Knjazevac Museums~ Zavičajni muzej Knjaževac

The yellow building with the statue on top is the largest museum in town. It houses a continuous collection as well as short term exhibits.

Zavicajni means homeland. This museum is all about the homeland. Local artifacts and exhibitions of local art and history are displayed.

The entrance of the museum. The grand old home was built by a man who owned a long ago coal mine in my  hubby’s village Vina. Now, it is well-kept and a glorious reminder of antique architecture.

A work of art by a local artist, Dragoslav Živković, and the reconstruction of homes created by the orignal inhabitants of the region  ages ago. The cavemen type of people even left their mark in local caves with drawings! Cool, huh?

Just a few weeks ago, I went to check out the new fruit exhibits, and the very exciting ancient Roman artifacts found just a few miles down the road!

An aerial photograph of the excavation. It is a massive site.

Ravna, a village 6 or 7 miles from Knjazevac is the home of the most recent archeological dig in our region.

Painstaking work  by international groups of archeologists have unearthed some amazing finds. Including glass goblets! How freaking awesome is that!?

glass goblets and a glass vase

I got to talk to the Senior Curator of the museum, Milena. Her English is spectacular. We had a great chat. The most spectacular part of the visit was being shocked with meeting another American. I have NEVER run into a foreigner in my little town. Coming in contact with one of my own peeps was a complete shock.

He was a Dept. of State guy doing some public relations stuff, repairing relations with Serbia. His advice to me was to basically be friendly and help mend the tear between Serbia and the United States.
Some days, I think I am days I think I am very diplomatic… other times, not so much.

Please come visit our beautiful town and museums. We have lots to offer! Just like the rest of Serbia!

Crkva na Sunday (Church on Sunday)~Manastir Lešje

A while back, we visited one of the coolest Monasteries EVER! Lesje is the eighth wonder of the world. I am in love with that place. No, really, I am.

An Orthodox Monastery with a great reverence for the Creator. You can feel it. This place is so beautiful and ethereal, if there were a church in The Lord of the Rings, this would be it!

If you are planning to visit south-eastern Serbia, this place should be on your radar.  You won’t regret it.

Like every monastery, it has gardens and massive green houses for growing food. Lesje also has a wonderful fish hatchery! They raise their own trout! The fresh flowing water add a feeling of calm. Watching the fish swim about is also cathartic!

This place is a visual poem,a work of art. Lesje is place set apart from the world. Please enjoy the rest of the pics that prove how extraordinary it is.

The entrance to the sanctuary John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

I would love to hear these bells chime!

There are some really amazing monasteries and ancient churches here in Serbia. You could learn so much from visiting them! No doubt, you will leave refreshed, ready for your next adventure. Dobar Dan y’all!

The 100 Step Village~Stogazevac, Serbia

The 100 step village

I was on the top of a very tall hill, and I found fossilized coral. The muz (hubby) and I walked to the bottom of the hill and at the edge of the stream we were about to cross, when we found a stone with a shell fossil in it. He says this is not uncommon here. I am like a kid in a candy store. Sometimes, I feel I should be on a treasure hunt all the time.

This trek up the small mountain was just beyond the 100 step village.  It was a typical old village, quiet and quaint.

A rakija still was in service, and 2 men catered to what the muz calls the “happy” machine. We parked the car in front of their modest, but nice, town building. A passing Baba told us our car will safe there. This was the start our little adventure.  It is small but full of character and friendly people. We also met a nice couple of goats too. 🙂

Stogazovac is the” one hundred step village”.  Just past that beautiful little cluster of homes, is a 14th Century church. On the way to the church. you bypass paved roads and walk along with towering rocks to your right and a steep ravine to your left. At the bottom of the ravine, there is a creek trickling along. A ways up, the creek is dammed up to create a wonderful little swimming hole. There is such a difference in temperature as you descend to the waters edge. Fascinating how water has carved a deep crevice in so much stone.

The mountainous rocks tower over the road like sky scrapers. At some points there is a half tunnel carved in the rock to create the path to the old church. Trust me the pictures don’t do it justice!

We stopped a ways down because we though we had lost our way, and decided rest for a picnic. We sat at the roads edge, which had transformed into pastoral land was now mostly flat. Initially, we sat smack dab on the top of an ant hill. Ant bites are worse than their bark. We moved quickly!

When we had finished our fresh-baked bread with fresh, soft farm cheese baked inside, we saw behind was the church. It had been hidden by the natural skyscraper. It was nestled in just behind it.

The view back from our picnic sight.

It only took us a few minutes to find the path to the plank bridge that crossed the brook. We walked up the very steep hill to the top, and then rested to catch our breath.

The 14th century church had a fresh coat of paint and a new roof, but it was ancient. The walls were nearly 3 feet thick.

I can easily understand how people could find peace and worship inside or out. God had created a beautiful place. Man had made good use of the natural beauty. It is awesome there.

I was glad it was a Sunday when we came. I wish we could come here every Sunday. But soon the snow will cover the ground and getting up the hill will be impossible.

After we explored inside the church and out we made our way back down the hill to go back home. When we were about to pass through a place in the road, flanked by two massive rocks, a billy-goat came through like gang busters, and stopped when he saw us, sizing us up.  He retreated when the muz took a step forward. Probably smart. If I were a betting woman, I would put my money on the muz. He has been known to head butt bigger animals creatures and knock them down.

This billy-goat and his agile friend proceeded to climb the rock as we passed through the natural gateway.

Rabbit trail....The goats warmed my heart. I grew up on a farm with goats. My grandpa once put me on the back of our kind billy-goat and I held onto the horns. I remember his back being very pointy and not at all comfortable like a horse. End rabbit trail…
On the other side of the towering rock gateway, we were greeted by two village children, the goats caretakers. They said “Dobar Dan” or good day to each of us, and then kept looking back at us.
They were bewildered by my English. I love the wonder in their eyes. I wish I could sit and chat with all of them. I used to be a village child myself. I am pretty sure we have more in common than not! Just a difference of birth place and language.

The walk back to the car was fun, I stopped to take a pic of the same couple of gents making the countries favorite liquor, rakija. (This is pronounced rah-key-a.) One of the men said to me, “Odakle ste?” (Where are you from?) When I said “America”, it was fun to see the reaction on their faces. The village reactions and sweet interactions are so much different from the ones of regular town folks.

This was a magical day.

Knjazevac Charming Beauty

My town is exceptional in its beauty. So much so, that it won an award this year. It will be will be listed in the network of “European Destinations of Excellence” Here are the pics to prove it!
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Above is the Main Street bridge.

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The view of a locals enjoying drinks at Casa Dolce cafe and beyond to St. Georges Church in the distance.

And below a boy casts his fishing line into the Timok River.
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Then there is the iconic opposite side of the Timok. Post card material.

One of my town favorites is the old arch rimmed pavilion. A brilliant place to sit and watch the world go by.

The town is filled with beauty everywhere, sometimes it sneaks up on me.

cool and old

cool and old

See, even the ruins are lovely! And if you look up above the door, you will see it used to be an arched doorway.

Bright colors, painstaking iron work and carved wood doors create the kind of eye candy that decorates the town.
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This is my town, and it is stunning no matter what the season.
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Even the people are gorgeous and their traditional costumes are fantastic, not to mention the dancing! Anyone for the Kolo? OPA!
Yellow scarves ans red socksIf you are thinking of making the trip to visit us contact one of these agencies, They have English speakers who can help you.

Come visit!  We can chat over coffee, or even better,  Rakija!

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https://www.facebook.com/turistickaorganizacija.opstineknjazevac?fref=nf

https://www.facebook.com/groups/knjazevacinfo/

Dobar Dan Y’all!