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Zindan Gate is a complex consisting not only of a gate but also two massive towers. It is situated behind Leopold's Gate.


Zindan Gate was erected in the mid-15th century during the continuous attacks of the Ottoman Empire on the then Hungarian-held Belgrade. At that time, it served as the main land entrance to the Upper Town and represented a type of fortification that evolved during the transition from cold to firearm weaponry. Over time, it underwent numerous changes, with the most significant reconstruction taking place during the Austrian restoration of the fortress in the 18th century. Fortification walls were built in front of the gate, causing it to lose its defensive function and instead serve as a prison, hence the name 'Zindan,' which means prison in Turkish.

In the defensive wall in front of the gate, Leopold's Gate was constructed, along with the building of a gunpowder magazine at the base of the ramparts. During the restoration in 1938, further modifications were made to the appearance of the complex, and renovation work continued later, lasting until today.



During the period when Belgrade was under Hungarian rule, Zindan Gate stood apart from the older medieval gates of the Belgrade Fortress, both in dimensions and construction techniques. Today's complex of Zindan Gate consists of various additions and alterations that have significantly modified its original appearance. A wooden bridge leads from Leopold's Gate to the space of Zindan Gate.

Zindan Gate comprises a gate passage with two semi-circular towers. Each side wall features a window opening, and behind the passage towards the Eastern Gate of the Upper Town, entrances to lateral corridors on the left and right lead to different levels in the towers. Both towers have an above-ground level, the North Tower has two underground levels, while the South Tower has one. In the North Tower, a corridor leads to the highest level via four steps.

In front of Zindan Gate, there used to be a wooden drawbridge, along with a similar one in front of Despot Stefan Lazarević's Gate. The current position of Zindan Gate represents the second most important access point to the Upper Town of the Belgrade Fortress. On one side, there are sacred structures—the Church of Ružica and the Church of St. Petka, a parish house, and a baptistery. On the path from Leopold's Gate to Jakšić's Tower, two cafes and a restaurant are located, while the Observatory is situated in Dizdar's Tower.

Text and photography by  Andrija Soković