When you set off for a new destination, what do you expect from it? Intact nature, cultural monuments built in styles unknown to you, and people with different facial features? Do you see traveling only as a shift from one destination to another, or as a time to relax and try out a different viewpoint? Are you one of those who explores during a trip, stopping to investigate here and there, enjoying the mood and getting acquainted with local inhabitants and customs?
If you are the second kind of traveler, here we present two destinations, one in the east and one in the north of Serbia, both of which show the cultural and religious diversity that is so prevalent in Serbia exceptionally well.
The central city park of Sokobanja, in the east of Serbia, boasts a Turkish bath, or hammam. It was built by the Ottomans on the foundations of Roman baths in the 15th century. The Sokobanja Hammam is the only Turkish bath in service in the territory of Serbia. It is the venue for various wellness programs nowadays and is also renowned as a location for shooting movies. Swimming in pools with thermal water, different types of massage and cosmetic treatments will relax and refresh you. The baths, with its separate pools for men and women and an original bathtub of Prince Miloš Obrenović, then ruler of Serbia, dating from the mid-19th century, evoke the atmosphere of another era. The Ottomans seem to have been experienced in “slow” enjoyment – bathing in a hammam was a part of Turkish culture, a ritual that served the needs for enjoyment, relaxation and socialization.
Discover the Secession
In Subotica, in the northernmost part of Serbia, in, you will encounter quite a different culture and atmosphere, only 400 km away from Sokobanja. One of Subotica’s landmarks is the architectural style of the Secession. This new, playful, decorative style originated in Vienna at the beginning of the 20th century. Serbian masons adopted Secession ideas, which largely drew inspiration from national features, nature and its shapes. With its unrestricted forms, rounded lines, and unusual combinations of colors, Secession captivates and enchants everybody entering its buildings. Geometric and herbal motifs and an image of a woman became favorite motifs for architects across Europe.
In Subotica, the Secession left an especially impressive mark, with artists relying on folk masonry and local materials. The most beautiful work of the Secession in Subotica is its Synagogue, erected in 1902. Over time, it has become one of the symbols of the Secession in Serbia. Stained glass ornaments, stylizations from Hungarian folklore such as flower petals and peacock feathers, and Zsolnay ceramics will all introduce you to the slow rhythm of a fantastic religious area from the start of the 20th century. Nowadays, the Synagogue is a concert venue.
Allow yourself to spend your vacations in easy exploring, quiet and calm relaxation in the unexpected areas of Serbia!