Tourism 2020

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Year XIV • special edition, 2020 • free copy www.nacionalnarevija.com

TOURISM 2020 Freedom Lies in Diversity




P R O L O G U E

Publisher “Princip Pres” Cetinjska 6, 11000 Belgrade Tel.: +381 (11) 322 70 34, 32 30 447 www.nacionalnarevija.com princip.press@gmail.com

ALL THE SAME STORY, THE SECRET OF TRAVELLING

Director and Editor-in-Chief Mišo Vujović Editor Branislav Matić Technical Editor Aleksandar Ćosić

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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

Distances in Us

es, all the same story, the secret of travelling. And the scarcity of traveling without secrets. Even discussing travelling is travelling. Sometimes one gets much further when idling than when rushing. One often rests better in a brisk game than while snoring. Noble leisureliness does not mean superficiality or disinterest in anything, especially not in travelling. Even the best quills left quite different records about travelling. Meša Selimović: “Everyone should be directed to travel from time to time. Even more: one should never stop longer than necessary. Man is not a tree, and attachment is his misfortune, it takes away his courage, diminishes confidence. Getting attached to one place, one accepts all conditions, even unfavorable ones, and frightens himself with the uncertainty that awaits him. The change seems like abandonment, loss of investment, someone else will occupy his conquered space, and he will start anew. Burying oneself is a true beginning of getting old, as the man is young for as long as he is not afraid of new beginning. By staying, the man suffers or attacks. By leaving, he keeps his freedom, he is ready to change the place and the conditions imposed.” Ivo Andrić: “Travelling, now I see it well, has always been more fatigue of the body, intoxication of the spirit and waste of time and power than anything else. The happy and the smart travel rarely, and in those rare journeys they find all they need: everything a man wants from a journey and can get. And the miserable ones are cruising and circling the world, seeking in vain and never finding their journey, they have no use or comfort in what they see in their wandering. What every man needs to find while staying at home, he cannot find in the world, even if you pour out your eyes over other people’s horizons.” Or like this: “A man travels the world in search of what he needs, and when he returns home he finds it.” (George Edward Moore) Possibilities are numerous, freedom lies in them. Whether you are going somewhere, or staying home, you travel. Looking curiously at yourself and around you. And aware that, as the Poet taught us, the most important are “distances within us”. 

Media partners:

Cover page: Design by Jovan

Želјko Rajačić

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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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

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CONTENTS

Panorama 04 PRO­LOGUE 06 AL­BUM

Road Sign 12 FRAME: FAIR 2020 18 SVE­TI­O­NI­CI: ON MONTMARTRE 28 WORLDS: THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN, BEIJING 38 DESTINATIONS: PAMUKKALE 48 INVITATION: YOGYAKARTA 58 DISTANCES: LAND OF FIRE 68 JOURNAL: ON TOR­NI­K AND UVAC

Around the Town 76 CAPITAL: BE­O­GRAD 80 IN THE OLD PLACE: VR­NJAČ­KA BA­NJA 86 GUIDE: LE­SKO­VAC 92 WELCOME: SU­B O­TI­CA

Introducing 94 KO­PA­O­NIK: “GOR­SKI” HO­TEL 96 HEALTH: “MER­KUR”

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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 Bishop’s Court in Vršac, snowy night (Photo: Vlada Marinković)  In Gračanica Monastery, from 1321 (Photo: Aleksandar Radoš)

(Photo: From the book

“Serbia under the Sun”, “Princip Pres”, Belgrade, 2017)

CAPITAL MONOGRAPH ON SERBIA IN FOUR LANGUAGES

“T

Under the Sun

his is an unusual country. Sometimes one thinks, as Tyutchev did for his own, that this country cannot be understood, it can only be loved. Serbia is a great secret. The land of the frontiersmen, in the gap of the worlds. A house in the middle of the road. The tower of the holy warriors. A poem among the nations. Weaving of the most ancient memories. This sun in the eyes, this bread in the palm of your hand. That is how Serbia is spoken by its poets, in whom the drama and beauty of the Serbian space, the Serbian destiny, resonate.” These sentences introduce us to the monograph Serbia, Under the Sun, a major undertaking by the Belgrade publishing house “Princip Pres”, one of the most beautiful books on this country ever published. This book, in separate editions in four languages, takes us through the hidden paths of Balkan antiquity, through the Celtic and Roman times, the golden medieval times, the era of slavery and darkness, until the resurrection in the 19th century, liberation and our century. It takes us on pilgrimages, reads to us landscapes and cities, “the most beautiful manuscript of the creator”, tells stories from the road. Reveals the most unusual of all Serbias, where even darkness learns to shine. It introduces the humor that circles the country with its shadow in the sky. It gives the geopoetic and character typology of the mother country of Serbia. It takes us before the great Serbian visionaries and before famous foreigners who have left the immortal pages in the glory of Serbia. “It is all the same testimony and the same poem, Serbia under sun. Like a beautiful antique polyphonic journal.” Of course, this is all supported by some of the greatest masters of photography in Serbia. Keeping this book before our and your eyes, inviting you to have continuous encounters with it, recommending that you to have it and give it as a gift, we now bring some of its golden repository of photographs. Still as the joy and comfort in difficult times.  (B. M.)

ПРИНЦИП ПРЕС 06

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Grange in Banat (Photo: Vlada Marinković)

In Vojvodina

(Photo: Vlada Marinković)

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А Л Б У М

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У Ве­ли­кој Хо­чи, Ме­то­хи­ја (Фо­то: Алек­сан­дар Ра­дош)

In Velika Hoča, Metohija (Photo: Aleksandar Radoš)

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F R A M E

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BELGRADE INTERNATIONAL TOURISM FAIR, FORTY-SECOND

The Starting Point of the Balkans From 20 to 23 February, representatives of the tourism industry, travelers and visitors from all over the world will gather throughout the exhibit space of Belgrade Fair. Under the slogan “Hit the Road!”, there will be a number of discounts, presentations, tastings, major business breakthroughs and contracts The partner country this year is Egypt, Ukraine is there for the first time, the United Arab Emirates and Cuba are back. Accompanying events are fairs of hotel and catering equipment, wine and souvenirs

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or everyone from the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as travelers and visitors, the International Belgrade Tourism Fair will present the latest trends in tourism and related industries from February 20 to 23. At high organizational and professional level, it will meet the needs of all participants. Under the slogan Hit the Road!, the major travel agencies, alliances and organizations, hotels, tourist centers, airlines, and international tour operators will be presented. They will promote new concepts and opportunities for travel, well as perspectives in the development of the tourism business. At exclusive fair prices, the first-minute offers will be presented to the visitors, as well as tour packages for traveling with numerous benefits. The fair is well known for its attractive summer and winter vacation opportunities, at ski resorts, spa centers, spa weekends, exotic interconti-

nental destinations youth, city break and congress tourism. Traditionally, visitors can expect a comprehensive range of travel packages and new destinations. Among others, Ukraine will have its premiere appearance at the Tourism Fair, while the United Arab Emirates and Cuba are returning to the fair after a short break. This year’s partner country is Egypt, which attracts visitors from all over the world with its distinctive offer. The Egyptian fair appearance in Hall 1 of the Belgrade Fair, on 200 square meters, will focus on several top tourist attractions: numerous destinations on the Red Sea, diving in Sharm el Sheikh, diverse and delicious culinary offer, as well as the opening of a new museum near the pyramids. Serbia, the host country, will present its natural beauties and cultural sites, exciting cities, capacities of hotels, resorts, tourist centers, as well as various amenities SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2020

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for rest, entertainment, health recovery, sports, recreation and adventure... all of its trump cards with which it appeals in the global tourism market, which is of great importance for the overall economic and social development of the country. The continuous growth trend in this industry trend lasting many years is the basis for optimistic expectations in 2020 as well. The importance of the Tourism Fair for the Serbian economy and trade is also confirmed by the active participation of the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of Serbia, as well as other competent institutions and organizations. Numerous cross-border cooperation agreements and business deals are made during the fair.

Partners Media partners of the event: “Russian Travel Digest”, “Travel Daily News”, “Place2Go”, “Caffe Montenegro”, “Fashion and Travel”, “Places2Go”, “Live Timisoara.ro”, “Tourism-InSider”, “TU Magazin”, “In Horeca, “Congress Tourism”, “Tourist World”, “BelGuest”, “Serbia I Love”, “Stylers”, “Adria Media”, “Color Pres Group”, “Tripin Serbia”, “Wandering Traveler”, “Events in Serbia”, “Tourist Prism”, “SAT Media Group”... Hotel partners: “Radisson Collection Old Mill Belgrade”, “Xenon Hotel Belgrade”, “In Hotel Belgrade”, “Falkensteiner Hotel Belgrade”, “Mona Plaza Hotel Belgrade”...

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EQUIPMENT AND SKILLS

Three other related events are taking place simultaneously with the Tourism Fair: the International Wine Fair “BeoWine” (for the eleventh time this year), International Fair of Hotel and Hospitality Equipment “HORECA” (sixteenth) and the Souvenir Fair “See Serbia” (also the sixteenth). The International Fair of Hotel and Hospitality Equipment “HORECA” will introduce new trends in the hotel industry. It will bring together the most important companies for the production and distribution of modern equipment for hotels, restaurants, cafes, as well as service industry. It will provide insight into new trends in the business, supply and functioning of hospitality facilities. Halls 2b and 2c will feature companies exhibiting furniture, bedding, biodegradable straws, software, refrigerated showcases, confectionery and bakery machines, ice cream mixtures... New exhibitors this year come from Italy, Croatia, Greece and, of course, Serbia, from the fields of consulting and professional equipment for pastry-making and bakeries. Among the participants are “Unox” (Italy), “Tognana”


(Italy), “Miele” (Germany), or from Serbia “Eurocolor”, “Migo”, “Fragolina”, “Okpiro eco gril”, “Elmiss Line”, “Textil”. A barista competition will be held at the CORP booth. The exhibitors’ booths will showcase catering skills, ice-cream and cocktail making on state-of-the-art equipment, with tasting, of course. The famous “Ikea” is participating at this fair for the first time. ATTRIBUTES OF WINE “BeoWine 2020”, the largest wine fair in Serbia, will be the meeting place for wine traditions and cultures from the Atlantic to the Caucasus. The most prominent Serbian and Balkan wine producers, wine cellars, wine houses and distributors, as well as producers of rakia, will be featured in Halls 3 and 3a. With state-of-theart equipment for winemaking and viticulture, “BeoWine” continues to promote wine and gastronomic tourism. In addition to Serbian wines, this year’s fair will present for the first time wines from Georgia, as well as old wine acquaintances from Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Northern

Macedonia, Montenegro (including “Kastel Savina” for the first time), Poland, Austria, Turkey and Srpska. The long tradition of winemaking in Georgia makes this drink an indispensable part of its national identity, and making wine in kvevri, clay pots, has also made its way into the UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage. Wines from this country will be presented at “BeoWine 2020” at the request of many wine lovers in Serbia, to whom the oenological

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Information Working hours of the Fair: Thursday (February 20), Friday (21) and Saturday (22) from 10 AM to 7 PM; Sunday (February 23) from 10 AM to 6 PM. Tickets: The price of a single ticket is 400, for group visits 300 dinars. Family ticket price (parents with children under the age of sixteen): 800 dinars. Parking: 200 dinars per hour. All information: www.beogradskisajamturizma.rs

treasure of Georgia has so far been out of reach. Winemakers from Italy, a wine country popular in Serbia, will have a joint appearance at the same booth. All Italian wine regions will be represented, therefore a wide variety of wines. Croatia will feature through appearances of winemakers from Pelješac and Istria, also at a joint stand. Most winemakers, of course, will be from Serbia. There will also be new small family wineries that “create bold and exciting wines”, in line with global trends. Of course, all the good old participants of “BeoWine” will come under the domes of the Belgrade Fair. “Coca-Cola”, the sponsor of “BeoWine 2020”, will appear with a large number of brands. “Rosa”, a product of this company, will be the official water of this year’s wine fair, and the visitors will also see “Golden Rakija”, “Bulldog Gin”, “Jack Daniels”, “Aperol”, as well as a range of premium spirits. A world-class bartender will make extraordinary cocktails in front of the audience. The co-organizer of “BeoWine” is company “Srpsko vino”.

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SEE SERBIA In Hall 4 of the “Belgrade Fair” the To­ u­rist Organization of Serbia is organizing the Souvenir Fair “Vidi Srbiju”, for the sixteenth time. At thirty exhibition stands visitors will be able to see and buy souvenirs from all regions of Serbia. Masters of old and artistic crafts will present products made with traditional techniques, but adapted to today’s needs. Numerous tourist organizations, souvenir manufacturers, as well as associations nurturing old and artistic crafts will present themselves. They will exhibit products made of wood, wool, glass, handmade jewelry, magnets, licider hearts, clothing... All exhibitors will actually promote Serbia’s tourism through their authentic products, typical of this region. The Belgrade Tourism Fair, as an event visited by an exceptional number of people, is a real opportunity for souvenir producers to present themselves to the general public. IN ALL LANGUAGES The “Belgrade Fair” will continue organize the Hosted buyer program and numerous B2B activities at this year’s Tourism Fair, with the organized arrival of professional tourism representatives and customers from all over the world. Organized in cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the European Enterprise Network, partners of the “Belgrade Fair”, the business portal www.tourismfair.talkb2b.net is intended for registration of exhibitors and business visitors, as well as their networking. The B2B portal is also open to media representatives who can use it to schedule meetings and interviews with participants of the fair. An important segment will be a diverse and interactive accompanying program. It will host renowned speakers, organize all-day events, presentations, promotions, tastings... In four days of the fair, all languages ​​of the world will be spoken under the domes of the Belgrade Fair, the most beautiful values ​​of cultures, peoples and customs will be promoted, the rich symbolism of travel affirmed. And experienced travelers, just like planning to visit places they have not been to, in February always return to their favorite place: the Belgrade Tourism Fair. s


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L I G H T H O U S E S IN MONTMARTRE, WHERE ALL OUR QUESTS FOR THE “CITY OF LIGHT” MERGE

Everyone Rushes to His Own Hill

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It used to be a slum, with the Church of the Sacred Heart (Sacré Coeur) on its top, the highest point of Paris until 1889. Under it was a joyful settlement with winding streets, serpentines and unusual stairways. Then the poetics of the quarter was discovered by painters and poets, it started talking through them. They eternalized it in their works and biographies. ToulouseLautrec, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Bonnard… all set foot into mutual irresistibility. Then followed Éluard, Prévert, Dali, Cocteau, Aragon, Breton, Magritte, Bunuel, Miró … Although there are no more poets there, millions of people from the entire world are still rushing, allegedly attempting to feel what happened there Text and Photo: Željko Sinobad

View of Paris from Montmartre

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n the capital city of France, rightfully called the “city of light”, the Association for Preserving Parisian Bistros has been founded recently. With the support of the government and competent ministry, an initiative was made for enlisting them on UNESCO’s list of intangible heritage. Monsieur Alan Fontaine, president of the Association, reputable cook and owner of one of the most famous “hangouts for adults”, always smiling but pretty persistent man, stated that the main motivator of their action is the belated discovery that bistros are the most reliable guardians of the spirit of Paris and its citizens. However, although many, especially in Serbia, where kafanas have always been the epicenter of social, cultural and political

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Cemetery The slum on the hill became famous only after a cemetery was opened next to the Sacré Coeur churchyard. Today it became too crowded, and family tombs, uncommon until recently, are being built.

life, would say he is right, it is not entirely correct. Because it’s difficult to believe that someone with a poor knowledge of French would travel half the world just to have a shot of calvados or Armagnac in some Parisian bistro, try goose liver pate, eat a “Chateaubriand for two” alone, with a bottle of wine matured in Bordeaux. Paris offers much more and more beautiful, reducing bistros to pleasant, yet way stations. Or, just like no one goes to the “Red Mill” (Moulin Rouge) to eat, no one will go to the “city of light” to waste time in bistros. Interior or open-air museums and galleries, historical sites, monuments, spacious boulevards (Champs-Elysées) and narrow streets (Pigalle), wonderful parks


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(Louvre, Bois de Boulogne …), inevitable Eifel Tower, symbol of Paris, are all “on a menu” difficult to resist. Still, wherever you go, all roads lead to and end – in Montmartre. Rome lies on seven hills, Belgrade has got twenty-two, and Paris only one… but worth it! Until the year 1889 and construction of the Eifel Tower, the cross on the dome of the Sacré Coeur, built on top of 127 meters high Montmartre, was the highest point of Paris. Under it, then on the slopes, a joyful settlement was living with winding streets and serpentines, as well as unusual stairways. Only after approaching the tombstones in the Sacré Coeur churchyard and reading names engraved in marble, one can understand which French and in-

Our People Probably the first of our people who anchored in Montmartre are Sava Šumanović, Erih Šlomović, Koča Popović. They crossed their days and roads with Dali, Éluard, Prévert, Cocteau, Breton, Aragon, Magritte, Bunuel, Miró… Later came Dado Đurić, Ljuba Popović, Vlada Veličković, Ljubica Mrkalj… Those traces will remain in time and art histories, as well as in Serbian cultural history.

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ternational great men left a testament to their offspring to enable them to spend “the rest of eternity” in Montmartre, in the cemetery with the same name. The artists realized the magic of the slum, especially painters who adopted the small hill under Sacré Coeur and eternalized it in their works and biographies. Depicting the spirit is still an irresistible challenge. There is almost not a single painter who didn’t spend several weeks, months, some even years, on a small stool with an easel somewhere in Montmartre, making portraits of idle tourists and lovers of art, as well as sly critics searching for younger “promising” painters. Because of them, that small hill has been the biggest and most visited open-air art gallery in the world for more than a century or at least five generations. One of the “Montmartre artists” was the great small Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, famous for his portraits of cabaret dancers and ladies of the “oldest profession”, who was, by the way, friend of King Milan Obrenović (but only after his abdication). Only his aristocratic origin and old family crypt in Verdelais prevented Toulouse-Lautrec from his sincere in-


tention to stay in Montmartre forever. Let alone Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Bonnard… OUR DREAMS EMBEDDED It is believed that the first “tenant” of Montmartre from our lands was Erih Šlomović, young collector and personal secretary to Ambrose Willard, famous art dealer. But it’s not true. The first was Sava Šumanović, whom his aunts managed to talk into returning to Belgrade and then to Šid, organizing him a solo exhibition in the then new Art Pavilion “Cvijeta Zuzorić” in Kalemegdan in 1937. It was his first and last exhibition. It is not important whether Erih and Sava met in Paris, however they were later united by the same tragic fate. Both were killed by overzealous quislings, or their masters, at the beginning of the second world slaughter. However, they were preceded by Konstantin Koča Popović, whose only obstacle to become a great surrealist poet was the Spanish Civil War and National Liberation War, and later engagement in politics. His “Parisian days”, in

Montmartre of course, were colored by Andre Breton, Luis Aragon, Jean Cocteau, Paul Éluard, Rene Magritte, Luis Bunuel, Jacque Prévert, Juan Miró, Salvador Dali… with occasional visits of Pablo Picasso. It is known that their little “circle” has moved to all serious books on art history a long time ago. Later came Dado Đurić, Ljuba Popović, Vlada Ve­li­č­ković… The last one, already member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, was accepted among French immortals, but has never forgotten Montmartre, as well as his desolate apartment in Dorćol, in Tadeuša Košćuška Street in his birth city of Belgrade, where he has been gathering his friends for decades on St. Nicholas day, his family patron saint day. Only when a curious traveler SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2020

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Montmartre with the Church of the Sacred Heart at the top

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finds himself on Montmartre again, if he has got enough time and nothing else draws his attention, he could realize why his entire life wouldn’t be sufficient to get to know the most famous world bohemian quarter, even with a reliable guide. It is a wondrous interlace of architecture, art, past, present, sounds, colors and scents, light, dark, sweet anticipations, unreasonable fears, sometimes politics shadowed with prejudice, full or empty wallets, all-time beauty… And God knows what else fits into a human heart, and someone’s head. This was necessary to mention in order to understand the tension of naïve travelers who believe that they could eternalize the life in the quarter with their cameras. Because, as for those who try to do the same with words, it is mission impossible. Thus this short chapter is not pompously entitled “view through the lens”… however objective the lens is. Who knows, perhaps we’ll meet again? s

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The Church of the Sacred Heart (Sacré-Coeur)

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TEMPLE OF HEAVEN IN BEIJING, SHRINE FROM THE DEPTHS OF ANCIENTNESS

In a Higher

Order

of Things

The emperor visited it only twice a year, for the spring and autumn solstice. First time to ask Heavens for a good harvest, second time to thank them for God’s generosity whatever the yield was that year. Besides the Forbidden City, it is the only place in the world where the emperor went on foot. It was built by two million workers, decorated by 130 thousand artists. There is an access with colonnades, Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, Hall of Prayer to the Spirit of Heavens, the Echo Wall, altars… The modern age of materialistic barbarians, with their vulgar replicas, understood so little By: Miloš Lazić

Photo: Željko Sinobad

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W O R L D S  Inside the

Temple of Heaven

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any would start a story about Beijing with the Forbidden City, the biggest entirely preserved imperial residence in the world, the epicenter of the megalopolis. However, the capital city of China has another valuable brooch in its lapel: the Temple of Heaven. Describing it before other destinations is neither a hasty mistake nor pure accident. The Chinese live according to the rules of feng shui, the specific teaching about the harmony of man with his surroundings. Feng shui states that the south is unfavorable for business. The south is meditative and ethereal. Thus, the Temple of Heaven was raised south of the Forbidden City. The strange temple is definitely not Buddhist, as Shu Yin, the constantly smiling girl who was our guide, told us, or Taoist, as western religion explorers concluded, but it also wasn’t Confucian, as I pompously claimed. Those who know how to look can see. If they find a wise man to speak to and know how to listen, perhaps they can also find out. Such a conversationalist was Pera Ilić, correspondent of Politika from Beijing at the time, whom I jokingly promoted into a great Serbian sinologist (without knowing that he actually was that). The meaning of the medieval Temple of Heaven originates from unperceivable depths of Chinese mythology. The Spirit of Heaven, mainly ancestral, appears from its primordial bottom. It was based on the need of ritual sacrifice to the divinity, as well as preserving such rites, which existed already 3.700 years ago. After the temple was raised on the southern edge of Beijing in 1420, completed at the same time as the Forbidden City, it was also the Temple of the Soil, the Temple of the Earth. There are

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Only Such Places Only after seeing this, many realize why as many as two million workers, along with 130.000 artists, were engaged on the construction of the magnificent Forbidden City and wonderful Temple of Heaven! The Forbidden City and the Temple are the only two places where the emperor walked on foot (since he was always carried everywhere, even to private rooms).

many Buddhist, Taoist or Confucian temples in Beijing, but this one is certainly not one of them, which can easily be noticed by unusually courteous ceremonies. The emperor – which could be the third one from the Han Ming dynasty, which succeeded in overthrowing Mongolian descendants of Kublai Kan from the throne in 1368 – came here only twice a year, for the spring and autumn solstice. The first time to ask Heavens for a good harvest and the second time to thank them for God’s generosity, whatever the yield was that year. Until 1912 and dethroning of Pu Yi, the last Chinese emperor, descendent of the Manchu Qing dynasty, not a single edifice in Beijing was allowed to be higher than the ten meters high purple walls of the Forbidden City. Thus, only single-story buildings can be seen in hutongs, narrow streets of the old part of Beijing, preserved as an open-air museum. If any of them has one or two floors, they are disproportionate to the ground floor, with roofs certainly lower than the imperial walls. PIETY AND TRADITION The only exception from this “urban planning rule” is the Temple of Heaven. Because it was raised for one man, for the emperor. Since there have been no emperors in China for eleven decades already, it is inappropriate to guess whether services are still held in it. Still, even today the Chinese approach it with unhidden piousness. Interestingly, on the way to the temple, there are many sellers of incense, lit in various occasions, but most often during rites. We find out that all other doors were open to Bernardo Bertolucci, celebrated director of The Last Emperor (1987),


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 In the temple

the famous biographic movie about Pu Yi, however he was allowed to stay only eleven minutes in the Forbidden City with his camera and not a single second in the Temple of Heaven. Without any explanation. The Last Emperor was completed by building a replica of the Forbidden City in some northern province, where almost all scenes were shot. The Temple is a complex including a long, arched approach decorated with colonnades. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, Hall of Prayer to the Spirit of Heavens with the Echo Wall, a small building for changing clothes (which could last for hours), a monumental circular stone ridge

Everyday Rituals A vivid example of Chinese rituals in everyday life today. When a Chinese gives his business card, he will do it with both hands and with a very deep bow, showing respect for his new acquaintance. The latter will also receive it with both hands and with a bit shallower bow, but will in no case immediately put it in his pocket, because it would be an expression of ultimate impoliteness or disrespect for the conversationalist. Regardless of his knowledge of Chinese language, he will turn the business card in his hand for a while, look at it from all sides and show an expression of amazement or admiration on his face, regardless whether the gentleman with the business card is a politician, academician, tinsmith or tractor driver.

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for some rituals and two large altars. There are no signs of Buddhism and Taoism, but everything is in the sign of traditional Chinese ceremonies. Their inevitable numerology is also present everywhere – for example, four of twenty-eight pillars in the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests represent four seasons, while twelve of each are dedicated to months of the solar and lunar calendar. Both palaces and the stele are connected with a rounded marble path. Some believe that it was the path the emperor was walking, and that part of the path is elevated, so the emperor would be taller than his escort. However, it’s not the case: he walked on the right side, the empress on the left, while the marble path belonged to the Spirit of Heavens. Why was everything arranged that way? Because the emperor, after overthrowing the dragon, the second in the hierarchy of Chinese mythological beings (after the Spirit of Heavens), proclaimed himself the Son of the Spirit of Heavens. And he had to, as appropriate, be next to his father’s right knee. REPLICA FROM SENG HUA The village of Seng Hua is about eighty kilometers east from Beijing, towards the


sea, but belongs to a different province, so many Chinese have never heard of it either. We set off there following the stories of Bora Milutinović, our famous football expert, who spent part of his life in China. He left a deep trace there, numerous friends and two monuments raised to his honor during his lifetime. It was in the eve of the Olympic Games, in late 2007. After some time, we took a turn off the highway and found ourselves in the village. It was a village like any other: singlestory houses with spacious yards, gardens in the back, tractors in front. Fences, muddy narrow streets with wooden bridges over ditches, poplar alleys, orchards, fields, meadows passed by us… Same as in Serbia, only the local road had as many as four lanes. A true wonder! It was endless. After an hour of riding in a car, we were in the center. A local post office in a two-story building was the highest structure. After our comment that a bigger village probably doesn’t exist and our shy question about the population of the village, Duško Tomić, coach of the “Beijing Guan” football club, friend and guide, seriously responded: – Bigger than Belgrade. About two and a half million people. I’ve already been

here, that’s how I know… So, we’ll take the street left, to another hamlet. Fifteen minutes later, we arrived to a spacious parking lot. The word spacious has a particular meaning in China: according to my free estimation, at least two or three thousand cars could park there! Behind it, we saw the Forbidden City!? It was an amazing scene. Then followed the explanation. The “Guan” company, owner of the powerful City Bank of Beijing built an enlarged replica of the Forbidden City and inside it a complex of about fifty luxurious hotels, above all standards and categorizations known to us. They say they invested 21 billion dollars, and that investment returned already in four years! We approached the entrance gate fearfully. Visitors of the new Forbidden City purchase tickets, but can enter only ac-

 Pavilion

on the way to the temple

More Forbidden than the Forbidden When we asked the polite receptionist of one of the hotels in the replica of the Forbidden City about the price of full board, we received a spiteful glance instead of an answer. Those who come there don’t ask stupid questions: the rich because they don’t care and the poor… for the same reason. Thus, the new Forbidden City is more forbidden (inaccessible) to the poor than the old and more famous one behind the Gate of Heavenly Peace in Beijing. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2020

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companied with a tour guide and see the City from a soundless electric car riding through the endless complex: there is no stopping, let alone leaving the car. We, as reporters from Serbia, had the privilege to tour the city-hotel alone. But, it would’ve been better if we didn’t. We were sadly convinced again that the rich have their insolvable troubles, which we, the poor, will never be able to understand. For example, the complex has three large golf courses with eighteen holes, so when Tiger Woods stops by to hit a few balls with respected guests, he feels narrowed, uncomfortable. Due to such narrowness, an Australian appointed to tend the English grass on the courses and therefore comes four times in a season, has an annual salary of only 250.000 dollars. By the way, a magnificent Buddhist (and Hinduist) temple was built here for religious guests. However, we don’t know how those poor people feel while standing before the statue of laughing Buddha, because, although made of pure gold, it’s four centimeters shorter than the biggest Buddha in the world. A WORD ERASING DISTANCES Everything here in this replica is such: the biggest, the most beautiful, the most expensive… Perhaps we could go for a juice or something stronger, a quick shot, but who’d dare undertake such a suicidal endeavor after such impressions? Enlightened Siddhartha personally made sure we don’t return from Seng

Hua sad or defeated. When we came to the temple, led by curiosity, and confronted Buddha, who greets both religious and non-religious people smiling, a small old lady was standing on the wide-open entrance door with lit incense in her hands. She was whispering to Buddha, occasionally bowing to him and approaching the entrance to the temple for a step or two. It was probably a common ritual, although completely unknown to us. An unsolvable problem appeared. Respect towards other religions and other rituals are built into Orthodox tradition. Thus, in a low voice, we began talking about how to pass the small old lady without unintentionally hurting her religious feelings. Finally, we found a solution – perhaps not too wise, but the best we had. We decided to cross ourselves on the temple’s entrance. That ritual belongs to our tradition and if the One Up There is so wise, he will understand. And he did! We discovered it because of the strange event that remained engraved in our memory. When we crossed ourselves at the entrance of the temple, the old lady turned to us, put her hands together, made a deep bow and said: – Xiexie. It means thank you in Mandarin Chinese. That single word erased the ten thousand kilometers between us and cancelled all differences we believed we’d stumble upon in our attempts to get to know the magical country and its cordial citizens.  SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2020

 In the temple complex

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D E S T I N A T I O N S PAMUKKALE, UNUSUAL THERMAL SPRINGS IN DENIZLI PROVINCE, TURKEY

In the Cotton Castle

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It is not known for certain who and when founded the city of Hieropolis in that place. It is known that it became part of the Roman province of Asia in the first century B.C. It was an important commercial and manufacturing center until the Turkish conquests in the XII century, when it was deserted and desolated. Since then, thermal waters full of calcium salts were flowing down the slope. The deposited travertine grew like a “cloud of wool” and covered everything, creating wondrous little terraced flats with round pools. The “Cotton Castle”, Pamukkale, is today on the world cultural and natural heritage list By: Josip Šarić Photo: Josip Šarić and Archive NR

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 Remains

of ancient Hierapolis

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e don’t feel the heat of the August sun in an air-conditioned bus while we ride, a bit sleepy, through the Denizli province, a valley narrowed between mountain massifs. Our view occasionally flies over the white cotton fields and in the following moment stops on the banks of the legendary Menderes river, which gave the name to meanders – a word many elementary students are struggling with in geography classes. The memories of geography classes are soon interrupted by the reappearance of fields of blossoming cotton, indicating the destination of our journey. We pass the turn to ancient Aphrodisias, wishing to see it, but limited by time we have at our disposal. Finally, in the sparkling noon mist, a hill covered with snow, as assumed at first glance, appears in the distance. Then logic relentlessly informs us that there cannot be any snow on that altitude in that time of the year. Murmuring in the bus tells us that others noticed the “snow” as well, and then we realize that the SRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2020.

Necropolis The necropolis with sarcophagi from the Hellenist to Early Christian period draws particular attention. They are distributed in a line about two kilometers long, on both sides of the main alley. The silent witnesses of life and death in the former metropolis are probably the biggest and best preserved ancient necropolis in present Turkey.

long-awaited final destination of our trip is before us – Pamukkale, the Cotton Castle. The whiteness is growingly expressive, the surface under it growing bigger, and looking at the glare requests the support of dark glasses. We are in the foot of the Cotton Castle. Shops and scenery resembling many other small tourist places in Turkey are on one side, and on the other side a small lake with a miniature island, also attracting many visitors. The calm water surface, as if petrified in time, reflects the whiteness of the slope we will climb to reach the top of the hill. In time, the hill became home to a natural rarity and an ancient city without which the rarity wouldn’t exist. The quacking of ducks and their rushing on the lake disturb the reflection in the water and remind us it’s time to go up. Taking shoes off is mandatory. Seems strange, but


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it is clear that only climbing barefoot will not disturb the snow-white surface, created by travertine deposits. The rough surface, resembling the finest sandpaper, prevents slipping of bare feet, so one reaches the top of the plateau without any climbing problems. Then we become aware of the magnificent view and the place we’re standing on. The wiggling of Earth, called tectonic movements by non-romantic scientists, which ruthlessly rip, separate and merge continents, created this natural wonder, for which Turkey is famous around the world. Thermal spring waters on the tectonic rift, rich in dissolved calcium salts, flowed down the hill slopes for thousands of years. The sediments of travertine on the smallest obstacles water came upon formed terraced, circular shallow pools, giving the area a surreal appearance. SYNERGY OF WATER AND TIME A white cliff on the brown slope of the hill, noticeable from a great distance,

has certainly attracted attention of many nations, who moved down the Menderes valley searching for new habitats. History notes that Herodotus mentioned the city of Kidrara in that area in the V century B.C. A settlement called Hydrela is found later. The root of the world is idylos (water, wet), which is a clear connection with the hot springs. The city of Hierapolis, today inseparable part of Pamukkale, was perhaps named after Hiera, wife of Mysian king Eumenes II of Pergamum, famous for leading Mysian women against the Greeks during their first invasion of Troy. Despite the existence of many historical sources, it is not entirely certain who the founder of Hierapolis was, but it is certain that the city became part of the Roman province of Asia in the I century B.C. The Earth’s restless character, which formed Pamukkale, reminded people inhabiting Hierapolis of its moodiness and power in the first century A.D. The city was destroyed in earthquakes and life in it partially disappeared until the II and III SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2020

 Thermal

springs and the “Cotton Castle”

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 Ducks in

century A.D., when Hierapolis raised like a phoenix and became a significant commercial and manufacturing center. Remains from the Hellenic and particularly Roman period testify about the size and significance of the city. The most impressive are the Roman theater with about 10.000 seats, Domitian’s Gate, the street under colonnades and thermae, as a result of the medicinal and hedonistic attitude of Romans towards thermal springs. Life in Pamukkale hasn’t ceased even after the end of the age of antiquity. Although not much is known about the life in the city in the Byzantine period, it was certainly hit by invasions of Arabians, Turkmens and Seljuks, and finally  Artificial came under Turkish rule during the XII pools in century. Soon after the Turkish conquest, Pamukkale, the city was desolated and its inhabitants designed to moved to Denizli. Pamukkale was left to protect the time and hydrothermal waters. Travertine natural ones from deposited on the remains of structures, swimmers thereby suffocating them, but actually

a pond below Pamukkale

Replacement A glance over the concrete pools, made as a replacement for endangered natural ones, provokes mixed feelings. There is pleasure, because everything created by the moodiness of natural forces during thousands of years is protected in that way, as well as disappointment because such a rarity is disturbed by the activities of man, who, as it seems, must leave a trace of his presence everywhere.

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extending their life. Although Hierapolis was established in a place it wouldn’t be if it weren’t for thermal springs, only that destructive connection, which emerged in the game of time and water, gave the world an unbreakable bond between what nature created on one side and man on the other. The relation is so unique that it legitimately reached the UNESCO’s list of world cultural and natural heritage. Many adventurers rushed to Pamukkale wishing for a unique experience, but it turned out that the attractive travertine pools don’t really appreciate the deserved attention. The fragile structures were in danger of literally being ruined by the bodies of all those who, bathing in them, wanted to provide an experience similar to those the first inhabitants of Hierapolis probably had. A Solomonic solution was found, and artificial, concrete pools were made, with occasionally flowing water and sediments of travertine on their walls. It’s time to return. Our bare feet say goodbye to the whiteness of Pamukkale for the last time. We enter the bus. It’s slowly starting off to the valley of Menderes, and we’re not looking back. The images of the city surrounded with indescribable whiteness before our eyes are still alive and we’re certain that we will come back to this wondrous place. 


„Фамилија Ристески“ | Охридски Бисери Св. Наум, 6000, Охрид, Р. Македонија Тел.: +389 (0)46 283 091 | Mob: +389 (0)72 210 906 e-mail: pearls_fam.risteski@yahoo.com


I N V I T A T I O N YOGYAKARTA, THE CULTURAL CRADLE IN THE HEART OF JAVA

Great Smile

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Ancient imperial city, the center of the most populous island in the world, the center of Indonesian science, culture, music, wayang puppetry, batik textile, dance. Borobudur was started as a Hindu, and completed as the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Pramabanan is a magnificent Hindu shrine. Kraton, the palace of the Javanese rulers, will overwhelm you with its spells. You will get to know unusual arts and skills, cuisine and dances, tunes and rituals, a different world. But above all will remain those innumerable smiling faces, a reflection of inner peace, harmony and liberating inner ligh By: Tatjana Radovanović

Photo: Doddy Obenk and Tatjana Radovanović

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B

eautiful and fertile, Java is one of the four major islands of Indonesia and the most populous island in the world, with Yogyakarta at its center. Can a city like this be compared to other cities on the island, when it presents the capital of the ancient kingdoms, the only Indonesian royal city where the monarchy continues to exist, an important university city, center of culture, music, art, wayang puppetry, batik textile and dance, where even an ice cream vendor can show off his stylized dance movements? The role of Yogyakarta in the history of Java Island can only be compared to the role of the lead actress, who suddenly disappears from the screen as the plot of the film continues to unfold without her. From the Mataram Kingdom that was the center of Javanese Hindu-Buddhist culture, Yogyakarta was in the hands of the Duke of Holland, and decades later, during the Indonesian independence war of 1945 to 1948, became the capital of Indonesia, until the much larger Jakarta replaced it in this role. Borobudur. Imagine a great fertile heavenly valley that holds in its center a magnificent Buddhist monument, which was originally to be a Hindu temple. The valley between the Progo and Elo rivers is one of the most generous in the world. The main reasons for this fertility are eruptions of volcanic lava and ash from the nearby Merapi volcano, which has actively contributed to the appearance of the valley over the millennia, but also to the damages of the temple. Borobudur Temple, located in rice fields and vast green landscapes in north Yogyakarta, marks the first appearance of this area in historical records. In 732, a Hindu nobleman named

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Sanjaya created a kingdom in the ProgoOpak Valley, which was later named Mataram. In 775, he began to build a temple to pay respects to the establishment of Hinduism on Java. Ten years later, Mataram suddenly fell into the hands of the Sailendra Dynasty – a Buddhist family that is related to the powerful kingdom of Srivijaya in Sumatra. As only two terraces were completed, Sailendra continues to build in the spirit of Buddhist iconography and the originally conceived Hindu temple becomes the largest Buddhist temple in the world. During the political upheavals that influenced the construction of this religious monument, an event occurred that largely describes the main line of the Javanese people. The Sanjaya dynasty succeeded in overthrowing the Srivijaya, but they never tried to insist on conversion to Hinduism, which showed their religious tolerance. As the zigzag corners of this temple make it impossible to see more than a few steps ahead, the attention is drawn to a couple of panels, each illustrating the Buddha’s life and teachings. As I walk with my friends accompanied by a local guide, I am reminded of Hesse’s book Siddhartha u in which the main character embarks on a journey searching for the ultimate truth, and I realize that the guide leaves us with the instruction walk seven times in a circle on the last terrace in absolute silence. Prambanan. As Borobodur was first on the list of temples to be visited, the unspoken standards were already established. That moment when the temple comes into view, the distinctive tall and pointed architecture typical for Hindu temples becomes apparent, and Prambanan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the second largest Hindu temple in Southeast Asia. It was built around 850, during the reign of Rakai Pikatan of the Mataram dynasty. If you have heard of the holy trinity in Hinduism, the so-called Trimurti, then you will recognize the Brahma-Creator, Vishnu-Guardian and Shiva-Destroyer, because their temples are the largest of the eight major ones located in the complex. When you become aware of their position in relation to the other temples, the


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Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world

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Shiva temple located centrally with five chambers, the Vishnu temple north of the Shiva temple and the Brahma temple to the south, the energy and image of the Supreme Being is there with you. Although the temple is open to tourists all day long, the best time to visit is the afternoon, so that you can enjoy the Ramayana Ballet right after the tour. Kraton - The palace of the Javanese rulers. On the one hand, the duality of the palace walls reflects the military power of the 18th century Mata-

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ram Kingdom, while on the other hand the modern interior reveals the weakening of the kingdom after the Javanese War (1820–1825), as well as the influence the Dutch had during colonization that lasted until 1945. Therefore, Kraton (“palace” in Javanese) is a mix of different European and local architectural styles. From Italian marble, through crystal chandeliers, to cast iron pillars. Javanese architecture uses flora and fauna as motifs and so flowers can be seen in the center of the ornament on the ceiling. During the second half of the 19th century, members of the court devoted themselves to arts such as dance and music, and even today one can attend performances performed for the public on Sundays. For me, that dualism was fully evoked that moment when I myself had the opportunity to see these divine performers in the palace. The gamelan music deafened the noise from the streets, the buzzing of insects and even louder camera flashes and the voices of excited tourists. If it weren’t for the local guards, I wouldn’t have found myself watching the performance in the forbidden section of the palace. A true Javanese heaven followed


when the dancers entered the stage and, together with the music, placed the audience in a space unaware of the Italian marble and crystal chandeliers, but only aware of united energy for the sake of the beauty of art. Traditional textiles. Batik, Indonesian textile, is typical for all of Indonesia, but Yogyakarta has its own special signature. The oldest form is “batik kraton” (royal batik), where earthy colors prevail – brown, brown-yellow, indigo and a certain shade of black. There are several techniques of textile painting, i.e. applying wax to it. Some techniques require manual work using traditional tools, or a copper plate similar to an iron, which is applied to the canvas like a seal. Longtime masters of the craft know how to use cloth to remove unwanted colors or to apply other colors repeatedly, and this skill is only one of the series that make batik an important intangible heritage of Indonesia. Near the Kraton is Taman Sari – a former garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta, which you can visit after the Kraton and meet a community of over 2,000 members. You will have the oppor-

tunity to see and get to know the artists involved in batik and painting. There are several occasions where locals wear batik clothes, but it should not stop you from getting one for yourself, although after buying one you will always want to add a few more to your cart.

 Within the

Kraton complex

Delicacies on a banana leaf. Yogyakarta offers something for everyone’s taste. If you are sure that Indonesian cuisine is definitely not your cup of tea, and if street vendors have not awakened in you the desire to try their food, then you can explore the restaurants on the famous Malioboro Street.

Island Along with Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi, Java is one of the four major islands of Indonesia. Together, they make up the Great Sundа Islands. The island has over 140 million inhabitants, which is „almost like all of Russia, more than Japan, four Canadas or six Australias“. With nearly 1,000 inhabitants per square kilometer, Java is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. In addition to official Indonesian, Javanese is spoken in Central and Eastern Java, and Sundanese is dominant in the West. After Islamization in the 15th and 16th centuries, over 90 percent of Javanese converted to Islam.

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However, to all those who are brave and curious, I recommend enjoying local specialties. The dish that is on the top of the list is gudeg. You will be surprised by the fact that this dish is made for hours, unlike most Indonesian dishes. But this is not the end of surprises, because gudeg, the main ingredient of which is sweet jackfruit, is not a sweet! It is cooked for hours in coconut milk and served with rice, chicken, egg, tofu and the wellknown hot sambal sauce. Some places will serve it in a plate, but you will have a real Indonesian experience when your meal is served on a banana leaf! The oldest and most famous in the whole city is gudeg of Mrs. on Sosrowijayan Street. Mie ayam – although noodles can be found all over Asia, this small town offers noodles with pieces of chicken and peanut sauce topping. It may sound pretty simple, but it’s the most delicious noodle dish I have tasted in all of Indonesia! The next delicacy is a sweet called wedang ronde – sticky rice balls in flavored water. Ginger is the main ingredient, to which some peanuts and syrup are added, as Indonesians like very sweet drinks. The detail that was novel to me was enjoying a meal without using any cutlery. If you only eat rice, some vegetables, tempeh and their hot sambal sauce, then here’s your chance to enjoy a delicious meal as locals do. The culture of smiles. A relaxed, slowmoving pace is dominant in the Kraton, just like in cafes, street restaurants and art schools. This is how most Yogyakarta residents choose to spend their days. Therefore, it can be said that the Javanese

lifestyle reflects their inner peace and harmony that takes priority over material possessions. The city defends the title of the cradle of culture and education, so you can be sure that you will always find someone who can assist you if you approach them in English. One of the first words I learned from the locals is santai, which means “relaxed”, or “to relax”. The word I heard so often in different contexts that I began to experience it as a kind of a filler word. Their good manners and social grace were the result of a slower pace, a high tolerance and a belief that everything can be achieved when one is free from tension. There is one peculiarity that the people of this place share with the rest of the Indonesians, and they are smiling faces that can at any time and any place make every moment of your stay there better. You may be as happy as I was, when you find yourself smiling warmly in an encounter with random passers-by in such well-known narrow streets of the kampung, or simply with already good acquaintances from the night market. 

 Details of

stone relief on ancient architecture in Yogyakarta

 High art of court and religious rituals

Puppet Theatre The blend of music and theater in one can be experienced at a puppet-theater play – Wayang. There are several types of wayang plays, the most famous being called wayang kulit. Kulit means leather, which indicates that this type of doll is made from leather, dyed in beautiful shades, gold being the most prominent. The stage is arranged so that the play can be viewed on both sides of the screen, as the shadow created by the puppets is cast onto the canvas and reflected on the other side. Although wayang kulit is the most famous from this area, a wayang show can also be viewed in Bali. The stories are mostly taken from the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana, and the performance itself is accompanied by traditional gamelan music.

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D I S T A N C E S TIERRA DEL FUEGO, SOUTHERN THAN THE SOUTH, ON THE EDGE OF EVERYTHING

At the End of the World

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There, 22.000 kilometers from Belgrade and 800 from Antarctica, all kinds of belvederes open up and all kinds of thoughts appear. Leaning on the wind with their entire weight, with brandy made of milk, cooled with ice from an iceberg, one repeatedly faces the force of nature, their own limitations and infinity of God. Former wonderful ballerina, now famous traveler and seeker, tells us about it in a new travelogue

By: Sonja Lapatanov

Photo: Sonja Lapatanov and Archive of NR

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 In Ushuaia

I

started from the small city of El Calafate off to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and important port on the Beagle Channel. I was warned that the flight can be bumpy, especially the landing, but that it shouldn’t worry me. Ushuaia belongs to Argentina. It is located on the southern side of the large Tierra del Fuego island and is the capital city of the province with the same name. First reports about Tierra del Fuego originate from October 1520, when Fernando Magellan, on his way to the Maluku Islands, also known as the Spice Islands, discovered a strait named after him. One of the interpretations of the name origin says that, while sailing through the strait, sailors saw numerous fires of the island’s natives. “Tierra del Fuego!” they shouted. “Land of Fire!” Ushuaia, neither small nor big, neither beautiful nor ugly, is the only city on the island. Many expeditions came here from Europe to study the climate, geography, flora and fauna, as well as the Indian population. We see traces of newcomers in the city’s older architecture, while recent construction works are done without any par-

Royal Immediately before the cruise, I went to “Freddy’s” restaurant, where the best “royal crabs” are prepared. I slowly eat the delicious crab and fight with its large orange shell and long prongs with sorted Argentinian wine. Ushuaia is proud of its best chocolate in the world. I couldn’t resist. I bought a small piece from each kind, to take with me during the cruise.

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ticular order. Mountain peaks of the Southern Cordillera rise above picturesquely painted houses. Although only 1.500 high, they are always covered with snow. Besides the lighthouse, funicular, railway built by prisoners, golf course where golfers play in winters with a black ball, particularly interesting are the prison and museum “at the end of the world”. Ushuaia is the starting point for expeditions to Antarctica, as well as a by-station for cruisers sailing to Cape Horn and through the Strait of Magellan. Tierra del Fuego National Park is 11 kilometers from here and covers 63.000 square kilometers. The beauty of its bays, lakes, rivers, mountain tops and glaciers has been attracting curious visitors from the entire world for years, including writers and researchers Jules Verne, Fitz Roy, Charles Darwin, Emilio Salgari… After a ride through picturesque landscapes, I arrived to Lake Roca, where I had a walk on the lake’s shore and then the banks of Lapataia river. The Condor Hill, on the border with Chile, dominate the entire landscape. In that incredible beauty, the scenery I encountered resembled a different planet. It was an empire of beavers! Those builders of dams and destroyers of nature left ghastly wasteland behind, but nature took care of making it particularly beautiful. It decorated it with moss and “old man cactus”, and colored with warm autumn colors. Perhaps due to the similarity with my last name, the Lapataia Bay, which


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means “good tree”, left a good impression, especially when I saw the place where the so-called “Route National 3” ends. It is the end of the famous Panamerican road, more than 17.000 long, beginning in Alaska and connecting entire North, Central and South America! THE BIGGEST DRAUGHT IN THE WORLD A great adventure, which took me through the mystical world of Beagle and Mu-

Sealed “End of the World” The Redonda island, Beagle Channel and Chilean shore were perfectly visible from the Ensenada Bay. A little house resembling a stilt house on the shore. Smoke rising from the chimney, a dozen flags waving in the wind. A red letterbox in the shape of a penguin in front of the entrance. I found a lovely man in the small house, who developed a nice business here, at the “end of the world”. He was just finishing his maté tea and crackling of fire was heard from the old furnace. He was selling books, souvenirs and special postcards on which he pasted stamps, various stickers and stamped them with the inscription: “Fin del mundo!” (“End of the World!”) Besides the postcard, he stamped that inscription in my passport as well!

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ray Channel, sharp climate and dangerous winds, to mythical Cape Horn, started with boarding the Chilean “Mare Australis” ship. The crew led by Captain Oscar Sheward, welcomed the passengers and wished us good sailing. Somewhat later, a steward approached me and said: “Oh, Serbia, hello, how are you?” Juan speaks a little Serbian, because his best friend is a Belgradian who studied in Santiago, and now owns a tourist agency in Valparaiso. Juan also has friends in Belgrade and plans to visit them soon. Surprisingly, the family of the ship’s host, Francisco Marišić, originates from Brač. Puerto Navarin, Chilean port, is a place where we stopped after dinner. I watch lights blink in “the southernmost inhabited place in the world” from my cabin. Its citizens are leading a severe battle for “the southernmost city in the world” title. However, Argentinian Ushuaia doesn’t agree with it at all, because, according to the number of inhabitants, “it is clear what is a city and what is merely an inhabited place”. “Mare Australis” is not a big ship, but it’s very comfortable and safe, equipped for sailing the Antarctica seas and fjords.


Spacious cabins smelled of lavender and the snow-white bed sheets were murmuring like leaves. The service was first-class, food tasty and abundant, beverages excellent and free of charge! There was always something happening in the ship’s salons. It was an opportunity to find out many interesting facts about that part of the world through lectures and movies, learn to tie a sailor’s hitch, see the engine room, try sea specialties and famous Chilean wine, have a good time. My attention was occupied with a heartbreaking film about Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, British explorer. He was knighted due to his successful “British Expedition to Antarctica” 1907–1909 under his command, but is most famous for his 1914–1916 expedition to Antarctica in the “Endurance” ship, which is most often called “Shackleton’s Expedition”. Shackleton and his crew were the first people who passed the Transantarctic Mountains and set foot on the Antarctica plateau. Although ice first trapped and then broke his ship, with superhuman effort, Shackleton succeeded in saving all members of his crew. Besides Road Amundsen, Douglas Mawson and Robert Scott, he became the key

figure of the heroic era of explorations of Antarctica. He died during the fourth expedition to Antarctica, due to heart failure. The following day, at dawn, I went to the salon where tea, coffee and pastry were served to early birds. The weather was gloomy, strong winds were blowing, there was a stabbing drizzling rain, and the ship was rocking and leaning under the strokes of the wind. Francisco told us that everything here depends on nature, and its forces were running wild in this morning grayness. Seasons changed from hour to hour. However, that’s the mystical Cape

 On Ensenada Lake

Through the Strait The Strait of Magellan, about 670 kilometers long, 4,5 kilometers wide in its narrowest spot, connects two oceans and separates Tierra del Fuego from the South American continent. We’ll not repeat the story about its discovery and importance. There, at the goodbye dinner, we drink wine cooled with ice from icebergs. We watch an enormous penguin colony on the Magdalena Island. We drop by to Punta Arenas, the southernmost continental city of South America, founded in 1848, and to Puerto Varas, “the city of roses” on the Llanquihue Lake. In the center of Puerto Montt, a small city founded by German settlers in 1852, I buy unusual brandy made of milk… SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2020

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Horn, Francisco said, “the biggest draught in the world” and place where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet! Is this really the end of the world or perhaps the beginning of everything? Perhaps this is the edge of the world, from which I’ll plunge into the ice-cold ocean and sink like hundreds of ships that ended their sailing here? Luckily, the earth is not flat! LEANING ON THE WIND Cape Horn is a cape of the Chilean rocky island Isla Hornos, raising 425 meters up and is the southernmost point of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. It was discovered in January 1616, allegedly by a commercial expedition from the Netherlands, led by Captain William Shute, after whose birth place the cape was named Horn. In fact, it was discovered by Sir Francis Drake thirty years earlier, but Queen Elizabeth I proclaimed the discovery a secret, so that other nations wouldn’t know the new sailing route more to the north. Until then, it was believed that the Atlantic and Pacific oceans were connected by the Strait of Magellan, controlled by the Spanish. South of Cape Horn, warm and cold waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet and cause strong currents towards the east. In that place, warm and cold air masses are formed, with vortexes of low atmospheric pressure, which turn into hurricanes with a speed of up to 160 kilometers per hour. The climate is subpolar, it is cold and wet, and raining more than 280 days a year. Until the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914, Cape Horn was the only sail-

ing route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans for commercial sailboats. Due to unforeseeable weather and sea currents, sailing through the Strait of Magellan was possible only with steamships. Bad weather, the cold, strong ocean currents, high waves, icebergs and low visibility made sailing around Cape Horn very dangerous. During centuries, more than 800 ships were destroyed and more than 10.000 people died trying to sail around it. Cape Horn is considered the biggest ship cemetery in the world. Captains and sailors who were lucky to sail around it in commercial sailboats without engines became members of the famous Association of Cape Horners, founded in 1936. Cape Horn and the surrounding islands were proclaimed national park in 1945 and put under protection of UNESCO in 2005. Upon the initiative of the Cape Horners Chilean section, a monument in the form of an albatross was raised on the Cape in 1992. There is one Chilean family currently living on the Cape, taking care of the objects on the island. When Francisco ended his lecture, we went up to the deck. I put on warm clothes, waterproof jacket, boots and life vest. I looked like an astronaut. I could barely go out, because the strong wind pushed me back into the hallway. It was horrible on the deck. I felt as if all sharp swords of the world gathered around the cape and united against us. The sea and the skies were gray and grumpy. The wind was roaring on the sea and white foam was curling on the peaks of enormous waves. Small drops stung my face and hands. If it’s like this now, how was it to those who sailed here SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2020

 In “The Land of Fire” National

Park

Monument with seagull contour on Cape Horn

 In Wulaia Bay

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 Small river in

Wulaia Bay

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in fragile sailboats? The wind was howling and it was so strong that I managed “to lean on it” several times. Like a skilled tango dancer, it held my body inclined to the back. I noticed several birds flying with the ship, which didn’t mind the wind at all. They yielded to it and floated as if it were a breeze. The captain tried to dock the ship in a bay for more than an hour. Then Francisco informed us that the wind speed is SRBIJA  SPECIJALNO IZDAWE  2020.

50 knots and that disembarking to the cape will not be possible. Despite not disembarking, after going down to the salon, I concluded that the intensity of atmospheric phenomena around Cape Horn made this experience unforgettable. 22.000 kilometers from Belgrade and 800 kilometers from Antarctica! As a memory of this unique adventure, I received a certificate sealed with a stamp depicting an albatross’ silhouette.


THERE, FAR AWAY, VERY FAR AWAY We continue sailing. The weather was getting better, I even saw a commercial ship on the horizon and mountain tops covered with snow very far away. After a few hours of sailing, we reached the Wulaia Bay. It is a historical settlement with a significant archeological value. It is where Captain FitzRoy made contact with Yamana Indians. After disembarking, we started off towards the settlement and then to a belvedere offering a magnificent view. A mountain chain under snow was seen in the distance and silver was spilled on the pigeon-gray sea. A bay separated from the sea with a cape, bordered with copper-color gravel and yellow grass, was lying under the belvedere. Francisco then suggested us to be quiet and listen to the silence. Only the wind sporadically murmured gently. In the distance, on a small island, I noticed a red-white lighthouse. When my traveling companion asked me where it was, I replied: “There, far away.” – There, far away? That’s the name of a club in Punta Arenas, founded in the pre-

Tzavros, Corfu, Greece Tel: +30 26610 90118 Gsm: +30 6972884714 Mon-Fri: 09:00-17:00 info.tamodalekocorfu@gmail.com www.tamodaleko.gr

vious century. Descendants of Yugoslavians have been gathering there for years – says Francisco. – It’s the name of a song – I said. – I know. We listen to it together with other beautiful songs from your country. It was touching to hear the wonderful story here, at the end of the world. Upon our return, the crew waited for us at the shore with warm beverages, rum, whiskey and Irish coffee, and a big brush at the entrance to the ship for cleaning our muddy shoes. After such an exciting day, the sweet dreams I fell into as soon as I put my head on my pillow were very pleasant. During the night and following morning, we sailed through channels and along the western shore of Tierra del Fuego. Brecknock and Cockburn Channel, gloomy fjord Chico. We visited Piloto and Nena glaciers, Plishov glacier and Magdalena Channel, and finally entered the Strait of Magellan, the “nightmare of old seafarers”. But, that’s a separate, big story, which we’ll leave for some other occasion. 


J O U R N A L ON TORNIK I AND UVAC, DISCOVERING SERBIA

A View that Must Be Deserved

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Flooded by mediated images, overdressed and over-made-up, we often do not see the wonders and beauty right there in front of us. We refuse to notice them, to understand what we have and how lucky we are. But then something happens, it something in us breaks, horizons open up before us. This is a story of how the young eyes of New Belgrade experienced the heights of Zlatibor’s Tornik and the Uvac meanders, as well as the depth of the Ice Cave By: Dragana Barjaktarević

Photo: “Uvac” Special Nature Reserve, Dragana Barjaktarević

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 View from

Tornik, the peak of Zlatibor

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or some time now, I have been thinking of a list of odd destinations on the blue planet, the ones explained by science, but whose rarity classifies them as fiction. Polar light, giant baobabs, thundering waterfalls... In my New Belgrade eyes, such places were predefined by hours of long flights. And then, little by little, right there at my fingertips, Serbia begins to unravel itself before me. Three mountain peaks, two lakes, one cave and one canyon, enough for me to realize – how lucky I am! LAYERS OF GREEN, GRAY AND BLUE In early September, I decided to ignore civilization for one weekend a month for the benefit of unexplored landscapes of Serbia. Even if it has been modelling for tourist cameras countless times before, I had to see Uvac with my own eyes. The plan was made: two days and two lookouts – Tornik and another nameless view of the Uvac meanders. After ten days of

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hilly Lisbon, conquering of any ascent sounded like a piece of cake. We arrived at the foothills of Tornik around noon on Saturday. Tornik, the highest peak of Zlatibor, rises 1,496 meters in the air. It can be reached on foot or by cable car. I confidently opted for walking. A footpath leads through the forest, the view occasionally breaks through the evergreen needles making its way to distant hills, the ascent is gentle, the water bottle still full. And so on until the last section. The shortest, but the harshest. I step on an almost vertical track muddy from the rain that had fallen the previous night. First I make several confident steps, and then a fight begins in which I am completely powerless. I slip, lose my breath, stop to calm my pulse, take the last sip of water, I no longer look back for the landscapes that are strung behind my back into infinity. From happiness to despair. And back. Yet, once the summit is reached, all the hard work is paid off. That view, the air and quietness must be


deserved. For as eyes wander through the layers of green, gray and blue, for a moment all life’s problems disappear. Only nature has the power to silence the polyphony of troubled thoughts. I got back down by the cable car. Although at first it seemed like cheating, it turned out to be an adventure worth experiencing. You are passing the same way, this time from the air. If you decide to fly by cable car through the canopies, purchase the map at the foothills of Tornik and bring an extra pair of sleeves and a hood. Otherwise, the wind will be relentless. In the evening I set off on the journey to Zlatar, and there I wait for the next day and a new adventure. But it is Uvac! And it is awe-inspiring even when seen on a photo. MEANDERS WRITTEN IN CYRILLIC On Sunday, I wake up in the midst of a wonderful Neverland tucked among

scented pine trees. The sky is clear, with an occasional puffy cloud. It is a good sign. We head towards the Special Nature Reserve “Uvac”. The trip took about half an hour. We got off near the earthen dam, the largest such embankment in Europe. Right next to it is one of the entrances to the Reserve. Uvac can be viewed from the water or from the footpath that runs along the canyon rims. Or one can reconcile both options and take a tour by boat, and then at some point turn the perspective and climb one of the lookouts. I chose the compro-

 Descent from Tornik in cable car

The Sculpting Power of Nature As the view curves from the lookout through the Uvac Canyon, you cannot help but wonder how nature has sculpted that relief so unusually. The Uvac riverbed used to be at a much higher altitude. However, due to vertical erosion, the river began to descend. It descended too fast, so the water could not form a straight bed. It only made its way through the softest rocks, while the harder ones remained as they were, making deep meanders. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2020

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 Griffon

mise solution and boarded the boat that vultures in Uvac was already waiting for us. We set off on a ride with a local guide, who for the next Canyon (Photo: three and a half hours tirelessly informed Želimir Gvojić, Svetlana Dingarac) us, entertained us, climbed trees for group photos. Along the way, we came across a submerged bridge, the Ice Cave, trees growing out of stone, locations to which myths give particular importance... As you navigate that dark green canyon surrounded by dense forest and rocks strewn with vegetation, it feels as if you are in the Amazon rainforest and that nothing more beautiful than that can happen to you. And then the guide announces the landing for the lookout. The most famous lookout in the canyon is Molitva (“prayer” in Serbian). However, our host has discovered a new terrace, still nameless, but

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Mythical Bird from the Coat of Arms Looking at the flying griffon vulture, with its wings stretched three meters wide, the medieval man attributed various powers to this “mythical” bird. The awe that it inspired can be seen in the fact that the twoheaded griffon vulture found its way on the coat of arms of Nemanjić, Mrnjavčević, Lazarević and Crnojević dynasties, and the best preserved example of the coat of arms is on the south wall of Lazarica church in Kruševac.

on which, he promises, is the most beautiful view of the meanders. I get off the boat, taking a thick branch that will support me on a steep climb. I slip again, hold on to grass and shrubs, asking myself why I needed all that at in the first place, then at some point I stop thinking altogether, but mechanically make my-


self move. Forty minutes later, I reach the clearing that leads to the lookout, to the image I came to see. As a reward for perseverance. In the boat you are small against the huge rocks that surround you. As you stand at the top of the rock, the canyon is in the palm of your hand, and only there it gets all its meaning. In front of me is a lower rock, a married couple of griffon vultures in charge fly over it. The guide told us that these birds live in pairs and never change partners. To the left and to the right of the point where I stand the river emerges, disappearing behind the obstructing rocks. Meanders look like a Cyrillic script to me and there may be some undiscovered lookout from which one can read Uvac. At one point I see a tiny red boat that had taken me there. First I am overcome by pride – from where I climbed! Then a panic appears – we are yet to get down.

Going down the steep muddy path was even more tricky, , because if I slip, it will not be very easy to stop. Still, we all get down safely, even the guide who wore slippers and did not use a stick. The sun follows us to the exit of the Reserve, and then black clouds roll over and showers begin. 

 Ice Cave

The Ice Cave We also stopped by the Ice Cave, one of the five caves in the Reserve. We climb the stone staircase to the gate. With each new step it gets noticeably cooler, and I have one more layer of clothing on me. The temperature in the Ice Cave is eight degrees throughout the year. We enter one by one, walk along the marked path through the darkness diluted with an occasional flashlight (every fifth person got one). The cave is not illuminated because the light would raise the temperature by one degree and disrupt its natural balance. Along the way, we come across different cave decorations – glittering stalactites and stalagmites, pillars, needles, curtains, petrified draperies... Since I had never seen anything like this in person, this experience was like a short trip to a new dimension. SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2020

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Meanders in Uvac Canyon

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THE BEGINNING OF 2020 IN BELGRADE REMAINS MARKED BY TOURISM

Continuation of a

Fruitful Formula The upward trend was maintained in 2019. Foreign guests account for 75 percent of the total visit. The promotional activities of Belgrade Tourist Organization are particularly focused on markets of China, Russia, USA, Turkey, Germany and Greece

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ver the past five years, Belgrade has seen a significant increase in the number of tourists, both foreign and domestic, as well as the total number of overnight stays. Improvement of tourist and other infrastructure, including the reconstruction of existing and creation of new ambient units, opening of new hotels, museums and the like, proactive approach to the development of the city and a large number of activities internationally, have contributed to the quality of the overall tourist offer of the city. Organizing numerous sports, cultural, music events, many significant political and economic events, a large number of congresses and conferences have profiled Belgrade on the international scene. It is an attractive destination for all major gatherings throughout the region, as evidenced by the large number of foreign media reports on Belgrade. The presentations of Belgrade’s tourist offer abroad under the slogan #GoBelgrade, organized by the Belgrade Tourist Organization in previous years, gave a special contribution. This is evident not only in the number of arrivals and overnight stays of foreign guests, but they have provided Belgrade and the Belgrade Tourist Organization with new forms of business cooperation and connecting tourist economies. These activities will continue in 2020, both with the cities of the countries in the region as well as with the cities in the countries of Europe and the world,

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with special emphasis on the tourist markets of China, Russia, the USA, Turkey, Germany and Greece. In accordance with TOB’s business and marketing strategy for 2020, Belgrade will be represented at a large number of international tourism fairs, as well as specially organized promotional events and presentations. Already in January, the tourist offer of the Serbian capital was presented at fairs in Stuttgart, Madrid, Istanbul, Vienna, Bratislava and the Congress Trade Show in Ljubljana. International tourism fairs in Tel Aviv, Berlin, and Moscow will soon follow, and among them in the “home base”, the Belgrade Tourism Fair. Throughout the year, TOB will host journalists from different countries of the world in Belgrade, in order to spread a good image to a wider international audience. From spring to late autumn, the amenities in Belgrade will be richer by many interesting tourist programs, free concerts, festivals... Every year, the Belgrade Tourist Organization gives them to fellow citizens and guests. They will count tourists from all over the world and try to have all their announcements about events, food and fun in Belgrade passed on as the best impressions of their short city break! 

More information Belgrade Tourist Organization Francuska 24, www.tob.rs (+381 11) 36 25 060, 36 25 064



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VRNЈAČKA BANЈA SUCCESSFULLY REMAINS AT THE “THRONE OF SERBIAN TOURISM”

Share of Gifts and Effort

Goč Mountain, above Vrnjačka Banja

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On the basis of its exceptional natural features and its two-millennium old tradition, at the most famous Serbian spa center today is thought they are focused on development and are looking to the future. Major investments in infrastructure, landscaping, modernization of hotels, tourist and sports facilities, events and entertainment that are now intense throughout the year – have brought tremendous breakthroughs, solidified old ones and opened new perspectives

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he stories of the spa of Vrnjci are more than two thousand years old. The Roman legionaries of Emperor Constantine were also aware of the healing properties of its mineral springs. The benefits of Vrnjačka Banja were enjoyed by kings, actors, writers, famous doctors, painters and bohemians gathered there, officers and politicians strolled down its Promenade. The place is known for its healing properties of mineral springs, for its refinement and openness. Even today it is one of the most representative and most visited tourist destinations in Serbia and this part of Europe, with the status of the municipality of the first tourist category. According to official information, about one million overnight stays was realized in 2019, and investments are planned to keep Vrnjačka Banja on the throne of Serbian tourism, in addition to existing tourist facilities. In the year behind us, 6,064 vouchers were realized through the program for subsidized use of hospitality services for at least five days. In the first month of 2020, close to 7,000 bookings were issued to voucher users. This fairytale-like green oasis, 200 kilometers south of Belgrade, near Goč

Hotels In addition to “Solaris Resort” Hotel, today there are also “Zepter”, “Fontana”, “Slatina”, “Banbus”, as well as “Tonanti” Hotel, the first five-star hotel in Vrnjci. This year, “Park” and “Merkur Palace” hotels will be opened, as well as the first “Terme of Vrnjci”. The first Indian “Marriot” brand hotel is planned.

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Mountain and the West Morava, is also recognizable for its beautiful parks with well-maintained walking paths and fountains, the architecture of old villas dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, numerous sculptures, Belimarković Castle, Japanese garden, the Bridge of Love, the Church Hill Amphitheater, waterfall, roundabouts, the Culture Square, the maze... These are just parts of the mosaic that a guest must see and experience in order for their picture of Vrnjačka Banja to be complete. Numerous events that have become part of the local tradition (such as the Film Screenplay Festival, Vrnjačka Carnival, the “Love Fest”...), have made Vrnjačka Banja the destination for hundreds of thousands of tourists looking for a good time. With them, Vrnjačka Banja lives all twelve months of a year. Numerous restaurants, cafes and clubs have additionally made Vrnjačka Banja a place of good entertainment, in which good times are guaranteed. HOUSE OF NEW CHAMPIONS This extraordinary place in the heart of Serbia over the last few years has been at the forefront by realized investments. In addition to health tourism, led by the widely known “Merkur” Special Hospital, sport is becoming the backbone of development. A number of capacities and potentials have been deployed to make Vrnjačka Banja a sports center. In 2019, a new professional football field was built


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to FIFA standards. Vrnjačka Banja may also laud itself for its six sports halls, the last of which was opened at the end of last year by Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of Serbia. The completion of the National Water Polo Training Center is also expected, which will be the “home of new champions”. Vrnjačka Banja is a frequent host of sports teams from the country and abroad. Thanks to the excellent preparations, many of them return decorated with medals from many prestigious competitions. The commitment of local self-government to current investors, as well as all those who are looking to invest here, has made Vrnjačka Banja at the very top by investments. Formerly state-owned hotels have acquired new owners, who

Congress Tourism As a significant branch of its development, Vrnjačka Banja has renewed congress tourism, and thanks to the exceptional technical and organizational conditions available to the local hotels, it hosts numerous symposia, seminars, and congresses.

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have invested their capital in raising the categorization of these facilities, so they can satisfy even the most demanding guests with the service and amenities. Private sector investment in hotel amenities in the previous period exceeded EUR 100 million. In the days ahead, the completion of “Paradise” Aqua Park is expected, as well as the tourist expansion toward Goč Mountain, primarily by opening panoramic gondola that would operate 365 days a year. With the opening “Morava” Airport in Kraljevo, as well as the expected construction of the “Moravian Corridor” highway, Vrnjačka Banja becomes much more accessible to guests. By investing in infrastructure, education, building and opening new kindergartens, renovating school facilities, designing new and improving the quality of existing tourist facilities, with careful nurture and responsible attitude to its natural resources, with the efforts of the state and local selfgovernment, Vrnjačka Banja continues in 2020 to walk the path of success and development. 


A fragrant bouquet in the flower garden of a beautiful mountain! The location and surroundings of the hotel are true enchanting scents of this unique bouquet. It is located in the most peaceful part of Zlatibor, tucked away among the pine trees and the soothing peacefulness, and very close to the tourist center of the mountain. It is only a few hundred meters away from Kraljev Trg.

Meet “Buket” Hotel on Zlatibor, an establishment of superior quality and comfort!

The hotel occupies an area of 36 acres, has a large courtyard that provides the guests with intimacy and peace. Parking for hotel guests is provided.

Hotel “Buket” Strahinje Popovića 3 31315 Zlatibor, Serbia Phone: 031 841 400 031 841 500 031 841 600 www.buketzlatibor.rs info@buketzlatibor.rs


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LESKOVAC CARNIVAL ON ITS FIFTEENTH FLOOR

Continuation of Long Tradition

Ancient processions of masked Koleda performers, marking the awakening of spring, are a precursor to Carnival. From 1929 to 1939, real carnival processions were organized in Leskovac. Revived in 2006 as part of the “Barbecue Festival”, it is now in its fifteenth year. It has become international and intercontinental, has the most accompanying programs, gathering over 100,000 visitors and over 2,000 participants each year Text and Photo: Mirolјub Radivojević, Dragan Radović

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or fifteen years the Carnival in Leskovac has moved along the steeps of success, and now it is on an elevation from which it proudly looks at what has been done and plans for the future. It goes in the direction of the intercontinental, with the desire to move the rhythms that support joy, friendship and cheerfulness on our cobblestones and join with the elated rhythm of the recognizable and unsurpassed “Leskovac Quartet”. The path the Carnival has traversed is winding, but enjoyable to return to memory. And what are the pivots of memory?

Since 2009, the Carnival of Leskovac has had its name, its date in July and has a city that is a member of the International Federation of European Carnival Cities (FECC). It is the Carnival with the largest number of accompanying programs: large children’s masked procession, pet carnival, children’s carnival, fire festival, majorettes festival, carnival of face and body painting, carnival of water games, carnival racing in barrels, carnival of old-timers, carnival princess election, carnival ball, eco carnival, carnival SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2020

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 From the

Children’s Carnival

 Dr. Goran Cvetanović,

Mayor of Leskovac

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painting colony, fashion shows, concerts and, most importantly, the International Carnival procession... It is an event that gathers over 100,000 spectators and more than two thousand participants in a week, an event that forces the city to dress up, put on its cheerful medals, wear that festive outfits, painted in cheerful colors, worn in the eyes and the smile. The participants of the main carnival procession, guests from a dozen countries and twenty Serbian cities, with their best masks make for the Leskovac residents and their guests medallions of memories that will be long remembered and are happily worn. In retrospect, it should be mentioned the year 2006, when it was decided that something like a carnival should be organized within the “Barbecue Festival”, which the city is proud of. And that attempt succeeded, but something unusual and very beautiful happened to us. The third Carnival of the “Barbecue Festival” could not be finished because of a stampede of curious onlookers, and had to be interrupted. Few carnival organizers in the world can boast of such an “incident”, which contributed to the Leskovac Carnival having the attributes it has today.

Creativity The Leskovac Carnival is also a kind of creative studio. It produces groups that receive significant awards year after year at carnivals in the region, not to say they win first prizes.

The idea to launch a new age carnival in the city with a tradition of a rich social life spurred the formation of Majorettes in 2001. At that time, a group of beautiful girls, at that time the only one in Serbia with their thought-through dance became a symbol of many carnivals in the region and significant tourist and economic events. Good support was also provided by carnival processions from 1929 to 1939, initiated by the imaginative and enterprising ancestors of Carnival’s present-day friends. And there, a little further in the past, in the Slavic tradition preserved in the vicinity of Leskovac, we find information about the processions of Dodole, Lazarice and Kralјice, but more than anything the tradition of Koleda performers, masked processions that, symbolizing the awakening of spring, lasted in our region until the mid-1960s. The Leskovac Carnival, built on the solid foundations of tradition, completes its fifteenth floor of the building pointing toward the stars. 

Mayor The fact that the Mayor of Leskovac is the head of the FECC for Serbia is also praiseworthy. This clearly speaks of the importance that the carnival movement has in this city.

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Restoran

Ostrovo Sv. Naum. Ohrid Чудесно језеро, светлост, музика, охридска пастрмка и вина гостопримљивог ресторана „Острово“ и фамилије Ристески, неизбрисиво постају део вашег лепог искуства и трајног сећања.

Ресторан „Острово“, Св. Наум, 6000 Охрид | Тел.46+389 46 283 091, Моб.:+389 210 906 Ресторан Острово, Св. Наум, 6000 Охрид Tel:++389 283 091, Mob:++389 72 210 72 906;


W E L C O M E

SUBOTICA, THE CITY OF GREAT TOURIST POTENTIALS

With the Width of the Plain

Its tradition and modernity, good roads and developed tourist capacities, Palić and Ludaš Lakes, cultural and music festivals, harvest and winemaking festivities, pearls of architecture and old elegance... are the best arguments

S

ubotica is a city of great diversity. The richness of its customs, culture, religious and national heritage radiates from everywhere. It has a very favorable geographical position, supported by “Corri-

Wines from the Sand The vineyards of Subotica have a long and rich tradition. “Wines from the Sand” are among the most prestigious in the Balkans and Central Europe. Their character and taste comes from the soil, climate and grape varieties. The winemakers here offer them at their wineries, on the famous Subotica Wine Road.

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dor 10”, and is well connected with the city centers of Serbia and Central Europe. Subotica, good for the life of its people, is also very attractive to visitors who come here recognizing all it has to offer. “The features of European secession uniquely merge here with the Balkan architectural style, traditional and contemporary”, a chronicler describes. “The Town Hall, the Synagogue, Reich Palace and dozens of other interesting buildings are important sites in Subotica’s tourist offer as well. The hotel map is getting richer by the


day. Together with Palić, the city has nine four-star hotels and numerous other lowercategory accommodations. An increasing number of guests can also rely on privately owned accommodation, with all the breadth of local hospitality, tasting of traditional culinary delicacies and wines of the area. Like in very few other places, visitors to Subotica can feel the unparalleled taste of Serbian, Hungarian, Bunjevac, Turkish and German delicacies in one place...” The granges of Subotica are also a must see. With their unparalleled ambience, architecture, cuisine, beautiful elements of naive art, they offer a truly unique experience. Not to mention the local taverns! Today, they are oases of peace and refuge, so much longed for by a modern man. A good bite and a drink, with the flavor of Bačka, are guaranteed. One comes to Subotica because of the festivals, concerts, festivities, because of the rich gallery and theater offer. Interestingly, ethno festivals attract the most attention of guests, especially foreigners, with their abundance of folklore, folk customs and local crafts. Particularly picturesque is Dužijanca, the Bunjevac harvest festival, an event that has lasted more than a century. The International Festival of European Film in Palić has grown into one of the most

significant in this part of the “Old Conti-  Reichl Palace nent”. Also significant is the International  Central Children’s Theater Festival, which brings together a large number of artists and guests Square with the from around the world. Town Hall Subotica also has attractive tourist destinations in its surroundings. First of all, Palić, for decades one of the most attractive tourist spots in the entire Serbia. Its architecture, luxury hotels and villas, parks, lake of extraordinary beauty, beaches, promenades, thermal pool, zoo, cultural and entertainment events have made Palić an exceptional place. Not far from here is Ludaš Lake, a nature reserve, known as a by-pass station of flocks of birds flying from the north of Europe to the Nile Valley. This complex is one of the most important lake-wetland ecosystems in the world, and is protected by the Ramsar Convention. All things considered, it becomes clear why Subotica has been awarded the status of a first-class tourist destination in Serbia. 

Over Fifty Events Increasing number of visitors has been coming to the music festival “Summer 3p”, “Inter-Ethno Festival”, “Harvest Days”, “Wine Marathon”, City Day, May Day on Palić, “Winterfest”... More than 50 other city events take place in Subotica during the year.

SERBIA  SPECIAL EDITION  2020

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EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED ON KOPAONIK

“Gorski Hotel & Spa”

I

n the center of everything, but close to the wild beauty – staying in “Gorski” Hotel allows you to enjoy the best Kopaonik has to offer. We are located across from the most famous landmark of the Silver Mountain – White Bear, so we are always easy to find and even easier to reach, no matter which way you go. The other side of the hotel, the hidden one, will allow you to relax in the outdoor hot water pool (35 degrees) and a view of the unspoiled nature of the national park. You will enjoy the scent of pine trees, the caress of the sun and the benefits of silence. The warmth, daylight and luxury of our 97 rooms and 21 suites will give you unprecedented comfort on Kopaonik. Comfort, warmth and new energy are packed into architecturally flawlessly designed rooms and authentic interiors. The absolute ski-in ski-out location, ski depot, ski rental, as well as the ability to buy ski passes at the hotel are good enough reasons why we are favorite among skiers. However, hotel “Gorski”

Hotel is also an excellent choice for an escape from the summer heat as well as a weekend break and family time for the holidays. Kopaonik is a popular destination for Easter and May Day, and our special packages will make them better than ever. Free massages, discounts on spa services, family Easter egg hunt, children’s workshops and free accommodation for children are just some of the benefits that await you. ongress center that moved the boundaries C of everything seen so far on Kopaonik When you want to combine business and pleasure, the newly opened congress center offers you the ability to organize conferences, teambuilding and a wide variety of events to the highest standards.


The 470 m² multifunctional hall with cutting edge technology is the crown of all the congress center has to offer. The spacious lobby, with a bar and satellite kitchen, allows you to organize catering and socialize, and you can choose the right way to shape the atmosphere before the event begins. The brand new, sophisticated congress area, dominated by wood and sunlight, is well connected to the rest of the hotel, so you can always get to the meeting easily and quickly. The latest technology allows you to approach your organization in an innovative way and use

the full advantage of everything we placed at your disposal. Partition walls are soundproofed, so it is possible to organize multiple workshops and meetings at the same time under optimal conditions. If you need complete privacy, you can choose one of the separated meeting rooms. In addition, you will always have a trusted partner in us – we are here to guide you, assist you and provide you with everything you need to organize corporate events. At “Gorski”, we have subordinated everything to your comfort. Relax and experience the new energy of Kopaonik. s


H E A L T H

“MERKUR” FROM VRNЈAČKA BANЈA AT THE CROSSROADS OF BUSINESS YEARS

Records Behind, Records Ahead

The number of guests and overnight stays realized last year has not been recorded in the recent history of this establishment. Nineteen percent of commercial guests were foreigners. Superior medicine, mineral waters and modern amenities, a combination of healing and enjoyment, expert treatments and quality rest, reliably deliver excellent results. And the opening of “Merkur Palace” in 2020 will start a new chapter in the history of the most famous Serbian spa resort

T

he beginning of the year is a time for summarizing the results and achieved business goals in the previous year. At “Merkur” Health and Spa Center, management and all employees feel proud, led by director Dr. Dejan Stanojević, because in 2019 all plans were successfully implemented. It was a year of great investments and setting new records. The number of satisfied guests who visited “Merkur” last year is close to 24 thousand, with 214,000

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overnight stays. Such a result was not recorded in the new history of “Merkur”. Treatment and vacation at “Merkur” are increasingly interesting to foreign guests,

Contact For more information, contact “Merkur”. Phones: (+381 36) 515 515 0, (+381 36) 515 515 1, E-mail: info@vrnjcispa.rs, rezervacije@vrnjcispa.rs


as shown by the fact that 19 percent of commercial guests were foreigners. The quality of “Merkur’s” medical service was confirmed by the fact that during 2019, 7,450 diabetic patients attended the education and rehabilitation program for these disease, at the expense of the Health Insurance Fund. In 2008, “Merkur” became the first National Educational Center for Diabetes Patients receiving insulin therapy, and also the first institution of this kind in this part of Europe. Within “Merkur” there is also the block for physical therapy with state-of-the-art equipment. It is led by skilled team physiotherapists, using modern devices and natural mineral water factor. In addition to cutting edge medicine, “Merkur” is also a great place to rest. Its Spa Center “Roman Spring” has swimming pools with hot mineral water, wide range of relax amenities, from standard relaxation and therapeutic massages to attractive anti-aging treatments and stateof-the-art devices. In 2019, the Wellness Center alone was visited by more than 11,000 guests, which indicates that spa guests prefer spa amenities in which mineral water is used, and in Vrnjačka Banja that exclusively related to “Merkur”. The warm mineral water used in all “Merkur’s” procedures has an outstanding temperature of 36.5 degrees Celsius.

It is often compared to the water of Karlovy Vary. Mineral water treatments are the basis on which spa healing is based, and in Vrnjačka Banja they are performed only “Merkur”: drinking of water, bathing in tubs, inhalation, vaginal dewing and enemas. Also unique is therapy with peloid, a healing mineral mud that is made on the basis of mineral water and is used for health and cosmetic purposes. In recent years, “Merkur” has successfully developed programs of aesthetic medicine, intended for anyone who wanted to do something about their appearance and beauty during their stay in the spa resort, under professional medical supervision. In the year behind us, the first phase of work on the “Merkur Palace” building, the largest “Merkur’s” venture in the last decade, was successfully completed. Its completion will mark a new era in health tourism of Vrnjačka Banja. 

“Merkur Palace” By developing and improving the quality of services, “Merkur” has begun construction of a new luxury facility “Merkur Palace” in 2018. The goal is to provide health tourism services with the highest level and quality. It will be the most exclusive medical and spa center in Serbia, ranked as a four-star hotel. It is expected to open in 2020.

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“LASTA” INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORTATION Departures Belgrade-Ljubljana 8 AM, every day 9 PM, every day except Saturday Belgrade-Liege-Brussels-Antwerp-Roterdam-Den Hague-Amsterdam 10:30 AM, Wednesdays and Saturdays Belgrade-Bratislava-Brno-Prague 5 PM, Wednesdays 8 AM, Sundays Belgrade - St. Gallen - Zurich 8 PM, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays Belgrade-Stara Pazova-Palma Nova-Mestre-Venice-Padua-Vicenza-Verona-BresciaMilano-Genova 6:45 PM, Thursdays and Sundays Belgrade-Copenhagen-Malmo-Landskrona-Helsingborg-Halmstad-Varberg-Goteborg 8 AM, Fridays Belgrade-Strasbourg-Metz-Rennes-Paris 1 PM, Mondays and Tuesdays 10:45 AM, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays Belgrade-La Roche-Annecy-Chambery-Grenoble-Lyon 1 PM, Wednesdays and Saturdays Belgrade-Nice-Toulon-Marseille-Avignon-Montpellier 11:00 AM, Thursdays Belgrade-Ptuj-Maribor-Graz-Linz 9 PM, Wednesdays and Sundays Belgrade-Wien 4 PM and 9 PM every day GERMANY In cooperation with Deutche Touring GmBH, departures to 26 cities in Germany. Belgrade-Munich-Augsburg-Ulm-Stuttgart-Karlsruhe-Manheim-Frankfurt-KelnDizeldorf-Duisburg-EssenBochum-Dortmund 11:00 AM, Wednesdays, Thursdays Belgrade-Regenzburg-Ingloštat-Ninberg-Frankfurt-Keln-Dizeldorf-Duisburg-EsenBohum-Dortmund 11:00 AM, Sundays Belgrade-Munich-Augsburg-Ulm-Stuttgart-Karlsruhe-Manheim-Frankfurt 6 PM, Saturdays SPECIAL DISCOUNTS ON ALL INTERNATIONAL DEPARTURES! Call Center /Information on routes, departures, arrivals/ 0800 334 334, toll-free +381 11 3348 555, +381 11 3348 556, +381 11 3348 557 www.lasta.rs


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