Tourism 2019

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Year XIII • special edition, 2019 • free copy www.nacionalnarevija.com

TOURISM 2019 Through Living Tradition



A collage TV show about Serbia, its landscapes and people, cities and customs, cultural and historical heritage and economic and tourist potentials. Travel writings, portraits, lectures, melodies. The most beautiful from Serbia, knowingly and with love! > First Channel of Radio Television of Serbia (RTS 1)

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P R O L O G U E

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Director and Editor-in-Chief Mišo Vujović Editor Branislav Matić Technical Editor Aleksandar Ćosić Photography Editor Dragan Bosnić Header and cover design Jovan Željko Rajačić Associates Milovan Vitezović, jerej Jovan Plamenac, Bojan Mandić, Dragan Lakićević, Nebojša Jevrić, Olga Vukadinović, Jovo Bajić, Dejan Bulajić, Petar Milatović, Dejan Đorić, Đorđe Srbulović, Mihail Kulačić, Milena Z. Bogavac, Vojislav Filipović, Saša Šarković, Zoran Plavšić, Hristina Plamenac, Dragana Barjaktarević, Dušica Milanović Translated by Sandra Gagić & “Globe Translations” Marketing Mirko Vujović Secretariat and placement Dragana Dimitrijević, Milenko Vasilić Print “Portal”, Belgrade Office for Srpska “Princip Pres RS” Nikole Pašića 1, 78000 Banjaluka Tel/Fax: +387 (51) 304 360 Office for Australia “Princip Press Australia PTY LTD”, 5 Germain Crt, Keilor Downs, 3038 VIC

Cover page: Trajan’s Bridge on the Danube, a fragment from the Trajan’s Column in Rome (Photo: Archives of NR) Magazine registered in the Register of Public Media of the Republic Serbia, no. NV000385

ISSN 1452-8371 = Serbia - National Review COBISS.SR-ID 139201804

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raveling brings power and love back into your life.” (Rumi, 1207–1273, Persian poet and mystic) “Traveling makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” (Gustave Flaubert, 1821–1880, French writer) “In twenty years, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Discover, dream, explore!” (Mark Twain, 1835–1910, American writer) “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” (Lin Yutang, 1895–1976, Chinese writer and translator) “Not all who wander are lost.” (John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, 1892– 1973, British writer and professor) “Every trip has some advantage. If a traveler visits a better and richer country, he can learn how to improve his. And if he goes to a worse and poorer one, he will learn how to enjoy his country.” (Samuel Johnson, 1709–1784, English writer and lexicographer) “Our destination is never a place, but a new way of looking at things.” (Henry Miller, 1891–1980, American writer) “Traveling vas first leaves you speechless, and then turns you into a storyteller.” (Ibn Battuta, 1304–1369, Islamic travel writer and scholar) “Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” (Miriam Beard, 1876–1958, American historian) “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” (Tomas Sterns Eliot, 1888–1965, English poet) “Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” (Anatole France, 1844–1924, French writer) “Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself.” (Walt Whitman, 1819–1892, American writer) 

Media partners:

RTS - PUBLIC SERVICE OF SERBIA

РАДИО ТЕЛЕВИЗИЈА ВОЈВОДИНЕ

RTV VOJVODINA - PUBLIC SERVICE

NEWSPAPER SERBIAN PATRIARCHY

THIS MAGAZINE IS PRINTED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE

SRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2019.


CONTENTS Panorama 04 PROLOGUE 06 ALBUM

Road Sign 12 FRAME: FAIR 2019 16 REACHES: SERBIAN TOURISM 22 HOST: BELGRADE 28 VISIT: SOUTH ENGLAND 38 CENTERS: EPHESUS 44 EXPEDITION: NUBIA 50 AT THE OLD PLACE: KRAKOW 58 HOME: CHEKHOV’S HOUSE IN YALTA 70 ROADS: ĐERDAP GORGE

Around the Town 64 OVER THE FENCE: JAJCE 76 CATALOG: KRUŠEVAC 78 GUIDE: VRNJAČKA BANJA 82 INVITATION: LESKOVAC 88 PEOPLE: LEFTERIS FROM STAVROS

Introducing 90 GATHERING: “WINTER MAGIC 2019” 92 RECOMMENDATION: VILA “BREG”, VRŠAC 96 RECOGNITIONS: “MERKUR”, VRNJAČKA BANJA Partners of the Publication:

INSTITUTION OF STUDENTS VACATION BELGRADE

РУМА MUNICIPALITY

THE BELGRADE BUSINESS SCHOOL

VRNJAČKA BANJA

Знак и логотип у боји

FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SERBIA

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 Zavoj Lake  Canyon of the Jerma River

CONTINUED SUMMER WITH THE SHOW “APPLE MADE OF GOLD”

From High Serbia

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Photo: Nebojša Petrović

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e have already taken you to that flight last year, from this same place. Saint-Exupéry, and Richard Bach, and Crnjanski, and Krakow, and Miroslav Antić, and Njegoš were there with us. Old reasons have passed, another annual cycle is completed, and that flight, yours and ours, is still ongoing. Serbia seen from above, from the height, through the eye of the camera, opens up before us as a treasury of beauty, archetypal image, code. All the credit for this experience, beautiful and exciting, still goes to Nebojša Petrović and the crew of the show Apple Made of Gold, the television edition of National Review. Without them and their quiet years-long feat, which is witnessed once a week by the viewers of the Radio-Television of Serbia, there wouldn’t be these images before us. This time we see the canyon of the Jerma River, as a wrinkle cut into the dense forests of Southeast Serbia. Part of Zavoj Lake, amazing colors. The center of Ruski Krstur and the “framed infinity” of the Bačka plain. Royal Park and Kur-salon in Banja Kovilјača resembling a castle on the Loire. Hotel resort on Tara, modern in a smart way, quite in the spirit of the mountain. Nemanja’s Monastery Đurđevi Stupovi in Old Ras, a sanctuary whose restoration is long under way thanks to the famous action “The Temple Builds Us”. We look as if we were on that flight ourselves. As if the eye of the camera is our own eye. It is good to have in mind the remark of Leonardo da Vinci: “Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return”. “Before us is just a small piece from the workshop of Nebojša Petrović. It is just an invitation. It cannot be a substitute for gold, an apple, or watching Serbia through the eyes of that beautiful show”.  (B. M.) SRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2019.


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A L B U M Ruski Krstur, Bačka

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Banja Kovilјača

Tara

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Ма­на­стир Ђур­ђе­ви сту­по­ви, Ста­ри Рас Đurđevi Stupovi Monastery, Stari Ras SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

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F R A M E

FORTY FIRST BELGRADE INTERNATIONAL TOURISM FAIR, FROM THE 21st TO 24th FEBRUARY 2014

Season All Year long

A large number of participants from around the world. The latest trends in the international tourism industry. Meeting of business people from all areas of tourist business. The most favorable arrangements for Serbia and the world. Fairs of wines, hotel and catering equipment, souvenirs. Lectures, conferences, presentations, tastings, screenings... A great multimedia event

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nder the slogan “The Summer Is Closer than You Think”, the forty-first International Belgrade Tourism Fair, the largest tourist event in South East Europe will be held from February 21 to 24, 2019 at the Belgrade Fair. In February each year, this event successfully promotes the latest trends and developments in the international

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tourism industry, and opens new perspectives in the development of tourist business. This major event is accompanied by another three related fairs, which are growing every year in terms of volume and number of participants: the tenth International “BeoWine” Wine Fair, Fifteenth International Hotel and Catering Equipment Fair “HORECA –


EQUIPMENT” and the fifteenth Souvenir Fair “Visit Serbia”. The most important tourist agencies, alliances and organizations, hotels, tourist centers, airlines, international tour operators will be presented in the halls of the “Belgrade Fair”. They will offer to visitors tour packages for the upcoming tourist season. Again, one of the most attractive elements of the Fair will be the First Minute Offers and the exclusive fair benefits for holidays in the upcoming summer season. The offer for the current winter season will include a holiday in mountain ski resorts, in spa centers, as well as always attractive spa weekends or exotic distant destinations, city break offers and congress arrangements. The partner country of this year’s Fair is Bulgaria, a country whose tourism is booming, and the city of Plovdiv is one of the cultural capitals in 2019. Bulgaria is attractive for tourists also because it offers opportunities for holidays and entertainment throughout the year – summer for enjoying the sandy beaches of the Black Sea, winter in ski resorts such as Borovets or Bansko, and in other times visits to cultural and historical sites and inevitable shopping in Sofia and other cities. The local destinations and sights of Serbia will be presented at the Fair through the hotel and resort facilities, as well as

through recommendations for holidays in the mountains, in spa resorts, on lakes, in nature, with various amenities. FROM BUSINESS TO PLEASURE With constant efforts to improve the commercial aspect of the Fair – sale of tour packages and the most efficient presentation of exhibitors’ offers – the Tourism Fair is constantly focused on strengthening business visits and improving business meetings. A novelty is the introduction of the business B2B Portal, in cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the Enterprise Europe Networks, for the business partners of the Fair. B2B portal is intended for registration of exhibitors and business visitors, and their mutual networking. The invitation to register to B2B portal is also open to the media, who can in this way

Youth Tourism This year, the Fair specially presents yet another segment of the tourist offer – youth tourism. Hall 1A will feature the most popular local travel agencies that are focusing on young people and offer tour packages around Serbia and the whole world. These agencies have become leaders in the region, and this is an opportunity that they meet with customers interested in this part of Europe. It is planned that the most important musical and cultural events in Serbia will also be presented.

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F R A M E schedule meetings and interviews with the participants of the Fair. The appointment making service will be free for all registered participants. The Belgrade Fair” has also created special benefit packages for business visitors. The “BeoWine” wine fair traditionally marks the beginning of the wine season. Over the past ten years, it has become an indispensable place for the placement of known and new wines. The most important local and regional wine producers, wine cellars, wine houses and distributors present there opportunities in wine tourism, accommodation, gastronomy, as well as the most advance equipment for winemaking and viticulture. With the usual great interest of the exhibitors, wineries from Turkey and Austria will be presented for the first time this year. This year, the gastronomy segment will be enhanced at the Wine Fair, as well as advance training in the matching of wine and food. Producers of French cheeses, Herzegovinian and Montenegrin prosciutto, olive oil and other delicacies will also be presented. In the gallery of Hall 3, guests will be Ana Paka, a Swedish sommelier and expert for Balkan wines. There will also be sommeliers from Italy: they will present wines from their regions at a guided tasting. HORECA–OPREMA in halls 2B and 2C gathers the most important companies for the production and distribution of equipment for hospitality establishments, restaurants and hotels, as well as

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Working hours and Tickets The working hours of the Tourism Fair: Thursday to Saturday (February 21-23) from 10 AM to 7 pm, and on Sunday (February 24) from 10 AM to 6 PM. The price of a single ticket is RSD 400, and for group visits RSD 300. Parking: RSD 200 per hour.

companies engaged in service activities, new trends in business, supply and operation of hospitality establishments. In the exhibition section of this program, the visitors can see equipment for kitchens, restaurants, bars, hotels, security and booking systems, bedding, cleaning equipment, baking and pastry program, banquet equipment, professional literature and publications. THE USE OF KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS There will also be a number of conferences, presentations, promotions, tastings... Renowned lecturers, with theoretical and practical knowledge, will offer new experiences and knowledge to visitors, awakening the old urge to travel. One of the lectures will deal with preferences of Swedish tourists, with an emphasis on active and gastronomic tourism. Ula Skinarmu, founder of the “Expeditionsresor” agency and one of the most famous Swedish adventurers, Jovan Radomir, a journalist and travel writer, and Ana Paka, a sommelier, are coming to Belgrade. Also, Vicky Karantzavelou, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the global travel portal Travel Daily News Network, will give a lecture “How to successfully break into the fastest growing markets of Southeast Asia” with many examples from practice. It is expected that the lectures will be especially interesting to people from tourist organizations and agencies, hotels, restaurants, media... The usual attractive fair programs go without saying: presentations at stands, demonstrations of catering skills with the cutting edge equipment, tasting of the best wines, rakia and other drinks, as well as food from this region. The fair will again be a great multimedia event. It is expected to be visited by more than 75,000 people. 


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R E A C H E S

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MARIJA LABOVIĆ, DIRECTOR OF TOURIST ORGANIZATION OF SERBIA

Continued Two Digit Growth Nearly three million tourists visited Serbia in 2018, which is 11 percent more than in 2017. The number of domestic and foreign tourists is almost equal. A total of 9,336,103 overnight stays were realized (12% more than in 2017). High growth is recorded in the markets of China, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria ... All this is the result of great systemic work and improvement of quality of the Serbian tourist offer. This will be evident at the forty-first International Tourism Fair in Belgrade

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erbia occupies an increasingly important place on the global tourist map. World media recommend Serbia as an attractive destination, thanks to its rich tourist offer. It has diverse cultural and historical heritage, picturesque nature, an attractive offer of short city breaks, the famous culinary offer, as well as rural tourism, active holidays, a large selection of renowned events, spa tourism – says Marija Labović, Director of the Tourist Organization of Serbia, in an interview for National Review. – Most foreign tourists are, besides Belgrade, attracted to Novi Sad, Zlatibor, Kopaonik and Vrnjačka Banja. We will continue the intensive campaign to promote these and other destinations in Serbia. Of course, certain tourism products must be adapted to target groups, including the tours to a large number of countries in the region during one visit. What are the results of Serbia’s tourism in the year behind us? In 2018, Serbia achieved record results in tourism. Two-digit growth continued in both the number of arrivals and the number of overnight stays of tourist, which contributed to the record foreign currency inflow. All this is the result of the joint work of all actors in tourism. The quality of the tourist offer of Serbia is on the rise.

According to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, in 2018, 3,430,522 tourists stayed in Serbia, 11% more than in 2017. Of this, 1,720,008 were domestic tourists (growth of 8%), or 50% of the total number of guests. Foreigners accounted for 1,719,514 (14 percent growth). In 2018, a total of 9,336,103 overnight stays were realized (12 percent more than in 2017). Domestic tourists had 5,678,235 overnight stays (10 percent growth), which is 61% of the total number of overnight stays, and foreign tourists 3.657.868 (15 percent growth) or 39% of the total number of overnight stays.

Photo: Dragan Bosnić, Archives of the TOS

TOS at this year’s Fair – At the forty-first International Tourism Fair in Belgrade, we will present Serbia as a country that offers exciting nature, cities that never sleep, rich cultural and historical heritage, picturesque villages, memorable entertainment, diverse culinary experience and above all friendly hosts. In the multimedia room, something completely new at this Fair, the tourist offer of Serbia will be presented through six contents: “Natural Treasure”, “In the Spirit of Religion”, “Time Travel”, “Welcome to Serbia”, “Bustling Metropolis”, “Adrenaline Experience”. We will present the TOS’ publication “52 Weekends in Serbia” in a completely different manner, turning it into a virtual one. We have prepared new publication Adventures of the Spirit, which through contemporary design and concept invites tourists to visit the rich cultural and historical heritage of Serbia. We will present traditional crafts, such as making jewelry from medieval Serbia, and present animation “Ticket for Nature” in the form of a quiz (with the Institute for Nature Conservation)... SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

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R E A C H E S  The Dormition of the Holy Virgin, a fresco on the naos wall, Sopoćani, 13th century

Measured by the number of overnight stays, domestic guests spent most of their time in spa resorts (39 percent), then on mountains (32 percent). Foreign guests mostly stayed in Belgrade (53 percent), then in other tourist resorts (17 percent)... By the number of overnight stays, in 2018 domestic tourists stayed most in Vrnjačka Banja (695,171 overnights, 15% increase against 2017), followed by Zlatibor, Sokobanja, Kopaonik, Belgrade... The structure of tourists is changing, as well as trends in tourism. In Serbia, traditionally, the majority of guests are from the neighboring countries. We are particularly glad because of the continued growth of the number of tourists from distant destinations, such as China. Tourists from the USA are also getting closer to the top 10 list in Serbia. In 2018, most overnight stays were recorded by tourists from Bosnia and Herzegovina (244,120, which is 11 percent more than in 2017), followed by tourists from Montenegro, China, Croatia, Turkey, Germany, Russia... ADVENTURES OF THE SPIRIT AND BUSINESS EXPEDIENCE

 In front of Rakovica Monastery, Belgrade

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The cultural and historical heritage of Serbia has a high position in the promotional activities of the TOS? Foreign tourists mention the following as their motifs to visit tourist destinations in Serbia: cultural and historical heritage (62%), good price and quality ratio (46 percent), hospitality (44%), natural attractions (42%), cuisine and wines (40.7%) (according to survey conducted by “Propozitiv”). Serbia is abundant with cultural and historical attractions, archaeological sites, monasteries and churches, remains of Roman sites... Many of these treasures are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In our new publication Adventures of the Spirit we present the cultural and historical heritage of Serbia as an important part of the tourist offer of our country. In addiSRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2019.

tion to getting acquainted with the monuments from the prehistory, ancient Rome, monasteries, museums and galleries, the new brochure will present to tourists the European cultural paths on which Serbia is located, monuments on the UNESCO’s list, street art as well as Novi Sad, the European Capital of Culture of 2021. We are equally dedicated to acquainting the guests with our customs, traditions, cuisine... Is business tourism in Serbia sufficiently developed? The development of the congress and hotel infrastructure has contributed to Serbia’s progress in this field. Our hotels now have the same level of quality as their peers around the world, some even go a step further. Serbia today has excellent air connections with intercontinental markets. Domestic PCO and DMC agencies have invested in the quality of their services. One of the most important infrastructure projects for the congress tourism and its further development is the reconstruction of “Sava Center”. There are also important activities of the TOS Congress Bureau, cooperation with experts from different fields, professional associations, the key links for awarding the organization of important international events. Serbia has been in the top 50 destinations in the world for seven years. SYSTEMIC STRENGTHENING OF SERBIAN TOURISM Is there a change in the trends related to countries from which tourists come and to what they want to visit, acquire? There is a noticeable increase in the number of tourists from China, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria. This is a result, among other things, of the intensive promotional activities of the TOS in these markets, especially in China. We are very active in domestic and international markets, such as the USA, EU, Russia, China, regional countries... Presenting certain destinations in our promotional materials and through media channels significantly influences the decision of tourists to visit Serbia. Digital portals and media have a great impact. Other factors of influence are the quality of transportation infrastructure, good air connections, development in many tourism-related services.


The structure of accommodation capacities has also changed significantly over the last few years. There has been a dynamic development, primarily opening of 4* hotels. In the last ten years, the participation of well-known hotel brands has increased. Construction and reconstruction of a number of hotels owned by local companies and under the local management have increased. Also, investments by the Government of Serbia and the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications have contributed significantly to the Serbian tourism potentials being fully exploited. Which promotional activities does the TOS carry out in foreign markets? Broadcasting video materials in the media around the world, appearances at ma-

jor international tourism fairs and workshops, organizing study visits of foreign media and tour operators – all this has contributed to the excellent image of Serbia as a tourist destination and very good business results. This year, we lead campaign under the slogan “See Serbia – Which moments will you remember this summer / winter?”, promoted both in the domestic market

Co-exhibitors The following co-exhibitors will also present themselves at the TOS’ stand: the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, “Ski Resorts of Serbia”, Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia, National Museum in Belgrade, as well as unique European destinations that participated in the EDEN project: Knjaževac with its intangible cultural heritage, Pirot with its culinary offer and Novi Pazar with the offer of cultural tourism. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

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R E A C H E S and in the countries of the region. The global campaign “Serbia the place to be” was broadcast on television channels CNN, Euronews, Travel Channel, National Geographic and TV 5 Monde. We are particularly pleased with the results of the digital campaign on the social media. We have managed to increase the number of followers on the social media users and to achieve over 123 million impressions and over 5.4 million interactions. Serbia also took the first place in the selection for the best destination, Emerging Destination Awards, of the Travel Lemming website, dedicated to “promoting new world destinations and encouraging tourists to think beyond traditional holidays”. At the Otdykh Leisure fair in Moscow, in September 2018, the TOS won the award for overall performance. We are particularly proud of the position of Novi Sad, which was declared one of the world’s best destinations in 2019 by the famous travel guide and magazine Lonely Planet. Journalists of this renowned travel guide visited Serbia several times within study tours. COMPREHENSIVE PRESENCE What about promotional activities in China? The Chinese tourist market is very important for us. This is also reflected in the growing number of Chinese tourists. An important precondition for the arrival of Chinese tourists to our country is the abolition of the visa regime for the citizens of China. In its report for 2018, the European Tourist Committee mentioned Serbia as the first country by the growth of tourist activities with China. Since 2012, since TOS has been active in the Chinese market, we have organized arrival of over 150 tour operators and more than 100 journalists and bloggers, including media representatives: CCTV, National Geographic, Traveler, Bund, Xinhua News Agency, Travel Weekly, Global Times, Across Magazine... also significant is the presence of the TOS at the most important tourism fairs: COTTM in Beijing, as well as CITM and ITB China in Shanghai. TOS is also the initiator of the arrival of the famous writer Madam Chen to

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Serbia, whose documentary film about our country will be promoted in China this year. TOS is also active in the organization of the initiative “16+1”, as well as in the initiative “Belt and Road”. We also promote Serbia through associations such as ETC, where we are an active member, and this year our project was accepted based on which we will receive EU funds, together with the Danube Center for Competence, Germany and Hungary. We have had a series of activities centered around the Danube this year and this proved to be very attractive. In the Chinese market, we are certainly planning very intensive promotional activities through B2B fairs, workshops, presentations, cooperation with traditional media, as well as communication in Chinese digital media and social media. We have been present on their social media for years, such as Weibo and Wechat, but we also plan to our presence on Fliggy (“Alibaba’s” tourism portal) and many others. You continued at the same pace in 2019? We have continued our promotional activities at the very beginning of the year by broadcasting a show on Serbia on the British SKY TV, where Serbia will be presented through six one-hour episodes. They will be broadcast five times in the next two years. In January 2019, the prestigious USbased international marketing association HSMAI awarded a golden recognition to the TOS for the best organized study visit of American journalists in 2018. It was a visit to Belgrade, Novi Sad and Subotica. TOS consolidated the presentation of Serbia at the New York Times Travel Show in January 2019. We also presented at the CMT 2019 international tourism fair in Stuttgart. Journalist Meri Novakovic stayed in Serbia in 2018 on a study tour. The visit resulted in the articles for The Guardian and Observer in January 2019. After the study visit of a journalist of Men Journal, Belgrade was selected as one of the ten most attractive destinations for 2019. New York Magazine also included Belgrade among the twelve most attractive destinations for the urban population, as well as among most desirable for the honeymoon in 2019. 


41. Međunarodni sajam turizma od 21. do 24. februara 2019. godine Beogradski sajam, Hala 4

#vidisrbiju

TuristiÄ?ka organizacija Srbije


H O S T

The Power of Recognition BELGRADE AMONG FIVE MOST ATTRACTIVE DESTINATIONS IN EUROPE NEXT SPRING

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“The Guardian” and “Travel Weekly” have joined the world’s leading media that recommend the Serbian capital and its tourist offer... According to their lists of most desirable on the tourist map of Europe in the coming spring, Belgrade holds a high position – alongside Seville, Trieste, Montpellier and Berlin. In 2018, there were almost two and a half million overnight stays in Belgrade. Most numerous are the Turks, the highest growth was recorded by the Chinese

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erbia’s vibrant capital mixes a laidback cafe culture with an animated nightlife that’s the envy of Eastern Europe. Yet Belgrade also has culinary and cultural scenes that easily hold their own against their European neighbors.” This is the beginning of the article about Belgrade in the famous Travel Weekly magazine, which reveals to its readers in the UK that the largest number of attractions can be seen in the Old Town, walking along the Knez Mihailova and the surrounding streets to the Belgrade Fortress, where the remains of the Roman heritage mix with the Byzantine, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman. The article highlights the extraordinary exhibition of the National Museum, which is reopened after a long reconstruction, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art and the “Zepter” Museum. “Land-locked Serbia manages to claim a sole Blue Flag beach – on the river island of Ada Ciganlija in the Sava. In summer,

The Most Numerous After the Turks, the second numerous guests in Belgrade are Chinese, which recorded the highest growth in the number of arrivals (80 percent) and number of overnight stays (70 percent). They are followed by guests from Croatia, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Romania, Italy, USA, Russia, Macedonia and Israel.

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Belgraders flock to the beaches and relax on the gravelly banks lined with cafes and sunloungers”, recommends journalist Meri Novaković. “Head across the River Sava past the Tito-era tower blocks of New Belgrade and you reach the suburb of Zemun. Its distinctive Hungarian architecture reveals its past as a Habsburg outpost that didn’t become part of Belgrade until after the First World War.” As an attractive destination, at the beginning of this year Belgrade was also a topic in the prestigious British The Guardian, which strongly recommended its readers to visit the Serbian capital. Daily paper The Guardian published a list of the top five destinations in Europe this spring. Belgrade is there, alongside Seville, Trieste, Montpellier and Berlin. And how the well-known magazine Travel Weekly supported this position, you saw at the beginning of this article. EFFECTS AND ROAD SIGNS An increase of 14 percent in overnight stays of foreign guests in 2018 also shows the increasing popularity of Belgrade as one of the leading City Break destinations in Europe. According to the data of the City Administration Secretariat, a total of 1,142,943 tourists were registered in Belgrade in 2018, and they had 2,462,877 overnight stays.


By far the most numerous guests in Belgrade in 2018 were Turks, both by the number of arrivals (78,420 tourists) and by number of overnight stays (137,790). One of the most important promotional activities on the Turkish market last year was the shooting of a travel show about Belgrade for the famous TV series “Evliya Çelebi Traveling the World”, broadcast on Turkish national television. On this occasion, also in cooperation with the media house “Doku Film”, at the end of November, a promotional event was organized in Istanbul that attracted the attention of the Turkish professional public. The episode on Belgrade, which scored high ratings in Turkey, was also shown at the International Tourism Fair EMITT 2019, the third largest in the world. Belgrade was in it announced this year as the “destination in focus”. The Tourist Organization of Belgrade was, the second year in a row, the laureate of the award for the best organized booth and participation at EMITT. This year, the Tourist Organization of Belgrade organized an appearance at the largest International Tourism Fair in Slovakia ITF SLOVAKIATOUR 2019. It presented the tourist offer of Belgrade also at the thirtieth International Tourism Fair in Ljubljana Alpe Adria Tourism and Leisure Show 2019. Tourists from Slovenia

are among the top ten on the list the most numerous guests in Belgrade, with a stable growth rate during the last year. The Congress Bureau of the Tourist Organization of Belgrade participated in Ljubljana also at the International Fair of Southeast Europe for Congress Tourism and Incentive Travel CONVENTA 2019. Analysis of statistical data also gives guidance for further business and promotional activities of the Tourist Organization of Belgrade. Thus, in 2019, it will have enhanced activities on existing and new tourist markets. It is plans to participate at important international tourism fairs in Europe and the world, as well as to organize special events, presentations and workshops in many cities abroad. All this, and much more, will be announced at the Belgrade Tourism Fair, at the booth of the host city, as part of the rich presentation program for visitors. Welcome to Belgrade! 

Photo: Ditmar Denger, Svetlana Dingarac, Archives of the TOB

Summer During the summer months, Belgrade’s tourist offer will be enriched by several free tourist events organized by the TOB. We will enjoy the bohemian spirit of Skadarlija, with songs and dances, anecdotes and famous Serbian actors, we will walk Kosančićev Venac Street and get to know the cultural and historical treasure of this part of the city, while on the Flower Square we will listen to music concerts almost every weekend.

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Belgrade Fortress and the view of the confluence of the Sava and Danube

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THROUGH SOUTHERN ENGLAND, ENTHUSIASTICALLY WALKING, WITH THE EYE OF A MAN FROM CONTINENTAL EUROPE

A Long-Delayed

Awakening

It is a long list of important places, many centuries of tradition and culture. It might seem that their present heirs no longer understand what this is all about. As if something essential was lost in the triangle of puritan formalism, sentimental memory of the days of colonial power and orders of unclear financial gods, with omnipresent masks. Whatever it is, the places are always worth visiting, searching for deeper cultural codes and European self-renewals

Text and Photo: Josip Šarić

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 London Tower Royal Albert Hall in London

 Victoria, London, a detail

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fter conquering the channel, which the French-speaking countries GAVE an “imaginative” name La Manche, and the Anglo-Saxons The Channel, one begins the encounter with the land that significantly marked the history of mankind with its contributions in the field of science, literature and great naval explorations, as well as the development of the often very cruel colonial system. The next step is the attempt of an ignorant continental man to understand what United Kingdom is, what Great Britain is and what England is, in order to know where he has been. History notes that the Kingdom of Great Britain was formed by merging the Kingdom of England (present England and Wales) with Scotland in 1707. Less than a century later, in 1801, the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland merged into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922, the present Republic of Ireland separated from the United Kingdom, which led to renaming the British state into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Be as it may, considering the accommodation in the center of London and the fact that we will be visiting the south-eastern side of the island, we’d say that we were in the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England – three flies in one blow. Members of numerous nations, clearly recognizable by the color of their skin and specific way of dressing, which most still hold on to, are a picturesque presentation of the extraordinarily strong colonial heritage. That and the nearly idolatrous respect for tradition and monarchy in some situations is so visible, that one thinks that the Brits still haven’t heard that Queen Victoria reposed in the Lord about a hundred years ago. London is a real architectural hodgepodge, which would probably seem bizarre anywhere else except in London. Georgian and Victorian style buildings are still holding up, but their

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Hastings Fishing still has an important role in this slightly dormant little coastal town, after which the famous battle from 1066 was named. The town has the biggest fishermen fleet, launched into the sea from the sand coast, not from ports. The traditional Pirate Day in July brings a certain degree of liveliness to the town, when hundreds of picturesque flags fly presenting sculls and crossed bones, the famous Jolly Roger.

knees seem to shake before the invasion of different glass buildings, such as the “Cucumber” (Gherkin) or “Shards”. The city cableway mingled into all that as a new attraction in the East End, financed by “Air Emirates”, so it’s no wonder that stewardesses address passengers in the cabins through loudspeakers with: “Thank you for flying Emirates.” The London taxi, tube and doubledeckers on the land and clippers on the Thames perfectly connect all parts of the city, so traveling through the vast space is no difficulty at all. What can really torture a man is choosing priority objectives for visiting… The British Museum, Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Tower, Natural History Museum, Shakespeare Theatre, Royal Albert Hall, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Hyde Park... and why not – pubs luring from every corner. Oh, we also shouldn’t forget Harrods, the shopaholic paradise, but only for those whose pockets are as deep as their shoe soles. Running away from such a megalopolis leads us to what we’d call the province, without any pejorative connotations. STONEHENGE, OLD SARUM, SALISBURY… Berwick St. James – a village resembling those from Agatha Christie’s novels. The only thing missing was Poirot and his stiff moustache coming from around the corner. Small houses surrounded by flower gardens, a river flowing through the village estate yards, a pub from the XVIII century,


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V I S I T

 View of Salisbury

 Stonehenge

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accommodation in a former aristocratic house, where bricks dressed in knitted “pajamas” prevent doors from closing. The beds in rooms seem as if made for Gulliver in Lilliput, so getting out of bed is actually a long fall to the floor. The vital eighty year-old owner serves the traditional English breakfast herself. Silver cutlery, overladen with numerous seals and monograms, is so heavy that you can use it for morning exercise. Everywhere you turn, you feel the provincial atmosphere, where time seems to have stopped before the beginning of the industrial revolution.

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There are three very famous sites in the vicinity of Berwick, connecting prehistoric times with antiquity and the Middle Ages. Stonehenge, with its circle of stone monoliths, is still a mystery for researchers and irresistible lure for curious travelers. An ancient observatory, sacral place, or both? The architects, who left a memory of themselves to later generations, still hide the answers. Cars in the formerly cultic space, clicking of cameras and yelling of nagging tourists, occasionally break the magic Stonehenge has carried within for almost 5.000 years. Old Sarum represents the remains of a fortified settlement, defended by a deep trench. Life here has been lasting from the Iron Age to the XIX century, with Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans… taking turns. Although the history of Sarum is richer than its visible architectural remains, except for the soil fortification, visiting it means entering the entrance hall of the nearby Salisbury, with a cathedral dominating the wavy green slopes of low ridges. Salisbury is home to a monumental church, whose full name is Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As if


its own beauty is not sufficient, it keeps the oldest clock in the world, whose iron heart has been continuously ticking our transience ever since 1386, as well as one of the best preserved copies of Magna Carta, all four of them kept in England. The cathedral is both the blessing and “ill fate” of Salisbury, because everything else beautiful and worth mentioning and worth the time is in its shadow.

BATH, BODIAM, BATTLE… Bath owes its existence to the Romans, who founded it as a spa, Aquae Sulis, on thermal springs on the bank of the river Avon, around 60 A. D. It seems that Romans, known as hedonists, perceived the importance of the place much before the English did, because Bath became popular as a spa only in the Georgian period, in the second half of the XVIII and first

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 Salisbury Cathedral

 Salisbury Cathedral and sculpture of a legionnaire in Bath

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half of the XIX century. There are, however, documents stating that everyone who believed in miraculous recoveries with warm waters used to come to the spa in the Middle Ages. Entering the pool with clothes on made created problems for guards at the end of the day, because they had to take off the layer of different garbage and dirt from the surface of the water, which hardly contributed to the healing properties of the afar famous place. Today Bath is on UNESCO’s list of world cultural heritage. Bodiam, Battle and Hastings are the next three challenges. The Bodiam Castle lays sleepy in the greenery of East Sussex. The trench filled with water and surrounding monumental walls used to be an insurmountable obstacle for invaders hungry for results of others’ efforts and troubles. Today the trench is home to Japanese koi carp and ducks. The small city of Battle is an area where the famous Battle of Hastings took place. Another example of someone and something taking credit for someone else’s deeds. All joking aside, the battle took place on October 14, 1066, between the Norman-French and the English army. The victory of the Norman army largely decided later events that marked English history. The Normans continued their invasion on the island, which led to a far reaching mixture of Norman and English nations. Passions initiated by the own experience and interpretation of this historical event left a trace on a memorial plate, describing the outcome of the battle, today corroded by the solid tooth of someone’s avenging pickax.

Royal Pavilion Henry Holland, who began forming the so-called Royal Pavilion in 1787, resting place for George, Prince of Wales, took care of not reducing everything to the impression of a fairground. The architect was inspired by the popular Indo-Saracen style the English have seen in India. In order to “preserve the uniformity of style”, the interior was designed in Chinese style. Today the pavilion is attractive as an object different from any other in the United Kingdom.

Brighton – “Cannes and Nice” of SouthEastern England. Pebble beaches and steel-wood moles, digging into the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean like knobby fingers. A carny atmosphere, with catchpenny props, probably the same in the entire world. The specificity of the island is the offer of the national specialty – fish and chips. After visiting those enchanting and attractive place, one has the impression that most of them are still living in mild lethargy and hypnotic fascination with tradition. The definition “United Kingdom and the rest of the world” is only part of the sentimental memory of the days of power, with the exception of London, which, as a linguistic, cultural and architectural hodgepodge, brings new strength and liveliness into an environment in need of waking up from the dream of a former great imperial power. If anything, in order to eat real curry, an Englishman doesn’t have to “hop” to Delhi or Bombay (present Mumbai). Curry has arrived to Trafalgar Square. 

 Royal pavilion in Brighton A square in Battle

 Waddesdon Manor, House of Rothschild

Dilemmas about Merits Waddesdon Manor – one of the twenty “humble” homes of the Rothschild family. If a family has a problem in only counting the number of houses it possesses, they probably shouldn’t be asked what they have in the houses. Be as it may, this object is today open for visitors, except for the wing the heir of the family empire retires to, perhaps asking himself how he deserved such a blessing. That is actually what the writer of this text is thinking, while the heir most probably never torments himself with such existential dilemmas. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

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Cascades on the Avon River, in the city of Bath, Somerset

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C E N T E R S IN EPHESUS, THE CITY OF WONDERS, WHERE “GODS HAVE WALKED THE EARTH”

The Secret of Greatness and Transience

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At its climax, it had 250.000 free citizens and was the second largest city of the old world. It had the biggest market, its library was immediately after the one in Alexandria, its Temple of Artemis was one of the seven greatest architectural wonders of ancient history. Virgin Mary spent the last years of her earthly life here, this is where John the Theologian preached, and the Third Ecumenical Council was held. (…) Today, even its ruins are amazing. We found many wondrous interesting things and take-away stories in them By: Miloš Lazić

Photo: Željko Sinobad

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 The Library of Celsus (right)

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na tolu in Turkish means many mothers. This is how Anatolia got its name. They say it is because there were always more goddesses than gods there, Artemis in the first place. Herodotus from Halicarnassus, present Bodrum, “father of modern history”, wrote about her significance. While making his famous list of the greatest wonders of ancient history, he put the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus among the first seven. Although we were tempted by the wonderful Kadinlar Denizi (Ladies Beach), famous in Kusadasi, we went to Ephesus on a terribly hot day. If we hadn’t, we would have bitterly regreted it. We were armed with a bottle of water, compulsory for such field trips, and took our places in a small “dolmush”, with a group of similar enthusiasts. A WONDER FOR BEGINNERS Along the way, we took out from memory our more than humble knowledge of history and remembered that during its greatest rise, with around 250.000 free citizens, slaves excluded, Ephesus was

Originals Not far from the place the Temple of Artemis used to be, one of the sellers took us aside. He was conspirative and showed us an oxidized coin hidden in his hand. He was turning around frightened, maybe to show us the high risk of trading fabulously valuable antiquities. We tried to discourage him with explanations that ancient coins didn’t have serrated edges and that he cannot sell it to us, but all in vain. He either pretended or really didn’t speak English, or our “Serbian English” was too unconvincing for him.

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the second largest city in ancient history, and that it almost caught up with Alexandria. Furthermore, the Third Ecumenical Council was held there in 431, confirming the divine origin of Jesus Christ. Hardly for a passing mark… only if the teacher is in a good mood. We were playing smart for half an hour, during the entire trip from Kusadasi, but when we arrived – we were speechless. You must really see that wonder in order to comprehend the entire beauty and monumentality of the surprisingly well preserved edifices. All that with the astonishing fact that only the twentieth part of the city was excavated and conserved. Some say that it is because Turks are not interested in archeological explorations and preserving something that would confirm that their state lies on ancient Hellenic land. Visitors can buy booklets with stories about important buildings of Ephesus in a dozen languages at the entrance, even on bad Serbian, although much more interesting is what’s not written in them, for certain reasons. For example, we visited the Odeum or the Small Theater, an amphitheater for about two thousand spectators, also used for the meetings of the city council. In the early Christian period, Christians were “leading actors” in most performances here. They mostly played food for lions or in cruel slaughters of gladiators. While our fellow travelers sighed by Hadrian’s Fountain, we discovered a public toilet! To be exact, an ancient public toilet, amazing and enviable even today with its state of preservation, appearance


and organization. It was a testimony of extraordinary engineering skills from more than two millennia ago. The toilet was only intended for male clients and, in the absence of newspaper, it was the stock market of news for citizens of Ephesus. It had water flushing much before the invention of the English water closet. The unusual construction of the openings and incised canals in front of them indicated that the owner of that wonder was, among other things, also tanning leather and using the urine of his customers for it. A bath with thermal water for washing was in the center of the room, and visitors could probably have a drink there, standing or sitting. THE EPHESUS’ WOMEN OF EASY VIRTUE We saw the remains of the Library of Celsus, the largest after the one in Alexandria, and discovered a strange tunnel leading to the opposite side of the Marble Road. Curiosity took us, so we followed the passageway and discovered a brothel. Ancient, of course. Naturally, it is the oldest profession, but what was the tunnel for? We concluded that the unfaithful husbands of Ephesus were the most devoted library members or that the most educated ladies worked in this brothel. Or perhaps both, who knows? On the Marble Road, leading from the port, Arcadian and Grand Theater to the city center, we found a strange road sign for this temple of sensuality and lust. A figure of a woman with short hair with a crown, a bare female foot and part of a woman’s intimacy hinting everything.

What did that say to travelers or, more often, sailors? First, that it is a store where such goods can be purchased, skillfully hinted with a realistic drawing (because only courtesans cut their hair and walked barefoot). And the second, the crown on the head implied that he would be royally served in the “workshop”. Oh, what marketing that was; we could use it in this millennium as well! However, it would be wrong to even think that the Ephesus’ women of easy virtue suffered. Absolutely not. They were free citizens respected as goddesses, with the right to choose or reject their potential clients, and not the opposite as it is the case today, after we have become civilized and choose “escort services” through online catalogues. The commercial agora is square-shaped, with 110 meters long sides. It was the biggest market of the old world. Goods from all sides of the world mixed in it, unloaded in the Ephesus port from numerous ships and later loaded into others. You could find everything: golden jewelry and wonderful textiles from the east, dark-skinned Nubian courtesans from the south, wine and olive oil from the west, metal weapons from the north. The rise and fall of Ephesus were related to this agora and port. The Cayster river, previous Meander, brought mud to the Ephesus port, which deposited for centuries, conquering the coastal area and creating swamps, making the city more and more distant from the sea. Today the remains of Ephesus are four and a half kilometers from the shore. Without the port, of course, the city lost both its significance and its wealth. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

 Entrance into a public house in the old age (left)

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 The only preserved column of the Artemis Temple

 Marble Road Grand Theatre

GUESTS OF GODMOTHER ARTEMIS We have already mentioned that Herodotus from Halicarnassus included the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus in the seven wonders of the ancient world, as they are called today as well, although many of them no longer exist. The Temple of Artemis also doesn’t exist any longer, but the testimony about that genuine wonder was preserved. When we arrived to the plateau in the middle of the swamp, where this shrine used to rise from, we found a single stone pillar. Almost nothing. That pillar can be seen on a postcard or any better history textbook, we didn’t have to perish while coming here on this hot day. Then providence touched us, disappointed as we were. A young girl and man, our fellow travelers, started off towards the pillar with the intention to make a photo next to it. The more they moved away, the pillar was getting more distant. What seemed at first glance on a clear day so small and at the reach of the hand was of colossal dimensions and at least three hundred meters away. Only when they arrived to the foot of the pillar, we could perceive its size. The people under it were as small as insects under a gigantic tree trunk, insignificant, as they usually are, and perhaps only in such a place aware of their proportion in the endless universe.

Grand Theater It is an amphitheater with a capacity of more than 25.000 spectators, just a bit smaller than “Partizan’s” stadium in Belgrade. Most part of the theater is carved into a monolith rock, an unsurpassable architectural endeavor even in our days. “Tragedies were performed” in it, with actors or gladiators, as the case may be. Some of the most famous performers in it were Agios Theologos (St. John the Theologian) in the past, and Szeryng, Jose Carreras and “The Rolling Stones” recently.

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Proportions They say that the pillar in the place of the Temple of Artemis was twenty meters high. There were 127 more, with the same dimensions, to hold the roof of the temple, 200 meters wide and 425 long. The greatest artists of the time participated in building the temple, including Scopas, Praxiteles, Polycleitus, Phidias, Cresius, Sidon, Apella… The Temple of Artemis, contemporaries told, was four times bigger than the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens, which is difficult to imagine!

The wondrous temple was burned by Herostratus, confirming the truth that any lunatic, if his deed has the appropriate size, can enter the history of civilization. It happened on the same day a son-heir was born to King Phillip of Macedonia on the opposite side of this sea. According to one legend, when the citizens of Ephesus were asked how could Artemis, their goddess and protector, allow a mortal, crazy Herostratus, to burn down her biggest temple, they responded that Artemis was absent that day. She was present at the birth of her godson Alexander of Macedonia. That is why the greatest warlord of all times, after banishing Persians from Ephesus, wanted to repay Artemis by building her a new temple. And he would do it if the jealous priests hadn’t dissuaded him from the idea, claiming that a god cannot build a temple to another god. Alexander of Macedonia, however, did leave a deep trace here, which hasn’t faded after the arrival of Christianity or Islam. The myth about the undefeated Sikander still lives among people of Islamic religion. A bunch of “business people” were mingling around the plateau from which we watched the remains of the temple, offering us badly printed postcards and plastic souvenirs. If a buyer is not interested, the merchants are satisfied with a cigarette (they always take two, one for later, we guess). We wanted to stop by in Selçuk, to take photos of both sculptures of Artemis of Ephesus kept in the local museum, but we gave up after discovering that cameras are not allowed. The most important things to take from here cannot be photographed.


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IN NUBIA, NEAR THE ANCIENT CITY OF MEROE, IN THE EMPIRE OF SOUTHERN PHARAOHS

In the Pockets of

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Sudan is a novice in tourism, so the Nubian pyramids, an extraordinary site for all its features, are still not occupied by the tourism industry. You can still, alone on a sand height, watch the sunrise as the pharaohs of the 25th dynasty did. Their necropolises and desert legends still interpret the mysteries of heavens and earth, eternity and transience, culture and barbarism. “National Review’s” special reporter went to an expedition to the Nubian pyramids Text and Photo: Sonja Lapatanov

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udan, the kingdom of black pharaohs and country with the highest number of pyramids and cultural attractions in Africa, invests least into promoting tourism, but perhaps this is exactly why it offers tourist adventurers an extraordinary feeling in the embrace of its impressive treasure. Sudan is a novice in tourism. It has only recently appeared in catalogues of specialists for Africa and organizers of study and tourism trips, including visits to the still rarely visited archeological sites from the times of dark-skinned pharaohs of the 25th dynasty. Visitors from afar are always welcome in Sudan, less by military dictators in Khartoum, more by ordinary people, passersby in the streets, people on the banks of the Nile, passengers on ferries and souvenir salesmen in front of temples in the desert. – You opened the window and fresh air began flowing in – told me a spice salesman in a market near Meroe. – Your presence proves that you, who come from abroad, haven’t forgotten us and that the world is looking to this side. His eyes were glittering, but he spoke quietly, because in Sudan you never know who is listening and where. Then he put his right hand on his heart and said: – Salaam alaikum, welcome to Sudan. On my journey through Sudan, I was impatiently waiting for my encounter with the “Nubian pyramids” located in Meroe, known as the heart of the ancient kingdom of Kush (600 B.C. – 300 A.D.), now protected by UNESCO. Meroe became an important center of the kingdom around 300 B.C. and until 280 A.D. rulers controlled entire Egypt from there. Meroe was very powerful, basing its wealth on advanced production of especially iron products, traded all the way to India and China. They also exported exotic African animals, jewelry and cotton textile, whose production reached its peak around 400 B.C. Meroe was also rich in gold. The word nub, root of the Egyptian word for gold, was derived from the name of Nubia, previous kingdom of the Kush civilization. That Nubia is, no less than Egypt, a “gift of the Nile”, the river that truly represents the source of life here.

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DESPITE THE DESERT AND TIME The imperial city of Meroe preserves remains of temples, palaces, auxiliary objects, households and baths. Meroe is famous for its waterworks system, very developed for its time, as well as its irrigation with water-moving wheels, in order to develop agriculture in the semi-desert surrounding. Meroe is, however, most famous for its necropolis, a site with more than two hundred pyramids divided in three groups, unique by their proportions and way of building. The pyramids are believed to be ancient tombs of the Kush kingdom. They were built above grave chambers with mummified remains of the deceased, richly ornamented with golden jewelry. There are no tombs inside the Nubian pyramids; the real tomb is below the pyramid, connected with the outside world with a diagonal tunnel. A small votive chapel is below the pyramid, without access to the pyramid or the tomb, with walls painted with figures of kings and their queen-mother Kandake, as well as details from several chapters of the Book of the Dead. Despite the “desert and time”, hieroglyphs in Meroe are clear and deep, unlike the ones in Naga and Musawwarat, which are shallow and still not completely deciphered. The Nubian pyramids are the most visited tourist attraction in Sudan, although this is relative here, since tourism is still in its infancy. The history of Sudan has been in the shadow of the archeological treasures of Egypt for a long time, however the most attractive thing in Meroe today is the charm of the unknown. The feeling that you are given the opportunity to participate in revealing secrets hidden since ancient times. Instead of common desert attractions, crowds, noise, camels, lost tourists and pushy souvenir salesmen, you can hear the silence in Meroe and be completely alone with the pyramids, or in dialogue with the past. A certain Ahmed Jehia described it: “Meroe is not a place where you just see history in front of you, you also feel it.” And touch it, I would add. The royal pyramids are clearly visible already from the Khartoum-Atbara highway, where they peek from the sand dunes, lonely, like rows of broken teeth. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

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Researchers and treasure hunters, who desecrated the tombs searching for gold, are responsible for the appearance of the pyramids, but luckily they did not diminish their beauty and significance for mankind. Thinking that the treasure is in the pyramids, as it is the case in Egypt, they demolished them from the top, not knowing that the treasure was in the tombs. They destroyed the pyramids for nothing! THE MAGIC OF THE MOMENT At the moment I first saw them, they were bathing in the sun, which was get-

As in Old Paintings Temples and pyramids in Meroe look as if they were built yesterday, by people who, using wooden ploughs and their own muscles, cultivate fields and build houses of mud by the river Nile today. They look as if they have just jumped out of the Old Testament.

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ting ready to fall under the horizon. The sky was colored in red, golden, orange and yellow shades, which slowly mixed together, turning into a blazing copper curtain. Excited and breathing heavily, I reached the big dune with bigger pyramids on its top, while smaller pyramids were down, on the eastern side. Someone once said that the pyramids in Meroe are archeologically important, but visually unimpressive. I immediately realized it wasn’t true. The landscape in this field of pyramids is a perfect harmony of massive golden dunes and reddish-pinkish shades with more than thirty pyramids. The impression is intensified by the silence and remoteness from tourist routes. Meroe is a place shrouded in melancholy. The groups of pyramids in a compact space and the knowledge that about thirty kings, eight queens, numerous princesses and court officials were buried in this place in a long


period of time contribute to the feeling of magic. Walking silently between the mysterious pyramids, we think about the fate of Meroe. How did all this reach its end and disappear. Questions here are swallowed by dusk and threatening silence. Still dizzy from my last night’s encounter with the Nubian pyramids, I woke up at the break of dawn. It was cold and quiet. I could only occasionally hear the roaring of the wind, making sand particles dance between our tents. A new day was waking up and the sun in the east was preparing to splash its golden rays over the ochre colored dunes. I quickly climbed up to the top of the granite hill to enjoy the view of the pyramids, which the sun will catch in their embrace with the sand. The pyramids of Meroe, tombs of Nubian black pharaohs, almost a thousand kilometers from the Egyptian border and Aswan Dam, were sparkling before me in their entire beauty. A timeless experience.

Seen off from our camp by the wind dancing with the sand, we set off through the desert towards other Nubian necropolises and pyramids and the magnificent Jebel Barkal rock. I watched the pyramids of Meroe, dramatically diving out of the embrace of the reddish sand, until they came out of my sight. I was lucky to see this archeological treasure and, at least for a moment, have it for myself. I’m sure that future visitors will share Meroe with many others. Like in Egypt, they will stand in long lines in front of temples and pyramids, waiting to have a look inside. 

Mastership and Transience Many examples of different architectural styles can be noticed, classified in different types of pyramids: stepped, with flat surfaces, formed angles, mixed styles… During the centuries, some details in temples and pyramids were eaten away by the desert, while many were swallowed by the sand. Grave robbers took care of the rest.

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IN KRAKOW, IMPORTANT CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL POINT OF SLAVIC EUROPE

With a Bit of

Golden

Dust

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Symbols of the old Polish capital, castles and churches, one of the oldest universities and biggest squares, famous people and masterpieces, living water of the great river, testimonies from the times when Slavs were more aware of themselves and more solidary… All this flows into the buzzing of this beautiful city full of youth and serenity, so intimate and so genuine. We explored what is it that has been attracting us in it, for centuries already By: Miloš Matić

Royal castle and cathedral on the Wawel hill

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 Rynek, the main city square, they say the second largest in Europe Theatre of Julius Slovacky

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he legend says that he had seven heads. He lived in a deep cave, below the place where the Wawel castle stands today. That Smok Wawelsky, the Wawel dragon, was terrible and fearsome. In order to please him, King Krakus proposed him an offering: a girl will be sacrificed to him every month. However, as it usually happens, it was the turn of the king’s daughter, princess Wanda. The desperate king offered the hand of his daughter to whoever dares to confront the dragon and save the princess. A young apprentice, fascinated by the princess’ beauty, made a plan how to conquer the dragon. He filled a lamb with sulfur and left it in front of the beast’s den. Without much thinking, the dragon voraciously ate the lamb, with all his seven heads. Then he felt horribly thirsty, went down to the Vistula and “drank half of the river”. From all that water, he swelled and burst. The dragon is no longer there, but the legend is still living. Interestingly, we can still see the cave under the Wawel castle, where, as they say, Smok Wawelski used to dwell. WHIRLPOOLS OF HISTORY

 Kamienica

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Krakow is situated on the Vistula river, in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship, in the place a settlement was raised already in the Stone Age. According to some interpretations, we see it on Ptolemy’s maps from II century A.D. The settlement on the Wawel Hill is mentioned in the IV century as an important Slavic center. Chronicle: “The present city originates from the VII century. Ibrahim ibn Yaqub left the oldest preserved written trace of the city’s name in 966. He described Krakow as an important commercial center, first under control of Great Moravia (876– 879). Czech Duke Boleslav conquered it in 955, and the first elected Polish ruler Mieszko I took it over from the Czechs and brought it into possession of the Piast dynasty. (…) Krakow was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1596, capiSRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2019.

Name The name of the city originates from Prince Krak, legendary hero, who appears in several other Slavic traditions, especially in Czech legends (in the Middle Ages, Krakow was part of Czechia for a while). The word is probably of Celtic origin. According to archeological discoveries and Roman documents, the Celts have inhabited this part of Europe as well. The second version says that Krakow got its name after Kruk, meaning “a person with a bird’s name”. They say the name “frequently appeared in Slavic aristocratic families”.

tal of the state union of Poland and Lithuania from 1569 to 1596, of the free city of Krakow from 1815 to 1846, and of the Great Duchy of Krakow from 1846 to 1918. (...) After the renewal of the university and establishing new cultural institutions in the Polish ‘second republic’, Krakow confirmed its role as the main national academic and artistic center during the XX century.” The university, the oldest in Central Europe after Charles University in Prague, was founded in Krakow already in 1364. This is where Polish kings were crowned from the XIV to the XVIII century, including Casimir III the Great, the last ruler from the Piast dynasty, unifier of Poland, who brought the code known as Statutes of Casimir the Great. Rich and beautiful, an important cultural and spiritual point on the map of Slavic Europe, the city was often target of attacks of many conquerors. It was severely destroyed several times, by Mongolians in 1241 and by Swedes in 1655, and most often renewed according to its previous appearance. In the XVIII century only, it was conquered by the Prussian, Swedish, Russian and Austrian armies. In such historical turbulences, many have left their traces in this city, older than Poland itself. Mostly wounds and scars and a few specks of golden dust. Mongolians, Tatars, Swedes, Germans… Due to such history, which often turns life into temptation and hardening, almost every house in the old city of Krakow has its legend. Their façades are very beautiful, made in mixed styles: from medieval architecture, pebbled streets resembling some old


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 Royal complex on Wawel, view from the Vistula

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streets in Belgrade, renaissance and baroque buildings, to those created in later styles. STEPS THAT MAKE YOU A LOCAL – Every tourist guide will recite this series of places: Wawel castle and cathedral, churches of St. Joseph, St. Adalbert, Sts. Peter and Paul, St. Mary’s Basilica, Rynek Square, Jagiellonian University (where Ivo Andrić studied), Florin Street and Kanonicza Street (where Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II, lived), Barbakan, Sukiennice, Slowacki Theater, Planty Park, Main Square – recommends Ana Beksinyski, young painter who graduated in Krakow and “stayed there forever”. – Those are certainly important and beautiful places, really worth seeing if you manage to go through crowds of tourists, who fill and cram the city in the days before New Year. However, last but not least, you should listen to the more hidden places, where this city pulsates with its deeper feelings and more refined threads, with its new creativity and youth. As if by magic, as soon as you step on the street, you become a local.

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Lesser Poland It is the name of the historical region in the southern and south-eastern part of present Poland, in the upper and middle flow of the Vistula. It spreads from the Carpathians in the south to the Pilica and the Wieprz in the north. It borders Silesia in the west, Mazovia and Podlachia in the north and Ukraine in the east. Since 1999, the Lesser Poland Voivodeship is one of the sixteen Polish voivodeships, internal administrative units. The capital of the region is Krakow.

It’s no wonder that many famous people of European culture were related to Krakow. When you walk through this city and plunge into it, as we have done this winter, it’s not difficult to anticipate what such masters found here, far from their homelands. Goethe and List had important encounters with this city, Balzac lived in “Under the Rose” hotel, Hamvas and Chopin used to drop by. Wislawa Szymborska was born here, and Jan Matejko, famous Polish painter, was born, lived and died here. This is the burial place of Adam Mickiewicz, famous poet, who completed his lecture about old Serbian poetry at the French College in Lausanne in 1841 with the following words: “It is time to depart with the history of Serbian literature… That nation will continue living closed in its golden past, predetermined to be the musician and poet of the entire Slavic tribe, without even


anticipating that one day it will become the greatest literary pride of all Slavs.” Krakow can also be proud of its rich cultural and artistic treasuries, rare manuscripts and valuable objects, original masterpieces. We will mention only a few: Da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine or Rembrandt’s painting Landscape before the Storm. After reaching them, everything else will open up to you. SLAVIC CONNECTION “I feel sick from the breath of incense and antiquity, my head hurts from the dampness and eyes from such long watching.” This is how Ivo Andrić, later the only Serbian Nobel Prize winner, experienced Krakow at first glance, where he had just arrived to study, “enthralled and a bit lost”. Andrić later wrote about the rich history of the city, as well as its turbulent contemporariness. His letters sent home from Krakow are full of wondering and curiosity, attempts to understand that city and that world, to gain deeper insight. According to his words, that is where he spent some of his best years and made many acquaintances. During his studies at the University of Krakow Faculty of Philosophy, Andrić lived with the Izsikovsky family, “in a humble little room of a gray house in a quiet and a bit dark street Bonerovska no. 12”. Many believe that beautiful Jelena Izsikovsky is the “Jelena, the Woman that Doesn’t Exist” from Andrić’s novel.

Also worth mentioning is the connection between Krakow and famous Serbian war pilot Tadija Sondermeier (1892–1967), hero from World War I, the first Serbian aerospace engineer and one of the founders of civil aviation in Serbia. He was born in Belgrade, but his father originates from Poland. His father, Roman Sondermeier, PhD (1861–1923), medical doctor and professor at the Department of Surgery at the University of Krakow, moved to Belgrade in 1886. He married Stanislava Đurić, daughter of General Dimitrije Đurić, defense minister. Tadija, one of their four children, brought many medals from the Balkan Wars and World War I. He was one of the founders of the national “Aeroklub” and “Aeroput”, predecessor of JAT and “Air Serbia”. That is how another thread from Krakow was woven into Serbian history. (More about Tadija Sondermeier in National Review no. 71.) We should also keep in mind that the name of this city is in the last name of Stanislav Krakov (1895–1968), war hero and writer of the best Serbian novel about the Great War. His father was of Polish origin as well. He also came to Serbia in the last quarter of the XIX century and was King Petar’s personal physician. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

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A CITY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE “Poland for me remained an unusual and beloved country from my earliest youth. (…) It all resembles the beginning of fairy tales and carries the atmosphere children stories: Then they arrived to a biiiiig city! (…) And it was all so unusual and so long ago, that the Krakow of my youth is no longer a certain, concrete city for me; it’s more of a state of spirit, one of the great unrealized dreams one carries through his life like the most realistic reality.” Andrić again. That is how he described his youth in Krakow after many years. As a university town, Krakow is still full of young people. Everything is buzzing with life until late at night. Young people come from all parts of Europe, to study trips, to have fun, as tourists. In late December 2018, we met several groups of young people from Serbia in the streets and squares of Krakow. They say they like it here. The city breathes with culture, creativity, Slavic serenity. It captures with its genuineness. One can feel depths and seriousness of tradition in every step, but Krakow, as Eliot would say, always returns to it in a new way. Fun is where young people are. There are many night clubs, with a capacity of more than a thousand people. Parties are excellent and last until dawn. One of the local special drinks is the “Mad Dog” cocktail, made of vodka, raspberry and Tabasco sauce, which makes it very strong. Interestingly, smoking is forbidden in public places, as well as carrying alcohol in the street. Only one pub allows smoking in front. It’s called “Dog in the Fog”. – Although vodka is mostly related to Russia, it is also the Polish national drink – underlines Ana Beksinjski, just to avoid

any confusion due to our absentmindedness. You can taste some of the traditional Polish dishes in small inns around the Rynek Square, the second largest square in Europe. Bigos, pierogi, sausage, cutlets, golabki (a sort of cabbage rolls), zrazi (type of roulade), roast meat, cucumber soup, mushroom soup, tomato soup, rosul (meat stews), szurek (sour rye soup), flaki, barszcz… You can occasionally hear a trumpet from the top of the cathedral in that square, part of the old Krakow tradition. A legend says that the sound of the trumpet woke up the sleeping city at the break of dawn and saved it from the enemy’s vicious attack. Krakow’s population today is 766.000 and it is the second largest city in Poland. Many consider it, for a reason, the most beautiful city in the country and key cultural center. We have already mentioned that it was the Polish capital several times, and its old center has been under UNESCO’s protection since 1978. Due to its beauty, cultural foundations and Slavic charm, as well as mutual relations from the past and present, Krakow is particularly attractive for people from Serbian lands. It can easily be concluded from the superficial statistics on tourism, as well as listening to the murmurs on Rynek Square.

 Coat of Arms of the Piast Dynasty, a detail

 Carriage for tourists and Polish street musicians

 Sundial in the Wawel Fortress

Understanding Poles are zealous Catholics. (The Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla, was elected in 1978as the first Slavic pope John Paul II and first non-Italian pope after four and a half centuries.) According to our experience in Krakow, and not only ours, the more selfaware Poles have big respect for Serbs and understand well the cultural, historical and geopolitical essence of the events in the Serbian lands.

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IN THE HOUSE OF ANTON PAVLOVICH CHEKHOV (1860–1904), YALTA, CRIMEA, THIS WINTER

A White Nest on the Black Sea

The construction of the “White Dacha” was completed in December 1899, exactly a hundred and twenty years ago. The great writer personally supervised the construction works and lived in that house until May 1904. He cultivated the garden himself, choosing plants so that they were blooming throughout the year. This is where he hosted great people of Russian culture, such as Rachmaninoff and Shalyapin, Bunin and Gorky, Stanislavsky and Levitan. The house is entirely Chekhovian, featuring simplicity, humbleness and good taste. As if Anton Pavlovich himself will appear from somewhere any moment By: Anastasija Mrđenović

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he home of the great writer is presently one of the most visited places on the cultural map of Yalta, the most popular tourist destination in Crimea. This extraordinary spot stands in a picturesque surrounding, near the sea, amidst flowers and scents of conifers, with a view over the powerful blue mountains. SRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2019.

In the late XIX and early XX century, it was an artistic oasis – a center where famous painters, writers, poets and musicians of the Russian silver century gathered together. Anton Pavlovich Chekhov built this house for himself and his family, after his health had severely deteriorated. Already


as a young, yet recognized writer, he stayed in Crimea for a while, as guest of the great publisher Alexei Sergeevich Suvorin. In the summer of 1888, he stayed for a month in Suvorin’s dacha in Feodosia. A year later, he got to know Yalta better, but couldn’t even anticipate that that he will spend the last year of his life there. Exactly ten years later, exhausted from the tuberculosis he had been suffering from since his youth, with his health additionally weakened from his trip to Sakhalin, the writer purchased a 3.700 square meters piece of land in Autka near Yalta. There were no buildings, just a deserted vineyard. It was necessary to invest huge efforts to prepare the land for building a house. Chekhov, always benevolent to novices, entrusted the design of the house to young and talented architect Shapovalov, who had just completed his university studies in Moscow. They met in the most beautiful bookstore in Yalta, “Sinana”, where Chekhov came almost every day to go through the latest editions. They became friends very soon, so Anton Pavlovich suggested Shapovalov to build a house for him in Yalta. The memories of the architect, whose name was like Tolstoy’s – Leo Nikolayevich – reveal: “I admit, I already like Anton Pavlovich very much and our souls are related, so this offer he made, although it flattered my ego, frightened me… However, with his characteristic sensitivity, he noticed my wavering and renewed his proposal. What could I do, I accepted. I visited Anton Pavlovich the next day, in his

apartment in Mrs. Ilovayska’s house. That was the first time I saw Maria Pavlovna (Chekhov’s sister – author’s note). Anton Pavlovich told me to make a design of the building and presented his requests. The house should be humble, simple, pleasant and comfortable.” According to Shapovalov, Chekhov and his sister also took part in the design of the project. The construction lasted less than a year, and the Chekhovs came every day to help the workers and supervise the works. At the same time, Anton Pavlovich was ardently dealing with the design of the surrounding area. He studied magazines on gardening and ordered noble sorts of plants from different parts of the world. His unique garden was blossoming throughout the year, which was Chekhov’s main idea. He planted every tree with his own hands, with great joy.

Photo: Royal Order of Knights and NR Archive

HE ENJOYED RECEIVING GUESTS In December 1899, the house, later called the “White Dacha”, was ready for moving in. Chekhov informed his relatives: “The house in Yalta is very good. It shouldn’t be any better. The rooms are small, but this does not disturb its appearance. A wonderful view opens up to all sides.” And the view was really wonderful. Of course, it opened towards the sea, a mountain stream was on the right side and vineyards and forests on the other sides. The genuine Russian soul, humble and intimate, was felt in the house’s interior.

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 Part of Chekhov’s living room A corner with photographs and dear knickknacks

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 Stanislavski with his company visiting Chekhov in Yalta

 Josif Braz, Portrait of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, 1898, painted at the time of the construction of the house in Yalta

The refined warmth created at the beginning has been preserved to the very day. It seems that the “White Dacha” still remembers the remarkable hospitality of its host and his entire family. This winter, exactly a hundred and twenty years later, we were also guests of the dedicated doctor, unstoppable benefactor, ingenious writer and, above all, good man. Chekhov lived in this house from September 9, 1899 to May 1, 1904. The house has nine rooms. The dining room is on the ground floor and three rooms around it were intended for friends and family. The writer’s study and bedroom are on the first floor, as well as the living room and room of Chekhov’s mother. Maria Pavlovna lived in a small tower in the attic. The building has seven external doors, which speaks enough about the sociability and openheartedness of the owner. The first room we enter is the dining room. Personal things of the Chekhov family are kept here, as well as in the entire house: very large table, Anton Pavlovich’s samo-

Etude A wonderful small painting, made on cardboard, catches the eye in the niche of the masonry heater. One evening, family guest Isaac Leviatan, ingenious painter of Russian nature, saw this niche and felt inspired. That same night, he painted and left his host an etude, presenting haystacks in a night field.

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Stay Members of the Serbian Royal Order of Knights and associates of “National Review” stayed in Crimea in December 2018, upon the invitation of the Republic of Crimea. They used the opportunity to visit the house of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov in Yalta. That is how these writings arrived to our readers.

var, authentic dishes are in the cupboard, as well as the family relic, his mother’s dowry – wonderful champagne glasses from the writer’s parents’ wedding. Our attention was caught by Pushkin’s portrait. Maria Pavlovna received it as a gift and gave it to her brother, who wanted to have a picture of his favorite writer. We see two landscapes, painted by Maria Pavlovna, on both sides of the furnace. Her paintings are in other rooms too, including Chekhov’s portrait, painted from a photograph in 1902. A wonderful room with two windows, with a view of the garden, sea and magical Uchan-Su river valley, belonged to Olga Leonardovna Knipper, Chekhov’s wife, actress of the Muscovite Theater (MHAT). They met in the theater, when she played Empress Irina in Tolstoy’s Emperor Feodor Ioannovich. He liked her acting talent very much. He noted: “In my opinion, Irina is magnificent. Her voice, nobility, soul – is


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 Telephone and piano in Chekhov’s home

so wonderful, that my throat started tickling. If I had stayed in Moscow, I would have fallen in love with this Irina.” Two and a half years later, in 1901, they got married and soon came to Yalta together. CRANES CAME AS WELL Before that, friends who came to longer visits stayed in this wonderful room. For example, this is where young writers Kuprin and Bunin lived. The latter wrote to Chekhov in Nice: “It is very quiet here, the weather is mild, I had a very good rest in your home these days. I am filling my eyes with the blue bay at the end of the valley. In the mornings, my room is full of sunshine.” Today, we see many personal things that belonged to Olga Knipper and Anton

Gardener Chekhov’s garden still looks magnificent and doesn’t stop blooming from spring to winter. When you walk through it and arrive to the house, you can see a rose climbing up the wall. Anton Pavlovich planted it himself as well. The garden was enriched in 2008 with a new sort of rose, “Chekhov”, created by French “Meilland”. Chekhov’s cedars, laurels, willow, magnolia, bamboos, cypresses and mulberry trees are still there. Chekhov liked to say: “If I weren’t a writer, I’d be a gardener.”

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Pavlovich in this room: her photos and three large portraits, one of him and two of her. The last time Mrs. Chekhov stayed here was in 1953. She outlived her husband by fifty-five years. She was the best actress in all major female roles in Chekhov’s dramas, both during his lifetime and after his death. We are looking at things that belonged to relatives of Anton Pavlovich in other rooms on the ground floor. They did not live there permanently, only came to visit sometimes. Books written by his brothers are on the shelves. A photo of his nephew Misha, later great actor Mikhail Chekhov, is on the small table. On the first floor, in the writer’s study, we see the desk, where he wrote most of his works. Many objects that belonged to Anton Pavlovich are on the desk, including beautiful candlesticks, inkstand, medical calendars, guides to Crimea, stethoscope, a stamp with an inscription “A. P. Chekhov”. The room breathes with “Chekhovian atmosphere”: simplicity, humbleness, refinement, good taste. This is where Chekhov wrote dramas Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, stories “Bishop”, “Lady with the Dog” and others. According to Kuprin’s memories, Chekhov rarely had lunch alone, he always received guests and loved being a host.


His wife, Sergei Rachmaninoff, A. A. Spendiarov, played the piano in the living room and Fyodor Chaliapin sang accompanying them. Directors K. S. Stanislavsky, V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko, actress V. F. Komissarzhevskaya, writers V. A. Gilyarovsky, Ivan Bunin, Maxim Gorky, A. I. Kuprin, painter I. Levitan and many others loved to visit Chekhov. Animals, just like people, felt the love from Anton Pavlovich’s heart. His yard was home to three stray dogs and one wounded crane. In one of his letters to his wife in Moscow, Chekhov wrote: “There is still no rain. The crane is sad. I love you.” We will end our story with the words of the home-

museum manager Yulia Dolgopolova Georgievna: “I have been working here for more than twenty years and I still feel that I’m in a magical place. This is where the magnificent Russian culture and pure soul of a humble Russian man came together. The first director of the museum was Maria Pavlovna Chekhova, who took care of preserving everything authentic in the house. Visitors often have the feeling that they have traveled through time, came to visit Anton Pavlovich in his family nest, and are just waiting in the house while he is slowly returning home from his walk on the quay… Come yourself.” 

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 Part of the living room

 Chekhov with Tolstoy, with wife, in his Yalta garden

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IN JAJCE, NEAR THE WATERFALL IN THE CITY CENTER

River above the Head

Its history and beauty have never been fully grasped because of the communist ideological veils that it was wrapped up in during communism. And this town at the mouth of the Pliva and Vrbas, “continental Dubrovnik”, was founded in the 14th century by Hrvoje Vukčić, while the Kotromanić dynasty developed it to its peak. In literature, it was immortalized by Henrik Renner, Evlija Čelebija, and Nikola Šop. The relics of St. Luke were brought here by Jelena Branković. Even today, the town is guarded by its walls, mountains, waters, tombs. This Old Slavic idyllic town was in Dayton Agreement left at the border of Srpska, on the outside By: Ilijana Božić

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n the heart of Bosnia, where the Pliva flows into Vrbas, this old royal city is situated. It is an open-air museum that attracts with its beauty and cultural and historical heritage. Intertwined with a forest of mesmerizing waterfall, it is surrounded by mountains, rivers, lakes, and is full of natural and cultural monuments. Written documents testify that the valley of the Pliva and Vrbas rivers was inhabited even in the ancient times. However, the town of Jajce developed in the 14th and 15th centuries. The oldest preserved written mention of the name Jajce originates from 1396. The name of Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić, the

ruler of Western Bosnia and Dalmatia, who is considered the founder of the city, was followed by his title: “Count of Jajce”. According to Ante Brtan, director of the Agency for Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage and Development of Tourist Potential of the Town of Jajce, it is believed that the Fortress was built at the time when Hrvoje Vukčić had pronounced contacts with Vladislav of Naples. Legend says that the fortress was modelled after the palace of Naples, Castel dell’Ovo, which in translation means the “Egg Fortress”, and so Jajce got its name (jaje means egg in Serbian). According to another legend, the name Jajce originates from the SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

 Waterfall and old fortress in the core of the city of Jajce

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 A catacomb

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egg-like shape of the hill on which the fortress was built. The third legend, the least probable, says that during the construction of the fortress they put on eggs in the building material, to strengthen its structure, and so the eggs entered its name as well. Evlija Čelebija left an entry on Jajce in 1660. He says this is a “very old town” and that it “rises to the vault of heavens”. He describes the city walls and gates, rocks, water veil that rises from the waterfall, caves and water mills. “...Here, sitting in those shades engulfed in vegetation, which are located in front of these mills a, and watching the flow of the Pliva River as big as a sea, which by the knowledge and power of the god runs above the head, watching its crushing against the

Guardians of the Town “They have many vineyards and gardens. The air is pleasant, and women are lovely”, wrote Evlija Čelebija about Jajce. The impenetrable wall around the city consists of the mountains of Ćusina, Bukovica, Hum, Dnolučka mountain, Kik and Ranče. They are full of meadows, streams and rivers with rapids, whirlpools, waterfalls, cascades. There are many marked hiking trails, terrains for mountain biking, running, skiing, photography... There are also hunting lodges, seasonal cattle-breeding settlements, medieval necropolises, monuments... About 500 tombs have been discovered around Jajce. (The most famous is the tomb of King Stjepan Tomašević, on the slopes of Hum, a few hundred meters from the waterfall.) There are also the remains of the medieval towns of Vinac and Komotingrad.

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rocks is such an interesting and unique scene that one must admire the Almighty Creator and remain in awe.” After the death of Hrvoje Vukčić, the town was passed into the hands of the Kotromanić royal family, which turned it into its capital. In 1461, Stjepan Tomašević Kotromanić, the last ruler of this Serbian-Bosnian dynasty and the last despot of Serbia (1459) was crowned here. His wife, Jelena Branković, the daughter of Serbian despot Lazar Branković, brought as her dowry the relics of St. Luka, which her father had bought from a Turkish sultan. They are still kept in Jajce, in the Monastery of St. Luka. UNDER THE CLOAK OF HISTORY The Jajce fortress was difficult to conquer. The travel writer Atanasio Gorgiceo wrote in the 17th century: “...That is why the Christians who lived here had this tradition, because of which the Turks did not conquer it sixty years after all other cities by force, but by trickery.” According to the legend, the Turks, pretending to having abandoned the siege, left plagued clothes in front of the town. The inhabitants of Jajce took it as a prey and so brought the plague into the fortress. The town devastated by the plague was conquered by the Turks “without a single swing of the sword”. Later, the town was conquered by Hungarians, then again the Turks, then Austrians...


Anto Brtan tells us that the temple of the sun god Mitra, the oldest in Bosnia, was found in Jajce in 1931. This single-cell temple, a sanctuary, is carved in a rock and is a unique monument. The relief depicts god Mitra dressed in Persian clothes, with a flapping cloak. With his right hand he sticks the knife into the bull’s heart. He is helped by the dog, snake and scorpion. In addition to the images of the torchbearers there are also two free-standing sculptures. The long urban history here is preserved here in the Catacombs, Fortress, the Church of St. Mary... Catacombs are located inside the city walls, near the Bear Tower. It is actually an underground church carved in a rock, at the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century, at the order of Duke Hrvoje Vukčić. He wanted it to be the place of the last residence of his ducal family , but nobody was ever buried there. In the hall, on the stone walls, there are unfinished reliefs of the Duke and his coat of arms, and a carved female figure with lilies in her hand. The hall leads to the church made in a romantic style, with a gothic vault. There are tombs in the floor. Legend says that there used to be an underground tunnel in the Catacombs leading to the waterfall. There are no traces of this tunnel, but the legend lives in the people. The story also places Tito in this tunnel during World War Two, and a dervish-hermit from the Turkish era, with a number of apocryphal details. WATERFALL, LAKES, WATER MILLS – In Yugoslavia, Jajce was a tourist destination, it was even called “continental Dubrovnik”. Now it has thirty protected national monuments and each of them is a special attraction for tourists. Most notable is certainly the waterfall of the Pliva River, twenty-one meters high, unique in the world, in the center of the city. Immediately below it the Pliva unites with the Vrbas to continue toward the Sava River. In the last few years, international dives from the waterfalls of the Pliva River have been organized and had a large number of visitors. In addition, Large and Small Pliva Lake have recorded a significant increase in the number of foreign tourists – says Anto Brtan. These beautiful lakes, the largest natural accumulations in B&H, are a paradise for lovers of fishing, rowing, kayaking or canoe-

ing in calm waters. The road to the lake leads by the beach, idyllic picnic areas and archetypally beautiful landscapes. On the Large Pliva Lake, the Seventh European and Extraordinary World Cup in Kayak and Canoe was held in calm waters was held in 1963. A series of lovely water mills built on the tufa sills between the Small and the Large Pliva Lake are also very attractive. They have existed since the Turkish era and are popularly known as Mlinčići (“Little Water Mills”). Covered by shingle, skillfully built of oak wood, with no mansards, windows or chimneys. According to the data from 1562, there were twenty four water mills in Jajce at that time. Legends about these water mills have inspired Nikola Šop, an important poet born in Jajce. Professor Marjana Marjanović strikingly conveys a number of folk tales and beliefs about the water mills. There are fairies, their dance, mysterious songs, enchanted young millers, big and sad loves. (...) By the decision of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this area was declared a National Monument under the name Cultural Landscape – Pliva Lakes with a complex of water mills on the Pliva near Jajce. THROUGH THE FORTRESS TO BEAR TOWER “As soon as you arrive in Jajce, you will walk to the fortress, interesting with its abundant history. There is a wonderful view of this area. Far to the west, your eye goes over the magical lake, which stretches under the vertical rock. Small lakes fall in cataracts one into the other, and are bordered to the north by bare flat rocks, from the south

Photo: Agency for Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage and Development of Tourist Potential of the Town of Jajce

Tito’s Jajce In Yugoslavia, the students had to know this by heart, as a song. In Jajce, on November 29 and 30, 1943, a political meeting was held known as the second session of the Anti-Fascist Council of People’s Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ). There, we learned, the “socialist Yugoslavia” was created. Later, we also learned about all this many things that had been withheld, even strictly prohibited. This country is now gone, and the nations that have created it are still recovering hard from the way in which it was broken down. And in Jajce, in the building where the session was held, today is the AVNOJ House. The museum was founded in 1953, renovated and reopened in 2008. The museum holds portraits by Đorđe Andrejević Kun, a collection of drawings by Božidar Jakac, films, sound recordings and other documentation. We learned all this from Emsada Leko, Director of the Museum. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

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 Pliva Lake Water mills on the tufa sills between the Small and Big Pliva Lake

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by the hills with lush forests.” This is how Henrik Renner, on his journey through Bosnia in 1896, wrote about Jajce. Architectural monuments convincingly illustrate medieval art and various political conditions in Jajce. In the era of Hrvoje Vukčić, the local building and stone-carving workshop was dominant, while in the time of the last Bosnian kings there were masters from Dalmatia working in Jajce, whose attributes are the late Gothic of the coastal towns and elements of the early Renaissance. Matija Korvin brings to the Banat masters from Central Dalmatia, as well as those from the Hungarian regions. – It is assumed that the Fortress in Jajce was built already at the beginning of the 13th century, and was later expanded and adapted to the needs – says Ante Brtan. – It was the largest and strongest in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even the great conqueror Sultan Muhammad El Fatih failed to conquer it, even after he had occupied entire Bosnia. It resisted the Ottomans for 65 years... The fortress is still al made of ramparts, gates, towers. The Kotromanić coat of arms is from the time of King Tvrtko II. From the fortress there is still a view of the city dominated by the charm of old Bosnian houses. “One of the oldest annexations in the fortress is a round tower on the south side, in a much lower position. Only one of its floors has been preserved,” „wrote Henrik Renner. “It was built simply above the ridge, and was surrounded by solid walls. This is the tower that first fell to Matija Korvin, and from there he led the siege. With these rocks a Muslim and a Christian fell into the abyss in their fight for the flag. Later, the tower served as a prison and people now call it hapsana.” Medvjed Kula (“Bear Tower”), presumably, got its name because of its shape, strength and size. It is the only round tower in Jajce and is one of the oldest buildings. It is believed that it was built between 1448 and 1463. A legend says that bears used

Pliva Evlija Čelebija says in his travelogue: “The one who observes the flow of this river at noon remains enchanted. The sun-flooded Pliva River, which glows like a precious stone, and the jumping of many big and small fish one after the other like lightning, is a wonderful and enigmatic sight!”

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to live there to whom the prisoners were being thrown, and perhaps therefore the name. Ante Brtan informs us about the plan­ ned detailed restoration and protection of the fortress of Jajce. – Fostering tourism is one of our priorities – he explains. –Jajce used to have developed industry, and was not too interested in tourism. Today the circumstances have changed and more and more people see the opportunity in tourism, from private accommodation to souvenir manufacture and hospitality. CULTURE AND SANCTUARIES Cultural events are important attribute of life in Jajce. – One of the most important events here is “Theater Games of B&H” – says Smilј­ka Brtan, Director of the Cultural Cen­ter. – The Games were founded in 1971 and are the oldest Bosnian-Herzegovinian theater festival. The festival of spiritual poetry and music “Plivske omahe – BosnianHerzegovinian Polyphony”, which takes place in May, was founded in 2007. Painters and sculptors come to our town within the “Art Colony” in mid-August. Events such as Šop’s Days on the Pliva”, “Days of Vlatko Jurić” and the “Days of Middle Ages” also make Jajce the center of cultural life of this part of B&H. One of the oldest places of pilgrimage here is the Church of Saint Ivo, near the town. It was built by Dubrovnik stone car­vers in the 15th century, in the village of Pod­milačje. According to legend, however, the church was first located in the village of Pšenik, on the left bank of the Vrbas, and then miraculously moved here overnight, withdrawing from the desecration by the Turks. “After that, nobody was allowed to touch the church anymore”, says Professor Marjana Marjanović. She also conveys a part of the rich tradition about miracles and healings that have occurred in this place, thanks to the prayers to the Saint Ivo. In the 19th century, travel writers mention tens of thousands of devotees who gathered here on St. Ivo’s Day. This is what Professor Marjana Mar­ja­no­ vić says about Jajce, her hometown: “it easily attracts both visitors and tourists. And us, who belong here, it ties with its breath and spirit for as long as we live.” 


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A Bow to Mister Danube ON FOOT TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEWPOINT IN THE IRON GATE

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The Danube is here the widest and narrowest, the oldest and youngest. All in gorges and valleys, all belonging to wolfs and eagles, but still intimate and ours. There is light one-hour walk from the depths of Lepenski Vir to the height of Ploče, which doesn’t even require great fitness. Everybody has been taken care of by the genius of nature and our excellent travel organizers. The hardest thing of all was returning to everyday life, so plain and ordinary compared to this thing here By: Ana Ranković

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 In the Canyon

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he winter sun walked us to the Gorge. With the good organization of travel agency “Flamingo Travel Club”, it brought a sense of joy and ease into our one-day expedition. We were a small team of twenty passengers, lovers of the beauty of Serbia, and our minibus was filled with good energy. “Djerdap” National Park starts from the Golubac Fortress, which was our first stop on this excursion. There we heard the story about Golubana, despot Stefan, the Babakaj rock, the brave Zaviša and cunning Jeremija. Our favorite was the anecdote that we heard from the guide about King Aleksandar Karađorđević, who donated to the Romanians an island on the Danube, closer to our bank than theirs, because of the “magical eyes of Princess Maria”, the future Serbian (Yugoslav) queen. We continued the journey on the right bank of the Danube, through the amazing Đerdap that consists of four gorges and three basins. Like this: the Golubac Gorge, Ljupkovac Basin, Gospođin Vir Gorge, Donji Milanovac Basin, Big and Small Kazan, Oršava Basin and Sipska Gorge.

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Our ultimate goal was the panoramic view of Ploče, from where there is a beautiful view of the dramatic bays of the Kazans of Djerdap. On the way we visited the extraordinary archeological site Lepenski Vir. In the second half of the 20th century, the discovery of this site caused worldwide excitement. Soon it became clear that it was an ancient and great culture, “the first Europe”, which was named after the place on the Danube bank where it was first discovered. Planned construction, buildings designed in the same way, mysterious fishlike sculptures – as Professor Dragoslav Srejović, an archaeologist, wrote – showing that “the architects and sculptors of Lepenski Vir had no competitors among their contemporaries, namely that during the entire millennium from 7000 to 6000 BC, the center of the arts of the Stone Age was located in the middle Danube Basin, in Đerdap.” Full of impressions from Lepenski Vir, we continue the journey to Donji Milanovac. There, a guard of this protected area is waiting for us at the Visitors Center of “Đerdap” National Park. He will accompany us for the rest of the trip. WALKING UP In the heart of the Đerdap Gorge, at a place called Pecka Bara, we got off the bus. We had to continue our Djerdap adventure on foot. Since the viewpoint we were headed was in the zone of the highest protection, the visit is controlled in accordance with the Law on Nature Pro-


tection. All visitors must announce such a visit to “Đerdap” National Park, which provides a guard escort. Not only that we did not mind that, but we found it useful in so many ways. Aleksandar, a guard of the national park, told us many interesting stories about the Danube, people from this area, animals and vegetation. No one can present the beauty of his area better than a local man who is happy to be where he is and who, despite the constant availability, has not become indifferent to the beauty of his area. We walked slowly on the cleared forest road, with a very slight inclination. The leaves rustled under our feet, but there were still more of them on the trees, in all shades of yellow, greenish, reddish. The guard told us that diverse wildlife inhabits in these dense oak forests, such as deer, roes, wild boar, bear, wolf, jackal, fox, pine marten, wild goat, rabbit. He said that here is the largest habitat of lynx in Serbia, which is very rare in Europe. We asked him if he had seen some of these animals. An elderly lady got worried that a wolf might suddenly appear in front of us, with a humorous remark: “I could survive wild goat, deer, rabbit, pine marten and fox, but a wolf... I would collapse from fear as soon as I saw it!” We laughed, but our guard comforted us with the words that these animals live deep in the woods and that it is unlikely that we will have a close encounter with them. The light one-hour walk, which does not require much effort even from those who are not very fit, enfolded with stories about Danube, which are endless.

– I do not know if you’ve heard of the old  On the viewpoint vocation locevi, today extinct? These were the captains of river navigation who navigated the ships in the most dangerous part of the gorge, because only they could bring the ship to safely, guarding it from underwater rocks, ridges and rapids. The masters of their trade, they did not care much for the danger, saying that the Danube has a great power and protects those who devote their entire life to it. Hence this strange absence of fear in these people, even in the most difficult situations, when they navigated ships in rain or heavy winds, responsible for the lives of many people. The most dangerous part was the Small Kazan, which we will see from this viewpoint. There have been no dangerous underwater rocks and rapids in Đerdap for a long time, because the construction of a powerful hydroelectric power plant created a large artificial lake, completely calm. Locevi have disappeared, but many of their stories and anecdotes have remained. On the bank of the Danube, several completely new settlements were built, because the old ones remained under the water of the river. One of them is Donji Milanovac, which moved several times in Photo: its history and returned to the place where Svetlana Dingarac, there was an Italian Castrum at the time of Dragan Bosnić, the great Roman Empire. Ana Ranković

Width The mighty Danube is the widest at Đerdap, near Golubac, about seven kilometers, and near Small Kazan it narrows to only 140 meters. We enter this fascinating picture on this journey, that is what we set out to do.

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R O A D S  In Veliki Kazan

 A ship below the image of the last Dacian king Decibel (ruled 87–106), engraved in the wall of the Canyon

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ABOVE SMALL KAZAN We listened to him carefully, asked questions about life today, about tourists who cruise on the Danube. He says that in recent years, there have been many foreign tourists on cruisers on the Danube, especially foreigners, because the Danube flows through Serbia for 588 kilometers, and is navigable in its entire course, and there are nine other countries through which this magical river flows. And so, with stories and enjoying the scenery, we reached our goal, the viewpoint of Ploče. A few had almost started running, eager to see that narrow of the Danube as soon as possible. Thanks to the effort of the national park employees, the viewpoint is well-developed, reinforced by a platform from which we could safely observe the most beautiful part of the gorge, Mali Kazan. We were completely swept away by the unprecedented view of the steep mountain cliffs. We all agreed that it is much more picturesque than on all the photos of Đerdap we have seen so far. We thought about the courage of those old captains who overcame the Danube’s vortexes – how great their love for the river was and how great their courage! Even from that secure place of the fenced viewpoint, this narrow looked a bit scary. The view spreads far, while the National

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Depth The Danube is not only the narrowest here but also the deepest in its entire course, as deep as 90 meters deep in some places, so its bottom is below the level of the Black Sea.

Park guard tells us about the fish that are caught here, about the zander and catfish as the masters of the Danube waters, about the Danube caviar that was once exported to foreign countries and was in great demand. – And in addition to the natural beauty of Đerdap, this is a story that will introduce you to an even more beautiful world of its cuisine, hunting and fishing specialties. I don’t want to boast, but no one has ever been hungry here. We set out for lunch at the ethno restaurant to try the promised specialties. This time it was not fish, but a hunting goulash made of various venison meats, cooked long and with skills, with a specific mix of spices that accounted for its spicy aroma. It was served with special cooked cheese and fresh salad. And the local wine from this region, with the symbolic name of the “Soul of the Danube”, from an authentic ambience with a wide view of the eternal Danube. So fascinating that we were sorry to leave this fairytale landscape and return home, to everyday life. 


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TOURIST OFFER OF KRUŠEVAC

The Glory of the Old Capital

From history and culture, to the old monumental heritage, to spa and mountain tourism, sports-recreational and religious, this regional center has many advantages

K

ruševac, the medieval Serbian capital, is one of the cities of exceptionally rich cultural and historical heritage. In 1371, the famous Prince Lazar Monument to Hrebelјanović built Kruševac as his capital. Kosovo heroes, In the church of Lazarica, built in 1376-1380, on the occasion the birth of the first Lazar’s a symbol of son Stefan and dedicated to archdeacon and Kruševac martyr Stefan, the Serbian army took communion before heading to the Battle of Kosovo in 1389.

 Lazarica Church, 14th century

Lazar’s Town. Within the complex of Lazar’s town, next to the Lazarica church, there are the National Museum, Monument to the Prince Lazar, remains of the Prince’s Palace and the Donjon Tower. In the vicinity of Laz’s Grad there is a legacy that displays over a hundred paintings by Milić of Mačva with topics from Serbian history, from Stefan Nemanja to the present day, mostly from the medieval Kruševac. Principality. This building, which today houses the City Administration, is the most beautiful architectural achievement

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of Kruševac from the beginning of the 20th century. In otherwise lavish interior, the Ceremonial or Mosaic Hall particularly stands out for its beauty. It contains the mosaics by Mladen Srbinović, inspired by the medieval history of Serbia and Kruševac, lavish in terms of colors and motifs. Under the common name In the glory of Kruševac, there are wall and floor mosaics, stained glass and lunettes in ceiling niches. Each mosaic has its own distinctive name and there is an interesting story about each one of them. The House of Simić. One of the oldest buildings in Kruševac, it was built before 1833, when Kruševac was liberated from the Turks. The agreement to start the Prince-Mileta’s rebellion was reached in this house. Today, it houses an exhibition that shows family life in the town in the early 20th century. Monument to the Kosovo heroes. The symbol of Kruševac, one of the most successful achievements of Serbian sculpture from the early 20th century, dominates the city cen-


ter. It is a work by Đorđe Jovanović, who was awarded The Gold Medal of the First Order at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 for the sculptural elements of this monument. “Slobodište”. This exceptional monument complex extends to the southern outskirts of the city, along the House of Corrections. In World War II a German camp was there, where the occupier shot several hundred patriots from Kruševac and the surrounding area. According to the idea of ​​Dobrica Ćosić, the central monumental part was designed by Bogdan Bogdanović, 1960–1965. In the memorial complex of “Slobodište” park a monument to the killed members of the army and police in the wars of 1991-1999 was opened in 2018. Jastrebac. It is the highest mountain in the Kruševac region, 20 kilometers from the city center. A spacious plateau with an artificial lake lies at about 650 meters above sea level. Its highest peaks, Đulica (1491) and Pogled (1481), are the natural boundaries between Toplice and Morava River basin. The landscapes of Jastrebac are attractive for nature lovers – hunters, mountaineers, scouts, mountain bikers... Accommodation is available in the hotel complex “Jastrebac Lake Resort”, with two beautiful buildings, hotels “Trayal” and “Idila”, with numerous accompanying facilities and amenities. Ribarska Banja. It is one of the first Ser­ bian spas, renovated in 1833, at the time of

More information Tourist Organization of Kruševac Majke Jugovića 3, (+381 37) 44 51 80 www.turizamkrusevac.com

Prince Miloš. The first chemical analysis of its water was done in 1834, a year after the liberation from the Turks, in the laboratory of the Faculty of Medicine in Vienna. Due to numerous visits of royal family members, it is also called the “Royal Spa”. The most frequent guest was King Petar I, who was treated there for rheumatism. Every year there are many guests in Ribarska Banja, both for health and relaxation needs. Following the global trends, Ribarska Banja has rebuilt the old bathroom from the 16th century. The offer of wellness and spa programs has been extended. There is now a salt room and a cave, steam bath, saunas, luxury massage rooms, an indoor and outdoor swimming pools and much more, making your stay in this center unforgettable.

 A swimming pool in Kruševac and lake on Jastrebac

The City of Culture and Sports. Kru­še­ vac has always been a city that pays gre­ at attention to culture. In addition to the Tourist Organization, Cultural Center, National Museum, National Library, Historical Archives, the holder of cultural life in Kruševac is also the Kruševac Theater, which was nurtured some the first-rate Serbian actors. As a regional sports and tourist center, Kruševac also has a large number of representative sports facilities that meet high standards for organizing top sports competitions and preparation of athletes. The City of Peace. Thanks to peacemaking activities, Kruševac is a member of the International Association of Cities “The Heralds of Peace”. It is the only city in the world that is the laureate of the “Herald of Peace” and “Peace Medal” awards. For this reason, the Monument of Peace, unique in the world, was built in Kruševac.  SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

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TOURIST OFFER OF VRNЈAČKA BANЈA

A Century and a Half on the Throne The entrepreneurs of the spa resort say: “Come to Vrnjačka Banja, enjoy vacation and good times. You will leave healthy, joyful, rested and rejuvenated! And we know that you will come again, because you deserve the best!”

By: Sonja Negojević Lazarević

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or decades it has been leading in the Serbian spa tourism. Its warm mineral water, with exceptional medicinal properties, is one of the finest in nature. The ancient Romans used it for treatment. Last year, Vrnjačka Banja marked a century and a half since the beginning of organized tourism. In addition to spa treatments, spa and wellness offer, Vrnjačka Banja offers a wide range of tourist services to both domestic and foreign guests. It is excellent for family holidays, for nature lovers, adventurers and hedonists. Beautiful nature, amazing home-made cuisine, and friendly and hospitable locals are responsible for every vacation in Vrnjačka Banja being a holiday to remember. On the Top by Far. Vrnjačka Banja has the status of a tourist destination of the first category, the only one among the spas in Serbia. In 2018 it became a member of the Association of Roman European Spas, the only one in this part of Europe. Accommodation capacities and tourist offer are continually enriched and expanded, and Vrnjačka Banja this year can offer a number of different amenities to domestic and foreign tourists. With over 15,000 beds available, it provides accommodation for all tourists in accordance with their wishes, needs and possibilities. Domestic and foreign guests have at their disposal about 4,500 accommodation units in hotels, boarding houses and apart-

ments. The specialized treatment center “Merkur” provides around 850 beds in its facilities, while about 10,000 accommodation units are in privately offered.

 Belimarković Castle (Castle of Culture)

For all Forms of Tourism. In Vrnjačka Banja you can heal, have a good rest, socialize and have fun. It is suitable for families with children, elderly citizens, athletes, business people, youth and all other forms of tourism. Vrnjačka Banja can be reached quickly and easily. It is located 200 km south of Belgrade and is well connected with all parts of the country by the main and regional roads. It is surrounded by the slopes of the forested mountain Goč which belongs to the Kopaonik region. The largest river in this region is West Morava and the closest towns are Trstenik, Kraljevo and Kruševac. Vrnjačka Banja is situated about 300 meters above sea level, its climate is moderate-continental, and the hottest months are June, July and August. Autumn is meteorologically more stable than spring, and climate conditions throughout the year are suitable for the treatment of various diseases and full body recovery. Health Tourism. For treatment of health problems in Vrnjačka Banja, four mineral springs are used: Hot Water, Snežnik, lake and Slatina. There are also other springs: Bor­jak, Beli izvor and Vrnjačko vrelo. The mineral water from Hot Water and Vr­nja­ SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

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G U I D E  Japanese garden

čko vrelo has been bottled and marketed as “Vrnjci” water since 1970. The mineral water of this area is used in the treatment of many diseases, such as diabetes, diseases of the intestine and stomach, gallbladder, stomach ulcer and duodenum, urinary tract and other. Wellness and Spa Tourism. There are a number of wellness and spa centers in Vrnjačka Banja, the most famous of which are “Solaris Resorts”, “Roman Spring”, “IWA Wellness Center”, “Sunny Hill”, “Alek­sandar Spa Center”, “Cvetni konaci”, as well as spa centers of “Zepter”, “Fontana” and “Kralј” hotels. Spa centers are beneficial for the relaxation and recovery of the whole body. In addition to the standard offerings, guests can also enjoy additional therapeutic services. Ethno Tourism. An increasingly popular type of tourism in Vrnjačka Banja. The most famous ethno village in the Vrnjačka region is Rakeziči. It is located on the right bank of the West Morava, at the foot of Mount Goč, twelve kilometers away from the center of Vrnjačka Banja. In addition to boarding houses, guests also have at their disposal a lodging, a 100-year-old authentic log house, an ethno restaurant and a museum.

Photo: Archive Tourist Organization of Vrnjačka Banja

Sports Tourism The kind of tourism that is in full swing in Vrnjačka Banja. Athletes have at their disposal numerous professional sports facilities with high quality accommodation. The best known is the Sports and Recreation Center “Raj”, which has three natural grass football fields. Other sport facilities include sports hall “Vlade Divac”, beach volleyball court, ski trail, Olympic swimming pool, as well as numerous indoor swimming pools within the local hotels. Hunting and Fishing Tourism. Vr­nja­ čka Banja is very interesting for fishermen.

Local and Hospitable In Vrnjačka Banja you can enjoy authentic local specialties, good drinks and live music. A large number of restaurants, cafes, shops and exchange offices are available to tourists, All public services are well-organized and experienced.

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Popular fishing spots are the Ibar and West Morava, fly-fishing spot “Lopatnica” and Podunavačke Bare, where an exceptionally visited competition in sport fishing is organized every year. Cultural and Event Tourism. There are numerous local cultural events that attract a large number of tourists, such as the International Festival of Classical Music, “Literary Summer”, Theater Days “Danilo Bata Stojković”, Festival of Fine Art, Screenplay Festival... One of the central events is the famous Vrnjački Carnival , in July. There are, of course, museum exhibitions, theater performances, film and music festivals on the summer stage... Congress Tourism and Team Building. Banja is an exceptional host for many congresses, seminars, presentations (Consulting for lawyers in the economy, Congress of the Supreme Court, Information Technique and Technology Fair...). Team spirit is being successfully developed and strengthened here, and many Serbian companies are choosing Vrnjačka Banja for socialization of their employees. The leader of the congress tourism is hotel “Zvezda” located in the heart of Vrnjačka Banja. Religious Tourism. Since this region was in the area of Old Raška, the first state of the Nemanjić dynasty, as well as in the country of Lazar Hrebelјanović, in the wider area of Vrnjačka Banja there are some of the most important Serbian medieval monasteries When you are in Banja, it is a nice opportunity to visit monasteries Ljubostinja, Žiča, Studenica and St. Petka, as well as Lazar’s Town in Kruševac, with the Lazarica church. More. In Vrnjačka Banja you can rent a bike and ride along its streets. Enjoy a ride in a carriage or walk on the Promenade and parks. Visit the Japanese garden and watch hundred-year old sycamore trees. Do not miss to visit the Homeland Museum, as well as the authentic summer house “Castle of Culture” from 1889. If you are in love, lock your love with a padlock on the Bridge of Love, or make a wish and throw a coin for good luck. 


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LESKOVAC AND ITS TOURIST PATTERN, ALL MADE OF BARBECUE, BELL-PEPPERS AND TRUMPETS

Therapy with Food and Brightness We can begin with the Dardanians, Celts, Byzantines. Canvas through medieval heritages. Take a look at examples of old architecture that have survived everything, even friendly bombing. Nevertheless, Leskovac today is first recognized by gourmet barbecue, heavenly bell-pepper, fiery carnival and rock music that moves mountains. If you have not done it already, check out this year what this really means

Text and Photo: Mirolјub Radivojević, Dragan Radović

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eskovac was created in the banks of the South Morava, in a fertile and picturesque basin where there had been life since time immemorial and where the Dardanians, Celts, Byzantines and others left their marks... The name of this city has been in historical chronicles for more than six centuries. In the 6th century, the great Byzantine Emperor Justinian built for his mother the magnificent city of Justinian Prima (Empress’ City), a treasury of beauty and spirituality. “For you and your offspring”. With these words, the Byzantine emperor Manojlo Komnen gave to Stefan Nemanja an area called Dubočica, back in 1159.

More than half a century after the Battle of Kosovo, Duke Nikola Skobalјić remained in his city above Vučje, on Kukavica (where the remains of the walls still stand), despite the advances of the Turkish Empire toward Europe. Three and a half centuries later, Duke Ilija Stelјa, Karađorđe’s commander, raised a rebellion for the liberation from the Turks, but Leskovac was liberated only less than a century later. The city then goes through strong economic development, which is largely contributed by the railroad which connects Leskovac with Belgrade and Thessaloniki since 1886. The city is developed through wide streets, schools, wooden bridges, markets, SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

 Odžaklija Church and the City House  Orthodox Cathedral and St. John’s Monastery

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 From the Carnival

squares and alleys... In a water mill in Strojkovac, the twisting of cords began in 1884, laying the foundation for the textile industry. In 1903, the hydroelectric power plant was built on the Vučjanka River, the second in Serbia. The soap factory was built in 1906, and the first metal workshop in 1911. Thus, Leskovac grew into an “industrial center”, “city of textile”, “Little Manchester”. And then came wars, bombings, pogroms. And again the development... It is inevitable to mention the great sacral and cultural tradition: Jašunja monasteries, Odžaklija Church, the Orthodox Cathedral, Mining Residence, Šop-Đokić and Piksla’s house... And the beauty of nature: lakes, rivers, mountains... SACRAL HERITAGE OF LESKOVAC AREA Jašunja monasteries. The Monastery of St. John the Baptist was founded in 1517

Mining Residence Mining Residence is one of the most beautiful examples of Balkan style profane architecture. It has a ground floor and an upper floor, the base is in the shape of a letter T. Under a large porch there is an entrance to the ground floor, then a large hall and wooden stairs leading upstairs. On the upper floor is a large hall. Especially interesting is the protruding porch. Large chimney and wooden shutters on the upper floor have been preserved.

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by Andronik Kantakuzin and his brothers. The architecture of this monastery is representative. It is built by combining an evenly shaped stone and brick. The frescoes were painted in 1524. Within the celebration of five centuries of the monastery, the residence was restored, a belfry, viewpoint and a log cabin church were built. It is located seventeen kilometers from Leskovac. The Monastery of the Holy Mother of God was built is 1488/1499 by nun Ksenija together with nuns Teofa, Marija and Marta. Their portrait as founders is in the narthex. It is a one-nave building with a narthex and semicircular apse. It is two kilometers from the Monastery of St. John. The Church (Monastery) of St. Nicholas in Čuklјenik is located on the northern slopes of Mount Kukavica, seventeen kilometers south of Leskovac. A hundred years ago this monastery was turned into a parochial church. The church was given its present appearance in the 18th and 19th century. In 1983, three baroque prints on the canvas were found in this church, among them the only copper etching print of The Resurrection of Christ by Hristifor Žefarević from 1743, with the appearance of the Patriarchate of Peć. Žefarević did this graphic with the blessing of Patriarch Arsenije Jovanović Šakabenta.


Church of Sv. Petka in Rudar. The monastery complex consists of the Church of St. Petka, beautiful residence and an old cemetery. It is 5 and a half kilometers away from Leskovac. The church was rebuilt in 1799. It is assumed that it was built on the foundations of a one-nave early Christian basilica, of which the central parts and parts of the altar were preserved during the reconstruction. Church of St. Petka in Kumarevo. In this village, five kilometers to the east from Leskovac, the church was erected and painted in 1803, and rebuilt in 1930–1933. In addition to this church, another one was built in 1930s. This church was designed by Vasilije Androsov and it is one of the most beautiful rural churches of this architect. Stylistically, it is a synthesis of baroque and traditional Serbian-Byzantine forms. Odžaklija Church in Leskovac. It was built at the time of the Karađorđe’s uprising, from 1805 to 1812, and was rebuilt in 1839. The building is buried in the ground. Architecture is not significant, but it is unique for having a built-in chimney, which makes this church unique in the world. It is a one-nave building without a dome. It has a porch with arcades and wooden pillars on the south and west sides. Interestingly, the thin wooden pillars were lined with laths and wrapped with hemp ropes and then

plastered, which contributed to its monumentality. Odžaklija is made of adobe, with thick walls. Along the entire vault, and in the walls themselves, earthen pots are embedded with openings facing the inside of the church, so that small holes can be seen in the walls, which contributes to extraordinary acoustics. The iconostasis and ciborium are made of carved boxwood. The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Leskovac. It is in the very center of the city, built from 1922 to 1931, designed by Vasilije Androsov. The King of Yugoslavia, Aleksandar I Karađorđević, attended the consecration ceremony. It is dominated by a slender dome over naos and four smaller ones in the corners. The building is lovely, colorful, yet monumental. It is a combination of the Moravian flamboyance, Kosovo and Metohija loftiness, with some Raška elements, all melted into a harmonious and solid whole. The interior of the church is painted.

 Concert within the Barbecue Festival

Barbecue and Roasts About 20 to 30 hospitality entrepreneurs regularly participate at the “Barbecue Festival”, with about 40 stands and gardens. The basis of the menu is made of Leskovac grilled specialties. In recent years, with the arrival of participants from other parts of Serbia, numerous roast meat restaurants have also appeared. The festival is now visited by as many as half a million people during seven days.

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I N V I T A T I O N  Barbecue Festival: the secret of Leskovac uniqueness in making meat delicacies

EVENTS AND RITUALS Leskovac is well-known for numerous important tourist, commercial, cultural, entertainment and sporting events. The list is long. Let us mention “Leskovac Carnival”, one of the most prestigious in the region, with the largest number of different carnival programs in the Balkans. Rich cultural life is also reflected in the film festival, numerous theater, literary, music events, seminars, consultancies, tournaments, and various gatherings. Leskovac is also famous for its cuisine, especially barbecue and hundreds of recipes for dishes with bell-pepper. The “Barbecue Festival”, one of the biggest commercial and tourist events in this part of the Balkans, is held this year for the thirtieth time. Barbecue delicacies are not solely Leskovac invention. This way of preparing meat has its origin in the Caucasus, and it came to us through Turkey and Macedonia in the 18th century, when ćevap was mentioned for the first time. Leskovac barbecue has won the primacy in the preparation, quality, nutritional value, diversity of dishes and irresistible taste. City life, promenade, fairs, city walks and carriage ride would mostly begin or end in front of the numerous barbecue stands. Bohemian customers could not imagine the beauty of socializing in taverns without cold grape pomace wine and large barbecue plates. Evening outings were marked by “small and large trains” composed of grilled delicacies: burgers, ćevapi, pork filet, kebab, pork chops, mixed meet, and a lot more. And as seasoning, there are always hot peppers, finely chopped onions, and for those more daring gourmands, hot chilies. The name of the barbecue restaurant “Bure” dates back from that time, and has become a family nickname that accom-

Bure Miodrag Gligorijević Bure received awards at international culinary exhibitions in Munich, Frankfurt, Vienna, Stresa. Visitors at the world exhibitions in Brussels and Montreal were waiting in line to try his specialties. Newspapers wrote about “the great champion from Yugoslavia”. His specialties were enjoyed by Tito, Brezhnev, Nixon, Carter, the British royal couple, actors Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Barton...

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panies the famous Miodrag Gligorijević Bure, the winner at numerous world culinary competitions. BARBECUE FESTIVAL AS TRADITION The first “Barbecue Festival” in Leskovac took place back in 1965 but, unfortunately, it was shut down only after two years. The modern “Barbecue Festival” took off again in 1989. In the first ten years the festival dates were often changed. All modern “Barbecue Festivals” were held in the area of ​​Široka čarsija, the main Leskovac boulevard. Since early 2000, it has been organized in the first week of September, and the duration was extended from three to seven days. Numerous awnings and tents were replaced by uniform metal stands. “Barbecue Festival” has numerous side programs and competitions. The most popular is the competition in making the biggest burger in the world. The record has been broken almost all years. The last official record was from last year, when a burger of 66 kilograms of barbecue meat was made, 1.9 meters in diameter. Since 2000, this competition has been called the “Memorial of Novica Stanković Šaponja”. He managed to break his own record in making the biggest burger in the world six times, and three times in a row he won the competition in making a burger “by hand”. The last time Novica made the biggest burger in early 1999 in Moscow. He was killed that year in Kosovo and Metohija, the southern Serbian province, during the bombing of Serbia by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. There are also traditional competitions of restaurant management schools of Serbia and barbecue masters. Of course, “Barbecue Festival” is accompanied by numerous cultural and entertainment programs, seminars, conferences, exhibitions, fairs and theater festivals. Trumpet concerts are a must, and their sound marks the music of this part of Serbia. Leskovac has long been the world capital of barbecue, cuisine and hospitality industry, the “metropolis of good entertainment”. The visitors always have good time, the businessmen meet, brightness and enthusiasm are spurred, the joy takes over. Do not take our word for it. Come and see it yourself this year.


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P E O P L E

AT LEFTERIS’ HOUSE, IN STAVROS, LIKE AT HOME

Smile from the Heart He would wait for us at three in the morning in his restaurant, tired, from the road, and was worried why we were late. He fed us fresh from the boat, starving and freezing. The master of culinary delicacies, always pulled us out of trouble. And still, his kindness and warmth are above it all. Our friend Lefteris, a brand in this little town in the North Aegean Sea By: Mišo Vujović

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or more than a quarter of a century, I come and sit with my dear friend Lefteris at the “Lefteris” restaurant in the center of Stavros. I have spent a few summer holidays in this beautiful place, and passed through countless of times on my way to the Holy Mountain. In the summer and in the winter, in the sun, rain, wind, once in the snow... Years go by, the ambient changes, many dear people are leaving, we walk ever so slowly and the time speeds up, some memories fade with the sea foam, and the face in the mirror looks less and less like ourselves, the image that is difficult to erase from the subconscious. They say the heart weakens but does not age, and the beautiful moments of life remain as a record of eternity, film that travels with us through time. In three decades of my intensive stays in Greece, I have had many friends, some have

SRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2019.

already gone, but in Asprovalta I feel the spirit of Nikos as I pass through the main street, a little further away I am greeted by the blessing of Father Teofil, a great Serbian friend, in Ierisos I feel Kosta or Kostas... Every time is made of people, and if they are gone, only a deaf gap remains and an illusion that you have experienced something. But let me get back to Stavros. In the late 1970s, it was accidentally discovered by actress Radmila Savićević with her husband, I can no longer remember whether Paja Vujisić with his Mira was there, or Gidra and Ljilja, perhaps another acting couple. Anyway, the four of them traveled to Thassos to spend summer vacation there, but the old “Citroën 2CV” broke down on the Thessaloniki-Kavala road at the turn for Stavros. They find the repairman, he shakes his head and repeats:


“Ohi kala!” (“Not good!”) The engine mixed oil and water. As the law is changed by the force, the car is off to be repaired, and they, so as not to waste time, go straight to a tavern, then to a beach. The car was fixed in a week, and they extended their stay in Stavros by three more weeks. Later, they became the biggest promoters of this tucked-in town, in the past decades one of the favorite holiday resorts of the Serbs. Compared to that time, almost everything has changed, and even the sea has become like people – moody, summer torrents going crazy flooding entire towns, three seasons change in a day, but one man and his restaurant are still holding. Lefteris, a top-notch master of cuisine, still making masterpieces from the gifts of the sea. He is known for this. It does not boss around like our restaurant owners, commanding from the tavern, but by the stove or grill he holds the helm of his gastronomic yacht known far and wide even outside of northern Greece. He personally prepares delicacies for his guests, recommends, takes suggestions, meets the most demanding wishes.

A few years ago, on the way back from the Holy Mountain, a car broke down. The road assistance tow truck arrives, we stop in Stavros, a frustrated customs officer approaches, asks for documents, noting that a foreign towing service cannot tow vehicles through Greece. The police arrive, the thing gets complicated. Sparks on both sides. Lule explains in English, always calm Bane paces nervously. I feel the rage growing in him too. Lefteris enters the scene: “Just take it easy, everything will be solved”, he says. A local sheriff arrives, returns the documents to us, with an apology. Explains to the customs officer and the colleague that this law had not been in force for more than ten years... What adorns with this dear man is the kindness and warmth with which he awaits guests. A smile from the heart is as good as the taste of the food that absorbs that love and the positive energy of this above all positive man, my dear friend Lefteris. 

IT WILL BE SOLVED As a master of his craft, Lefteris is unrivaled, which is easy to confirm by making any order in his restaurant. But what makes this master complete is his personality that I will paint through a couple of examples. On one occasion, we announced that we were coming for dinner at midnight. We traveled to the Holy Mountain, we left late from Belgrade, waited a long time at the borders. We found Lefteris at almost half past two smoking a cigarette at the table and with a sincere smile. To our apology for delay, he waived his hand: “It is good that nothing bad happened. I was worried.” Brother Gojko, Miloš and I as if it had been three in the afternoon. White taramas, Greek salad, octopuses, calamari and ended with a good piece of sea bass... About ten years ago, we did not make it from Dafne, because of the snow, to Karyes on the Holy Mountain. We got off the ship in Uranopolis and went straight to Lefteris. There were eleven of us. We were frozen and hungry like wolves, we ate all the food there. The bill was symbolic. As always, Lefteris was a master of his trade. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

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G A T H E R I N G S

FOURTH “WINTER MAGIC 2019” IN BRZEĆE

The Monarchy of Beauty “Snow Queen” pageant, “Fashion Day”, “Kopaonik Gatherings” and a series of accompanying programs, with over one hundred participants, spiced up this winter encounter on Kopaonik again

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he first day of this year’s event, held on 15-17 January was again dedicated to the public shooting of the great “Kopaonik Gatherings”. This interesting program, dedicated to the nurturing of Serbian tradition and folk customs, presented the seventy-seven-year old gajde player Tomislav Đurin, toast giver Dragan Simić (president of the “Prela i posela” Association in Mionica), cultural and artistic society “Veseli Banaćani” from Zrenjanin, singing and music-singing group “Lazarice” from Kruševac, “Raskovnik” and “Ribnica” from Kralјevo, “Omorika” from Ivanjica, “Brus” from Brus. Due to snowfall and difficult

Support The host of all events was again Apart-Hotel “Kopaonik” from Brzeće. The golden sponsor was “Underwear 4 you” from Čačak, general sponsor “Ekoenergetika” from Belgrade, patron was “Ivkompjuters”, also from Belgrade. The event was also sponsored by “Oblak tehnologija”, “Kopyfood”, “Hladnjača Budilovina”, “Srebrenac Product”, “Dobrodolac kop”, “Brzmin”, “Brzeće kop”, “Botunjac vinogradi”, restaurants “Klјunac” and “Gradska kafana”, Accommodation “Pahulјica”, Residence “Dobrodolac”, Apartments “Vicko”, “Vila Ivanović”, apart-hotel “Mount”...

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traffic, year the participants from Ranilović, Aranđelovac, Puhovo, Guča, Čačak, Kordun, from Montenegro did not make it to the mountain. Ethno fashion show of Radmila Simić was held within the “Kopaonik Fashion Day”. On the second day, as usual, the parti­ ci­ pants walked around the mountain and clim­bed the Pančić peak. And then the ma­ in event happened: the Kopaonik “Snow Queen” pageant. This year’s Miss is Tijana Bosanac, the first runner-up Dijana Radoičić, the second runner-up Tanja Tomić, all three from Belgrade. The “Top Model” is Anđela Milović from Čačak, “Face of the Year” Kristina Đorđević from Niš, “Miss Charm” Bojana Marković from Rudovci near Lazarevac. Friends of the event provided valuable prizes for the winners. Special guests of the “Snow Queen” pageant were actor Marko Živić, singer Ivan Gavrilović, football referee Dalibor Đurđević. Photo-monograph Novak by Jovan Mir­ česki, dedicated to the world’s best tennis player Novak Đoković, was promoted during the event. 



R E C O M M E N D A T I O N

HOTEL “VILA BREG” IN VRŠAC WELCOMING GUESTS AGAIN

In High Style After half year of refurbishment, the famous hotel in Vršac has opened its doors again. It has 44 rooms, four apartments, swimming pool, wellness and spa center, sauna, sports, entertainment and other amenities, as well as a beautiful view of the city and the plain

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“V

ila Breg” Hotel is a symbol of a good holiday. Its 44 rooms radiate warmth and comfort – in 28 or 35 intimate square meters, with many tiny secrets for good mood. Within the hotel there is “Eol” Restaurant that can now, after renovation, accommodate 300 guests. “Eol” Restaurant is a friend of culinary wishes of the guests, with a special emphasis on healthy organic food. Guests have at their disposal a superior wellness and spa center (with indoor and outdoor swimming pool, sauna, steam bath, children’s playroom, lounge area and rooms for massages and treatments). Regardless of whether the reason for staying here is a romantic weekend or a business trip, this wellness and spa center is a favorite place and a backbone of vitality, enthusiasm and energy.

For business guests, there is a conference area (four modern equipped work rooms, for 30 to 150 guests). The possi­ bi­ lities for organizing business meetings (seminars, con­gresses, team build­ ing) in the renovated hotel are raised to a higher level. Professional staff of “Vila Breg” Hotel is at the disposal of guests for organizing both hotel and outdoor activities. . Personalized approach to clients is one of the most important principles in the operation of this hotel. Numerous companies operating in Serbia have recognized the quality and advantages of staying in a hotel outside of SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2019

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Кон­такт Хо­тел „Ви­ла Брег“ Го­ран­ска бб, 26300 Вр­шац, www.vil­la­breg.com, re­cep­ti­on­@vil­la­breg.com +381 13 831 000

Belgrade, and again just an hour and a half drive from it, at a place removed from the city noise, with excellent service, warm atmosphere and friendly staff, as well as all conditions for organizing business meetings and holidays.

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Natural lighting in all halls, a terrace with a beautiful view, or working in the Fireplace Bar, a separate part of the hotel, where during coffee breaks you can play pool, darts or pinball — certainly have stimulating effect on the work atmosphere. “Vila Breg”, a new ambassador of good service, invites readers of National Review and guests of the International Tourism Fair in Belgrade to visit this hotel and enjoy it, as well as Vršac, romantic Vojvodina town, well-known for good wine, and famous locals, such as Sterija, Paja Jovanović, Vasko Popa. 



R E C O G N I T I O N S

GREAT GLOBAL AWARD TO “MERKUR” FROM VRNЈAČKA BANЈA

The Best Traditional Spa Resort The award is given by the “Travel and Hospitality Group” from London and “Merkur” received it in the category “Best Traditional Spa of the Year”. Among the laureates are institutions, companies and individuals from six continents. The award shows that the European market continues to highly value the quality of “Merkur”

T

he beginning of 2019 brought to “Merkur” an outstanding global recognition. “Travel and Hospitality Group” from London has presented to “Merkur” the award for the best spa resort that respects the traditional spa concept. The “Best Traditional Spa of the Year” award is given “for hard work and achievements within the tourism industry”. Among the laureates are institutions, hotels, tourist companies, travelers, influential individuals... from six continents. The award shows that the European market has been continuously recognizing the quality “Merkur”, because a similar in-

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ternational confirmation of quality arrived from London in 2017. At the award ceremony of the Socrates Committee, which follows the world’s greatest achievements in various fields, “Merkur” was presented with the award for the best regional hospital, in the category “health care and recreation”, and the director of “Merkur” Dr. Sci Med Dejan Stanojević the award as the best manager. TRUE SPA ENJOYMENT As a result of constant research of market and customer needs, “Merkur” has


Sales by the End of March In order to motivate and stimulate people, “Merkur” has special packages in the off-season, with prices 13% lower than the regular prices, plus 5% discount for early booking, and numerous other benefits. The packages are intended for those who come to “Merkur” to control and improve health (medical packages), as well as those that are there to rest and recuperate (nonmedical packages).

introduced a new product in 2019 in its offer: “Merkur’s” Spa Package. It is designed for everyone who comes to Vrnjacka Banja and is conceived so that the natural spa potential is used in the best possible way. This package allows guests to feel a true spa experience with traditional treatments and therapies with mineral waters of Vrnjacka Banja. Balneo therapy, which uses mineral water from spa springs (Hot Water, Snežnik, Slatina and Lake), has a beneficial effect on the improvement of health, treatment, recovery and rehabilitation from various diseases. The beneficial effects of these waters have been proven for centuries, but due to their specific composition and effects, these waters are treated as medicine, and must be used under strict medical supervision. In the optimal use of the medicinal water and its best effect on human body,

“Merkur’s” medical team has long experience and exceptional results. Within the Spa Package, “Merkur’s” doctors prescribe a combined use of these treatments personalized for each patient. Accommodation in the center of the spa, in the natural ambience of the park and swimming in mineral water pools make this offer perfect for every spa guest. Rest, prevention, therapies and improvement of health conditions are always the benefits of staying in Banja. When we add to this the modern tourist amenities, which have long been part of the image of Vrnjačka Banja, then everything that makes a modern tourist destination is in front of us. 

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Србија ПОД КАПОМ НЕБЕСКОМ

A remarkable publishing achievement of “Princip Pres”! An exclusive monograph about Serbia, in separate editions in Serbian, English, Russian and German languages!

ПРИНЦИП ПРЕС

ПРИНЦИП ПРЕС

Cetinjska 6, 11000 Belgrade Phone +381 11 322 70 34 www.nacionalnarevija.com


„Миленијум Палас“ је хотел са четири звездице који се налази на југозападу Македоније, на обали прелепог Охридског Језера. „

Millenium Palace“ is a four star hotel located in the southwest part of Macedonia, on the shores of the famous Lake Ohrid.

 Смештај  41 стандарднa собa,  10 дуплекса,  6 делукс соба,  6 Јуниор aпартмана.

 Accommodation  41 standard rooms,  10 Duplexes,  Deluxe rooms,  6 Junior Suits.

 Храна Ресторан је капацитета 160, а тераса 100 особа.

 Dining With the capacity up to 160 and terrace for 100 persons.

 Вински бар

 Wine Bar

 Конференције и семинари  две конференцијске сале капацитета од 120 учесника

 Conferences & Seminars  two conference halls, each with capacity up to 120 participants

 Спа и Велнес  Финска сауна,  Турска сауна (Амам),  Теретана,  Масажа.

 Spa And Wellness  Finish sauna,  Turkish sauna (Hamam),  Gym,  Massage.

w w w. m i l l e n i u m p a l a c e. co m . m k

millenium_palace@t-home.mk

Кеј Маршал Тито бб, 6000 Охрид, Македонија, Тел./Факс: +389 46 263 361


SEEDS OF THE GOOD TIMES

INSTITUTE OF FIELD AND VEGETABLE CROPS, NOVI SAD NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA FREE INFO NUMBER: 0800 000 021

www.nsseme.com