme, co-financed the construction of the visitor centre. The total budget of the project was EUR 2.3 million, and the EU donation was slightly more than EUR 1 million.

The fortress was completely restored through the “EU for you – for cultural heritage and tourism” project. The European Union and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany have invested more than EUR 1,300,000 in the reconstruction of the Varoš Gate and the accompanying casemates, the entrance to the Small town and the summer stage at Fetislam. The restored fortress was officially opened for visitors on 26 April 2023, on the Kladovo Municipality Day.

Panorama – Fetislam Fortress