Transfer from Sarajevo to Belgrade with visits to Visegrad, Andricgrad and Drvengrad offers you not only a cozy transfer between the two places, but also the opportunity to explore interesting places in East Bosnia and Serbia.
Visegrad Old Bridge
Andricgrad – wonder of architecture
Dobrun Monastery – one of the oldest orthodox monasteries
Drvengrad – woodentown
Sargan Train ride
Arrival to Belgrade
After a 2-hour ride from Sarajevo, we arrive at Visegrad – a small town in the eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located in the valley of Drina River, in the hilly slopes gently rising high into the mountains, over 1000 meters in high. This town is full of pretty streets but we will dedicate our visit to The Old Stone Bridge, the endowment of Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic. He is one of the great Ottoman military leader of Bosnian origin. At the peak of his power, he becomes Grand Vizier or the Prime Minister by today’s standards. In the ascendant of his powers, he ordered that the most beautiful bridge must be built in Visegrad on the Drina river. The main architect of the bridge was Mimar Sinan, the greatest architect of the Ottoman empire. It was built in 1577. in the oriental style.
The bridge itself has 11 stone arches, a big stone portal and a sofa in the middle. The sofa looks like a square stone bench, where you can sit and enjoy the scenery. It is a masterpiece of architecture in that era. The Bridge is one of the most important national monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina and has entered the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 2007. The bridge and its amazing history are described in the book “The Bridge on the Drina” for which its writer, Ivo Andric, won the 1961 Nobel Prize in Literature. This famous bridge symbolizes strength, permanence, and stability in spite of all disasters that happened in this region. Leaders come and go, war rages, natural catastrophes, happen, but the bridge still stands and watches over the lives of the people who cross the river – that is something and Andric describes in his novel in a majestic way.
Just nearby this famous bridge is another tourist attraction – Andricgrad (Andrictown) also known as Kamengrad (Stonetown).
Andricgrad is a project of a famous film director Emir Kusturica, inspired by works and characters of mentioned famous writer, nobel prize winner, Ivo Andric. It is a tourist, cultural, administrative and educational complex, situated on a peninsula between the rivers Drina and Rzav in Visegrad. It is actually a vision of how Visegrad would have looked like if the Renaissance and other historical periods had not gone by it. In architectural terms, the city itself is a mix of different eras and styles that have changed through the history of this area: the Byzantine style, the Ottoman period, the Renaissance and classicism. Some of the main objects of Andricgrad are: Ivo Andric Institute, Memorial House, Centre for Slavic languages, Fine arts Academy, Town hall, Renaissance theatre, multiplex cinema, souvenir shops, coffee bars and much more. Andrictown was officially opened for visits in June 2014.
Before we cross the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia we will visit Dobrun monastery. Dobrun Monastery is located in the picturesque mountainous region, surrounded with rocky hills and opened towards the gorge of the mountain stream, in the gorge of Rzav River with numerous springs and fertile fields and pastures.
It is dedicated to the Annunciation and was built in 1343 by Duke Pribil and his sons Stefan and Petar. It was entirely fresco decorated. The most important frescoes preserved up today are scenes of Tsar Dusan and his wife Jelena and their son Uros as well as founder’s composition of Duke Pribil and his sons and son in law Stano. About the building and the early history of Dobrun Monastery there are not reliable records as there are rare existing records. It is only known that Dobrun Monastery was the Metropolitan seat. Dobrun Monastery was restored by Despot Stefan Lazarević and Princess Milica. Sometime on the turn of the 18th and the 19th century Dobrun Monastery was deserted. During its history Dobrun Monastery was several times destroyed and rebuilt. Dobrun Monastery experienced its worst destruction during the Second World War when Germans used it as ammunition storage and blown up in 1945 on their withdrawal. Dobrun Monastery was restored in 1946.
We will finish the tour by visiting third place – Ethno Village Drvengrad. Drvengrad means wooden town and that’s exactly what you’ll find here. Everything is made of timber from conifer trees. The village is also known by name Kustendorf, which means “a coastal village”. It is located in the Zlatibor region in a nature park Mokra Gora, in Serbia. It’s a traditional village, built by mentioned film director Emir Kusturica.
This project started with few houses built as scenery for shooting Kusturica’s movie “Life is a miracle”. But soon after, a concept of making something “out of ordinary” gained traction and the few initial wooden-huts mushroomed into a sophisticated ethno-village complex. Drvengrad is also traditional village in its shape and structure: it is of rectangular shape, completely surrounded by a wooden fence, with the entrance gate placed at one end of its longer axis and the main street extending to the other end, where a small church with wooden belfry is situated. In the village centre there is a square paved with wooden blocks and sleepers, surrounded by authentic log cabins brought to the village from the surrounding area.
While visiting you can see some beautiful art at the gallery “Macola“, Orthodox church dedicated to St. Sava, pay a visit to the library, watch movies at the cinema house “Underground”, eat some delicious homemade cakes from the cake shop, go to bar to enjoy some jazz music, have a hot drink in the amazing atmosphere of the café “The Damned Yard”. You can try local and international cuisine at the restaurant “Visconti”, or go to the National Restaurant “Lotika” where you can find some of the best dishes of Serbian cuisine. There is a display of restored old cars throughout the streets which adds to the antique feel.
Drvengrad was inaugurated in 2004. After receiving Philippe Rotthier European Architecture award in 2005 Drvengrad was pronounced the best architectural achievement in Europe in the previous 3 years. The village gained a status of a 4 star town hotel complex. Since 2008, every year the village hosts Kustendorf Film and Music Festival. With so many attractions in this small village, it is difficult to leave disappointed. Kusturica has built a cozy little piece of heaven where everyone can find some relaxing distractions from their everyday life.
Nearby Drvengrad, you can enjoy the train Nostalgia. Sargan Eight is an old-fashioned narrow-gauge railway. Its construction was finished in 1925. Unfortunatelly, the narrow-gauge railways were no longer used from the 70’s in Yugoslavia, so this part on the railways in Mokra Gora and Nostalgia Train that we have perserved today represent a major tourist attraction. You are going to enjoy beutiful scanary in this ride that you will certainly remember.
After Sargan Train ride, we proceed to Belgrade. We will take you to your hotel/apartment in Belgrade.
Entrance fees not included.
Entrance fee for Drvengrad is 2.5 EUR per person
Ticket for Sargan Train – 7.5 EUR per person (optional ride)
|City||Sarajevo → East Bosnia Tour → Belgrade|
|Departure||Sarajevo or Belgrade|
|Included||Transportation, hotel pick-up and drop-off, guided tours|
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