Sopot and Kosmaj
The Sopot municipality is located south of Belgrade in the northern parts of the tame, undulating lowlands of Šumadiјa.
The quickest accessway from Belgrade is the Belgrade – Mali Požarevac – Sopot highway route. There are two railroads crossing the municipality of Sopot.
The legend of Despot Stefan Lazarević is linked to this region. Popular tales tell that during a hunt on Kosmaj Despot Stefan sustained an grievous injury to his leg. The wounded Despot first started moaning (“ropće”) from pain at village of Ropoćevo. A bit further, at the monastery of Tresije he first started shivering (tresti). The worried entourage tried to find him lodging, but were horrified to find that they could not find a single house (“nema ni kuće“) where they might accomodate the wounded Despot. He managed to walk („korača”) on his own to Koraćica. He only lay down („opružio se”) at the village of Pružatovac, whence he was carried to Crkvine, there to die. All of those places are in a line originating at the foothills of Kosmaj.
Kosmaj Mountain is slightly taller than Avala. It is located 50 kilometres from the centre of Belgrade, near Mladenovac and Sopot.
It is typified by diverse plant and animal species. This region is rich with fungi, with over 300 various species. The monastery of Pavlovac was erected during the early 15th century as the foundation of Despot Stefan Lazarević, son of Emperor Lazar, and it was one of the centres of literacy for medieval Serbia. The Markovac Lake is located 6 kilometres from Mladenovac and represents a haven for sports fishermen, hunters and picnickers.
The Trešnja picnic grounds are a forest complex with a rich hunting ground that is but one of the offers of this attractive location. The artificial lake with the surrounding streams and cold water springs only contributes to the peace and tranquillity. There are arranged areas along the lake shores and surrounding meadows where picnickers can spend a pleasant time with traditional barbecue, beer and sports activities.
The Tresije monastery is located on the northwest side of Kosmaj, above the Rogača village. It was erected during the early 15th century and first mentioned in 1560 in the Turkish census. Popular accounts relate it to Despot Stefan Lazarević. It is dedicated to the Assembly of Holy Archangels. More information at www.manastirtresije.org
Cleopatra’s Fountain is the foundation of Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic, erected in 1885. It is located in the port of the church in Nemanikuće. Popular accounts claim the water to have healing properties. Inscribed tree trunks stand in the immediate vicinity of the fountain.
The ruins of the Kasteljan monastery are located on the north-eastern side of Kosmaj in the village of Nemanikuće. They are the remains of a medieval monastery complex erected atop the foundations of a Roman fortification. It was dedicated to St. George.
The Borikić Watermill, built in 1884, is located on the Trnava River which is still used to drive the watermill. Completely reconstructed using wooden beams, the watermill was operational until 1993. It is currently used to host cultural programs and performances aiming to revive the region and preserve folk traditions.
The wooden bell tower is a rare example of this type of bell tower, located in the church port in Mali Požarevac.
The memorial charnel house of Vojvoda Janko Katić, one of the closest associates of Karadjordje, is located in the church in Rogača. A monument was erected as well, across the road from the church, on the village street.
The Monument to the Fallen Fighters dominates Kosmaj and the entire area. It was erected in memory of the soldiers killed while fighting for freedom during World War II.
SOFEST is held at the Cultural Centre in Sopot during the first week of July. It is a film festival dedicated to producers. During seven days in July Sopot turns into the centre of the Serbian film industry. Guests include the most renowned local film authors playing host to numerous international filmmakers.
The Days of Milovan Vidaković are held in early July, when a number of literary evenings are held with exhibitions commemorating the first Serbian novelist born in Nemanikuće.
The Piper Assembly is held in the port of the Tresije monastery during the first week of September. The monastery port and surrounding forest ring with the sounds of the ancient folk instrument and the skills of pipers from across Serbia.
More information at www.sopot.org.rs