Vlastonice, Babušnica, Dimitrovgrad, Crna Trava

The Enchanting Allure of Nature

The Vlasotince municipality is located in southeast Serbia at the mouth of the Vlasina and Velika Morava Rivers near the Suva Planina Mountain. Vlasonince is situated in the eastern part of the Leskovac valley just 5 km off the Belgrade-Skopje highway. It is 294 km from Belgrade.

Historical records first cite Vlasotince in the 16th century. If you are visiting the town, a stop at the National museum, which features some of the most unique 16th to 19th century graphic art, is a must! Apart from the museum, the town abounds with cultural and historical monuments, including Giga house, which today houses the Town Library, the Popović mill, and the Sokolski center. The old market and memorial graveyard are exceptionally well preserved and authentic. Stroll down to the Vlasina River and you will come across a monument honoring the soldiers of WWI and the Balkan wars. The Russian emperor and architect Nikolai Krstov designed it.

ACTIVITIES

Vlastonice specializes in wine making. The city’s wine producers established a cooperative in 1923, which today comprises the towns of Dadince, Šišava, Donja Lomnica and Skrapež.

For more than 45 years, the town has organized the Wine Ball event, which is dedicated to wine production in this region. This festive gathering takes place every August on the banks of the Vlasina River near the Nešić quay. The event includes the crowning of the Goddess of wine and the Prince of the festival by the Independent Principality of Vlasotince.  If you are visiting during the event, you will have several opportunities to sample some of the best wine the local vineyards have to offer. There is also plenty of entertainment, which culminates with a parade featuring the Prince of the festival. The Wine Ball also features an artist colony, whose motifs are always grapes and wine.

Explore beyond Vlastonice and you will discover the Suva Planina, Čemernik and Čobanac mountains. This scenic splendor features diverse flora and fauna. Come here to enjoy the exceptionally refreshing mountain air!

Babusnica

SIGHTS

The Babusnica (Babušnica) municipality is surrounded by the Pirot and Bela Palanka municipalities on the north, the Bulgarian border on the east, the Vlasotince and Crna Trava municipalities on the south, and Gadžin Han on the west. Babusnica is located on the E9 highway (Leskovac to Pirot), which connects to the E75 and E80 highways.

Babusnica lies in the heart of the Lužnica River valley, which has an altitude of 520 m. This pleasant town on the ridges of the Stara Planina Mountain is well known for the Komarički waterfalls and watermills scattered around the springs on the Lužnica River. Currently, a dam is being built close to the Skokovi waterfalls, which will create a manmade lake on the Raljinska River, a tributary of the Murgovica River. When completed, the lake will measure 200 m in length and will undoubtedly offer plenty of fun and recreation.

ACTIVITIES

The Zvonačka Banja Spa, which lies 28 km east of Babusnica, is a popular tourist destination. The spa, which sits at an altitude of 680m, offers beautiful mountain scenery. Come here to relax and take advance of the spa’s healing waters.

Dimitrovgrad

SIGHTS

Dimitrovgrad lies just five kilometers from the Bulgarian border. The town has had many different names over the years. Prior to WWII, it was known as Caribrod.

This picturesque town features plenty of beautiful nature spots, and abounds with cultural and historical monuments. Wander through the town and visit the Birth of the Most Holy Mother of God Church, which was built in 1892 and reconstructed in 1997 by the citizens of Dimitrovgrad. Just outside the town you will find the St. Dimitrije church, also known as Manastirče. It was reconstructed in 1996. There is a winter sports facility here that is a favorite excursion spot for the locals of Dimitrovgrad.

ACTIVITIES

The monastery St. John the Theologian, known as Poganovski monastery, lies 15 km from Dimitrovgrad in the Jerma River valley. The monastery was built at the end of the 14th century during the Turkish invasion, just as areas of Serbian rule were slowly disappearing.

The Moravian style structure is made of broken brownstone and limestone. Though the monastery’s patron remains unknown, experts of Byzantine art concur that the icons here are some of the most valuable in the world. The most exquisite are the Miracle in Latom and Christ Pieta icons. The monastery has enjoyed state protection since 1949. Since 1979 it has appeared on the list of world cultural heritage sites.

Crna Trava

The small town Crna Trava has a population of 2,500 and is 43km from Vlasotince. It is not surprising the town was once known as Vilin Lug (Fairy’s Grove). Splendid nature spots surround the town. It features a manicured town center and several beautiful bridges across the Vlasina River.

Crna Trava has always taken advantage of its beautiful surroundings. Even when it was a monastery metochion, it enjoyed complete autonomy and received town status long before some of its larger neighbors.

Overall, the town’s lush hundred-year-old forest, numerous rivers brimming with trout, and hospitable people make Crna Trava an ideal getaway.

When in Vlastonice, Babusnica, Dimitrovgrad and Crna Trava, we recommend:

-         Visiting the Vlasotince Principality

-         Admiring the icons of the St. Jovan Bogoslov Monastery

-         Fishing on the small rivers in Crna Trava

LACE

The most stunning feature of the Birth of the Most Holy Mother of God Church in Dimitrovgrad is its iconostasis. Artists from the Samokovska School crafted this beautiful piece from box tree using the lace method.

INFORMATIONS

Tourist organization of the Municipality of  Dimitrovgrad
7 Balkanska, 18320 Dimitrovgrad
Tel: +381 10 360 873
e-mail: todimitrovgrad@ptt.rs
www.todimitrovgrad.org.rs