Banja Koviljača lies on the right bank of the river Drina, at thr foot of Gucevo mountain, at the altitude 125 m above sea level, 6 km southwest feom Loznica.
The main natural and helaing resorce of the settlement are minetal and thermal springs and peloid containing sodium, mahnesium, calcium, sulphur-hydrogen, carbonic acid, etc.The temperature of the spa wather 15-32 degrees of Celsius.
Banja Koviljaca is famous with one of the biggest parks in the country.Among the other facilities there are:banajs hall „KUR -salon”, sulphurs bathroom of King PetarI, peloid bathroom and villas: Belgrade, Bosnia,Koviljaca, Hercegovina, Dalmatia etc. Banja has a large accomodation capacity- over 2500 beds in hotels, resting places, specila hospital , wellness , villas and private accomodation.
In the alluvial plain of the Danube, along its left bank, in the area known as Begečka Ada, 18 km west of Novi Sad, lies the Begečka Jama Nature Park. The Jama is an oxbow lake joined to the Danube eastwards via the Begej canal. Of irregular crescent shape, with elongated ends extending north and east and with a wider middle section, the Begečka Jama is 379 hectares in area. It is 1500 m in length, but the eastern part is 300 m longer than the north ern part. The lake has a maximum width of 400 m, while its average depth is 4 m.
The Begečka Jama is fed with water via surface flow from the Danube and the Tatarnica canal , from precipitation and from ground waters. Water is lost through surface and subterranean drainage and evaporation. Of greatest importance for water levels in the lake is the Begej canal which has a lock that regulates water traffic. During the summer when temperatures are high, large quantities of algae multiply in the water creating blooms that give the water a greenish-yellow colour.
Typical of this area is swamp and meadow vegetation, together with poplar plantations. Important plant specimens in this area are a single white poplar and four black poplar, very rare examples of alluvial vegetation , today protected as natural monuments.
Also worthy of mention are the 100 or more plant species, especially macrophytes that are an integral part of the swamp and pond ecosystem, some of them even remnants of subtropical vegetation from the pre-glacial period. The most important macrophyte species, proposed for entry into the Serbian Red List of endangered vegetation, are the white water lilys. Begečka Jama harbours 27 fish species, including Prussian carp, perch, catfish, carp , pike and bream, as well as crayfish, snails and shellfish.
There are also some 150 bird species to be seen in the Begečka Jama Nature Park, most of which are transitory, wandering or wintering species. During the migration of birds from the north, up to 1000 different species stop off here. As many as 90 of the bird species that can be seen at Begečka Jama are candidates for the Serbia Red List, while 55 of them are considered natural rarities in Serbia. On the international and European Red Lists is the Ferruginous Duck.
Of the nesting species there is the Mute Swan, Common Coot, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe , Northern Lapwing , White and Black Stork, Great Cormorant and Little Bittern.
Also occasionally seen in this area are the Great and Little Egret, Purple Heron and Black-crowned Night-heron.
Song birds seen here are the Collared Flycatcher, Icterine Warbler and Wood Warbler.
Birds of prey which have survived in the Begeč area are the Common Buzzard , Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Hobby and Common Kestrel.
Otters are also present in Begečka Jama.
The nature park also has two archaeological sites, Kuva and Acke . Within the park are the remains of a Roman fortification from the time of Diocletian, Castellum Onagrinum. It was the only fortified complex on the left bank of the Danube in ancient times. There are also remains of the original village of Begeč from the first half of the 15th century, which was moved due to frequent heavy flooding.
The Cave of Petrlas is actually a system of caves on the southern edge of the karst field of Odorovce, in the region of Zabrdje. It is about 12 km north from the town, and 10 km of the road are covered with asphalt, whereas the remaining 2 km are covered with soil.
The karst field of Odorovce is the largest karst field in eastern and south-eastern Serbia . It is 7 km long, and about 4.5 km wide. It is a spacious and relatively flat field which is circled by lower limestone ranges and Vidlic. The field leans towards the south and south-west. The Odorovacka Reka river, which is a lost river, flows off by the bottom of the field. Part of the field is bounded by a karst surface where typical karst forms can be found, especially spacious depressions and valleys. That karst surface extends to the west as a long karst valley Tepos, which continues as the ravine of Pirot after 10 km. The neogenic lake of the field of Odorovce probably flew off by the valley. The water course through the field has been maintained ever since. The waters of the field of Odorovce emerge in the valley of the Nisava river even today.
On the southern edge of the field of Odorovce there are some underground karst forms, which had been created during the lake phase towards the end of the Pleistocene. Among these forms, the most famous and the most important one is the Cave of Petrlas . It is a pearl of nature, rich in cave jewellery, but, unfortunately, it has not been sufficiently explored and exploatated. With minimal investment, this site could become a meeting place of speleology and natural beauties devotees, The lakes of Smilovci, as well as the monasteries of Sveta Petka and Sveti Kirik i Julita are situated near the cave (about 2 km away).
Sicevo Gorge represents a fascinating part of the canyon of the Nisava river, located on the road to Sofia, at the end of the final slopes of Mt. Svrljiske Planine and Mt. Suva Planina. Situated 14km away from Nis, it is 17km long and divided into two parts: the higher and lower gorge.
The gorge also boasts two hydroelectric plants constructed in the early 20th century. One of them provides electricity for Nis even today. Additionally, in the nearby village of Ostrovica there is the Church of St. Petka and, in Sicevo proper, on the main road to Sofia, St. Mother of God Monastery (built in 1644 and renewed in 1875, as it was pulled down by the Turks).
If you visit the village of Sicevo, you may enjoy the breathtaking view of the gorge below. This village is also famous for good wines, and every summer the oldest art colony in the Balkans is organized here. It was first established by the painter Nadezda Petrovic.
Having in mind numerous natural beauties and rare flora available only here, in 2000 the authorities proclaimed Sicevo Gorge a special nature reserve. Sage, a precious medicinal herb, which otherwise grows only in the Mediterranean conditions, has its only natural location in Serbia here, in Sicevo Gorge.
Sport lovers may enjoy mountaineering, walking in nature, fishing, paragliding and rafting (in 2009 the World Rafting Cup was organized in this part of the Nisava).
Bojanine Vode (Bojana’s Waters) excursion site is located 25 km from Nis. Situated 700-1300m above sea level, on the northern part of Mt. Suva Planina, this venue is an ecological oasis offering fresh mountain air and sunlight.
The name of the site comes from the nearby fresh spring of mountain water Bojanine vode. Directly next to the spring, there is the Mountaineering Boarding House “Studenac” (55 beds) at 860 meters above sea level and Ski-house “Nis” (20 beds) at 810 meters above sea level with an attractive “Orlova cesma” (“Eagle drinking fountain”) and a lighted basketball court.
On their way from Bojanine vode, mountaineers can choose from among a few well-marked tracks, which will take them to wonderful nearby peaks, such as Sokolov kamen (1523 m), Devojacki grob (1317m), Mosor (984m), and the highest peak of Mt. Suva – Trem, 1810 meters above sea level. In wintertime, the ski track Sokolov kamen at Bojanine vode is available for skiing. The cableway (tanjiraca) is 900 meters long, the height difference is 320 meters, and the capacity is 1,100 skiers an hour. The track is 1000 meters long. The milder and shorter track “Pantina staza” with ski-lift (vucnica) of 250 m length is intended for older school children and for recreation, whereas there is a track “Studenac” (100m) with motor ski-lift for the youngest. Both children tracks are lighted.
4% of the total area of the Municipality of Bečej consists of watercourses. The most important of all is certainly the river Tisa which forms the eastern border of the municipality 23 km in length, which represents 14.02% of its course in the territory of Vojvodina.
The river Tisa on the territory of Bečej Municipality is rich in 22 species of fish from 7 families. The most numerous are Cyprinidae (the carp family 14 species) and Percidae (the perch family 3 species). The fish that should be mentioned as interesting for fishing tourism are the families Siluridae (catfish) and Esocidae (pike), which have one species each. A definite contribution to the richness of the river is the existence of the ancient water flower insect – “Tiski cvet” (The Flower of Tisa), which appeared again in 2000, after long time. Since then it has been present on the river in the second half of June.
The river Tisa (Hungarian: Tisza) is the biggest tributary of the river Danube. It flows through the Panonian lowlands. Its spring is in Ukraine, in the area of Bukovina, and after that flows through Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Serbia. It empties into the Danube opposite Stari Slankamen. The river Tisa is formed by joining of the Black and White Tisa.
The length of Tisa is 1,358 km, and the watershed area is 157,186 m². In Vojvodina Tisa divides Bačka (the right bank) and Banat (the left bank).
The biggest tributaries are Begej, Bodrog, Zlatica, Moriš (the biggest), Samoš and Šajo.
The navigable part of Tisa is 532 km in length.
The Bačka Canal connects Tisa with Danube and Begej Canal with Tamiš.
The towns of importance on Tisa are: Tokaj, Solnok, Čongrad, Segedin, Senta and Bečej.
In the mountain part of the course, Tisa is a rapid and clear river. The effect of the lack of lakes in the area of Carpathian Mountains is that the water level of Tisa is very variable, with typically three flood periods. If the water level of Tisa matches the one in Danube, Tisa will start flowing upstream, which causes great floods. Such a situation devastated Segedin in spring 1879.
Between 1846 and 1880, the Hungarian authorities organized the regulation of the Tisa course (Hungarian: a Tisza szabályozása) and shortened its length by 450 km. The built flood protection system is the biggest in Europe. Today there are 3680 km of canals that control Tisa.
During 1980s a large artificial lake was made on Tisa (Hungarian: Tisza-tó) with the intention to help the regulation of course and especially floods. Soon this lake became a popular tourist destination of Hungarians, almost like the lake Balaton.
Tisa is navigable in the larger part of its course. The river has been opened for the international navigation just recently. Before that Hungary made the distinction between so called “state rivers” and “international rivers”, by which it was determined whether a navigation was allowed or not. After Hungary joined the EU this regulation was abolished and all vessels are allowed to navigate on Tisa.
The possibility of navigation is often determined by natural factors. In the period of high water level and flood the river is most often not navigable.
The site of a strange name “Devil’s Town” is located near an also strangely named village Djake (comes from a Turkish word “gjak” – blood), at an altitude of 660-700 m, situated in the municipality of Kursumlija. Earthen figures or “towers” as the locals call them are located in the watershed between two gullies, whose sources joined together create a unique erosive formation, tremendously demolished by the erosive processes. The gullies also have strange names: “Devil’s Gully” (“Djavolja jaruga”) and “Hell’s Gully” (“Paklena jaruga”).
There are 202 earthen figures of different shape and dimension, from 2 m to 15 m in height, and from 0.5 m to 3 m in width, with stone caps on the top. They are an outcome of a specific erosive process that lasts for centuries. When figures are formed, they grow, change, shorten, gradually (very slowly) disappear and reappear. The loose soil is dissolved and washed away by the rain. However, the material under the stone caps is protected from the “bombardment” of the rain drops and washout, and remains in place in the form of the rising earthen pillars – figures.
The height of the pillars is increased by a quick linear and directed erosion of water which flows away around their feet, washing out the material. Due to the steep incline of the terrain where figures are formed, vertical erosion prevails over the lateral one, which accelerates the washout of the material and the creation of the pillars.
Formed in this way, the earthen pillars are shaped into earthen figures of strange shape and appearance by various environmental factors (wind, sun, changes of temperature, etc). When observed for a long time, the figures appear unreal, both in their shape and dimension, as well as in their incredible static perseverance. It seems unreal that an earthen figure which is 3 m wide in its foot and more than 10 m tall becomes 20-30 cm wide at the top and endures for decades and centuries under the weight of more than 100 kg heavy stone block…
This geomorphologic phenomenon is a unique occurrence in our country and very rare in the world. In Europe, there are similar occurrences in the Alps (on both sides of the Brenner Pass in Austria and in Italy, near Bolzano, then in the province Haute-Savoie in France, etc). In America, there is a significant occurrence “Garden of the Gods”. However, the Devil’s Town towers are greater in number, larger and much more stable.
26km away from the tourist centre Zlatibor, in the village Siirogojno there is the only open air museum in Serbia “Staro Selo”. Works on construction of this museum started in 1979. On a 5 hectare location beside St. Peter and Paul’s church, old log houses were brought from all parts of Zlatibor to be here presented and preserved.
The museum has got two entireties. The first is a group of houses which have kept initial look and purpose and they make a museum display formed into two Zlatibor farmsteads. The second whole is a group of houses that have preserved their original look but their purpose has been changed; they have been adopted for tourist needs. They are a hall, a souvenir shop, an inn, apartment buildings…
As we have already mentioned, the two Zlatibor farmsteads in the permanent museum display are testimony of living culture in Zlatibor region at the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century. The way of life in these houses was specific because they lived in extended family groups (cooperatives) with up to 50 members. The museum has been made of Zlatibor log cabins that belong to Dinara-type log cabins. Farmsteads were always built on the slope turned towards the sun. The houses were square shaped; the walls were made of level water surface logs bound in “ćetr” (four) in the corners. The roofs were covered with shingle, stone tiles or straw. On the roof there were openings “bađže” for air circulation, and on the very top of the roof there was a chimney called “kapić” Characteristic for Zlatibor farmstead was a great number of smaller objects all around “the main house”.
Central place of the farmstead belonged to “the main house” (it was the highest object in the household). The main house has got two rooms-“the house” and “the room” and there was a cellar under the room. On this log house there were two doors, the eastern and the western, which except for the function also had a symbolic meaning (all that was good and beautiful entered the eastern door- the new born baby, the bride,the godfather, guests…, and all that was bad left the house through the western door – the diseased person, garbage,…). Open fire place occupied the central part of “the house”. The fire was away burning, food was prepared there, and in the evenings members of the cooperative (big family) used to gather together making plans for next day’s work and then sleep around the fireplace. The house was a room without floor or ceiling except for the “floor” above the fireplace that was used to preserve fire and prevent smoke to go directly to meat hanging and drying under “rogovi” (the horns). “The room” always used to be on a little higher place then “the house” and it had wooden floor and a ceiling. There was only one bad in this room where the oldest members of the family slept, meaning the master of the house and his wife, and in the cradles little babies born during winter period. In this room a formal dinner took place in case some important guests came during some important occasion or big holidays. The room was heated by the stove in the partition wall between two rooms.
“Vajat” was a building used as a sleeping quarters usually for newlyweds and was given to each son of the master of farmstead when he got married. These houses were very poor with furniture. At the beginning there was only one bed in the house, latter chests (boxes) for clothes were added, “lenke” – poles to hang over clothes and bed linen and even later a loom for weaving. In these houses there was no fire. In case smoke was seen through the chimney of the “vajat” it meant that the son had separated from his father. In one household number of “vajats” depended on the number of married sons of the family head.
Dairy was an object for producing and keeping milk and milk products. Within the family one woman was determined to take care of milk and make milk products. She was called “planinka” and she only was allowed to enter the dairy for hygiene reasons. It was a small building with shelves on the walls where wooden troughs, buckets and tubs were kept.
Bakery was beside the house and bread was baked there for the whole family to eat for several days.
Barn and “salaš” were the objects built near the main house. In the barn grain was kept in special compartments, while in “salaš” corncobs were kept, it was thatched of switches, which enabled air to stream and dry corn quicker. These objects were lifted from ground to be protected from moisture.
“Mišana” was the object built for drying fruit, mostly apples and plums. It worked on the principle of drawers in which there was one wattle where fruit was put to dry.
Stable was built far from the main house. They always had two levels, on the lower one there were cattle, while sheep were on the upper one.
Within the permanent museum display there is also a shepherd’s dwelling, a special part of a household built in the mountain. It included a hut, a pen and “kućer”. A hut is a small log house just to make fire in it and keep milk products while staying on the mountain, and “kućer” is a movable bed on some kind of a sledge to enable shepherds always to be near their animals.
Another part of the museum display is formed by the objects which look like the original ones but their purpose has been changed. In the hall and the summer stage exhibitions, seminars, literary meetings, theatre performances and concerts are organized. In one of the objects there is an exhibition and selling place for the old handcraft products and copies of museum exhibits made by village craftsmen.
In the Museum inn visitors can be served with Zlatibor special dishes, prepared in the ancient way. Near the inn there are objects for overnight stay and visitors’ holidays. The Museum programme is also preserving old trades so there are cooper’s, blacksmith’s and potter’s workshops equipped and during summer there are lectures organized in these handcrafts’ skills.
St Peter and Paul’s church was built in 1764. Its founder was Georgije Smiljanić, the founder of famous clergyman family that produced 16 generations of priests. Great value of the church represents the iconostas, the work of Simeon Lazović also from the year 1764. Originally it was a wooden object but in the middle of 20th century it was walled in and a two store bell tower was added to it. The church is a part of the open air museum today.
The Morava, or Velika Morava river originates with the merging of the Zapadna Morave and Južna Morava (Western Morava and Southern Morava) at the town of Stalać. It flows into the Danubein the area between the towns of Smederevo and Kostolac. Together with the Zapadna Morava, the Morava is the longest Serbian river – 185 km long just counting the Velika Morava, or 493 km including the Zapadna Morava.
This river was once many times longer but was shortened by river engineering and land reclamation works. The farthest headwater of the Morava basin is the river Ibar, a right tributary of the Zapadna Morava, and the largest. Taken as a whole, the Ibar-Zapadna Morava-Velika Morava system forms a river system 550 km long, the longest in the Balkans.
The Velika Morava basin is 6,126 km2 in area, the entire Morava system 37,444 km2, which is 42.38% of the size of Serbia’s territory. The Velika Morava flows through the most fertile and most densely populated area of central Serbia known as the Pomoravlje, which was formed from a bay of the former Pannonian Sea which dried out some 200,000 years ago. Approximately halfway along the valley is the Bagrdanska Klisura gorge.
The tributaries of the Velika Morava are the Jovanovačka Reka, Crnica, Ravanica, Resava and Resavica, Kalenićka Reka, Lugomir, Belica, Osaonica, Lepenica, Rača and Jasenica rivers. Before it flows into the Danube, the Velika Morava forks, creating a 47 km-long arm named the Jezava, which flows separately into the Danube after first merging with the river Ralja.
The Velika Morava is an example of a meandering river and it is common for the Morava to change its course after flooding, leaving lakes in place of its former bed. Today the Velika Morava is navigable for only 3 km from its mouth, but in former times was navigable as far as Ćuprija. In the early 19th century its valley became the birthplace of the modern Serbian state, then called Moravian Serbia. Many songs have been sung in honour of the Morava and its fertility, but also of its ill-tempered nature and tendency to flood.
Legendary Mountain Cer, 25km far from Sabac, is a favourite resort of Sabac citizens. Not too high (the highest peak is at 689 meters above sea level), it offers possibilities of walking along marked mountainous paths that will direct tourists to significant locations nearby: the memory charnel-house in Tekeris, built in honour of killed Serbian soldiers in Cerska battle in August 1914, Radovasnica, Petkovica and Cokesina monasteries.
There is a mountain lodge called ‘Lipova voda’ that offers accommodation and a restaurant.
From Cer, you can see mildly hilly landscapes of Pocerina and Macva plain all the way to the Sava and Drina rivers.
Uvacoriginates in Caričina village, at some 1460 meters above the sea level, and empties into the Lim river at around 440 meters above the sea level. Uvac valley is partly submerged due to construction of three dams and creation of artificial lakes: Uvačko Lake, Zlatarsko lake and Radoinjsko lake.
Uvac lake was created by building a dam in Akmačići village, at the altitude of 985 meters. The dam is 160 meters long and 110 meters high, length of the lake is 25 kilometers.
At 885 meters altitude, in Kokin Brod near Nova Varoš, Uvac was held back by another barrier that is 83 meters high and 1.264 meters long. The lake is 27 kilometers long.
The third lake, situated in the lowest part of the river course is Radoinjsko lake, at the 805 meters altitude. The dam is 40 meters high and 150 meters long. Wedged between steep limestone banks, the lake is 11 km long.
Water from accumulated lakes is mainly used for production of electricity and water supply. “Uvac” Special nature reserve is a high quality natural resource with the capacity of 500 million cubic meters of drinking water.
The hunting ground ‘Karakusa’ was founded in 1977. It has a very favuorable geographic position. It is situated next to the primary route Novi Sad – Ruma – Sabac and not far from big centers of domestic tourist offers. Its location is also very favourable for foreign client arrivals because it is 21 km far from the highway Belgrade – Zagreb and 65 km far from ‘Surcin’ airport. In the hunting ground, there is a hunting lodge that provides accommodation to hunters who come here.
The hunting ground ‘Karakusa’ in Posavina is placed on the alluvial plain of the river Sava and on the loess terrace. The air temperature, as a climate element that directly influences the life of the game that inhabits this area, is satisfactory. From the hunting aspect, another positive fact is that there is the least rainfall in winter. The area where the hunting ground is located is very rich with underground and surface waters. The largest hydrographic object is the river Sava that limits the hunting ground in the west and south. Apart from the Sava, many ponds, oxbows and canals comprise the surface waters, and together with the Sava, they serve as waterholes for wild pigs and deer.
Oak forests ‘luznjak’ in decline, ‘luznjak’ and hornbeam forests with ash-trees as well as white poplar forests make dominant plant life of the hunting ground area, and natural meadows are covered with various types of grass. The mentioned plant life is very suitable for the game life and it was an important condition for the hunting ground creation, in addition to other geographic elements.
The hunting ground location offers the possibility of constant survival of numerous animal species, which makes this hunting ground attractive and very inviting not only for hunters but for ornithologists and nature-lovers in general as well. Considering the number of animal species, ‘Karakusa’ represents one of the richest habitats in Vojvodina. Basic game species in the hunting ground are: deer, doe and wild pig.
Roses of Lipolist festival is one of the youngest manifestations in Sabac municipality eventhough it lasts more than one decade. It takes place in Lipolist, a village situated in the plain under Cer Mountain, 25 km far from Sabac towards Loznica direction.
Lipolist is a wealthy village in Macva where, in addition to traditional agriculture, more and more households deal with horticulture, especially growing roses, and therefore it is called the most aromatic village in Serbia. Consequently, people came to an idea to organize this tourist manifestation that is very famous nowadays. However, rose growers from Lipolist export their seedlings to more European countries today, even to Holland, the metropolis of horticulture.
The festival takes place in June when roses bloom most beautifully and smell most powerfully. Visitors can attend the numerous and very interesting manifestation programmes.
Visitors are surely most interested in the flower exhibition. The beauty of rose arrangements takes your breath away, and exhibitors of other types of flowers and decorative plants also contribute to the exhibition diversity. The exhibition has competitive character. Apart from the exhibition, the festival visitors can attend professional lectures on the theme of roses, cultural-artistic programmes, they can look around rose nurseries etc. Hackney-carriages pulled by lively horses take them to nursery tours, which represents a special attraction.
Lipolist and Sabac always impatiently expect the next Flower Festival, and we invite you to visit this manifestation at least once and assure yourselves of its quality and diverse content.
The Monastery of St. Jovan Bogoslov, which is commonly known as the Monastery of Poganovo, is situated in the beautiful gorge of the river Jerma, near the village Poganovo, and between the Odorovacko and Vlasko Zdrelo. Because of its astonishing beauty, the monastery has been the object of interest not only among believers, but also among the admirers of cultural and historical monuments, the admirers of nature, and excursionists from our and further regions. It is about 10 km away from the railroad Nis – Sofija, next to the gorge of the river Jerma and near the road which replaced the narrow-gage route 40 years ago.
It had been built at the end of the 14 th century, and painted at the end of the 15 th century. Owing to its unreachable position (the ravines of the river Jerma had been completely inaccessible until 1927) it had relatively escaped damaging by the hands of various conquerors throughout centuries. A complete reconstruction and restauration of the monastery was performed 30 years ago.
The lower part of the temple was made of unchiselled stone, which was covered with a huge amount of mortar and decorated with rows of red bricks. The upper part was made of processed blocks (deposits of crystalline calcium carbonate) with shallow relief. The roof had been covered with tiles until the restauration, and afterwards it was covered with tinplate.
The church which contains a cupola, was built according to a scheme of a developed cross – there is an altar and two lateral choirs (parts of a church). The ground floor is used as an interior nartex, the first floor stands for an isihastic praying room, and the upper part represents a turret and a watchtower. The exterior parvis is not an organic part of the temple – it was added at the end of the 19 th century.
The interior of the church was painted with a rich thematic programme (Significant festivals (holidays), Teachings of the Holy Fathers, Scenes from the life of the Mother of God, The Passion, images of Serbian saints, Balkan anahorets, apostles and the like) in 1499. The paintings of Poganovo represent the creative culmination of Castorian artists of the second half of the 15 th century. Within international circles of Byzantinists and art experts, the Monastery of Poganovo became famous for its icons. The bilateral icon representing the Miracle in the Latomski Monastery and the images of the Mother of God and St. Jovan Bogoslov of the second half of the 14 th century is now in Sofia , and the icon representing the chest of dead Jesus Christ (the end of the 15 th century) is now in Belgrade.
The Monastery of St. Jovan Bogoslov has been under the protection of Serbia since 1949, and it has been on the list of the international cultural heritage since 1979, as a cultural property of high priority.
After the construction of the road, the number of admirers of the wild beauty of the river Jerma, and the Monastery (situated near the river itself) rapidly increased. There is also a rise in the number of visitors of the nearby spa and sanatorium dating from the Roman period, Zvonacka Banja (belonging to the municipality of Babusnica ), which is characterized with thermal and radioactive water whose temperature is 28° C.
The river Jerma (Sukovska reka) is the left tributary of the river Nisava, and its length is 72 km. It has its headwaters east of Vlasinsko lake, where the river Vucja Reka presents its source branch. After 17 km it enters the region Znepolje in Bulgaria (the river is also known as the river Trnska reka). Then it flows across Bulgarian territory for 27 km, and it enters Serbia again near the village Petacinci in the municipality of Dimitrovgrad , where it flows mainly northwards for about 28 km, until it empties into the river Nisava near the village Sukovo (11 km away from Dimitrovgrad).
The gorge of the river Jerma had been formed during the Tertiary period, after the regression of the Senon Sea (about 65 million years ago), and complex and long-lasting changes of the initial paleorelief. The forming of the today appearance happened in the Plicene and Pleistocene phase as a result of the combined effect of tectonic activities, water erosion, denudation and karst processes. That is when the river Jerma was formed.
In the region of Derekul, the riverbed of the river Jerma is wide in the extensions, and very narrow in the gorge. The water flows through the gorge with a roaring sound, it makes its way near huge blocks, or throws down them, whirls and foams. In the wider part of the riverbed, the depth of clear water amounts to several dozen centimeters, and about two metres in the gorge during the summer. The water level is considerably higher during the winter when snow melts. Flowing through Mount Greben (1337 m) and Vlaska Mountain (1442 m), the river Jerma builds two huge ravines which are commonly known as Odorovsko and Vlasko zdrelo (gorge), and whose sides are 300-400 m high and 10-30 m wide. The ravines had been completely impassable until 1927. A narrow-gage railway route was built at that time (for the needs of the coalmine ‘Rakita’). The mine was closed during the 60s of the previous century, and an asphalt road replaced the route during the 70s.
A narrow-gage railway route was built at that time (for the needs of the coalmine ‘Rakita’). The mine was closed during the 60s of the previous century, and an asphalt road replaced the route during the 70s.