SOKO BANJA - One of the most often visited resorts in the Serbia - on Serbian
Tekst and photo by Marija Itić
Soko banja is the oldest, most famous and interesting spa in Serbia, all surrounded by mountains, is the oasis of health.
When you soul cried for peace, when you sew the city noise and bustle, looking for rest and silence, only for a moment to escape from everyday life, believe that there is a place where you can feel the quiet and peaceful, away from the Oversized care today...
Sokobanja is a well-known spa town and municipality situated in eastern Serbia. It is the oldest, most famous and most visited spa in Serbia, an oasis of health, all surrounded by mountains.
Sokobanja is situated in the southeast of Serbia, between mountains Ozren (117 m) and Rtanj (1560 m), on the riverbanks of Moravica, at the height of 400 m above sea level. Sokobanja is 230 km away from Belgrade and can be reached by the main highway.
It is one of the most often visited resorts in the country, and belongs to a group of renowned tourist centers with the longest tradition of organized tourism.
Medical properties of its mineral springs were known even in the Roman times.
What makes Sokobanja attractive are its thermal mineral waters, ideal height above the sea level, moderate continental climate,
pure mountain air rich with oxygen, and beautiful untouched nature. Its climate factors and thermal mineral natural resources
are suitable for patients with chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, psycho neurosis, neurasthenia, easier forms of high blood
pressure, chronic rheumatism, recovery periods after injuries, chronic female conditions, anemia, exhaustion,
convalescence and sciatica.
Nature was very generous to Sokobanja, and created heaven on the earth.
It's hard to decide what is more beautiful: Sokograd, Lepterija, Ripaljka, Kalinovica as famous vacation areas,
mountains Ozren and Rtanj, famous for abundance of medicinal herbs, or river
Moravica and Bovan Lake which is close to Sokobanja.
It is one of the richest lakes in fish and it is very attractive for swimming during the summer.
In the northeast of Sokobanja, there is a Spa called Josanica,
known for its healing mineral waters and mud with healing properties.
Medical indications: chronic stomach inflammation, gallbladder and duodenum inflammation,
chronic urine infections, diabetes, anemia, skin conditions, eczema.
The most important part of tourist offer of Sokobanja is health tourism, but in the last few years other types of tourism developed: sport and recreation tourism, children and youth tourism, hunting, eco-tourism, commercial and congress. Sokobanja is becoming one of the most interesting tourist destinations for young people and at present it is definitively number one in the tourist scene of Serbia. There are 2500 beds in comfortable lodgings, three star hotels, while the private sector possesses 12,500 beds in rooms of I, II nd III category, and in luxurious apartments.
Sokobanja is the host and organizer of many cultural and entertaining
manifestations on the republic and state level: The Best Accordion Player of Yugoslavia (since 1962),
The Golden Hands (since 1983), The International Gallery of Ecology Caricature (since 1992),
St Sava Manifestations (since 1993), St Jovan The Harbpicker (since 1994), The Artistic Colony Sokograd
Manifestations of various characters are held regularly during
The Cultural Summer of Sokobanja. The Home Museum and Gallery, as well as the legacy of Milun Mitrovic,
possess great number of paintings and other works of art.
Sokobanja is one of the most popular tourist resorts in Serbia.
It is situated in the southern part of Sokobanja valley, surrounded by mountains Ozren, Devica, Janior, Rtanj and Bukovik.
The Moravica River runs through Sokobanja. Moravica creates a canyon just 2 km before entering Sokobanja.
Remains of the Roman and later medieval Serbian fortress Sokograd stand today near the canyon of Moravica.
Lake Bovan is situated some 10 minutes of drive to the west of Sokobanja.
It is especially popular among fishermen. Special hospital for lung diseases is situated on Ozren mountain.
Town center of Sokobanja is home to the 16th-century Turkish baths and 19th-century buildings of elementary school,
Milošev konak and Serbian Orthodox church.
Falcon city, medieval city, situated in the gorge the river Moravice,
cultural monument of national importance. It is located 2 km from the Spa, built in the time of Justinian
(I to VI century) for the defense of the Avars and Slavs. It consists of the lower part of the two gates and the upper
part of the three towers
That is why this station, situated at 400 m above the sea level had been chosen by Prince Milos Obrenovic 1837
for its climatic values. Today its agreeable climate and the freshness of the air have been used to treat the respiratory diseases.
In the centre of Sokobanja the only point of historical interest is the “Hammam” from the XVII century, the Turkish bath constructed in the place of Roman therms with the female and male baths still in function.
The natural curative factors of Sokobanja Spa are thermal mineral springs with temperatures ranging from 28 (Banjica) to 45,5 (Park) degrees Celsius, the radon gas with suitable ionization, clear mountain air without air pollution and an exceptionally soothing moderate continental climate.
The Organization for tourism, culture and sport is in charge of organizing the "First accordion of Yugoslavia" festival, the "Sokograd" art colony, "The Spa cultural summer" and other cultural programmes.