Osečina, Ljubovija

Everlasting Beauty

Located 130 km from Belgrade, Osecina (Osečina) lies on the Valjevo-Loznica highway along the Jadar River in western Serbia. According to historical records, this region of Serbia was completely abandoned during the Turkish occupation. The countryside was scattered with empty villages. Even the Turks rarely set foot is the area. Ilija Birčanin, a prominent rebellion leader from the region was killed in the lead-up to the First Serbian Uprising. Though the Turks slaughtered him along with other key figures of the movement during the Seča knezova (Slaughter of the Princes), the uprising continued.

Until the 20th century, all settlements in this region except Osecina were rural. With a smattering of shops, traditional restaurants and cafes, the city is now the most developed in the region.

Osecina and its surroundings are famous for producing plentiful fruit, including plum, raspberry and blackberry. You can sample them fresh or try them in one the region’s renowned stews, jams, marmalades, juices, and fruitcakes. Fruit grown here is also used to make an assortment of high quality plum brandies and wines.  Osecina also produces superb dairy and meat products.

ACTIVITIES

Apart from its delectable organic offerings, the region abounds with a variety of game for hunting and medicinal and forest herbs. The largest hunting lodge in the area is Tisovik.  Osecina’s natural beauty includes a network of rivers, streams and brooks which have crab and plenty of trout. If you are interested in fishing, head to the Jadar, Lovačka, Ljuboviđa, Pecka, or Ostružanjka rivers, where you are most likely to catch chub, gudgeon, or trout.  The region is also one of the rare natural habitats of the griffon vulture. Whether you enjoy hunting, fishing or are in search of an ideal ecotourism spot, Osecina has it all. The region prides itself on healthy living in a pristine natural environment.

Visit the village of Skadar and you will discover a charming 17th century log cabin style church built by settlers in the area. The church, which is dedicated to the Ascension of Our Lord, is adorned with six beautiful pillars and carved doors.  It was renovated in 1978.

Over the past several years, Sokograd has become a famous pilgrimage and excursion site. The city, which is a military fortress dating back to the Roman times is located next to Osecina, Ljubovija and Krupanj. At one time, several armies sought to control this border town, which was quite prosperous under Turkish control. The Turks called it Sultan’s Bride. Today, you can enjoy Sokograd’s beautiful sites, including a golden cross that was built amongst the town’s ruins, and the ten chapels representing the Ten Commandments, which line the town’s hillside. If you venture to the foothills of Sokograd, you will discover a monestary and monument dedicated to St. Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović.

Ljubovija

SIGHTS

The Ljubovija (Ljuboviđa) canyon is a majestic mix of mountain peaks, lush pastures and views of the winding green ribbons of Ljubovija River. At one time, the canyon trailed the main road from western Serbia to Bosnia. The beautiful arch of the Roman Bridge, called Jerina Bridge by locals in the area, artfully transverses the Ljubovija River. Though its name suggests otherwise, the bride’s architecture is actually Turkish.

The Ljubovija municipality borders Osecina and the Drina River in the direction of Republika Srpska in Bosnia. Locals call this area, which is 200 km from Belgrade, Azbukovica. They refer to themselves as Azbukovčani.

ACTIVITIES

The mystical Drina River is easily the highlight of Ljubovica. Its abundance of fish attracts a great number nature lovers and fishermen. When you visit the area, including Podrinje, you will notice that nearly every house has its own piece of shore along the river.

Despite its potential as an untapped destination, Ljubovica has never developed a commercialized tourist industry. As a result, it has maintained its character and natural beauty.

Ljubovica is home to the Drina Regatta, which takes place the second Saturday in July. The event attracts water sport enthusiasts from across Europe. Apart from the regatta, the city organizes a number of fairs and festivals throughout the year. Ivandan, on July 7, is one of the most popular!

When in Osecina and Ljubovica, we recommend:

– A shot of rakija in Osečina

– A visit to Sokograd

– A fishing trip on the Drina River

MOBA

Sokograd is home to Moba, a unique annual event for young people of Serbian origin.  The event takes place every July in the St. Nikolaj Srpski monastery and is organized by the Ljubovica municipaltity, the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the Center of Immigrants of Serbia. Moba draws approximately 200 young people of Serbian origin from across the globe. During their stay at St. Nikolaj Srpski, they socialize, clean the monastery, practice Serbian, and learn about the geography and history of their ancestors.

INFORMATIONS

Tourist organization of the Municipality of
Osečina- “Podgorina”
59 Karađorđeva Street, 14253 Osečina
Tel: +381 14 52 311
e-mail: topodgorina@ptt.rs
www.osecina.com

Tourist organization of the Municipality of Ljubovija
45 Vojvode Mišića Street, 15320 Ljubovija
Tel: +381 15 661 050
e-mail: opsljub@ptt.rs
www.turistickaorganizacijaljubovija.rs