KNJAZEVAC

Knjazevac is the fourth biggest municipality in Serbia, located in the east of the country, near the Bulgarian border. It used to be a mining town, the center of big, exporting industrial plants, but today it is changing into a tourist area. The guests remember Knjazevac for the green landscapes, the Timok River and eight bridges, tasty lamb meet and the wine like that of Tuscany.

The special impression on this place, which was inhabited even in the prehistoric times, is put on by the Stara Planina Mountain, which is referred to by many as the “roof of Serbia”, because its peak Midzor is the highest one in Serbia, with 2,169 meters. Since few years ago, the mountain has been turned into a huge construction site, because the tourism strategy plans for the ski center Babin Zub to be the biggest winter resort in South East Europe. In the summer time is the ideal place for snowboarding preparations, an also has a rich offer for the hikers, bikers and county side tourism lovers.

The local authorities in the municipality of Knjazevac support the development of tourist infrastructure on the local and regional level. Eight years ago, there were but 50 beds on disposal here, while today there number is several times over, just in the country side accommodation capacities. The folk architecture is well preserved in this region, while the material heritage is kept in the Homeland Museum. Standing out among the exhibits is the collection of double-line knitted socks, nominated for the first-degree protection at the global level. Also belonging to this museum, housed in a building that is the cultural monument of the town architecture, is the archaeological-ethnological park in the village of Ravna, with tombstones from the Roman Empire. It used to be a military camp with a settlement, and it stood on an important road that lead to the palaces of Romuliana and Mediana, where two out of 17 emperors that were born in today’s Serbia were living.

The municipality encompasses 85 villages, where the increasing number of households is getting involved with countryside tourism. Interesting festivities are organized as well, reviving and preserving the ethnic traditions, music, toast speeches, and celebrations of the fruits of the nature. One of those events is the Sipurijada (rosebud fest), held since 2007 in the village of Novo Korito, which once was on the important corridor that transported the merchandise from the Far East to Europe. It was also the crossroads of military roads, and the Kadibogaz pass between the villages Novo Korito and Salash in Bulgaria was one of the most important and accessible passes in this part of the Stara Planina Mountain.

The forests of this area in Serbia are the home to game that is on the world protection list, and many of the species are the hunting trophies of the increasing number of foreign hunters. Knjazevac is one of the stops on the Wine Road, and the vineyards here date back to the Roman times. The Association of Wine and Herbal Brandy Makers is very active. It was the initiator of the fair of ham, wine and cheese that gathers every spring the makers, businessmen and growing number of tourists. Many companies, until recently importers, are now exporting to the EU countries, and a significant place among them belongs to the producers of honey and 35 bee products. The municipality of Knjazevac partakes in many cross-border cooperation programs, competing for the assets from the international funds, and in that regards they are the leading municipality in Serbia.