Situated between important road transport routes and three rivers – the Danube, Mlava and Great Morava – approximately 80 kilometres from Belgrade, is the city of Požarevac. The history of this city, which is the centre of the Braničevo District, dates back to 1467, while it made its first significant entry in the history books in 1718, when the Požarevac Peace Treaty, or the Treaty of Passarowitz, was signed between Austro-Hungary and Turkey.
It experienced its own flourishing and golden age with the coming to power of Prince Milos Obrenović, who is responsible for the raising of the Cathedral of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel (1819), the Palace-Residence (1825), the new čaršija bazaar (1827) and Ljubičevo (1860), the arranging of which was continued by Prince Mihailo Obrenović.
TOUR THE MUSEUMS AND MILENA’S MEMORIAL GALLERY
The city itself is home to around 40,000 inhabitants, while its total population is double that with the inclusion of the surrounding villages and communities. Although life in Požarevac is generally very dynamic, the city becomes even livelier every summer, when many tourists arrive, but also locals who return after spending most of the year working abroad.
The centre becomes a meeting point for visitors to numerous cultural and artistic events, the city park dominated by its monument to Prince Miloš Obrenović and the National Museum, which is the second oldest museum in Serbia – after Belgrade’s National Museum – and contains some relics of global significance, such as the Calamus pen that was used during Roman times for writing wax tablets.
The National Museum in Požarevac manages 17 facilities in six locations. In addition to the main museum building, featuring a permanent exhibition dedicated to prehistory and antiquity, there is also a Museum of Cultural History, “The House of Peter Dobrnjac”, with an ethnological exhibition covering the development of the lives of Požarevac natives; the legacy “House of Miodrag Marković”, with a permanent exhibition of works by painters dating back to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia; the Tulba Ethno- Park, featuring houses and furniture from the 19th century; the “Požarevac Treaty”, as an exhibition commemorating the peace treaty of 1718, and the City Gallery of Contemporary Art.
In the vicinity of the museum is the house that marks the birthplace of painter Milena Pavlović Barili, which has been converted into a memorial gallery. Thanks to Milena’s mother Danica, who bequeathed the house to the City of Požarevac in 1962, visitors to the gallery can enjoy a permanent exhibition of paintings and view personal items, furniture and the artist’s personal library.
Founded in honour of the life and work of this major global artist, the memorial gallery has organised the Biennale “In the Light of Milena” for almost two decades, representing an artistic event that attracts interest from around world.
THE CENTRE IS BEAUTIFUL, BUT THE PERIPHERY IS EVEN PRETTIER
Located slightly further away from the city centre, on a hill of the same name, is the Čačalica Memorial Park, which covers an area of 28 hectares and is a favourite excursion area for locals, but also a veritable mecca for an increasing number of tourists – as it offers panoramic views of almost the entire city from certain spots.
At the top of the hill is the “Star” monument, while the park is also home to some rare plant species and numerous small animals.
And while lovers of art and culture flock to the city centre, the areas surrounding Požarevac primarily attract lovers of history and archaeology, with the Viminacium archaeological site – located 12 kilometres from the city – standing out in particular due to its attractiveness.
Viminacium was a Roman military camp and spent some time as the capital of the Roman province of Upper Moesia. It boasts numerous buildings and objects that recount the history of this ancient city.
This complex is open to visitors, who are most attracted to the skeleton of a mammoth female named Vika that dates back to the prehistoric Miocene Epoch. Vika is among the world’s oldest specimens of its kind. Apart from Vika, the palaeontological park known as ‘Mammoth Park’ also includes the remains of four other mammoths, called Socks, Trbuško, Đomla and Lenka, which are 180,000 years old.
Last year was the most successful year for the Tourist Organisation of the City of Požarevac since it was founded, while this year could be just as good – if not better – provided the trend continues
BOOK ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE EQUESTRIAN GAMES
Tourists don’t need to choose a specific time of year to visit historical and cultural monuments in and around the city, but when it comes to numerous events – including the most famous Ljubičevo Equestrian Games, the Milivoje Živanović Acting Celebrations, the Festival of Flowers, the Milena Pavlovic Barili Biennale – it is necessary to check the calendar of the Požarevac Tourist Organisation.
Coming up next are the Ljubičevo Equestrian Games, representing a tourism and competitive sporting event that has been organised during the first weekend of September since 1964 and which will this year take place from 30th August to 1st September, with its international competition encompassing regular equestrian games in multiple disciplines, including courier riding, mounted spear throwing, archery, mace and sabre-cutting…There will also be hurdle jumping, galloping and trotting races, and demonstrations of stunt rider skills, but also a rich cultural and entertainment programme.
Running from 5th November to 5th December will be the Biennale “In the Light of Milena”, while late November – from 25th to 29th – is reserved for the Živka Matić Meetings of Amateur Theatres Pomoravlje and Podunavlje.
Judging by the interest and announced arrivals of guests from home and abroad, it won’t be easy to provide sufficient accommodation capacities for everyone. According to the latest study, the city of Požarevac lacks around 500 beds for overnight visitors, but the data has since changed to make that shortfall even greater.
This will be resolved…let the guests just come…