Образовна авантура Завичајног Музеја Књажевац

Must See when in Knjaževac

Rich natural and cultural heritage of the area of Knjaževac provide the basis for the development of different types of tourism.

The border between Serbia and Bulgaria goes along the slopes of the mountain Stara Planina the highest peak of which is Midžor with 2169 m. Further down at the height of 1758m is the peak of Babin Zub with a mountain lodge and a hotel, a popular picnic area and a ski resort of the local population, but also people from all over Serbia. Stara Planina is invaluable treasure, not only naturally, but also culturally. In the homes of StaraPlanina, that are considered to be the jewels of the local architecture, in almost deserted large and small villages, some people still live in the way that no one does anywhere else, keeping the tradition of old dishes, old stories, songs and customs.

Babin Zub is one of the most beautiful peaks of the mountain Stara Planina. It is interesting as the place for collecting medicinal herbs and it can be said to be a permanent destination of all Serbian Faculties of Science and Mathematics, where they perform field work in Biology and Ecology each year. There are numerous associations of herb lovers who choose Babin Zub to organize trainings for the collection of medicinal and wild herbs.

Because of a developed system of walking trails that meander along Stara Planina and the proximity of the highest peak Midžor, hikers and cyclists find that this location is very attractive. A four-day hiking action "Along the Paths of Stara Planina to Midžor " has been orgnised since 2011 ending up by reaching Midžor (the highest peak of Stara Planina); it brings together a large number of hikers from Serbia and has been a national action ever since. Organized by the Cycling Federation of Serbia and "Novi Sad" cycling club and sponsored by the PU "Stara Planina" a mountain biking race has taken place since 2010.

15 km away from Knjaževac, on the right side of the main road leading to Kalna, at the entrance to the village of Donja Kamenica, there is an extraordinary medieval church dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary. This is a monument of uncommon architecture with frescoes dating back to 14th century, and although there are the characters of the patron and his family at several places in the church it has not yet been decided who the despot Michael was, the son of Emperor Michael, as it is written on one of patron portraits.

On the road between Donja and Gornja Kamenica, on the left side on a hill overlooking the main road, 17 km away from Knjaževac, there is a medieval monastery dedicated to the Holy Trinity. According to the transcript of the inscription from the mid-fifteenth century, it is known that the church was founded by Serbian despot Lazar, the youngest son of Đurađ Branković.

In the gorge of Trgoviški Timok, near the village of Gabrovnica, at the foot of Stara Planina, a group of prehistoric cave drawings dating back to the Bronze Age were found. This group of drawings is the only of its kind found in Serbia, while there are similar cave drawings in the neighbouring Bulgaria and Montenegro.

On the Pirot-Kalna road there is a natural monument - tufa waterfall. There is also the monastery of St. Onuphrius and a picnic/rest area along the stream and the waterfall. Meandering course of the tufa stream is followed by marked walking and cycle path, 3 km in length, revealing the beauty of this oasis of peace and tranquility.

An ancient custom, the act of votive prayers – slaughtering of a black male lamb called "Đurđilče" on the day of St. George is still practiced in the village Vrtovac in a cell dedicated to St. George at a place called Kalavat. To properly present the treasure of this area to the public, another story about this custom is told, thanks to the Ethno-Fest "Prayer under Midžor" which has been organised for many years at the feast of St. George in the villages of Vrtovac and Balta Berilovac, at the foot of Stara Planina. Competitions in cooking belmuž (a local dish), preparing cheese and other old dishes, competing in various shepherd games - this is the best way to illustrate the diversity, richness and uniqueness of the old tradition of this region to the visitors of this tourist event.

In the village Kalna, a central place of Budžak area, there is also a tourist information center with a library as a branch of the National Library "Njegoš" Knjaževac.

The rich and well preserved nature in the two river valleys around Knjaževac abound in places suitable for picnics and outdoor activities. The best-known resorts are certainly:

-Baranica on the Trgoviški Timok, a few miles to the south of the town on the road to Stara Planina, with once a very populur beach;

-Banjica-Rgoška Spa on the Svrljiški Timok, 5 km southwest of Knjaževca near the village Rgošte famous for thermal springs. Between Knjazevac and Banjice there is a swimming pool "Banjica" - a complex of sports and recreational facilities with an open Olympic size swimming pool 25x50m, 1.5 to 2.25 m of depth, with thermal water of 28°C, and a kids’ pool 10-60cm deep. There is a building with locker rooms, changing rooms, bar, garden with 120 seats, parking place, sport facilities.

Cultivated valleys of the Beli Timok running from Knjaževac to Zaječar offer the opportunity to practice different kinds of sports - hunting, fishing, biking, hiking, climbing and the like. The beauty of the nature and cultural heritage attract many tourists and adventurers. There are the late antique site Timacum Minus and the Archaeological-Ethno Park in Ravna, the mill of Debelica, a number of village churches and cult places, the Monastery of Suvodol and other.

The mountain of Tupižnica with its natural beauties, unique plant species, sites and caves such as cave Ledenica, groomed slopes and the relative proximity in relation to the regional road Niš-Zaječar seems like an ideal picnic area, and thanks to extreme winds an exellent location for paragliding. The qualities of the mountain have been recognized by the Natonal Aeronautical Union of Serbia and since 2010 the International and National Championships in paragliding have been held there. The hiking action Lilac Days became natonal in 2011; it includes the climb to Tupižnica and gathers a large number of hikers.

Knjaževac is well-known for its very attractive ravines, of which Ždrelo is distinguished for its appearance and age of the rocks; it is located in the area of Stogazovac village. The gorge is cut into karst rocks and there are paths through it for photo-safari and hiking with very attractive karst forms of the relief (caves, pits).


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