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News / 08/13/2020 / 274

CITY BREAK: VIEW FROM VRŠAC HILL

We avoid the morning traffic jam in Belgrade and move across the Banat plain to conquer Vojvodina. Not literally, but we just want to experience the peaks of Vršac Mountains, the largest mountain in Vojvodina (641m), which used to be an island in the Pannonian Sea.

Before we start exploring natural beauties of the Vršac Mountains, we head to the foot of Magareće Brdo (Donkey's Hill), where Mesić Monastery is located. The monastery probably dates from the 15th century, and was destroyed several times during its history. During the phylloxera outbreak, Mesić monastery lost 200 morgens of monastery vineyards, leaving the monastery without a main source of income. Today, peace reigns in the monastery, there are flower beds all around the yard...

As we pass through endless rows of vineyards owned by Drašković winery (former Vršački vinogradi), we can notice that large plots of vineyards have been replanted. New, renewed plantations on both sides of the road indicate that the new owner of the winery plans to raise reputation of Vršac wines again.

Vršac Tower is the symbol of entire Southern Banat region. It is believed that its founder was Djuradj Smederevac in the 15th century, and that it was built in order to protect his estates in Banat after the fall of Smederevo. Today, the 20-meter-high tower has been completely restored and it offers an exceptional view of the Banat plain, Vršac vineyards and the town of Vršac. As we stand next to it, we enjoy the wind caressing our faces. The surroundings of Vršac are famous for eastern "košava" wind. Evliya Çelebi wrote that "view from the tower extends to seven days of travel".

Vršac Tower is located on a well-maintained hiking route called the Vršac Transversal, 39 km long, which connects all the peaks of the Vršac Mountains. Considering the real summer heat and the temperature that exceeds 30 degrees, we will enjoy a walk of 3 km through the forest towards one of the points on the Vršac Transversal - Đački vrh (Student's Peak) (449m). And at the top, nature rewarded us with a magnificent view of Vršac Tower and Vršac plain. It takes so little for a person to feel comfortable and satisfied. Nature has been so generous.

After a repose, we head back. We also want to get to know the city of Vršac. We start the tour of the city center from the Cathedral of St. Gerard of Csanad, built in the Gothic style in the period 1860-1863.

The Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas is the oldest Orthodox Christian church in Vršac built in the 18th century.

The places of worship in Vršac testify to the wealth of the families of Vršac who erected them and lavishly decorated them. The most beautiful building in Vršac is the Bishop's Palace from the 18th century. It is the residence of the Banat episcopes of Orthodox  Christian Church.

Walking through the central city zone, we get to know the architecture of Vršac. We admire facades that testify to the glorious past of the city.

During the walk, it is inevitable to meet Vinko Lozić, an ancient Banat bohemian who was immortalized in literary works by Jovan Sterija Popović. Vinko Lozić is also the mascot of the Vršac Grape Harvest Feast.

We looked for repose in Dinar restaurant (address: Dimitrija Tucovića 82, Vršac). Although the food in this restaurant is not traditional Banat style, but rather leans towards the mountain food with a selection of charcoal meat that stands out from the usual cliché of Serbian barbecue, every visitor to Vršac will enjoy impeccable service, cheerful waiters and great snacks. However, the wine selection is focused on local wineries: Drašković, Marinković, Soul Wine, Conte Vallone, Selecta, Rnjak, which is to be expected when you are in the heart of the wine region.

After an exciting day in Vršac, we decided to have traditional coffee in Deliblato Sands. The famous picnic area Devojački bunar is a real oasis of nature. With several cafés that blend perfectly into the surrounding nature and the log church, Devojački bunar offers the opportunity to spend the whole day with the family hiking through the sandy area. Djordje Winery is in the vicinity so you can also visit the winery and stock up on wine.




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Tomislav Ivanović

Awarded wine writer, wine critic and contributor to selected wine magazines. WSET3-certified author and editor-in-chief of www.vinopedia.rs. Member of Vojvodina Sommelier Association. Juror in national and international wine competitions. Lecturing about wines of Serbia and the Balkans. Local partner of Wine Mosaic organization. Co-founder of International Prokupac Day.

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