Zlatibor mountain is the most popular touristic destination in West Serbia region whic is well known in Serbia by its beatiful nature and amazing landscapes. Name ZLATIBOR (ZLATI=golden, BOR=pine) means “Golden Pine”. On Zlatibor you can see many pine trees and that’s the reason why people called this beautiful Serbian mountain as “Golden Pine Mountain”.
The Zlatibor Mt. is situated in the southwestern part of Serbia at the height from 700 to 1496 m above sea level (the highest peak is Tornik). The everage height of Mt. Zlatibor is about 1000 m above sea level. It is intersected by numerous rivers, streams and ravines.
Three highest peaks of Zlatibor massif are: Tornik (1.496m) – the highest peak of Zlatibor, Brijach (1.480m) and Chigota (1.422m). Basis of Mt. Zlatibor is a spacious wavy plateau intersected by rivers and mountain streams and overgrown by thick grass and conifer tree forest. It is situated 27km away from Uzice town. Territory of Zlatibor massif is more than 350 square km big, 30 km long and 12 km wide. The central Zlatibor plateau is about 1000 m high in average, and there are a few easily visible peaks in the surrounding. Zlatibor as a geographical unit encircles the territory between the rivers Susica and Uvac and the eastern slopes of Mt. Tara and western slopes of Mt. Murtenica. The villages Kremna and Mokra Gora belong to it in the northwest, Mt. Murtenica, Zlatibor piedmont area, that forms a pass towards the nearby Tara and the Sandzak mountains, belong to it in the southeast.
Touristic concept of Zlatibor include the vast plateau 30 km long and 12 km wide, which spreads from northwest towards southeast, bordered by the mountain peaks of Gradina, Crni Vrh, Cigota, Murtenica, Tornik, Cavlovac, Vijogor and the upper course of the river Susica. On this place touristic settlements like Ribnica, Kraljeva Voda, Palisad, Oko and Cajetina started developing at the end of last and the beginning of this century.
The micro climate is very special here – there is a great number of sunny days during the year (more then 200), and the “rose of the winds” is flowering exactly above Zlatibor. Zlatibor is famous as an air spa where mountain and sea streams collide. The summers are hot and the winters are mild. It rains relatively often and there is a snow from October to May.
Zlatibor is declared as a therapeutic region, for all acute and chronic diseases of respiration organs, of thyroid gland, of all kinds of anemia , etc. The stay on Zlatibor is recommended for convalescence after infectious diseases and surgical operations too. Zlatibor is, first of all, an extraordinary beautiful mountain, with a pleasant climate, with spacious sloping grounds, rich pasture-grounds and mountain peaks. There are about 1000 square km of meadows and risings, sloping grounds and dry grounds, abysses and chasms…
Nature was generous with Mt. Zlatibor giving it its beautiful scenery, rolling heights overgrown with pine, fir, and spruce forests here and there, vast meadows decorated with white narcissuses and other colourful flowers, very pleasant and mild climate, a great number of sunny days, unpolluted air and other amenities.
Owing to specific climate to harmonius relationship among wooded areas and spacious meadows covered with streams, unpolluted air, healthy and clear water, a great number of sunny days, wonderful ski terrains, characteristical air streams (continental and mediteranian), its suitable sea level hight, the most wanderful landscape, friendly hosts… Zlatibor has developed into a famous summer and winter tourist resort with the longest tourist tradition in Serbia. Current capacity of tourist objects is 6500 beds. Unofficially about 130.000 visitors spend about 600.000 nights on Zlatibor a year (in hotels, rest homes as well as in private rooms).
A description of Mt. Zlatibor peaks from the book “On the fragrant Mt. Zlatibor”, written by Sreta A. Popovich, published in Belgrade in the year 1908: “…Putting aside those braids of mountain saddles and hights we notice immediatelly, that on the very top of Zlatibor, in Dobroselica, Tornik (1496 m) raises proudly, decorated by a thick coniferous forest. On the north there is Sargan across which a road leads from Uzice to Bosnia and Hercegovina, and where the remainders of a Turkish bridge are still standing. On the southeast there is Murtenica, a famous mountain 60 km in the scope, richest with forests. It consists of many parts with special names and it is overgrown with fir forest, pine forest and hasel grove at the borders. On the northwest side of Zlatibor plateau there is Gruda with its stunted forests of cerris, oak and hornbeam and there is a nice view of Zlatibor from there. Another bigger peak is Gradina above Cajetina. As the air is as clear as crystal our glance pointed towards the southwest exceeds the present borders of Serbia and stops at the magnificent top of Durmitor. Komovi is to the south and we can recognise the blue shape of Sar Planina on the southeast. Let’s turn now towards the southeast. The mountains Ovcar and Kablar are in front of us and they seem to be so near that you could throw a stone to them. To the right, from Rudnik a big crest of mountain branches off and Bukulja, Kosmaj and Avala raise there.” Mt. Zlatibor plateau inclines towards the north and northwest, which caused that all the water flows off to the Black Sea basin by the Drina, the Djetinja and the Moravica. The rivers and streams are rich with various kinds of fish such as chub, gudgeon, traut, “mladica” and “lipljan”. The strong river Uvac with its deep river bed and very nice canyons flows through the southern part of Zlatibor. Its tributaries are: the Shupljica in Negbina, the Rasnicki Potok (brook) in Rasnica, the Dobroselicki and the Sharanski potok in Dobroselica, and the Tisovica at Ojkovica. The Uvac flows into the Lim and later into the Drina. Crni Rzav has its headwaters under the northwestern parts of Mt. Murtenica in Carevo Polje and flows through the central part of mt. Zlatibor plateau. On some parts there are some very beautiful and interesting canyons. Its tributaries are: the Ribnica, Obudovica, Bele Vode, Jablanicka Reka. It joins the Beli Rzav and they form the Rzav which flows into the Drina. There are no other rivers in the northern part of Mt.Zlatibor except the Sushica, that has got its name because its water disapears into limestone during the summer. Its source is under Gruda and it flows into the Djetinja. The biggest tributaries are Dzambica Potok, Grabovica, Kriva Reka, Prijanski Potok and the Balashica. Veliki Rzav flows along the eastern border of Zlatibor. Its tributaries are: Bela Reka, Ljubishnica, Katushnica with its two tributaries the Rakovichki and the Gostiljski Potok (where there is the waterfall from the picture, located behind the football field), and the Prishtavica with the Ponor.
On Mt. Zlatibor there are two artificial lakes: The bigger one is in Ribnica on the river Crni Rzav. Its area is about 10 square km. It’s rich with all kinds of fish, such as: chub, gudeon, traut, carp, tench and sheatfish.
In the very centre of the tourist town Zlatibor, the smaller lake, intended for tourist needs, is situated. It is surrounded by pleasant paths and benches for the visitors to have a rest. In summer they can swim and sunbathe there, and they can skate on its icy surface in winter (it is called “The Zlatibor Sea”).
Author: Nevena Kukoljac
Legends about Zlatibor
There are three legends about the origin of today’s name Zlatibor ( ZLATI-BOR: zlato=gold, bor=pine tree): By the first one Zlatibor is supposed to get its name by white pine trees with yellow conifer (the colour of old gold), which used to cover the rolling slopes of Zlatibor. There has only one such tree remained (in the village of Negbina) and it was given the scientific name Pinus silvestris variegata Zlatiborica, by eng. Omanovich, who studied those conifer trees. In the second it is said that Zlatibor got its name because it was so rich with pine tree forests, that the immigrants from Montenegro and Hercegovina boasted: “It is really a pine tree made of gold!” The third legend says that it got its name by the mountain pastures, that get a yellow, a golden colour in autumn. Which of these legends is the right one make a decision by yourselves! Or, better come to Zlatibor, maybe you’ll hear a new version in the song of Zlatibor pine trees!
The first inhabitants of Zlatibor region were the Illyrians, namely their tribe Partyiny. The remnants of their culture -ornamental ceramics are being met in the caves and steep hights, where they used to live. Today these places are called “gradine” and there are three on Zlatibor (chajetinska, krivorechka, shljivovichka). In the museum collection of the library in Chajetina we can see some fragments of pottery with the characteristic decorative design engraved into the clay by a finger nail. The culture and life of the Illyrians have been studied exclusively from the “tumulus” (the tombs), which are found on Zlatibor in a great number on various locations (Krivorechka Gradina (the place Vishevina), Kremna, a wider area from Ljubish to Mushvet, Braneshko Polje).
At the beginning of our epoch the Romans dominate in this region with their culture much higher than the previous one.They build new fortreses, a net of new roads (Machkat – Chajetinska Gradina -the river Uvac). The Roman tombstones date the second and the third century A.D. Most of them are in Kremna and there are reliefs inspired by the motives from the nature and sometimes by God Atis – in the figure of a nice youth.
After the 9th century these places are being settled by the Slovenes, who also build fortreses and rebuild “gradine”. There’s a very interesting fortress on Gradac in Dobroselica, where we can see the remnants of a bulwark. There are some remnants of a stone pedestal in the shape of a bench that was probably used for observing. There are also some animal bones found built in the base (probably for religious reasons) and there is a lot of medieval material found on this location (a top of a spear, a knife, a copper ring…).
About the year 1180 Serbian King Stevan Nemanja connects Zlatibor and Uzice town to the independant Serbian state.
In the 16th century The unpreserved monastery Rujno was the cultural and educational centre of the former district (zhupa) Rujno. In that monastery one of the first Serbian printing shops worked. Recently the position of the former monastery Uvac (and maybe also of the Church Janja – being sung about in folk songs) has been discovered in Stublo on the river Uvac. According to traditional stories the monastery was that “Church Janja”, which was the richest far around. The monastery possesed beautiful and good pastures above the valley on Orlic and Orahovica. Milk from there was transported to monastery by boats. The canals in which the boats were placed can still be identified. Thanks to researching and and work of the National museum in Uzice the monastery Uvac has been reestablished and the church with the “konak” (the overnight stay) have been rebuilt and sanctified. The church in Bela Reka is worth being mentioned among the old churches on Zlatibor. It has unusually small dimensions. It has only one nave and one cupola.
On Zlatibor characteristic churches “brvnare” (log cabins) were built, some of which still exist in Dobroselica and Jablanica. In many Zlatibor villages there are places called “crkvine” on which, according to tradition, wooden churches existed. It is supposed that some of them were being burnt by the Turks during the period of 1st Serbian rebellion like those in Mokra Gora and Kuchani, while the others, which survived the Turkish reign, became ruins because of their old age. The churches in Sirogojno, Chajetina, Ljubish, Machkat, Negbina and Shljivovica are ofrecent date.
Characteristics of vegetation on Zlatibor on its serpentine ground is given by the forest community of Pinetum nigrae silvestris and vast pastures. That enables a great choise of interesting, rare and medicinal herbs. Some of them are:
~Gentiana lutea -“lincura” – medicinal (stomach problems)
~Teuricium montanum – “trava iva, ivica, gorski cmilj” – a medicinal herb (it is said: ” …this herb makes a dead man alive again”). It is antiseptic, it is good for stomach and intestine diseases.
~Achillea millefolium-“hajducka trava”- medicinal and good for honey
~Thymus serpyllum -“majcina dusica”- it has a calming and salutary effect
~Centarium erythraea -“kicica”- it improves digestion
~Symphytum officiale l.-“gaves”-for healing wounds and bone fractures
~Sorbus aucuparia L.-“jarebika”- a nice decorative bush or a tree
~Narcissus poeticus -“narcis”, “zelenkada”- decorative meadow flowers
~Halacsya sendtueri – “cvakija”
~Verbascum bosnense – “divisma”
~Haplophyllum boissieranum – “rutvaca”
A note: Some plants on Zlatibor are on the way to die out and they are under protection of the state,therefore citizens of Zlatibor are kindly asking all the visitors of Zlatibor to pick only as many plants as they need for their medicine.
Mushrooms: Besides the plants nature lovers can also find pleasure in picking mushrooms. The most frequent on these terrains are:
~Macrolepiota promineus -“suncanica”- (in high pine forests)
~Lactarius deliciosus -“rujnica”-(in young pine forests)
~Suillus granulatus -“vucji hleb”,”slinavka”-(on the borders of pine forests)
~Coprinus comatus -“gnojistarka”-(on moist fertilized meadows).
You shouldn’t left Zlatibor without tasting traditional ham, cheese cream called “kajmak”, cheese pie and of course a glass of sljivovica – famous Serbian rakia from plum.