Belgrade Fortress – ruled by all
The fortress itself dates back to the 3rd century BC. It has been destroyed, rebuilt, and conquered several times.
The first who settled in the area were Kelts. Great warriors and farmers, potters, they started to forge money and develop the region furthermore. At the beginning of the 1st century, the Romans formed their military camp to repel Barbarian attacks. The fortress was under their jurisdiction until the partition of the Roman Empire in 395. when Belgrade, called Singidunum, falls under the rule of Byzantium. After many battles, it was conquered and ruled by Huns that had destroyed it. King Justinian started rebuilding Belgrade sometime before the year 535. and gave it a strong, almost unbreakable wall. Many raging wars changed the course of Belgrade Fortress’s history. Eventually, it was Hungarian’s turn to rule.
Hungarians built Tower Nebojsa in 1460 as a defense tower from the Ottomans near the confluence of Sava into the Danube. Tower Nebojsa is known as one of the best-preserved structures from the medieval history of the Belgrade fortress. It is one of the oldest artillery high towers build 22 meters in height with six cannon holes on each floor out of 4. In that epoch, it was called the White Tower. More than once the Ottomans tried to conquer the Belgrade fortress and failed due to tower position and good defenses. Powerless after many man losses, in the 1591 Siege of Belgrade, they set Tower Nebojsa on fire and entered the fortress. Sometime later, Suleiman the Magnificent ordered its rebuilding. In 1690 Ottomans finally regained control over the Belgrade fortress in another Siege on Belgrade. The beginning of the 18th century is known as a time when Tower Nebojsa loses its primary function, and it turns from a defense tower into a dungeon and becomes famous for something else.
Ne boj se
Some believe that tower got its name in honor of someone whose name was Nebojsa. The truth is much more gruesome. The name for the Tower Nebojsa in the Serbian language comes from the verb fearless-not to fear-ne boj se. The phrase “Ne boj se” was frequently used by Ottoman soldiers towards prisoners. That was their way of consoling them while they were taking them to execution. When they didn’t take them to headsman, they used to strangle prisoners to death and throw them into the river. By far the most favorite way of the Ottomans for executing prisoners was impalement. They used to turn the stakes facing the city so that they would be a warning to others. Everyone who rebelled against the Ottomans would end up in Tower Nebojsa chained to a wall by iron hooks, tortured, and murdered. A famous Greek poet and a revolutionary against the Ottomans, Rigas Feraios, was imprisoned and murdered in 1798. Many years later between 2009 and 2010, with the help of the Greek government, Tower Nebojsa was reconstructed. In 2012 it was finally opened for visitors. One of the floors is renovated in the honor of the deceased poet.