Belgraders’ favorite picnic destination, and once a powerful stronghold of civilizations lost and found in this land, Avala has always provoked curiosity both of explorers and people living in its shadow. Thanks to its unique appearance Avala inspired numerous legends about its secret mine shafts, fortresses and mystical powers in which residents of this truly unique mountain believed. The best hidden hallways reaching deep in the mountain’s womb reveal its magical nature.
At the top you will be welcomed by a symbol of Belgrade and its surroundings – the Avala Tower. New tower rise 204,8 meters, just like its predecessor and it was opened on April 21st, 2010, just beneath the location of the old tower that was destroyed in 1999 during the NATO bombing. It gives you a spectacular view on the entire Belgrade and the surrounding area from a cafe at the top that can be reached by two elevators.
A few minutes’ walk from the Tower is the Monument to the Unknown Hero. It is a monumental complex with 8 caryatids at the entrance, in national costumes, representing the unity of all nationalities in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. It was work of the famous sculptor Ivan Meštrović. The monument was opened on June 28th, 1938, and it is located at the place where once the medieval city of Žrnov stood.
The last traces of the city were destroyed in 1934 with dynamite in two days by the order of King Aleksandar I Karadjordjević in order to clear the plateau for the monument of such importance for Yugoslavia, a state formed a few years before.
The Slavic name of the fortress was changed by Turks into “Havala” meaning “a place, a high ground that dominates the surroundings”, after which the entire mountain was named Avala.
With the arrival of the Roman Empire Avala became an important mining site where ores of lead, silver, iron, and mercury. Today the mountain still abounds with mineral treasure even though old mines are long time closed, and just like those ancient mining pioneers, today’s miners still keep surprising us with new discoveries. Also, in Avala mines, an entirely new mineral was discovered – Avalit, and we can only imagine what further discoveries are hidden in centuries’ old mines of Avala.
Avala is located at only 14 km from the city center, and you can easily get to Avala by your own transportation or by using public transportation, but to the top of Avala you’ll have to walk, while on weekends and holidays buses will take you to the top of Avala every half hour.
Don’t miss the walk to the nursery garden, one of the first nurseries in Serbia, where surrounded by the incredible ambience of lavish floral avenues and plants you can enjoy the day out in the nature.
For those who want to spend a day out and have a barbeque it possible at the marked places.