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Archive for serbia

Capitals of Culture in 2021

By Linda Tancs

In keeping with tradition, we begin the New Year with an announcement on the EU Capitals of Culture for 2021. From 2021 and every three years thereafter, a third capital will be chosen from cities in countries that are candidates or potential candidates for membership in the European Union or in countries that are part of the European Economic Area. Accordingly, the three cultural capitals this year are Timișoara (in Romania), Elefsina (in Greece) and Novi Sad (in Serbia, a candidate country). Timișoara was on the short list of Romanian contenders for the annual honor roll. It’s famed for its baroque architecture on Victory Square, the Bega Canal that cuts through the length of the city and the Orthodox Cathedral, the tallest church in the country and one of the tallest orthodox churches in the world. Elefsina is the fourth Greek city to win the title, the others being Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras. Birthplace of the leading tragic poet Aeschylus, the city was sacred in antiquity and boasts significant archaeological sites like the sanctuary where pilgrims were initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries and a Roman courtyard. On the banks of the Danube, Novi Sad is a vibrant, youthful city boasting a colorful thoroughfare known as Dunavska Street and a fortress nicknamed Gibraltar on the Danube.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Belgrade’s Central Park

By Linda Tancs

Kalemegdan is Belgrade’s central park and fortress complex in Serbia. Lying on a hill overlooking the Sava and Danube confluence, its pleasant grounds contain a treasure trove of history and archaeology. It boasts the Belgrade Fortress, a citadel first built by the Romans in the first century and then razed and restructured by its conquerors, reaching its present form in the 18th century. The fortress contains the Roman Well, built during the baroque reconstruction of the ramparts during the 18th century. The fortress area also hosts the Statue of Victory, erected in 1928 to commemorate the Kingdom of Serbia’s war victories over the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary. Other highlights include the medieval Nebojša tower (a four-level cannon tower built around 1460 to protect the entrance to the Danube port) and the Military Museum in the middle of the park.

The House on the Rock

By Linda Tancs

Western Serbia enchants travelers with unforgettable experiences.  There’s medieval Mileševa monastery, known for its fresco of the White Angel.  And the stunning vistas from the Šargan Eight, a narrow gauge railway in Mokra Gora.  The horseshoe-shaped entrance to Potpećka Pećina cave is another favorite.  But it’s the little house balanced precariously on a rock in the middle of the Drina River that really has hearts aflutter.  Known as the House on the Rock, the tiny dwelling built by a group of young lads in 1968 near the town of Bajina Basta has withstood decades of floods and bad weather.  It might not be an architectural gem, but it sure is a wonder.

 

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