Avala, a conical mountain veiled with mystery and legends, rises from the plain, only 10 kilometers from Belgrade.
Today Belgraders’ favorite picnic destination, and once a powerful stronghold of civilizations lost and found in this land, Avala has always provoked curiosity both of explorers and people living in its shadow.
Deciduous and pine forest with 8 springs of fresh mountain water is now a protected natural wealth and an ideal picnic site that welcomes people who like activities and recreation and all those eager to spend an active weekend.
After a break, let the road take you to the very top of Avala where you can enjoy a unique view on the surrounding landscape.
You will be welcomed by a symbol of Belgrade and its surroundings – the Avala Tower.
Today’s Tower with its 204,8 meters is, just like its predecessor, the tallest building in the Balkans, and it was opened on April 21st, 2010, just beneath the location of the old tower destroyed in 1999 during the NATO bombing.
Visitors can enjoy the spectacular view on the entire Belgrade and the surrounding area from a café at the top reached by two elevators. The Tower is open for visitors every day except on Mondays.
A few minutes’ walk takes you to the very peak of Avala, and the green arbored walk leads to the Monument to the Unknown Hero.
It is a monumental complex with 8 caryatids at the entrance, in national costumes, representing the unity of all nationalities in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
The monument, work of the famous sculptor Ivan Meštrović, was opened on June 28th, 1938, and it is located at the place where once the medieval city of Žrnov stood.
The last traces of the city were destroyed in 1934 with dynamite in two days by the order of King Aleksandar I Karadjordjević in order to clear the plateau for the monument of such importance for Yugoslavia, a state formed a few years before.
Even though the contours of the old fortress can only be imagined, Žrnov at time represented a significant strategic site that was even described in the Serbian epic poetry.
The Slavic name of the fortress was changed by Turks into “Havala” meaning “a place, a high ground that dominates the surroundings”, after which the entire mountain was named Avala.
Thanks to its unique appearance and significance in lives of civilizations that here founded first settlements, Avala inspired numerous legends about its secret mine shafts, ancient fortresses and mystical powers in which residents of this truly unique mountain believed.
The best hidden hallways reaching deep in the mountain’s womb reveal its magical nature.
Avala is a mountain of volcanic origin, and as a legacy of this mighty force of nature this conical mountain today abounds with ores that have been mined here since ancient times.