Land Dressed in Gold
Kučevo is located in northeast Serbia 42 km from Požarevac and 130 km from Belgrade. Many believe Kucevo, once known as Guduscum, was an ancient settlement from the Roman Period. The discovery of gold coins here featuring the Emperor Hadrian confirm the presence of the Roman Empire in Kucevo in 128 BC. Hadrian mined gold, silver and steel in the Roman city of Guduscum where the Kučajska and Pek River meet. All that remains of ancient Guduscum today is a small, fortified area.
If you visit Kucevo, you will immediately be drawn to the area’s pristine nature, rich ethnological and archeological heritage and friendly people.
Explore the area around Kucevo and you will quickly discover its incredible caves.
If you are interested in caves, a visit to the beautiful and majestic Ceremošnja cave, which lies 13 km from Kucevo, is a must. It is also accessible via the villages of Kučajne and Bukovske.
The Pećina cave was created by the 775 m Strugarski Creek, which runs through it. The cave features a 431-meter visitors’ pathway. The cave’s largest opening, Arena, is one the most beautiful in Serbia. The 20 m ceiling is dome-shaped and features beautiful stalactites. Explore the cave further and you will discover the Dveri (doorway) and a small waterfall of the Strugarski Creek, which will lead you to the cave’s exit, approximately 100 m from the entrance. Kucevo has plenty more caves, including Ravništarka and the Dubočke cave, which is an ideal destination for those interested in speleological and adventure tourism.
Kucevo is well known for it s Homoljski motivi handicraft festival, which takes place every year at end of May and at the beginning of June. This festive event featuring gold handicrafts from eastern Serbia was first held in 1968 and has significantly contributed to the preservation of authentic song, dance and customs of this region. It has also played a role in the appreciation of traditional food, handicraft, and ancient skills, including gold rinsing on the Pek River.
Kucevo has been a mining region for centuries. If you visit the area, you will discover its three gold mines: Blagojev Kamen (Blagoje’s Stone), Santa Barbara and Grabova reka (Grabova River). Gold was also found near the Pek River several decades ago.
According to historical data, King Aleksandar was able to extract three tons of gold from the Neresnica area near the Pek River using primitive technology. The more traditional method for finding gold was rinsing, a method which has not changed over time. The simplest approach was to drop sheep leather and fleece at the bottom of the river and wait for the gold to collect in it. This method was effective because gold is lighter than sand. The last step was to shake out the fleece and collect the gold.
Just 15 km from Kucevo, you will discover the 3rd century Kraku lu Jordan archeological site and metallurgical complex. This fascinating spot is located in the village of Brodica in the direction of Majdankep. The forested area abounds with small and large bird species.
Zagubica (Žagubica) is 120km from Belgrade. The municipality stretches across the upper part of the Mlava River Valley and its tributaries. The area comprises of two sections: foothills and a mountain range. The middle portion is composed of the Zagubicka basin, whose lower potions are 300 m in altitude. The highest part of the valley is on the west, north and northeast part. The lower Gornjačke (825 m) and Homolje Mountains (940 m) form the valley’s natural boundaries.
Zagubica is sparsely populated. The population is distributed amongst twenty villages, Zagubica being the largest of these.
The Gornjak monastery lies 26km from Zagubica, overlooking a steep cliff to the north. Duke Lazar built the monastery with the help of monk Gregory, who had come to this region from faraway Mount Sinai (1378–1381). The monastery features beautiful frescoes painted in 1847. The remains of Saint Gregory Sianit are located in the small chapel above the church. There are also a few partially preserved frescoes from the 14th century in grotto of the church.
If you visit the area, you will notice its beautiful clay pots, which are richly decorated with figures or flower motifs. These beautiful pots are characteristic of the region. The area also abounds with colorfully painted distaffs and other wooden objects. Purchase one to remind you of your trip here!
If you are in Kucevo or Zagubica, we recommend:
- Visiting one of the Mlava River’s many natural springs
- Exploring the Ceremošnja cave
- Purchasing a clay pot in Zagubica
The Pek River in Kucevo is well known in the region for its gold supply. Though there is some evidence that indicating that gold still exists here, locals are more dedicated to agriculture than looking for gold.
In the 19th century, the travel writer Sigmund August Heder described this apparent nonchalance in one of his travel memoirs. He wrote that villagers would rinse gold from the Pek River in passing, and only in addition to their traditional jobs. They would then sell it in Čuvatima and Vidinu. Though it is a sort of paradox that gold rinsing in Kucevo no longer exists, locals believe that it somehow brings bad luck to the rinser. According to legend, the Emperor Trajan broke through the Đerdap gorge and in his quest to find gold in the Pek River, dried up the ancient Pannonian Sea.
INFORMATIONSTourist Organization of the Kučevo Municipality 114 Svetog Save Street, 12240 Kučevo Tel: +381 12 850 666 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.tokucevo.org