Well, VT needs a map/geography update. I actually haven't visited Serbia as, at the time of my visit in September 2008, Kosovo was the newest country on the globe as it proclaimed independence in June of the same year. I entered Kosovo from Montenegro aboard the VT-mobile, the 1986 Moskvich that took me and the VT crew through the first edition of the Caucasian Challenge Rally.
We crossed a part of the country which was devastated during the 1998-1999 Kosovo war. Our route through western Kosovo was Pejë, Deçan, Gjakovë (formerly known as Peć, Dečani, Đakovica, but Albanian became the official language with independence) then climbing a challenging road into Albania to reach the city of Krumë. This portion of the territory seems to be part of a corridor used by drug traffickers to smuggle loads of drugs into Western Europe. Among the average battered and badly beaten cars, we managed to stay away from brand new, luxurious, shiny black SUVs (BMW X6, Audi Q7 etc.) with darkened glasses cruising around. We simply didn't feel like questioning.
The Italian Army peacekeeping force, part of the UN KFOR (Kosovo Forces) program was based just outside Pejë and, as of today, I understand a thousand units are still on-site.
- To be continued -
It is supposed that Golubac Fortress was built by Hungarians, probably in the second half of the 13th century, to defend their land on the right bank of the Danube. The fortress has nine towers, between 20 and 25 meters high, five of which belong to the older and four to the younger phase of building. They are connected by fortress walls, with average width of 2.8 m. the strategically important position of the town caused many battles under its walls. The town changed hands many times between 15th and 18th century, with Turks, Hungarians, Serbs and Austrians taking turns in ruling the town.
...Lepensi Vir is place where fishermen lived 8 000 years ago , 6 500 - 4 500 BC.
There is Museum where they keep the oldest figures of that kind in Europe ( you can see one on pic ) that represents some kind of Fish God. They were just besides the fireplaces in the houses. Close to the Museum there are leftovers of the houses...
Folow the link below to learn more ...
Smederevo, a fortress on the Danube was built between 1428 and 1430 during the reign of Despot Djuradj Brankovic, the last of medieval Serbia's rulers.It was for a long time the last bastion against the Turkish assault...
Monastery was founded in 1402, these photo was taken on it’s 600 years celebration (2002).Patriarch Pavle and several bishops held liturgy marking that day.
Directions:Monastery Koporin is situated 3 km from town Velika Plana , and 5 km from town Smedervska Palanka.
Pokajnica church is completely made of logs in 1818. It was built by Vujica Vulicevic , as a sign of regret for killing Karadjordje. Pokajnica in Serbian means Place for Regret.
Much more pics of winter landscapes in Pokajnica
Passion. Almost everyone will say this: “Mother Russia” or “Sister Greece” (in Serbian, both Russia and Greece, are female nouns, Rusija and Grcka). It is love dating from the centuries. Probably ‘cause both of them are Orthodox countries and they always helped to us, during the wars or embargos.
If you're interested in nature, or perhaps bird-watching, visit any of the many swamp-lakes (bare) here, such as Carska Bara, Obedska Bara, Zasavica, Dubovac or Prelaska Bara.
About a dozen old monasteries, built mostly in the 16th century, are situated on the Fruška Gora, a range of low mountains extending across northern Srem along of Danube. These monasteries are interesting because of their architecture, which is often a blend in style of the Byzantine and Baroque. In some of them, despite the large scale devastations of the World War II, frescoes and fine high iconostases can still to be found. The best known among the Fruška Gora monasteries are Krušedol and Hopovo.
More about monasteries in Fruška Gora you can find on my Novi Sad page, in Off The Beaten Path section.
Lazarica, an endowment of Prince Lazar, has survived to the present in Kruševac, his capital. Built about 1375, it has undergone considerable changes over the centuries, and was last restored early in the 20th century. As one of the earliest structures of the Morava school, it served as a model for many later churches. The church has a trefoil ground-plain. A certain delicacy is especially accentuated, both in the actual construction and by the small ornamental columns. The exterior of the church makes a vivid ampact with its red-and-white facades.
It is beautifully set on the wooded slopes of Mount Radocelo.
Throughout the history of medieval Serbia, Studenica was the most prominent and the most revered monastery. It served as a residence for Stefan Nemanja, the founder of the Nemanjić Dynasty, and for his son Sava, the first Serbian archbishop.
The monastery now comprises three churches: the Church of the Virgin, St. Nicholas and King's Church.
Studenica is on UNESCO World Heritage list, and here is what it's said about it on UNESCO website:
The Studenica Monastery was established in the late 12th century by Stevan Nemanja, founder of the medieval Serb state, shortly after his abdication. It is the largest and richest of Serbia's Orthodox monasteries. Its two principal monuments, the Church of the Virgin and the Church of the King, both built of white marble, enshrine priceless collections of 13th- and 14th-century Byzantine painting.
C (i) (ii) (iv) (vi)
This church is the largest construction of medieval Serbia and it was built from 1328 to 1355, its frescoes being completed in 1350. it's a Serbian Orthodox monastery.
It is signed by UNESCO as a world heritage.
Being in Kosovo, it is endandgered and protected by UN forces.
Here is what is written on UNESCO web site:
The Dečani Monastery - at the foot of the slopes of the Prokletije mountains, in the western part of the province of Kosovo and Metohija - was built in the mid 14th century for the Serbian King Stefan Decanski. It is also his mausoleum. The monastery represents the last important phase of Byzantine-Romanesque architecture in the region and is the largest of all medieval Balkan churches. It contains exceptional, well-preserved Byzantine paintings, which cover practically the entire interior of the church with over 1,000 compositions and individual depictions of saints. It also has numerous Romanesque-Gothic sculptures. The original marble floor is preserved, as is the interior furniture, and the main 14th century iconostasis. The Dečani treasury is the richest in Serbia, with, notably, about 60 exceptional icons from the 14th to the 17th centuries. The Monastery represents an exceptional synthesis of Byzantine and Western traditions.
Justification for Inscription
Criterion (ii): Dečani Monastery represents an exceptional synthesis of Byzantine and Western medieval traditions. The monastery and particularly its paintings also exercised an important influence on the development of art and architecture during the Ottoman period.
Criterion (iv): Dečani Monastery represents an outstanding example of the last phase of the development of the Serbian-Slav architecture. The construction has integrated Eastern Byzantine and Western medieval traditions.
Among the most significant monuments of Serbian history and culture.
The fine arrangement of architectural masses, their step-like narrowing as they rise, the red and yellow stone used - combine to produce a very harmonious construction, regarded as the most beautiful structure in the early Serbian architecture.
The frescoes at Gračanica, perfectly preserved, belong to the narrative, or Paleologian style, characteristic of the Byzantine painting in the first half of the 14th century.
It plays a very imortant role in Serbian history, and now it is endangered being located in Kosovo. It is protected by UN forces.
Built from 1205 to 1208 AD, by the first Serbian coronated king Stefan Prvovenčani, and his brother Rastko Nemanjić aka Sveti Sava (the most famous Serbian saint), and it is devoted to our Lord's resurrection.
It is in the outskirts of the city of Kraljevo, and in the vicinity of Mataruška banja spa.
It is on the identical same distance from the Byzantine Empire capital - Constantinople (today's Istanbul), and Western Roman Empire capital - Rome. hus it makes Serbia, and Žiča in particular, a place on the crossroad between Eastern and Western World, which has always caused problems and confrontations in the area, unfortunately...
Only a few of the old frescoes dating back to the 13th century still remain in this church. These frescoes can be seen mainly in the lateral choir recesses. The rest of the wall paintings are from the early 14th century. The fine frescoes in the south chapel, dedicated to St. Stefan, belong to this period.
Click to see all the 5 photos of this tip!
If you want to see my Žiča page with much more details and images, click HERE!
Half way from Belgrade to Nis (or vice versa), there is a motel called ''Stari hrast'' (The Old Oak) named by this tree. The old tree got a fall but still looks impressive. By the way, this motel offers a variety of good food and drinks and waiters are dressed in Serbian national costumes. If you get tired at this part of your journey through Serbia, stop by and enjoy.
The Zira appears to be one of Belgrade’s newer hotels. The rooms are large and modern. There is a...more
Hotel Vojvodina is Novi Sad’s standard socialist-style hotel, although the building itself, I...more
Nene Tereze, Pristina 10 000, Kosovo
Good for: Families