Let a journey through the cities of Serbia start from Belgrade, its capital. The proud white city is keeping well, maintining the looks of a young man, although it is an ancient of times (its 20 centuries of existence make it one of the oldest European cities).
Take a walk around Belgrade, a tour in time, from Kalemegdan fortress, past the Cathedral, to Princess Ljubica's Home - and you have already traveled several thousend years in a couple of steps. Go on and continue your walk through the museums and galleries, stadiums and squares, the Bohemian cafes of Scadarlija, under a watchful and protective gaze, from dawn to dusk, of the imposing dome of St. Sava Temple.
The northern province, Vojvodina, is relaxed in the tranquillity of wheat fields: the farms are dreamy, the windmills busy, the thoroughbred horses galloping... Novi Sad, the Serb Athens of the 19th century, the squares of Subotica, the smell of cookies from Kikinda, tambourine players from Sombor; Sremski Karlovac, the museum of a great history of a small people...
Shoud you desire to experience the towns with oriental atmosphere, we shall take you to Kosovo and Metohija. Pristina, Pec, Novi Pazar, Mitrovica. On the glorious battlefield, the Serb Army, in 1389, defended the gates of Europe. We shall show you the Prizren filigrees and its craftsmen, old steam baths and mosques, churches and monasteries...
Every city tells its story, woven from the past and present: Kragujevac, Krusevac, Kraljevo, Uzice... We shall take you to Sabac Fair, to the shops of old Tesnjar in Valjevo, to Ljubicevo Horse Games near Pozarevac, to Nis, the home town of the Byzantine emperors Justinian and Constantine the Great...The carpets from Pirot, hot peppers of Leskovac, the crystal from Zajecar...
Roam through Serbia! You won't loose your way, no matter what city you get to.
Cloaked in silence, hidden among the hills and plum orchards, the monasteries and churches, invaluable heritage of timeless beauty, were created in Serbia from the 10th to the 17th century. Although by the gracefulness of their outside archictecture these churches leave an impression of smallness, it is only on entering them that you can appreciate the monumental stories of things earthly and things heavenly they can tell. The eyes of the angels, of the Virgin Mary, of the holy warriors standing their eternal watch, of princes and princesses, of kings and queens, focus on you from the frescoes and icons...
One of the founders of these structures, King Milutin, left behind him forty years of reign and the same number of churches.
What will the towers of Manasija, the domes of Ravanica, the rosettes of Lazarica or the portals of Studenica whisper to you? What were the red facades of Zica the witnesses to? What does the sophistication of Gracanica consist of? What about the strength of Visoki Decani, the marble colossus of medieval architecture? What are the messages sent to you by the treasures of Krusedol and Hopovo.
Perhaps that the answers to all these questions can be found in the words of the French poet, Alphonse Lamartine, who said that the history of the Serbs should be sung, not written about.
Long ago, the oldest monument of Serb literacy, The Miroslav Gospel (written in the 12th century), together with other relics, found its way to the Serb monastery of Chilandrion, on Mount Athos in Greece. Later, it was returned to the fatherland, as a gift to the King Aleksandar Obrenovic of Serbia. In the horrors of World War I, it was taken all the way to Corfu in the saddle-bags of the Serb army.
The 180 pages of carefully illustrated parchment at last completed their journey and became a part of the collection of the National Museum in Belgrade. The journey of the Serb culture is not unlike this journey of the Miroslav Gospel.
This valuable manuscript set the standards for all later creations. The famous ancestor has famous offsprings: Tesla's and Pupin's ingenuity, the thought and the word of the Nobel laureate Ivo Andric, of Crnjanski and Kis. The names of the world famous painters, ballet masters of today, musical virtuosos, the choirs with box-office success everywhere in the world, theater and movie magicians...
The nationals parks of Serbia are great natural museums in the open air.
Tara, with its impassable forests and flower strewn meadows, waterfalls and streams which disappear in caves. Imagine the memory of the Pancic spruce, endemic to this region of the world only, growing here from the Tertiary! Fruska Gora, the verdant island of the Panonian Sea and Serb Mount Athos, devoted to the guarding of dozens of monasteries and 700 species of medical herbs. Sara, a spacious farm in the open air, with its pastures, traces of the Ice Age at its peaks, mountain lakes, alpine flowers... Djerdap, the Iron Gates squeezing the mighty Danube through the largest European canyon. the mountain of contrasts and of all seasons, with monasteries on its slopes, ice-cold water springs at its foot and the sun at its peaks.
Time, water and limestone took their time in sculpturing the underground halls in Serbia: Rajko Cave, Ceremosnja, Marble Cave, Resavska Cave, near Despotovac, some three kilometers in length, is luxuriously adorned with coral-like stone jewels and snow white crystals.
In the surroundings of Kursumlija, nature, like a skillful Oriental builder, sculptured a city of stone. Hundreds of figures appear and disappear of themselves, rising and changing their shapes. Not knowing how to explain this natural phenomenon, the people named the place the Devil's Town (Djavolja Varos).
It all began six thousand years BC. In Lepenski Vir, on the Danube, our distant ancestors decided to stop and think, and settle down. At this world famous archaelogical site, stone sculptures, the first representations of life-size human beings were discovered. Ever since then, everything is made to order, to fit the human beings in these parts.
We can still discern the grandeur of ancient cities and imperial palaces, like Gamzigrad (Romuliana), near Zajecar, or Mediana, near Nis.
The epochs lie side by side: the age of conquest and the age of liberation, traces of rebellions and revolutions, the times of the haves and the have-nots, and thus, for 13 centuries, step by step, all the way to the modern age.
From the fortifications of the past, memories move to the museums, stories, into your impressions.
List of Fortresses in Serbia
|Fortress||Location in Serbia|
|Petrovaradin fortress||Novi Sad|
The villages of Serbia offer an atmosphere we have already forgotten in today’s busy world: a wholesome, freshly prepared breakfast in the shade, the air that makes you drunk with its freshness, warm eiderdown quilts and the openheartedness of the host. See the milking of the cows and the making of cheese, pick an apple or plum, rub it on your sleeve and bite into it. Have a drink from the nearby spring. Take a back-stage look at old arts and crafts. Get to know the wisdom of the naive art of the villages of Kovacica, Oparic, Uzdin, the one with a place of its own in the world cultural heritage.
Market days in Serbia – the roving festivals of national folklore. It is there that one can still observe the typical items of the traditional peasant costumes: Sajkaca (cap), Vlah fur hat, trouseres, hand-knit socks, wool belts, aprons, home-spun jackets, women’s vests, pig-skin shoes. At the sound of a flute or an accordion, a tambourine or a violin, the ancient kolo dance will start. Don’t stand aside! Get into the dance!
If you climb up the Stara Planina, Prokletije, Rudnik, Jastrebac, Golija and Cer mountains you might say you have reached the top of world since all these peaks taken together are higher than Mount Everest. And all you need to climb them is a pair of comfortable shoes.
Nature took great pains to bestow many hills and valleys to this country, to sculpture the mountain chains, to chisel the canyons and the gorges. If art takes after nature, then it is possible, on every slope in Serbia, for art to be jealous of its master.
Every walk you take can end with an armload of flowers or herbs and a basket of mushrooms or forest fruits.
Kopaonik and Tara never get time off for resting. In spring and summer, you can enjoy tennis, horseback-riding, swimming, mountain climbing... If you do your climbing up in summer, do your climbing down in winter, using the skis. The 100 square kilometers of verdant Kopaonik turns into a modern ski center in winter.
Brezovica, a locality on the northen side of the Sara mountain, offers skiing above the clouds, at more than 2,000 meters above sea level. Once the skiers leave Brezovica, the hunting and angling enthusiasts occupy it.
Prokletije, the Alps of the Southern Europe, has the highest, the steepest peaks in Serbia.
Divcibare, a plateau on the Maljen mountain, is white throughout the year, half a year because of the narcissuses, the other half because of the snow...
On the slopes Zlatibor, a large recreation center, sports teams practice for strenuous competitions, while the skiers show their skills on the tracks of Tornik. The Zlatibor village of Sirogojno, a unique ethnic park in Serbia, famous for its knitters who, for generations, pass down the ancient art of wool spinning and knitting.
Have you ever tried the Stara Planina hard cheese, or walked down the flowering valley of Goc?
Climb the peaks of abunndance and contrast. Climb the mountains of Serbia...
The 50,000 km. of waterways in Serbia have adorned the country with its silver tassels. The Morava river winds through the country offering a lot of fish to fishermen. If, instead of a goldfish, you desire to hook in the real gold, the banks of the Pek river are waiting for you. The boats cross the Tisa, the sailboat the Sava river. The mills keep grinding the grain on the streams of Sumadija. The meanders wind their courses, the rapids dance...
Man took upon himself the duties of nature and created numerous artifical lakes: the lakes of Djerdap, Vlasina, Bor, Zlatar, Srebreno near Gradiste...
Every stream, cascade or fountainhead in Serbia ends in a river, and all the rivers in Serbia (save two) in the Danube. The Danube, parts of which in Serbia remind one of a sea, has always linked us with the world. It is not until it reaches Serbia that the Danube becomes the largest navigable river in Europe.
For centuries, the great river has been coming to us and leaving us – and is returning to us in the form of electricity. On its way out from the Djerdap canyon the mighty Danube has been tamed and made to serve one of the largest hydroelectric power plants in Europe.
It seems that it was in Serbia that the goddess Heba spilled her cup of beneficial nectar as there are more than 140 mineral water springs and 53 spas in the country. The spas health centers, like the one in Vrnjacka Banja, are the oldest tourist resorts in the country.
If we were to enumerate the ailments for the cure of which the spas in Serbia are recommended, we would end up with a veritable diagnostic textbook. In short – almost any ailment. There are, at your disposal, medical centers with special equipment for prevention and treatment. But who’s talking about therapy only?
Spas are places for fun and recreation. A short excursion from any of the spas will take you to the world of culture and history.
Freshen up your body and your spirit in Serbia.