In the rolling hills of Central Serbia sits the idyllic spa town of Vrnjacka Banja, harmoniously balanced in its beautiful natural surrounding. Come to soak in waters that have been known for their curative properties since Roman times, where in the 19th century Prince Milos built a spa to rival the greatest spas in Europe, naturally followed by the aristocratic class building their stunning vacation villas… In the areas surrounding Vrnjacka Banja you can also find centuries-old vineyards and a tradition of winemaking that stretches through generations, quaint villages where life is being preserved in its rural state, and the 12th and 13th century monasteries of Studenica and Zica, the endowments of the long-ago Serbian kings.
Today Vrnjacka Banja is a well-developed tourist destination, popular among domestic and foreign guests seeking spa treatments or a relaxing getaway in the countryside. Many hotels and restaurants cater to the needs of spa guests, delivering excellent service and accommodation. We invite you to visit Vrnjacka Banja, rejuvenate your body with a healing vacation, breathe in fresh air, and relax in nature.
First established as a tourist spa in 1868, Vrnjačka Banja has long been known as one of Serbia’s most popular European-styled spas, complete with curative mineral water springs, clean air and natural beauty. Its stunning location provides a unique microclimate, which has led to the development of lush landscaped grounds that provide an oasis of tranquility and beauty for guests to enjoy and relax.
Vrnjacka Banja – Location
Vrnjačka Banja is 200 km south of Belgrade in Central Serbia, set amongst the foothills of Goč Mountain to the south, east and west, and the Gledićke Mountain range to the north. Besides Goč (1,147m) and Kopaonik (2,017m), there are also the mountains of Željin (1,785m), Jastrebac (1,492m) and Stolovi (1,375m). The mountain area of Vrnjačka Banja is interlaced with green meadows and mountain streams that lead into the Zapadna Morava River. The rivers of Ibar on the west and Rasina to the east surround the spa’s idyllic setting.
Vrnjacka Banja – History
The beneficial effects of the Vrnjačka Banja spa’s springs have been known since the beginning of Christianity and a second century Roman Well can still be found on the site. The spa was upgraded in 1835 on the orders of Prince Miloš, who wanted the spa to rival the famous Czech spa at Karlovy Vary. In 1860 the spa saw further development with the opening of the first pool and apartments.
Vrnjacka Banja – Culture
Vrnjačka Banja and the nearby cities of Aleksandrovac and Trstenik are not only rich in nature, but also in culture. The region sits on the historic borders of empires and strategically important communication lines that have left many lasting influences such as historic monuments and centuries-old monasteries.
The monastery Žiča is the legacy of Serbian King Stefan Nemanjić, the First-Crowned, and was built between 1208 and 1230. In 1219, Žiča became the first seat of the Serbian Archbishopric. The church, dedicated to the Ascension of Our Lord, was decorated in the style of the Raška School and has Byzantine architectural attributes.
The UNESCO protected 12th century monastery of Studenica is the crowning jewel of medieval Serbia. Stefan Nemanja initiated construction in 1196 and under the guardianship of his third son Sava, the monastery became the political, cultural and spiritual center of the ancient nation. Once a complex of 15 buildings, only three remain, with well-preserved frescoes dating to 1209. Evidence of spiritual and monastic life of that era can be found in the rule-book known as the Typik, which was written by Sava as an account of St. Simon’s life.
Belimarković Castle was the 19th century summer home of the influential General Jovan Belimarković, young King Aleksandar Obrenović’s appointee prior to his coming of age. The castle, modeled after North Italian and Polish castles of the day, is Vrnjačka Banja’s oldest and most recognizable building. The Belimarković family lived in the castle until 1968, when it was purchased by the state and placed under its protection. It currently houses a museum with collections of archeological, ethnographic, historical, art and natural objects. The galleries of the museum containing original objects left to it by the Belimarković family offer an excellent opportunity to view both gilded and common Serbian life at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, while the art collection holds graphics, paintings and sculptures from the second half of the 20th century. Besides the museum, Belimarković Castle hosts chamber music concerts, theatrical presentations, lectures, summer schools and symposiums.
Vrnjacka Banja – Nature
The natural surrounding of Vrnjačka Banja includes wooded mountain slopes, meadows and pastures rich in wild flowers and herbs, and many types of wild animals and birds. The many parks and trails at Vrnjačka Banja are an ideal setting for walking, hiking and or simply relaxing outdoors.
Goč is rich in diverse flora created through the combination of an ideal climate and fertile land. Slopes are covered with thick beech and evergreen forests, vineyards, plum orchards and raspberry patches. Outdoor activities include hiking, walking, fishing, collecting forest fruits and many species of herbs, picnicking or trips to roadside stands selling local delicacies.