1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Semendria
SEMENDRIA (Smederevo), an important commercial town and capital of the Smederevo department, Servia, on the Danube, between Belgrade and the Iron Gates. Pop. (1900) 6912. It is believed to stand on the site of the Roman settlement Mons aureus, and there is a tradition that its famous vineyards—supplying Budapest and Vienna with some of the finest table grapes—were planted by the Roman emperor Probus (A.D. 276–282). In the 15th century, when the Servian prince George Brankovich became lord of Tokay, in Hungary, he planted vines from Semendria on his estates there; and from these came the famous white wine Tokay. At the eastern end of the town, close to the river, there is a picturesque triangular castle with twenty-four square towers, built by George Brankovich in 1430 on the model of the Constantinople walls. Semendria was the residence of that Servian ruler and the capital of Servia from 1430 to 1459. It is the seat of the district prefecture and a tribunal, and has a garrison of regular troops. Besides the special export of grapes and white wine, a great part of the Servian export of pigs, and almost all the export of cereals, pass through Semendria. In 1886 the town was connected with the Belgrade-Nish railway by a branch line.