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Ilina Voda (literally translated – Ilia's Water) is suburb on the east verge of Kragujevac, near the right bank of Lepenica river. It is known for its eco-park of the same name which covers area of about 0.07 square kilometers. The park land is the legacy of Svetozar Andrejevic, donated to the city of Kragujevac and its citizens by legal act of his will dated the 2nd of March 1900. Svetozar Andrejevic was the brother of architect Adreja Andrejevic whose project was the Church Cathedral of Holy Mother of God in Kragujevac.
Park was neglected and even used as an illegal junk yard. But, in 1997 local community members have organized an informal group with the goal to revive the park. Since then the works in Ilina Voda eco-park are constant, and the park gets brighter appearance ever since.
The modest fountain was erected in 2000, to remind on the grateful deed of Svetozar Andrejevic. On the Easter of 2004, the "Easter Egg", sculpture made by self-taught local artist Milovan Pavlovic – Mipa, was inaugurated.
On the remote corner of the park stands an old well reconstructed in 1884 by King Milan Obrenovic. Ruined, that fountain will regain its original appearance in the days to come.
Ilina Voda is on the right bank of Lepenica river, within the walking distance from the center of the city. The easiest way to reach it is to cross any of the bridges and to follow the road downstream (as much as it is possible, the river would not be visible all the time), until the "Easter Egg" can be seen.
Updated Apr 11, 2010
Unlike the Draca monastery in general, the data about monastery church are precisely known due to the inscriptions inside it. Crkva Svetog Nikole – the Church of Saint Nicholas was built between the 27th of May and 6th of October 1734; the works on the fresco paintings started on the 1st of September 1735, and the date of its completion is unknown but it was within the same year.
Ktitor – the noble patron, of the church was Stanisa Markovic Mlatisuma.
The church was built in the style of Moravska skola – the Morava School, typical for Serbian sacred architecture of the second half of 14th and the 15th centuries. Although of modest size, almost without any ornaments, with low dome, it was probably the most important structure built at that time in Serbia, outside of Belgrade. The bell tower is latter, 1830s addition, and it is very obvious. It was added by Toma Vucic Perisic. It is of baroque style, "imported" from Vojvodina, north Serbian province, and, at that time, part of Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Frescoes in the Church of Saint Nicholas were painted by the unknown artists, probably from Macedonia. They suffered severe destruction, but still, they are among the best examples of the 18th century fresco painting in Serbia.
Updated Sep 7, 2009
Crkva Svetih Apostola Petra i Pavla – Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Grosnica, known simply as Crkva u Grosnici – Church in Grosnica, is one of the oldest preserved and the most beautiful edifices in the wider area of the city. The piece of land to build the church was donated by knez Milos Obrenovic. The story says that the storm had taken the wooden ball from the top of the nearby log cabin church dedicated to Saint Thomas, and dropped it undamaged to the spot of the present day church. It was taken as a divine sign.
The Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Grosnica was built between 1834 and 1842, following the late baroque style, "imported" from Vojvodina, north Serbian province, and, at that time, part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. Unlike most of the baroque churches in Vojvodina which are white painted, the church in Grosnica is covered with nice cut plates of sandstone.
It used to happen that the funeral and wedding ceremony occur at the same time and people in grief and the joyful people meet in front of the church… Therefore the new church was needed, and it was built in 1993. The new, tiny Crkva Svetog Grigorija Bogoslova – Church of Saint Gregory the Theologian, dedicated to the Saint also known as Gregory of Nazianzus, the 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople, stands by the old one.
Nowadays, the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, located in the beautifully maintained grounds, is one of the most appealing "hidden treasures" of Kragujevac.
The church in Grosnica is not within the walking distance from the center of the city, but it is not hard to reach it by car in no more than 10 minutes. The way is as follows: enter Knez Mihailova (Knez Mihailo street) from the center of the city, turn left near restaurant Sest topola, just opposite of the yellow "plastic" building of post office, turn right in front of entrance to "Zastava" factory, then right again following "Grosnica" sign, and left on the following crossing. The church stands by the road, on the left hand side.
Updated Aug 16, 2009
Draca is Serbian Orthodox monastery. It was founded probably in the second half of the 16th century, although the tradition links it with despot Stefan Lazarevic. The identity of monastery founder is lost, and the first monastery location is uncertain, but it is not its present day location.
During the short period of so-called First Habsburg Serbia, in 1734, Stanisa Markovic Mlatisuma reestablished the monastery and erected the Church of Saint Nicholas on the foundation of an older church. Stanisa Markovic Mlatisuma was born in Montenegro, near Niksic. He joined Austrian army, and after the Austro-Turkish War and the signing of Treaty of Pozarevac, in 1718, he was promoted for his courage in battles, to the rank of obercaptain and he become the commander the south front of the Serbian police. After another war with Austria and the Belgrade Treaty, signed in 1739, Ottoman Empire regained power over Serbia. Stanisa Markovic Mlatisuma was accused for being unsuccessful in this war, and he died imprisoned in Osijek, two years later, in 1741. The site of his grave is not known, his name is not widely known as well, but his generous deed preserved his name from oblivion.
In the late 18th century Turks set fire to the monastery and intentionally damaged the frescoes in the church. The reason for that brutal act was the refuge Koca Andjelkovic, the leader of Serb rebellion, had found in the monastery.
The 19th century and the liberation of Serbia had brought the period of prosperity to the monastery. In the 4th decade of the 19th century Toma Vucic Perisic, hero from the First and the Second Serbian Uprising, financed the building of the bell tower, the new monastery inn and a fence.
Nowadays Draca monastery is beautiful, maintained place, settled in the very nice green valley. Inside the fence there are Crkva Svetog Nikole – Church of Saint Nicholas, and two monastery inns. All of the monastery buildings have been restored in the second half of the 20th century.
Draca Monastery is 9 km from Kragujevac, slightly off the road to Gornji Milanovac. It is easy to reach it by car, just by turning left when traveling from Kragujevac (there is brown sign with symbol), and then, simply, following the road.
Updated Jul 16, 2009
Grosnicko jezero, known also as Vodojaza (literally – dammed water, which is the common name for artificial lakes in Serbia, although capitalized noun, it almost has a meaning of common noun), is the lake made between 1931 and 1938, to provide watter supplies for Kragujevac. It is in nearby village Grosnica, on the tiny, 17 km long, Grosnicka reka – Grosnica river. The dam was extended twice – in 1957, for the height of 5 m, and in 1962.
Today the lake is maintained by Kragujevac piped-water network and sewer company. It is the prime zone of sanitary protection and all activities – fishing, swimming, camping… are prohibited. Grosnicko jezero and the dam could only be seen from the narrow, dangerous macadam road passing by the lake.
The lake is not within the walking distance from the city, and it is not easy to reach it. The way, by car, is as follows: enter Knez Mihailova (Knez Mihailo street) from the center of the city, turn left near restaurant Sest topola, just opposite of the yellow "plastic" building of post office, turn right in front of entrance to "Zastava" factory, then right again following "Grosnica" sign, then left, and, finally, on the first major crossing after the church – left, and left again, right in front of piped-water network and sewer company gate, to the macadam road. The lake would appear on the right hand side.
Grosnicko jezero is neither the major tourist attraction nor often visited by the citizens of Kragujevac.
Updated Jun 12, 2009
Jezero Bubanj, the artificial lake, and its surrounding make tiny green oasis very near the center of Kragujevac. It is good place for walk with children, for a bit of break during warm days…
Jezero Bubanj occupies area by the end of Lepenicki bulevar (Lepenica Boulevard), at the entrance to the city from the highway.
There is restaurant by the lake called Dvoriste but it is not a good choice because of the very, very poor service.
Updated May 30, 2009
Although it is in very center of Kragujevac, just at the entrance of Hotel Kragujevac, beautiful "Girl With the Flower", sculpture made in 1963 by Mira Markovic Sandic, is often missed.
There is legacy collection of works of Mira Markovic Sandic and her husband Sava Sandic in National Museum Kragujevac.
Updated May 29, 2009
Sokolana – building of the Sokol movement, Slavic youth movement and gymnastics organization, was erected in 1928 by German company "Hentch". It is the biggest and one of a few remaining buildings of Old Workers' Colony, settlement built as the part of the WWI Germany reparation to Serbia. The building of Sokolana achieved the status of symbol of Workers' Colony, and even the city itself – it is preserved for its historical value, in the surrounding of modern housing blocks.
Nowadays Sokolana is the seat of reestablished Sokol movement of Kragujevac, the local community office building and, supporting the tradition of pigeon breeding, for more than a 50 years – the venue of the exhibitions of birds and small animals.
Sokolana is located in the part of Kragujevac called Stara radnicka kolonija – Old Workers' Colony, or simply Kolonija – the Colony. The easiest way to reach the building is to enter Bulevar Kraljice Marije (Queen Maria Boulevard), from the main street – Kralja Akeksandra I Karadjordjevica (King Alexander I Karadjordjevic Street), and then to take the 6th right-hand-side street – Laze Marinkovica.
Updated Mar 28, 2009
Dracha (Draca) Monastery is 9 km (5 miles) from Kragujevac. It is slightly off the road as you drive to Gornji Milanovac. Watch out for the brown sign announcing the monastery. The monastery was built in 16th century. The current frescoes are from 1735. It is a very quiet place where a visitor can spend hours and forget about the time.
Written Nov 30, 2007
The central region of Serbia, Sumadija, is known for its many monasteries. Monastery Divostin has been around for a long time. It was destroyed once during the Ottoman times and it fell apart in 1969 due to lack of upkeep (it was the time of Communism and anti-church feelings were in the air). It was successfully repaired in 1974 and has served the Sumadija region well making it the most popular monastery in region. It is located a few kilometers outside Kragujevac.
Updated Oct 12, 2003
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