At only 60 minutes drive from Belgrade, one of the biggest surprises awaits any unprepared tourist: Svilajnac.
In short, this town on the banks of the river Resava has EVERYTHING. The home of just under ten thousand people offers visitors so much that it is almost impossible to visit everything interesting in one day.
Impossible, even if you only travel, without stopping to rest or eat. Quite an impossible task, since this area was created for just that: resting and enjoying food.
Monasteries of Resava Holy Mountain
Resavska Sveta Gora (Resava Holy Mountain) is the name given to a number of medieval monasteries that are a favorite destination of many worshipers throughout the year, and a testimony to the historical importance of this area. They are located on the right bank of the river Velika Morava, near the place where the smaller river Resava flows into it. There used to be 12 monasteries here, but not all of them withstood the test of time. Each monastery is a special miracle for itself, and perhaps the most important is Miljko’s monastery, a paradise that has been home to monks and nuns for almost 6 centuries. It contained the first bell that rang in free Serbia, after the liberation from the Turks.
The Zlatenac Monastery was built in 1457, during the reign of the Serbian despot Stefan Lazarević, and it was demolished several times during the migration of Serbs, who fled from the revenge of the Turks after the alliance with Austria. The Tomić Monastery dates back to the 14th century, and is probably the most beautiful monastery of all on the “Resava Holy Mountain”. A 15-minute walk from Miljko’s Monastery is the 17th-century Dobrashevo Monastery. It was demolished several times, and was in ruins until 2004, when it was rebuilt. In the village of Radošin there is a monastery of the Immaculate Conception, which probably dates from the end of the 14th century. It used to be one of the largest and most beautiful monasteries in this area, but it was completely destroyed during the Turks. It was renovated only in 2002, when nuns came to it. In the village of Gložane there is a half-timbered church from the beginning of the 18th century. It was burned several times during the Turks, and it is of great historical significance, since the work is a great sample of a temple made of wood and earth.
Center of Svilajnac
When you have enjoyed and been blessed by the beauty of ancient monasteries, you are a 15-minute drive away from the main street of Svilajnac, where another magnificent temple awaits you: the Church of St. Nicholas, built in 1826, during the liberation of Serbia from the Turks.
Svilajnac is a small town: you can take a complete walk around it in an hour or two, without much haste. Along the way you will come across many great restaurants offering outstanding local food, parks, vacation spots and interesting shops.
In the center there is a monument to Maria Resavkinja, ie a monument intended for the inhabitants of Svilajnac who died in the Balkan wars and the Great War, 1912-1918. years. The names of these heroes are engraved on it, and above is a sculpture of a girl in Serbian traditional costume.
Not far from there is a monument to the greatest hero of this part of Serbia, and one of the greatest heroes of Serbia – Stevan Sindjelic. This duke of the Serbian army sacrificed his life and the lives of his comrades, harder than surrendering to the Turks, in the famous battle of Cegra. The monument represents Sindjelic shooting gunpowder, which is a reconstruction of the event in which this hero entered the history and legend of Serbia.
Only 10 kilometers from Svilajnac, in the neighboring village of Grabovac, there is a house where Stevan Sindjelic lived, today turned into a museum dedicated to this hero.
Probably the biggest tourist attraction of Svilajnac is a bit further from the center, and it is something that Madrid, Paris, London or Berlin would not be ashamed of: it is the Nature Center in Svilajnac, a favorite destination of tourists from Serbia, but more and more from abroad.
This museum dedicated to nature houses a unique combination of science, education, entertainment and tourism, with 8 thematic exhibitions covering all periods of life on Earth, from distant prehistory, through the age of dinosaurs and the Ice Age, to an exhibition of modern animals that inhabit these areas.
The biggest attraction of the Nature Center is certainly the large Dino Park, where children, but also adults, can face life-size models of dinosaurs.
If you need refreshment after the excitement in the nature center, the right place is the river Resava, one of the most beautiful places in Serbia. Preserved in its natural state, almost untouched by human hands, this river is the right place for walking, excursions, fishing, but also swimming. The cold and clear water is full of life, and is surrounded by eternal greenery, which gives this ambience a heavenly look.
(Come to Serbia)