The Belgrade Fortress, situated in the heart of the capital, is the largest of Belgrade’s parks and one of the city’s most important cultural and historical monuments. The complex of the Belgrade Fortress is comprised of the Upper Town, Lower (or Water) Town and Kalemegdan Park. The fortress used to be the city’s main military post, from which the enemy could be observed and engaged; hence, its name comes from the Turkish words ‘kale’, meaning town, and ‘megdan’, meaning field. Throughout history, it was destroyed, rebuilt and expanded many times. Today, traces of the oldest part of the fortdating from the end of the 1st century A.D. are barely visible. The fortress, as it is today, was made at the end of the 18th century. Once a Roman castrum, a Byzantine castle, amedieval Serbian capital, an Austrian and Ottoman artillery fortification, it is now a place where both locals and tourists gather to enjoy its many features: the Military Museum, gallery of the Natural Science Museum (formerly the first Masonic Temple in Belgrade), the Art Pavilion ‘CvijetaZuzorić’, Belgrade City Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, the Belgrade Zoo, a children’s amusement part, and a number of sports fields, restaurants etc. The International ChivalryTournament is organized by SVIBOR every June. The gates of the Belgrade Fortress are always open and there is no entrance fee. Some other interesting structures found within its walls (underground tunnels below the Military Museum, bunkers etc.) can only be visited during organized walking tours. The Astronomical Observatory,with telescopes for observing celestial objects, is located in the tower by the gate. Souvenirs are sold near the main entrance from KnezMihailova Street. We recommend a walk along the promenade above the Sava riverbank, starting from the small stairwell across the street from the French Embassy and up to the King’s Gate. This will give you the opportunityto enjoy the view of New Belgrade and the bridges on the Sava. In the park, visitors will seea number of sculptures made by some of the greatest artists from Serbia and the former Yugoslavia (see: Monuments).
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