Maglič – Maglič, Serbia - Atlas Obscura

Maglič

Maglič, Serbia

The ruins of this medieval castle on a foggy hill tell the story of a once-mighty empire.  

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Maglič is a 13th century medieval castle near Kraljevo, Serbia. It’s located on a hilltop surrounded by the curvy Ibar river. The name Maglič is said to come from the Serbian word magla meaning fog, as the hill underneath often disappears in the mist.

It’s unknown when the castle was constructed, but it’s believed to have been done so on the orders of either Stefan the First-Crowned or his son Uroš the Great. The castle was designed to safeguard the monasteries of Sopoćani and Studenica, and also to prevent further Mongolian raids into Serbian lands.

However, a local legend tells a different story of the castle’s history. It’s said that Serbian despotess Jerina, also known as “The Damned Jerina,” founder of many medieval fortresses, constructed the castle and threw many of her lovers into the deep well inside the walls. Among the locals, the castle is still known as Jerina’s Town.

Another legend claims that Uroš the Great planted a valley of lilac flowers along the Ibar river gorge below the castle, to make his French wife, Helen of Anjou, feel more at home.

The castle consists of seven towers and one dungeon tower connected with ramparts and stone walls. The interior can be accessed through two gates. Inside the fortress are the remains of a palace, barracks, water reservoir, a well, and the Church of Saint George. 

After World War I, the castle was partly restored. The main restoration took place during the 1980s, and then again in 2010. The castle is recognized as a Cultural Monument of Exceptional Importance by the Republic of Serbia.

Know Before You Go

The castle offers amazing views and is a short walk up a hill.