Most interesting wonders of Serbia
Below are listed the most amazing natural and man made landmarks of Serbia.
- Đavolja Varoš – Toplica. Group of 202 earth pyramids which are 2 – 15 m tall. These pyramids have formed in the soft volcanic rock and are capped with hard andesite stones. Wind creates eerie sounds among these pyramids and these sounds have created bad fame for this area.
- Drina Canyon (Peručac) – Zlatibor and Bosnia, Respublika Srpska. Magnificent gorge with 250 – 1000 m high cliff walls.
- Iron Gates (Đerdap gorge) – Braničevo and Romania, Mehedinți. Magnificent gorge of Danube River where the river is squeezed and is just 150 m narrow but very deep – up to 82 m (Gospođin vir). Tallest cliffs rise up to 300 m high.
- Uvac Gorge – Zlatibor. Partly flooded gorge with sharp meanders of Uvac River. Limestone cliffs here are up to 100 m high.
- Vratna Gates – Bor. Group of three large natural arches: Little Prerast (height 34 m, width 33 m), Big Prerast (height 26 m, width – 23 m) and Dry Prerast (height – 20 m, width 15 m).
- Đavolja voda – Zlatibor. Unusual spring with very acidic water (pH 1.5) and dissolved minerals.
- Krupajsko Vrelo – Braničevo. Powerful and beautiful spring – deep blue lake with a known depth of 128 m.
- River Mala spring – Braničevo. Powerful spring – beginning of a river. Spring is a deep blue lake with unknown depth. It has been dived more than 70 m deep. Output of the spring reaches 15,000 l/s.
- Vrelo Spring – Zlatibor. Powerful spring which has formed the 365 m long (short!) Vrelo river. River flows in Drina with an impressive, 10 m tall waterfall with travertine formations.
Other natural landmarks
- Deliblatska Peščara – South Banat. Largest sandy terrain in Europe – some 380 km² large area with inland dunes. In order to stop the movement of dunes this area has been planted with trees but here still are found numerous rare species of steppe plants and animals.
- Sopotnički Falls – Zlatibor. Beautiful waterfall – the water here is falling over moss covered travertine formations. Total height – 25 m.
Man made landmarks
- Lepenski Vir – Braničevo. Unusual and very important archaeological find – Mesolithic settlement which was inhabited starting from 9500 – 7200 BC. Around the 6300 – 6000 BC here were built significant structures and monumental sculptures. Site has been relocated before the flooding of Danube valley. This is one of the earliest known permanent human settlements in the world.
- Vinča (Belo Brdo) – Belgrade. One of the largest Neolithic settlements in Europe, inhabited since 5700 BC. Cultural layer here is up to 9 m thick. Site has provided rich and important finds which show that very advanced culture for its time existed here. Some of the most interesting are Vinča symbols – signs on artifacts which might represent world’s oldest proto-writing system.
Ancient Roman and Byzantian cities
- Gamzigrad (Felix Romuliana) – Zaječar. Remnants of splendid Ancient Roman city with extensive imperial palace. Development of city started in 298 AD and city persisted until the middle of the 5th century.
- Justiniana Prima (Caričin grad) – Jablanica. Ruins of Byzantine city which existed for less than one century. City was founded by Justinian I in 535 AD as a seat of the Archbishop of Illyricum and destroyed by Avars in 615.
- Mediana (Naissus) – Nišava. Remnants of an interesting Late Roman town with luxurious villa. Here have been preserved beautiful mosaics, frescoes. Here have been found also remnants of two Early Christian churches, both were built shortly after 378 AD.
- Sirogojno – Zlatibor. Well preserved historical village with authentic architecture and home utensils. It operates as an open-air museum.
Castles and fortresses
- Bač Fortress – South Bačka. Historical fortress which was built on a river island. This is an ancient fortress which was used already by Avars and first Slavs in this area. Current fortifications were built between 1338 – 1342. Most impressive features are four towers on the corners of fortification wall and one tower in the center.
- Belgrade Fortress (Singidunum) – Belgrade. Historical fortified core of Belgrade. This is an ancient fortress with complex build history.
- Golubac Fortress – Braničevo. Ruins of a very impressive fortress which was built on a cliff rising over Danube. Most likely it was built in the early 14th century. Parts of the fortress are flooded.
- Petrovaradin Fortress – South Bačka. Large fortress on a high bank of Danube. Impressive is the system of underground fortifications which includes 16 km of underground countermine system. This area has been inhabited since the Paleolithic, 19,000 – 15,000 BC and first fortifications were built around 3000 BC.
- Smederevo Fortress – Podunavlje. Fortified medieval city which for a while was capital of Serbia. This extensive fortress was constructed between 1427 and 1430. Fortification walls are 1.5 km long, with 25 towers, each some 25 m high. Inside the walls, at Danube is the massive castle itself.
- Stari Ras – Raška. Large medieval fortress and remnants of city on the top of hill. Ancient capital of Raška which was founded before the 9th century.
- Arilje Church of St. Achillius – Zlatibor. Medieval church which was constructed in 1296 in an interesting style which united Byzantine and Romanesque architecture. Interior is adorned with valuable frescoes.
- Kuršumlija Church of St.Nicholas – Toplica. One of the best examples of Raška school in Byzantine architecture. This church was constructed in three stages in 1152 and 1166. Some frescoes from the 14th century have been preserved.
- Church of Saint Sava – Belgrade. One of the largest church buildings in the world and one of dominant structures in Belgrade. Church was constructed in 1935 – 1989 and its height is 82 m. Area of the church is 3,500 m².
- Ras Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul (Petrova Church) – Raška. The oldest existing church in Serbia. Foundations of the church are the oldest ones – built during the Roman rule in the 4th century with some extensions made in the 7th and 9th centuries. Church contains frescoes from the 10th century as well as later frescoes from the 12th and 13th centuries. Next to the church is medieval graveyard with numerous stone crosses.
- Bođani monastery – South Bačka. This monastery was founded in 1478 but its current church is built in 1722 and other structures in the late 18th – early 19th century. Church is adorned with beautiful frescoes which in 1737 were painted by Hristifor Zefarovic and now belong to the most valuable monuments of art.
- Crna Reka Monastery – Raška. This monastery was built in an exotic location – in a gorge. Monastery is "glued" to the vertical wall of gorge and can be accessed over a footbridge. Cave church in it has valuable frescoes from the 16th century.
- Đurđevi stupovi – Raška. This monastery was built around 1170 and was quite important. Monastery has unique style of architecture which blends together Byzantine and Romanesque styles. Interior is adorned with valuable Byzantine frescoes.
- Kalenić monastery – Pomoravlje. Serbian Orthodox monastery in Late Byzantine style – Morava architectural style. Monastery was constructed in 1407 – 1413. Monastery contains some of the best medieval frescoes of Serbia.
- Ljubostinja – Rasina. This Serbian Orthodox monastery is one of the best examples of Morava architectural school and was constructed in 1388 – 1405. Best preserved and most interesting is the church with rich ornamentation and remnants of medieval frescoes.
- Manasija (Resava) – Pomoravlje. This Serbian Orthodox monastery was founded in the time period between 1406 and 1418 and is an outstanding example of Serbian medieval architecture (Morava architectural school) – representative of Late Byzantine style. Monastery contains church, refectory and fortification walls with 11 towers. Some frescoes from 1418 have been preserved as well as many characteristic decorations.
- Mileševa monastery – Zlatibor. Old monastery which was founded in the time period between 1234 and 1236. Church of this monastery contains some of the most valuable medieval frescoes in Serbia, such as "White Angel" – one of the most beautiful works of art in medieval Europe.
- Nebeske stolice – Rasina. Remnants of an early complex of Christian buildings, most likely built in the 3rd – 4th century AD. Although it is not known whether this was a monastery but the site was certainly important Christian center with church, settlement and fortification walls. Located in mountains, on a hilltop.
- Ravanica – Pomoravlje. Serbian Orthodox monastery which was built in 1375 – 1377 and started a new tendency in local architecture of churches and monasteries – Morava architectural school, a branch of Late Byzantine architecture. Church is adorned with frescoes which were painted in 1385 – 1387.
- Sopoćani Monastery – Raška. Once important monastery which was built in 1259 – 1270. Now only the Sopoćani Church of the Holy Trinity remains, other structures are in ruins. Church is adorned with frescoes which were painted around 1263 – 1270 and belong to the best examples of Byzantine art.
- Studenica Monastery – Raška. One of the largest and most interesting Serbian monasteries, established in 1190. Fortified, contains different art values but especially valuable are the 13th and 14th century Byzantine style frescoes.
Other man made landmarks
- Mramorje – Zlatibor. Impressive medieval necropolis which was built in the 14th century. Site contains some 200 impressive stećaks – traditional tombstones.
- Subotica City Hall – North Bačka. Splendid example of Hungarian Art Nouveau architecture, built in 1908 – 1912. Especially beautiful are windows with stained glass.
- Subotica Synagogue – North Bačka. Beautiful synagogue which was built in Art Nouveau style in 1901 – 1902.
- Suvača in Kikinda – North Banat. One of the two remaining horse-powered mills in Europe. This mill – a house with characteristic pyramidal roof – was built in 1899 and it has been preserved up to this day.
- Trajan’s Bridge – Bor and Romania, Mehedinți. Remnants of a giant bridge which was built in the time of Emperor Trajan in 103 – 105 AD. This arched bridge crossed Danube and was 1,135 m long. It had stone supports – 20 pillars and wooden superstructure.
- Trajanova Tabla (Tabula Traiana) – Bor. Ancient monument – a relief and inscription in marble cliff at Donau. It was made around 100 AD to commemorate the construction of especially complex part of road at Iron Gates of Donau. Relief is 3.2 m wide and 1.8 m high.
- Western City Gate – Belgrade. Iconic building – example of Brutalist style in architecture. This is a 35 floor skyscraper which consists of two towers which are united with airbridge and round, revolving restaurant on the top. Constructed in 1977 – 1980.
Described wonders of Serbia
Serbia is diverse country – both with undulating hills, river plains and also very impressive mountains. Most beautiful and interesting landmarks in Serbia are:
- Monasteries – Serbia has its own branch of Christianity – Serbian Orthodox Church and in medieval times numerous monasteries were built in localized Byzantine architectural styles. These buildings contain numerous values of art such as frescoes of high artistic quality.
- Fortifications – as a country close to the border of great civilizations Serbia for long centuries has been involved in fierce warfare. Thus it is no wonder that some of the most impressive structures here are major fortification systems and castles.
Featured: Mileševa monastery
Throughout the long centuries in the picturesque valley has survived Mileševa Monastery. This medieval monastery has been an important center of knowledge and up to this day here have been preserved major values of art including the legendary White Angel.
Explore one of Europe’s best kept secrets, from the stunning Manasija monastery, St. Sava’s Cathedral, and Kalemegdan Fortress to Tara National Park and the lively Dragačevo Folk Festival. Let this first edition guidebook lead you on a walking tour of Belgrade, a boat trip on the Danube River, a tour of the monasteries of Fruška Gora, and much, much more.
Serbia, a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, covers the southern part of the Pannonian plain and the central part of the Balkans. The dominant power in the former Yugoslavia, it has had a bad press in the West. However, the truth is much more nuanced and interesting than that portrayed by the media. Serbia is a country with wonderful scenery, architectural riches, and a vibrant arts scene, waiting to be discovered by Westerners.