"Visiting medieval monasteries" Top 5 Page for this destination Republic of Serbia by GyuriFT

Republic of Serbia Travel Guide: 5,315 reviews and 13,554 photos

Admire the architecture

It begun rather innocently. At age of 14 my grandpa and grandma bought me a camera. A real camera capable of taking pictures! It was a Soviet-made "Smena-8". It had decent lens. So I begun to take pictures what I did see around me. It was first our home, than garden, than surroundings... Pictures were kind of OK, but I was not really impressed. I wanted to take pictures of somewhat I would consider "beautiful". There was a big city nearby, called "Moscow". There I found what I wanted: orthodox churches, esp. frescoes. In retrospect, I can understand, why Grand Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich was so much impressed, he chose "Greek Church" as he and Kievian Rus took the Christianity in AD 988: the architecture, the icons, the liturgy, frescoes and mosaics had a "shock and ave" effect.

But there was a problem: I lived near Moscow with my grandparents only during summertime, most of my life was spent living with my parents far away: in Budapest. We knew, behind the Iron Curtain there is a rich country, where exotic fruits like banana, kiwi can be bought all-year-along, blue jeans and Adidas T-shirts are not on the black market and their citizens are allowed to travel even further. There were even rumors, it has orthodox churches adored with frescoes similar way as in Moscow. So I wanted to see them. All of them.

Enjoy the peace

Hungary was one of the few countries where citizens were allowed to travel abroad with some limited freedom. While 1974 I was visiting with my camera cities of "Golden Ring" around Moscow, my dad had the opportunity to visit on business the "Golden West of Fairy Tales", i.e. city Dubrovnik and he even flew on "Western Airline flying Western Aircraft" (JAT had Boeing 727). "On business" did mean of course, "on state business", no private business. He returned and told us, indeed, it looks good. After a very frustrating trip to Bar by train with my parents and a group organized by Hungarian IBUSZ (frustrating because I wanted to see EVERY SINGLE CHURCH while others in the group wanted to see every single pair of blue jeans, every banana and every Adidas T-shirt) I decided, next time I will be the one - without any group - who will set the pace.

Because of travel restrictions our (my future wife and me) first visit to Jugoslavia was actually a "substitute": we had to go to Bulgaria, even as I wanted otherwise. That was 1979. We took 6000 Forint (!!!!) and spent a month evenly divided between Bulgaria and "painted monasteries" in Moldova (Romania). Even if I wouldn't be "hooked" before, that pretty much sealed the "fate". :-)
Probably in spirit of local way of the life we never run through monasteries, we rather spend several hours in a single place enjoying the peace.

Feel the magic

1980 was finally THE year. We somehow collected 12000 Dinars (unbelievable amount of money... we felt like winning a lottery) and ventured straight south. This time: no Adidas, no blue jeans - only what we wanted. And we wanted to feel the magic of orthodox frescoes and take pictures of everything possible and impossible. These pictures are not lost: they are in the attic of my house near Budapest. Thousands of slides, all sorted but not scanned yet. If back to Europe like we plan in 2008, I will scan them and put them here. So this site will be always under construction.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Rich cultural heritage, magic of monasteries and a landscape difficult to forget
  • Cons:Despite monasteries too much temptation to sin: shljivovica, grilled meat, deserts
  • Last visit to Republic of Serbia: Aug 2007
  • Intro Updated Dec 1, 2007
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Reviews (13)

Comments (11)

  • Odiseya's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    I enjoy in your Serbia page! Thank you for sharing!

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    Definitely won't be drinking in the front seat and won't need bananas, blue jeans or Adidas. Excellent tips and seeing the photos in the travelogues, I really can't wait to experience a little of it for myself.

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2011 at 5:51 AM

    interesting tips - hope I will get back to Serbia this year and do some of the scenic route trains and buses heading south.

  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Hi.Its been a while since I dropped by .I enjoy your pages...we really enjoyed our trip a couple of years ago.Happy holidays.

  • budapest8's Profile Photo
    Jun 1, 2010 at 11:12 PM

    Now I know not to sit in the front seat in a car after a few beers next to the driver. I also had very strange experiences with Serbian police. Your travel tips are great as always. Tim

  • Mar 22, 2008 at 2:57 PM

    Great church picture

  • FruitLover's Profile Photo
    Feb 29, 2008 at 5:06 AM

    Thanx for useful transportation tips. BTW,1. Express train Istanbul- Bukarest: How much time is Istanbul- Veliko Turnovo?? 2. Do you have some knowledge about Middle East train history? Avi

  • Karolina01's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2008 at 5:07 PM

    Very good tips, thank you.

  • iaint's Profile Photo
    Sep 14, 2007 at 2:44 PM

    looks good

  • PiceaOmorika's Profile Photo
    May 18, 2007 at 3:42 AM

    Looking forward to see more tips! Keep tracking! Welcome to Serbia! >---*_*---<


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