Nataional park Tara – the queen of the mountains in Serbia

The Tara National Park in the mountainous region of western Serbia was designated a national park in 1981. The 19,200-hectare park, with administrative offices in Bajina Basta, is spread out over a group of mountain peaks in the Tara, Crni vrh, Stolac and Zvezda ranges,  the Canyon of Drina with Perucac  and outskirts of Bajina Basta. National park covers a large bend in the Drina River bordering Bosnia.

Tara is one of the famous mountains in Serbia to visit during the summer, so local gave it a name “queen of mountains”. Known for its beautiful peaks, thick forests, and deep caves, the park’s highlight is the massive Drina River Gorge, where rafting and boat trips are organized. The park is home to the rare Pancic Spruce (Picea omorica), which dates to the pre-historic Tertiary era. Also in its forests are many varieties of wild animals. Waterfalls within the national park are also part of its impressive beauty along the course of mountain rivers and streams.

Banjska rock viewpoint

The Tara National Park can be reached from Bajina Basta directly (by the Bajina Bašta – Kaluđerske Bare road), from Bajina Basta via Perucac (by the Perucac – Mitrovac road) and from Kremna (the Kremna – Kaludjerske Bare road).

Favourable climate conditions, lot of sunny days, average altitude about 1000m and nature beauties enable pleasant sojourn, walking and trekking. Lake Perucac on river Drina and Lake Zaovine in Beli Rzav valley are very convenient for water sports, mountain slopes for winter sports and variety of game for hunting tourism.

Perucac lake

There are three tourist facilities with accommodation in the park, at Kaludjerske Bare with two hotels, at Predov krst (hunters lodge) and at Mitrovac, where there is a well-known children’s camp.

Drvengrad: (Serbian Cyrillic: Drvengrad, meaning Timber Town), also known as Küstendorf and Mećavnik is a traditional village that the Serbian film director Emir Kusturica built for his film Life Is a Miracle. It is located in the Zlatibor District near the city of Užice, two hundred kilometers southwest of Serbia’s capital, Belgrade. It is located near Mokra Gora and Višegrad, best known for Ivo Andrić’s Nobel-winning novel, The Bridge on the Drina. Kusturica was the 2005 recipient of the Philippe Rotthier European Architecture award.

Drvengrad is also known as Küstendorf, as a word play on German “dorf” (village) and Kusturica’s nickname, “Kusta”. Also, “Küste” is German for coast. Kusturica has also been known to call it Mećavnik, which is the name of the neighbouring village.

Wooden town Mecavnik in Mokra Gora

Drvengrad has a library, named the Ivo Andrić Library; an artist gallery named Macola in honor of sculptor Dragan Jovićević (it was previously known as Anika, after a character from Ivo Andrić’s prose); Stanley Kubrick Cinema; a main house which houses a cinema-hall in the cellar, a living room, a guest room, a closed yard, a swimming pool, a gymnasium, a sauna and private rooms for the Kusturica family; a sports hall; a restaurant; a cake shop, as well as a souvenir shop; and finally, a Church dedicated to St. Sava.

The streets in the village bear the names of various individuals that Kusturica holds in high esteem or finds to be personally significant: Nikola Tesla, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Diego Maradona, Miodrag Petrović Čkalja, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Joe Strummer, Novak Đoković and of course, Ivo Andrić, after whom the main street is named.

Narrow gauge railway:  The Sargan Eight is a narrow gauge railroad (heritage railroad, actually) that runs from the nice-looking village of Mokra Gora to the nearby Sargan station. The ride forms an ’8′ form, and hence the name – Sargan Eight. It’s a very picturesque ride, considered by many to be the best train rides in Europe. The climb over the Sargan Mountain was an engineering masterpiece.  From Uzice to the summit the height difference was 240 metres.  As the crow flies it was 3.5 Km but by rail it was 15.4 Km.  The average gradient was 18% (1 in 55) and there were 20 tunnels including the summit tunnel of 1,666m. Construction began on March 1st 1921 and, despite many setbacks, the section opened on 2nd February 1925.  The final 40 Km missing link between Belgrade and Obrenovac opened on 30th October 1928 and a through 76 cm railway now existed over the 444 Km from Belgrade to Sarajevo.

Sargan Eight railroad