Serbia as a country has occupied a particular share of interest and history on the world stage. In some cases it has been turbulent, but overall Serbia can be defined as a nation that is majestic with many sights within its border that will move the spirit of many who visit.
As part of the Balkan peninsula in southern Europe, Serbia enjoys a continental climate that brings about wonderful summers and winters that paint the cities like Belgrade and the countryside in striking scenes of snowfall. This doesn’t even include the numerous historical structures that can be found within the country. If you’re considering a trip or are already packing your bags before heading out to Serbia, here’s five things to take into account that would be awesome to experience while you’re there that are a testament to the nation’s spirit.
1. Golubac Fortress
A boat tour of the Danube River that approaches the Iron Gate Gorge will allow visitors to take in the powerful sight of the Golubac Fortress. Located four kilometers from the town of the same name, the fortress is close to the border Serbia shares with Romania and marks the beginning of the Derdap National Park. It’s been observed by historians that the fortress possibly dates as far back to the 800’s,
when the Bulgarian Empire was once in power in the region. The fortress was impervious throughout the centuries, but these days there are concerns since a hydroelectric dam built in the mid 1960’s helped the water levels of the Danube rise which have overtaken the castle’s outer walls. It’s still a key
tourist attraction however, and it has undergone a great deal of restoration especially with regards to its array of towers. If you choose not to travel via a river tour, getting to Smederovo and Golubac from Belgrade requires driving the 129 kilometers on the A1 highway.
2. Belgrade Tesla Museum
A prime tourist attraction that cannot be missed on a trip to Serbia lies in the capital city of Belgrade, right in its center. That attraction is the Tesla Museum, dedicated to the great scientist and rival to Thomas A. Edison, Nikolas Tesla. The building itself was a former residential villa which was designed by famed Serbian architect, Dragiša Brašovan and built in 1927. While Tesla was by citizenship Austrian, he was an ethnic Serbian. Ten years past his death in 1943, his nephew made it possible for his records to be
transferred to this building. Tesla’s ashes are preserved in a golden sphere which is housed in one of the museum’s seven rooms which contain 160,000 original documents as well as thousands of his journals and
photographs. The museum has been designated as part of UNESCO’s Memory Of The World program which is dedicated to the preservation of documents and materials vital to world history. The Tesla Museum
can be found on Krunska Street.
3. Uvac River Meanders
Located in the southwestern part of the country is the Uvac Special Nature Reserve, which is part of the Stari Vlah–Raška highland and covers 7534 ha or 29 square miles. Within this park is the stunning sight of the Uvac River Meanders. These are a series of looping arches that the river has carved out of the limestone. This process that has occurred over thousands of years, resulting in mountainous outlooks that can rise above 100 meters, giving visitors fantastic views of the canyons below. This sight is made more so due to one key inhabitant of the park – the griffon vulture, which is considered a beloved bird in Serbia and was near extinction until the reserve was made a sanctuary. They soar high above the grasslands in the distance. There are boat tours available but it is best to contact authorized local guides who can arrange a trip for you.
4. Kalmegedan Citadel & Ruzica Church
Overlooking the Danube River as it turns and joins the Sava River in Belgrade is the ancient Kalmegedan Citadel. This fortress, which goes back to the Celtic era, has been involved in over one hundred conflicts
since it was first built. Much of what is present today is owed to refortification during the 18th Century.
There’s an upper and lower town part, and visitors can even take tours throughout the complex on Segways. Tucked in right within its walls is the diminutive Ružica church, which boasts two rather unique and seemingly out of place light fixtures – chandeliers made from bullet casings, cannon pieces and swords. There is some history that brings this more into focus. Ružica was formerly an ammunition dump for Turkish armed forces who once occupied the city and the fortification in battles with the Serbs
as well as the Hungarians and Austrians. As the church had to be rebuilt after being devastated in World
War I, Serbian soldiers took the time to craft these chandeliers from weapons left behind during the
fighting. Visitors can enter through the Inner Stambol Gate.
5. Vrnjacka Banja
Get a taste of the spa life, Serbian style at this resort which is located in the Raška district in the central part of the country. The town is famous for being the home of seven hot springs in total that are precisely the same temperature of the human body, first becoming popular when the Roman Empire occupied the area. In 1835, Prince Miloš Obrenović wanted the town to be similar to Karlovy Vary in what’s now the Czech Republic and that’s how it was transformed into the recreation destination it is today. Getting here is straightforward by car mainly, but some fly into the country’s second largest airport, Nik Constantine The Great.
Serbia for travelers is a country that is full of delightful attractions, from the powerful pastoral sights to its buildings connected to the history of the world. These five sights and more are what awaits for the adventurous.
Valeri Hirst is a prolific freelance journalist and writer with a passion for learning new things and educating others. She is a contributor for various blogs and websites in different niches, although she mostly writes about travel for Trip101.