The tourist offer of Mionica is rich and diverse. Through natural beauties, landscapes, Ribnica Nature Park, rivers Lepenica and Toplica, thermo-mineral springs in Banja Vrujci and Sports Center Mionica, to cultural landmarks such as the birthplace of Duke Zivojin Misic, old schools, religious buildings.
With these words, Bojana Glišić, acting director of the Mionica Tourist Organization, begins the interview for the Come to Serbia portal. She talks about manifestations, visits of foreign tourists, the importance of rural and religious tourism, but also about specialties, brandy and gibanica, which everyone admires.
Has the number of tourists increased this year, considering that due to the corona virus epidemic, people traveled mostly in Serbia?
“The tourist season in 2020 has no drastic indicators that the number of tourists has increased, because people were and are now in a panic, they are afraid. A bigger number of visits was felt at the end of the season, in August, when a large number of visits to the pools and aqua park in Banja Vrujca were recorded.”
Vrujci is a developing spa, how many visitors do you have per year?
That’s right, Banja Vrujci is in its infancy. The proximity of Belgrade as the main tourist emitting center works in favor of its development. We can say that an even larger number of people opt for the Vrujce spa after the construction of the “Milos the Great” highway. The number of tourists in Banja Vrujci per season is about 10,000 people, not counting daily visits to swimming pools. The number of realized overnight stays is about 55,000.
You are known for good plum brandy and Mionica gibanica. What makes these specialties special?
“Our guests always like to say that with us they laugh a lot and eat a lot. ” I have to agree with that. At every tourist site in Mionica, in addition to warmth, cordiality and a smile, a traditional welcome awaits you (bread and salt, brandy and sweets). Homemade brandy is a must in every house, and without it no one goes back home. Gibanica (a kind of a cheese-pie) is a specialty of our grandmothers in Mionica. Various types of gibanica with small cheese, hard, soft, sour, crumpled crust, bent… So, many types and the taste is one – extraordinary. And what sets them apart is certainly the love and attention with which they are made.
Zivojin Mišić’s birth house, which is located on the territory of your municipality, attracts a lot of attention. Tell us what is in the tourist offer of this memorial place?
“Together with the image of Duke Mišić, the birth house is a symbol and face of Mionica and the people of Mionica, next to Banja Vrujci. However, this complex has not only tourist value, it is valorised as a rich cultural, historical heritage that not only preserves the work and character of our famous military leader, but also shows the traditional way of building in this region from the late 19th and early 20th century. The buildings of the old folk architecture are all over the complex next to the main house, which was built as a half log cabin – half a wattle house.
Here, then, one can feel the spirit of the last century.
That’s right. In addition to the mere setting, every visitor can feel life at that time through the play of our Mionicans and the display of cooperative life in the 19th and 20th centuries. So, a complete experience in one place.
Not far from the center of Mionica is the Monument of Nature Ribnica. Tell us more about this nature park?
“Ribnica Nature Park is also a pearl of Mionica. The complex consists of the river Ribnica, the cave of the same name, 13 linden trees over 150 years old and the monastery complex of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. Ribnica Cave is known for the habitat of 15 different species of bats, it is located in the canyon of the river Ribnica next to the monastery church. A beautiful landscape with a spiritual element provides the visitor with a special experience that he carries in his heart forever.
Has rural and religious tourism been developed in Mionica?
“Yes. Both rural and religious tourism are developed in Mionica, but not to the extent that we want it and to the extent that it is really possible. There is a lot of potential. Numerous households, warm homes can be valorised and open doors for tourists, but there is a lack of awareness about the benefits of tourist visits and doing this business. In time, we will reach that stage and increase the number of rural tourist households, for now we remain at only three. Religious tourism is in a significant rise. Numerous visitors flock to the monastery in Ribnica, but no less visited are other sacral buildings in the municipality of Mionica, the Church of the Ascension of Christ – Mionica, the Church of Mary – Banja Vrujci, the Church of the Archangel Gabriel – Vrtiglav, the Church of St. Nicholas – Tavern, the Church of St. Spiridon – Gornji Lajkovac, Church of the Protection of the Holy Mother of God – Planinica.
Are the foreignt tourists coming? What are their impressions?
There are more and more foreigners. We cannot boast of them in 2020, we know that the pandemic affected the decline in the number of visits from abroad, but before this situation we developed several cooperation programs with numerous travel agencies that brought foreigners to our Mionica, there were from all over the world. Indians, Danes, Swedes, Dutch, Chinese, Germans, French, Italians… The project of workshops with the Chinese is waiting for new, better and healthier times.
What does this project represent?
The goal of the project is for foreigners to get to know the customs of Serbia, in this case our region, through several key activities: wedding, celebration and other activities in the countryside. It is foreigners who say that we eat and laugh a lot.
How do you encourage individuals to get actively involved in tourism development?
There are a number of ways. First of all, raising awareness of the importance of developing various forms of tourism about the benefits that tourism brings to the local community and the whole country, then there are incentives that make it easier for farmers to get involved in this business, but also educational trips for current and future hosts. get acquainted with the work of real good examples in our “neighborhood”. We believe that more will be involved and that Mionica’s tourism will develop on all fronts. In addition to the mentioned spa, cultural, excursion, excursion, religious, rural, we also develop sports, MICE, health and other forms of tourism. Namely, by having numerous outdoor and indoor fields, sports halls, swimming pools, aqua park and other sports facilities, the field is suitable for sports preparations, training and entertainment for athletes.
What manifestations do you have?
The events are numerous and are based on cultural, educational, ethnographic and entertainment content. Our most famous manifestations are certainly “Mišić’s days” which keep pace with the times, but in essence preserve the character and work of our military leader. Then “Vrujački izvori” as a guardian of tradition, crafts and old Serbian games, “Miona film fest”, “Easter joy”, holiday month, “Mionica otvorenog srca”, “Days of Milan Rakić”, “Svetosavska akademija”… As you can see are numerous events and manifestations from two, three, five, up to ten days. We are working on enriching the content, with innovative tourist products that we will talk about on another occasion.
This text is part of the project “Mionica, the beauty you must see”, and was co-financed by the Municipality of Mionica.
(Come to Serbia)