Ivanjica: The beauty of tranquility
Although it is a major town of the upper Moravica region, Ivanjica (alt. 468 m) is actually a sleepy and small settlement, best known for its clean air and the beauty of its mountainous surroundings
Although it is a major town of the upper Moravica region, Ivanjica (alt. 468 m) is actually a sleepy and small settlement, best known for its clean air and the beauty of its mountainous surroundings. Until the early 19th century, this whole area wasn’t even on the map – without any towns and just a few caravan routes across rough terrain. In 1833 the area was taken over by Prince Miloš Obrenović, who decided to build a town around a Turkish inn called Kušića han. The name of the town derives from the sallow tree (iva), much praised for its healing powers, which grew around the inn. Ivanjica’s remoteness from any major road or town became proverbial over the years, when government clerks, who fell into disfavour with the authorities for some reason or the other, were transferred to serve here. The town and the wider area are now better known for their brand-name potatoes – Ivanjički krompir.
Kušića han still stands in the middle of the town. It was built at the beginning of 19th century in a typical style of the Dinaric alpine wooden cottage. Next to it stands the newly erected monument to Dragoljub “Draža” Mihailović who was the commander of the royalist during the German occupation in WWII and a native of the town.
Facing the han is the old church (dedicated to Saints Emperor Constantine and Empress Helen), built in 1836-38 under the auspices of Prince Miloš. Despite its tall belfry, the church leaves an impression of serene and rural beauty. Most of the icons and the wall-paintings are the work of Dimitrije Posinković.
The town park spreads out behind the church. The old electric plant built in 1911 stands across the river Moravica creating an artificial waterfall, one of the town’s landmarks. The plant was made into a museum of technology, but it still produces enough electrical current to light up the park.
South of the town rises the beautiful and virginal Mt Golija (1833 m), protected by UNESCO and famed for its lovely forests and small mountain lakes.
The villages around Ivanjica are well known locations for rural tourism. The most celebrated among them is Kušići (900 m), 12 km southwest from the town, with a hotel, boarding houses and a small ski track. Lisa, Devići and Katići also offer suitable accommodation in local households.