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Cultural monuments

Hadzi-Prodan Cave

Hadzi- Prodan Cave is named after Hadzi-Prodan, Duke of Karadjordje, who was hiding in the cave during rebellions. This cave is located in the valley of Rascici river , named Rascici Cave as well, formerly known as Sljepaja, 7 km far from Ivanjica, on 600 m above sea level, by the road to Guca.    

There are two floors of the cave, 400 m long , that were explored so far. The down floor consists of two more sub channels, apart from the main one. The entrance zone of the cave is approximately three meters wide, continuing in a narrow passage, in front of two spaceous halls, approximately 50 meters long and 15 meters wide in total.

The right side of the hall is covered with the bigren salivas and the series of shallow little pools. The central part of the hall is covered with thick stalactites and stalagmites layer, while the hall walls are covered with mighty salivas, that resemble waterfalls turned into stone. The hall is ending in two minor subversions. The upper floor starts from the hall of the main channel, covered with the colourful range of the cave jewelry.

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In Hadzi-Prodan Cave, the team of students, guided by professor phd Bozidar Curcic from Faculty of Biology, Belgrade University, have discovered 25 new species of cave animals - insects, that are or completely unknown, or extremely rare in the world.

On the initiative of city government of Ivanjica municipality and Tourist organization of Ivanjica, the project of restorations and adaptations of the cave started up.

In the period from 9. to 30. June 2003., the project organized by Institute for protection of cultural monuments from Kraljevo, and financed by city government of Ivanjica municipality, regarding protective archeological escavations in the cave has been realized.

The project research realization was supported by Archeological Department of Faculty of Philosophy and assistant professor phd Dusan Mihailovic, together with the expert team of National Museum in Belgrade, the experts of Faculty of Geography in Belgrade, Institute of History in Belgrade and students of archeology from Belgrade.

During the project phase of escavations, in the surface and recent layers of the main cave entrance, the team of scientists have discovered the fragments of ceramics, dating back to old Iron Age (so-called Basarabi complex).hadzi prodanova pecina1

Furthermore, in geological layer number two, thick stone artefacts dating back to gravetien or epigravetien technocomplex have been identified, dating back to period between 20th and 10th millennium bc( newer horizon), while in the geological layer number five, during examinations of the surface only two meters deep, discovered items are dating back to middle paleolith, approximately older horizon, 40th millennium bc. Certain quantities of pleistocene animal bones were discovered as well.

All discoveries, regarding examination of this archeological complex, are extremely significant, dating back to historical periods of localities in this country that are not explored enough yet, more precisely, the discoveries that are typical for the cultures of musterien, gravetien and epigravetien periods.

The discoveries made of crystal quartz are not characteristic for these periods, nor for the middle, neighter for the old paleolith period, so Hadzi-Prodan Cave might represent the one of the oldest archeological sites of artefacts made of this material in the world.

In the second half of June and in the begining of August 2004., the project of research and escavations was continued by the same team, financed by Ministry of Culture, Republic of Serbia. During the project realization, approximately 60 items, dating back to forty and fortyfive thousands years bc were discovered. The items are relics of neanderthal material culture. The core of the tools found were made of quartz. Quartz crystals from these periods, extremely rare in localities of Europe, have been discovered, while a tool, made of wood crystal, is the earliest evidence of spiritual life of the neanderthals and their sense of beauty. The cave used to be temporary habitat of neanderthal hunters and cave bear, since the skull, bones and teeth of a bear were also discovered in this cave.

Hadzi-Prodan Cave is a part of very few paleolith sites in the Central Balkans, providing enormous potential for future scientific research. Hadzi-Prodan Cave is the uniqe combination of significant tourist, speleological and archeological site.

Devastated church, in front of the main entrance, dedicated to Archangel Michael, built in 1809., known as Agias church, was completely rebuilt, whileinterior decoration and the official public opening for visitors are still in the preparatory phase. Open for visitors.

Working hours of Hadži-Prodan's cave

Working days from 10:00 to 14:00.
Saturdays and Sundays from 09:00 to 14:00.
Visits are every half hour. The last entry is half an hour before the expiration of working hours.
The season lasts until 07.12. 2019.
The entrance is free.
For more information contact the phone:
+381 61 6104238.

Church of St Emperor Constantine and Empress Jelena

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This remarkable church is located in the very centre of Ivanjica. The church was built during 1836.-1838., just three years after the province had been officially constituted. This is the only building dating back to that period in Ivanjica. The church remained intact during two fires that burned down the complete town. The church interior is decorated with icons, painted during 1862. and completely preserved. The icons were painted by Mr Dimitrije Posnikovic. Tourists, same like people living in Ivanjica are visiting this beautiful church. In the halls of the Parish house, theological lectures and liturgies are regulary held, for citizens of Ivanjica and every interested visitor.

Stone Bridge on Moravica

One of the special interests of every visitor coming to Ivanjica is the stone bridge on Javor - Dragacevo road. This is the biggest single arch bridge in Balkans , built on the principle of wedges, without binding materials used. The bridge, made of big stone blocks, was built by italian masters during 1904.-1906., together with Mr Blagoje Lukovic, local construction entrepreneur. The Stone Bridge is still in function for car traffic and pedestrians. However, for preservation purposes, the city government of Ivanjica agreed on the ban on heavy trafic pass across the bridge, planning to turn it completely into pedestrian zone in the years to come.

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Hydropower plant on Moravica

This hydroplant was built in 1911. It is seventh oldest hydropower plant in Serbia. With its power of 240kwh it is still in function, providing illumination for the complete town park. However, nowdays it is turned into museum. Still equipped with its old Siemens machines, that are of museum value today, it is rather an attractive spot for Electrical Engineers same as for tourists. The concrete dam of the hydro power plant, 9m high, in the very front of the plant creating beautiful waterfalls, has became the visual symbol of the town. Young brave swimmers enjoy coming to waterfalls during the summer periods and practice jumps into the river.

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Monument of General Draza Mihailovic 1893.-1946.

This monument, in the centre of the town, was built in April 2003. in a tribute to significant serbian general, the leader of Ravna Gora rebelions during II World War, the General and Commander of The Yugoslav Royal Army in Serbia. The statue of the general, with his memorial house as a part of the monument complex, is planned to be turned into Museum and Library of Ravna Gora rebelions. Monument complex is highly interesting for all tourists coming to Ivanjica, and charming, pleasant spot with cafe De Gaulle  and beautifuly designed monument background plateau in the very centre of Ivanjica.

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Monument of Revolution

Located in the centre of Ivanjica, this monument is the masterpeace of wellknown artist and revolutionary Djordje Andrejevic Kun. The monument is made in mosaic technique with dimensions of 5x2m, and 4 m high, representing people rebelion, struggle and victory over aggressor.

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Palibacki grave

Lazarica church is located near Ivanjica on 780m high hill, 4 km far from the town centre. According to a legend, Bosko Jugovic was buried in this place. The legend says that a man came to Stari Vlah and this place 40 -50 years ago, and

after he found a grave stone and the foundations of demolished church there, he assumed that Bosko Jugovic, the youngest son of Jugovic family, after being wounded in Cosovo battle, came here and died. Later on, the church was built on the very same foundations in a tribute to him. On this place in 1911., Mr Blagoje Lukovic , construction entrepreneur from Ivanjica , built the new church and planted nine oaks, symbolizing nine sons of Jugovic family. Ten years ago, this church was restored, supported by funds raised among citizens of Ivanjica. The church name, for being named after St Lazar, is Lazarica.

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Monastery Kovilje

This temple is in Smiljevac village, 25km southwest from Ivanjica. The temple was built inside a cliff by the river. The origin of the name of the church is the name of a village on Javor mountain. Monastery complex is made of two churches. The first one is dedicated to St Archangels Michael and Gabriel while the second one is dedicated to St Nicola. The first one, St Archangels church is in the cave part of the cliff. It is nave building with altar apse. The church is very old and built in XII century. It was mentioned for the first time in 1606., in the memorial book of Krusevac. Metropolitan of Raska, Mr Gavrilo, has restored the monastery in 1644. and stayed in this monastery until he became Patriarch of Serbian Ortodox Church. The second temple, with greater dimenzions than the Church of St Archangels, dedicated to St Nicola, was built during that period.

This temple was built on rectangle shaped foundations with blind dome. In the frescos from XII century, that are preserved in fragments only, the portraits of saints are preserved in complete. This monastery used to be an important centre of cultural and spiritual life in this region. One of the oldest schools in Serbia was established here in 1867. Theological school for new priests was a part of the monastery as well. Since 1813. this monastery is in active function as a regular priest church.

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Monastery Pridvorica

Located in Pridvorica , 28km southwest from Ivanjica, this monastery is the typical example of medieval Raska school of churches and monasteries building, regarding architectural characteristics of the monastery. The monastery was mentioned for the firt time in The Charter of Stefan Nemanja that is the evidence that the monastery is very old. In The Charter of Stefan Nemanja, given to Studenica monastery, Pridvorica monastery is mentioned as nunnery. The fresco heritage of the monastery is demolished.

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Roman bridge in Kumanica

In village Kumanica, on 16th km southwest from Ivanjica, on the road to mountain Golija and near the ancient mill on the river, there is an old stone bridge across the river Moravica. River Moravica is more precisely West Morava in its upper flow through Ivanjica and closer to mountain Golija, formed with two springs, one from the peak of Golija, Jankov kamen, and the other, so-called The Spring of Pasa, down the slopes of Golija. Starting from village Jasenovica and on, both springs are forming river Golija, that is flowing down to Roman bridge. From that landmark and on, the river is called Moravica. Smaller rivers, like Nosnica in village Medjurecje, are flowing into waters of Moravica also. The old bridge over the upper flow of the river is a part of the old, pedestrian road to Sjenica (Sandzak), through villages Medjurecje and Bratljevo. In front of and behind the bridge, the traces of this ancient road, with sharp curves and high ups are located alongside the banks of river Moravica.

Narrow riverbed of the mountain river Moravica was bridged with this remarkable, semicircular single arch bridge, carried on quite slightly exposed abutments supported by rocky river sides. The river sides of Moravica are mostly made of clay slates, while quite dark clay slates on soil surfaces are partially used in the bridge construction. Minor part of the front wall, together with arch fronts, was made of broken stones, firmly fixed to the vault of the bridge. In some places there are pieces of boulders as well. The other, much greater part of the bridge construction is composed of rocky slates, greater pieces of rocky boards, geological content of the local area, practically found everywhere in that place. For different types of materials used, it is considered that the bridge was built during different periods.

On the upriver side of the bridge, by the bridge pillar on the right side of the river bank, there are relics of initially built bridge beak, a kind of protective wall, with a purpose to redirect eventual floods of Morava under the bridge arch, providing a kind of dam protecting the vertical wall wing of the bridge. Similiar to this one, there are another relics, yet mostly inapplicable, by the bridge abutment on the left upriver side, built for the bridge protection on the left side. The arch of the bridge, with its parallel wall wings abutments, are forming the side pillars of the bridge.

Roman bridge is 2,40 m wide, matching the width of the road. The total lenght of the bidge with the abutments is aproximately 14 m, with its arch the bridge is 6,72 m wide and 4 m high. Nowdays this bridge is used for pedestians only, together with the spring of little mountain paths. One of the paths is leading to village Ercege.

It is quite impossible to find out with certainty when the bridge in Kumanica was built who built it. Yet, undoubtedly, this is skillfully crafted and rather astonishing masterpeace, with unusually proportional and slander lines. It belongs to the group of beautiful bridges dating back to turkish period.

The bridge arch is quite similiar to the only bridge preserved on Uvac river. Regarding the building technique, it might has been built in the same period when bridges in Prizren were built, during XV century. In tradition of locals, it is called The Roman Bridge, despite there are no relics in the bridge dating back to roman period. However, considering the very fact that there was an old road here, the shortcut between Serbia and Sandzak, we might assume that there was a roman bridge on the same place, since the memories of the old roman road are still alive among people living in these areas. This bridge used to be the shortcut for trade caravans going to Sandzak long time ago.

Nowdays, on almost deserted place, partially covered with green vegetation sheltering the bridge like a natural part of the landscape, this beautiful bridge is real refreshment and everlasting sight of an unobtrusive bridge in the center of breathtaking landscape.

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Monument of Major Ilic on Javor

In the first rebellion war, Javor war during 1876., serbian army didnt have much success. The Battle on Kalipolje on 24. june 1876. was debackle as well.  In other battles during August of the same year, serbian army succeded in stopping turkish invasions. In those battles, Major Mihailo Ilic bravely defended people of Moravica region, and died on 24. August 1876. The monument in tribute to Major Mihailo Ilic was built in 1907. Built on a hill, close to former custom border, the monument is 36km far from Ivanjica, located on the slopes of mountain Javor, where used to be the border with former Turkish Empire. There is the graveyard of serbian heroes died during Javor war as a part of monument complex.

Moravica region and these localities are abounding in quite interesting and unusual little stone monuments so-called Krajputasi. Tha abundance of cultural heritage and traditions of serbian people has been preserved in epitaphs with cheerfull verses, poems and morals.  There are numerous churches and relics of ancient fortresses, so-called Gradinas.

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About Ivanjica

Ivanjica municipality is one of the biggest in Serbia with its area of 1090km2. Ivanjica is the part of Moravica region, surrounded by municipalities ofArilje, Lucani, Nova Varos, Raska, Kraljevo, Novi Pazar and Sjenica. The number of Ivanjica citizens is 32380, according to statistics from 2011. 

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