The Exquisite Beauty of Lazarica
Kruševac is located 194km from Belgrade. It is accessible via the Belgrade – Niš highway just 23km from the Pojate turnoff. The municipality borders Aleksinac and Merošina to the east, Blace, Prokuplje, Brus, and Aleksandrovac to the south, Trstenik to the west, and Varvarin, Ćićevac, and Ražanj to the north.
Krusevac, which today is the seat of the Rasina region, has a long and rich history. Its central location has made it a popular stop in the Balkans since the Middle Ages. According to legend, the town’s name originates either from kruška (pear) or the enormous Moravian boulder krušac used in the construction of the city’s fortress. The Turks called it Aladža Hisar (colorful town).
Krusevac is well known for its Archeological Park, which comprises Tsar Lazar’s medieval city walls, the Lazarica church, and the National Museum. Tsar Lazar built the town in 1371 as a capital city and military fortress.
The building of the beautiful Lazarica church signaled the beginning of the Moravian School of Masonry. Its vibrant façade features alternating layers of stone and brick, biforas (dual-arched windows), relief decorations, rosettes, and a red-and-white checkerboard pattern. Unfortunately, the interior walls of Lazarica are completely bare; its frescoes have long disappeared. The church is considered to be a masterpiece of Serbian ecclesiastical architecture. The nearby Branič-kula (Defense Tower) is a partially destroyed but a nonetheless impressive 15 m structure.
Krusevac’s National Museum is considered to be one of Serbia’s most beautiful buildings. The Museum features grand collections, which exhibit the history of the town and its surroundings. The most valuable piece in the collection is the vestment of Tsar Lazar.
The town center, which dates back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, is located at the base of the medieval town. The monument to Kosovo’s heroes dominates the town center and is the work of sculptor Đorđe Jovanović. The present day Town Hall building features magnificent mosaics by academician Mladen Srbinović that depicts medieval Moravian Serbia.
The southern ridges of Mt. Goč are home to Veluće monastery, just 22 kilometers from Kruševac. Two noble brothers, who are depicted in the paintings that adorn the walls of the church, founded the monastery.
Krusevac organizes several festive events every summer. They include the Vidovdan Ceremonies, which take place at the end of June and the Cultural Summer festivities, which last throughout the summer. Krusevac has a long tradition of theatre arts; its National Theater is one of the most respected in the country. Representatives from theaters across the entire region gather here during the city’s traditional Theater Days.
The locals of this region have a reputation of being quite cheerful. They also exhibit a great sense of humor. If you are looking for a fun experience, head to the Golden Helmet, Krusevac’s annual international festival of humor and satire.
(Cicevac) Ćićevac lies approximately 10km from Kruševac. This used to be a marshy area covered with ponds, swamps, and backwaters. Cicevac is also known for the Great Vortex, which was connected to the Morava River by a network of underground channels. Locals called it The Crazy, and no one dared to bathe in it because they believed it was bottomless.
One of the most expansive late Middle Age fortresses lies close to Stalać in Cicevac municipality. The fortress was built in the 1370’s to protect Krusevac, which was the capital city during that period.
Explore further and you will discover Varvarin, site of one of the most glorious victories during the First Serbian Uprising of 1810. Even though they were thrice outnumbered, the united Serbian and Russian armies definitively defeated the Turkish forces here. The battle was preceded by a duel during which megdandžija (combatant) Jova Kursula killed Omer-Aga, a famous Turkish military leader.
When in Krusevac, we recommend:
- A walk through the beautiful Lazarica church
- Participating in Krusevac’s Vidovdan Ceremonies at the end of June
- An outing to mount Jastrebac
Built in the late 1370’s, the Naupare monastery is located 15 km south Krusevac. Two remarkable rosettes on the monastery’s western side stand out amongst its richly decorated walls. Akin to other noble churches in the region, Naupare replicates the structure of Krusevac’s Lazarica church.
INFORMATIONSTourist Organization of Kruševac 3 Majke Jugovića Street, 37000 Kruševac Tel: +381 37 440 332, 445 180 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.turizam-krusevac.org.rs