On a very hot summer day I was passing through Smederevo. Smederevo is a Serbian city with 100.000 inhabitants at the banks where Jezava meets Danube.
Its railway station is at the old fortress. During II World War, the fortress was an arsenal of German Armed forces. On 5th June 1941, the fortress was damaged by a severe explosion where thousands of people died. It happened when a fully occupied train was near the railway station. The reason behind this blast is still a mystery.
Smederevo is one of the most important industrial cities of Serbia. It has an industrial port at the Danube and a big steel factory. The former Yugoslavian steel factory, now run by the Chinese, pollutes the air. Smederevo is said to be the most dirty town in Serbia or possibly in Europe.
The greatest potentials of Smederevo lie idle:
Although good climate, fertile ground and a good tradition of fruit farming result in rich and high-quality harvests, there is no organised purchase. The cold store of the former collective combine and the wine cellar are disabled.
In the whole region there are large reserves of mineral- and thermal waters. It's a long way before these resources are exploited to their full potential. A duty-free zone which was announced years ago is being realised very slowly.