EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

Category: Serbia

Meet the Romans in Serbia

‘Meet the Romans in Serbia’ is a guest post from Tara Goldsmith of ReadyClickAndGo. We recommend you check their Twitter and Facebook profiles as well.   I was sat right…

‘Meet the Romans in Serbia’ is a guest post from Tara Goldsmith of ReadyClickAndGo. We recommend you check their Twitter and Facebook profiles as well.

 

I was sat right at the top, in the Royal Opera House it would have been seat Y51 – very high up with a restricted view. Looking down and behind the half naked archaeologist who was unmoved by the burning sun I could almost see Russell Crowe fighting ferociously for his freedom. Behind me was a flat green field with occasional glimpses of the Danube river, on whose bed was preserved this rich archaeological site.

We are standing at the top of the amphitheatre with a capacity of 12,000 seats” the voice of the enthusiastic guide woke me up.

  The itinerarium Romanum Serbiae

We are at Viminacium, one of many Roman towns and fortress in Serbia, not far from the capital city Belgrade. It covers a huge area and some of it is still undiscovered due to the presence of the nearby power plant which produces 20% of Serbia’s energy. The government is trying to buy land still owned by the local people to stop the theft of artefacts that are uncovered after heavy rain.

Large numbers of lamps, bricks, paving tiles, rings and coins have been uncovered and exhibited either at the Museum in Pozarevac or the Museum in Belgrade. The Viminacium complex is building their own museum too at the moment.

 The site has beautiful tombs decorated with frescoes whose colour was still bright and with mixed pagan and Christian symbolism. Tomb G5517 has a Christogram in a double floral garland and this is known as a Constantine Cross, after the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity. Tomb G2624 has animals and flowers and is clearly pagan, thus proving that Christians and Pagans were sometimes buried in the same cemetery.

Viminacium, Serbia

Serbia has the largest number of Roman emperors born outside of Italy – 17 altogether, among them Constantine I and Justinian I. The tourist board has put together a project to combine visits to all the major Roman excavations on Serbian soil, called Itinerarium Romanum Serbiae. It will incorporate Sirmium, today known as Sremska Mitrovica, Singindunum which is Belgrade, Viminacium or Stari Kostolac, combined with visits to the forts of Nis, Kostol and Karats. The itinerary also includes visits to the imperial residences at Gamzigrad and the UNESCO site, Šarkamen, Mediana and Iustiniana Prima.

2013 will see the 1,700 anniversary of the Edict of Milan by which Emperor Constantine legalised Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, and celebrations will take place in the city of his birth, Nis.

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10 things to do in Serbia

Serbia is open for tourism all year round and although tourists enjoy spending their time in Belgrade, the country offers a variety of cultural and historical monuments, spas, mountains, fishing…

Serbia is open for tourism all year round and although tourists enjoy spending their time in Belgrade, the country offers a variety of cultural and historical monuments, spas, mountains, fishing grounds and much more.

Some of the great 10 things to do in Serbia include;

Cycling down the Danube EuroVelo 6 Route 

EuroVelo 6 route is one of the 14 routes created by the European Cyclists’ Federation in 1994. The aim of the project is  to discover amazing landscapes when cycling alongside the European rivers. EuroVelo 6 route starts from Nantes and ends at Constanta (from Atlantic to the Black Sea) and it’s 4,448km long.

Ski at Kopaonik

Kopaonik is a major ski resort in Serbia with 25 ski lifts in total and a national park established back in 1981. The mountain is mainly famous for skiing, snowboarding and trekking, but also for its rich historical heritage. It’s highest peak is Pančić, which peaks at 2,017 meters. Every March the mountain is a host to the annual Big Snow Festival.

Rafting on the Drina river

The Drina River is 346 km long, while its course through Serbia is 220 km long. It flows through Montenegro, the Republic of Srpska and Serbia. The river is famous for its old bridge in Visegrad, which was described in the famous novel “The Bridge on the Drina” written by the Nobel Prize for Literature winner in 1961, Ivo Andric. In summer the most popular activity on the river is rafting, with the most famous event being the “Drina Regatta“.

Explore Fruska Gora and its surroundings

Another jewel of Serbia is the National Park Fruška Gora which covers the territory of Vojvodina. It is famous for being the home to the historic city of Sremski Karlovci, plus is characterized by its forests and vineyards. Sixteen Orthodox monasteries are located nearby, which are famous for their architecture and treasures. Wine tasting is very popular in the region and other activities include biking, hiking, hunting and fishing. Being located just one hour from the capital and thirty minutes from Novi Sad makes the area very popular for tourists.

Get spiritual at Serbian Mount Athos

Ovčar-Kablar gorge is referred to this way as it contains more than thirteen medieval monasteries, which are known for their beauty and spectacular location. Ovčar spa is also located in the gorge, which has hot sulfuric water that is used as a treatment for healing various health problems.

Take photos of the canyon of Uvac river

The Uvac River is part of the Uvac Nature Reserve and it’s located in Western Serbia. Probably the greatest attraction of the canyon is its meanders, with some of the river bends angled at 270 degrees, and caves that form the longest cave system in Serbia. The biggest impression is the view overlooking the canyon.

Visit the Devil’s Town

There’s no devil there, but you will find around 202 exotic rock formations that are very similiar to those found in Cappadoccia, Turkey. The mystery of these formations caused the locals to give it such a name. The area is also famous for its spa which contains two springs: the Devil’s Water and the Red Well. Devil’s Town was one of the nominees in the new ‘New Seven Wonders of Nature’ campaign.

Visit Felix Romuliana

Felix Romuliana is an archeological site, spa and UNESCO World Heritage Site located near the city of Zaječar. The location of the ancient Roman complex of palaces and temples was built by the Emperor Galerius. The complex is one of the most popular stops on the Roman Emperor’s trail through the Serbian territory.

Felix Romuliana, Serbia

Learn about the Serbian history at the Military museum in Belgrade

Founded in 1878, the museum has more than 3,000 ancient and modern items. The exhibits progresses from ancient findings to medieval and modern history, while outside the museum features a display of numerous tanks and armoured cars, mostly from WW2. The museum is located inside the Belgrade Fortress which makes it a popular stop from visiting tourists.

Military museum in Belgrade

Party at Exit Festival

The Exit Festival is an annual summer festival held in the Petrovaradin Fortress of Novi Sad. In 2007 the festival was awarded as the “Best European Festival” by the UK Festival Awards. Some of the artists that have performed at the festival in the past include the Pet Shop Boys, Massive Attack, Snoop Dogg, Lily Allen, Placebo and others.

Where to stay

If you are looking for a place to stay check out Booking or HotelsCombined.

Getting there

You can search for a cheap flight to Serbia on Momondo.

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Spare time in Belgrade? Go to Avala mountain

Avala mountain is located 16 km from the capital city of Serbia, Belgrade, and it has a reputation of being a popular day or even weekend getaway from busy city…

Avala mountain is located 16 km from the capital city of Serbia, Belgrade, and it has a reputation of being a popular day or even weekend getaway from busy city life. Avala is inviting especially for its walks which allow people to relax in nature.

With a height of 511 meters, Avala fits within the ‘Mountain range’, no pun intended. In the middle ages it was famous for the Avala Town, which was later conquered by the Ottoman Turks. Today the areas surrounding Avala are not heavily populated, although the mountain’s location is very close to Belgrade’s city boundaries.

Avala mountain Belgrade

Avala is one of the protected green areas of Belgrade and it has more than 600 plant species living on the mountain. Many species are  protected by law due to their natural rarities, with 21 of the 67 bird species considered rare in Serbia.

Avala tower

Besides being famous as a traditional weekend and picnic resort, other attractions on the mountain include the newly built Avala Tower which is the tallest tower in Serbia and the Balkans region. Originally it was a telecommunication tower destroyed by the NATO bombing in 1999, with the new tower officially opened in 2010. The tower has a viewing platform on top with the beautiful view overlooking Belgrade, Vojvodina and Šumadija.

View from Avala tower

View from the tower!

One of the most famous monuments located on Avala is the “Monument to the Unknown Hero” which is a protected monument by the country.

Monument to the Unknown Hero

Monument to the Unknown Hero

For those who love sport activities besides walking, can indulge in activities including orienteering, climbing, mountain biking and running.

And if your hunger gets the best of you, on the top of the Mountain there’s a hotel with the restaurant “Avala”, dedicated to serving delicious meals.

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