"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
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.
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.
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:Rich cultural heritage, magic of monasteries and a landscape difficult to forget
- Cons:Despite monasteries too much temptation to sin: shljivovica, grilled meat, deserts
It's a reversed tourist trap. As humble the entire thing is.. it actually works, is safe late evening, there is an ATM... more travel advice
Serbian railway indeed offers car transportation. The cars of the passengers are transported inside covered or... more travel advice
Written Dec 2, 2007
Budapest->Belgrade->Sofia->Istanbul: the trains
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Budapest->Belgrade->Sofia->Istanbul: the trains/2
Written Apr 25, 2010
Raška to Prizren by car, part1: crossing at Gate31
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Raška to Prizren by car, part2: Gate31 to Priština
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