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6 reasons to visit Obedska Bara

Srem is widely known as flat and tame. True, but it is also colourful, a bit mischievous and always surprising. It has hidden all sorts of beauties, but it is particularly proud of its gem of exceptional natural values, inhabited by unusual animals. On our way to the main destination through the suburban settlements of Belgrade, we also explore some interesting places suitable if you want either to escape the city’s bustle or to go on a longer vacation.

Srem, Obedska bara

Why visit Obedska Bara

1. Because the nautical village “Biser” is a gem on the Sava River

About 30 km from the capital, in the settlement of Boljevci, rests the first nautical village in Serbia, Biser. Along the left bank of the Sava River, there are 16 lined up raft-houses that resemble a coastal string of pearls. They are furnished with air-conditioning, a bathroom with shower tubs with massagers, a covered terrace and an upper terrace showing a beautiful view while you are enjoying the sun. In the vicinity, there is a boat-restaurant which,in addition to the specialties of Srem, offers fish dishes. Visitors can compete in beach volleyball and football, walk in the nearby dense forest, and ride a bike along a well-arranged path. There is also a small playground built for children. You can use city transport or your own vehicle to reach the nautical village, as well as boats which will sail and anchor in the port.

Not far away, in the village of Progar, there is the famous Tarzan beach. It was named after a long rope, a liana hanging from a tree, daring the bold ones to enthusiastically jump into the water. Therefore, do not be afraid if you hear a scream similar to the famous roar of the jungle king. The surroundings are also reminiscent of the “jungle” with lush greenery and flowers.

By the way, the bathing area is arranged, it has concreted banks with a pontoon, restaurant, swings, and seesaws for kids, and hammocks stretched between the trees for real relaxation in the style of the cartoon hero Goofy. The Sava River is too wide and strong here, so it requires caution.

2. Because the forest of Bojčin is a natural monument

From the river, we rush into a green oasis, an excursion site of diverse contents. The forest of Bojčin is located between the Sava River and the canals of the Jarčina River. Due to its peculiarities, it was declared a protected natural monument in 1965. It also has historical significance because during the two world wars it provided shelter for the locals and soldiers. Some of the dugouts and catacombs have been preserved to this day.

The forest, which expands over approximately 630 hectares, is dominated by a pedunculate oak, as well as by a hornbeam, linden, and poplar. It is rich in various plant species and mushrooms, so you may run into ramsons, and in the spring you may enjoy eating wild strawberries. There is quite a number of animals, and if you are lucky, you might come across a rabbit or a roebuck. In addition to roaming the woods, real recreationists can test their skills on 16 obstacles and devices set along a two-kilometer-long trim track.

Bojčinska šuma

At the entrance, there is a large manege of the Bojčin Equestrian Club where skilled riders show off, and a little further there is a small manege for beginners. This is where newcomers meet horses and learn to ride. Several log cabins have been set up around the area with the appropriate amenities for those who want to spend a few days in quiet and peaceful nature. After exciting walks and time spent with horses, you should refresh yourself in the restaurant Bojčinska koleba, which successfully preserves the spirit of old Srem. When you taste its dishes, especially those made of the Mangalica, time stops, the hosts say.

Konjički klub Bojčin

3. Because Obedska Bara is the oldest protected value of Europe

It was declared a protected area back in 1874, only two years after the Yellowstone in the USA was declared a national park. It has been known in Europe since the mid-19th century. The Austro-Hungarian rulers would go hunting there and give their ladies unusual, colourful feathers, which were then a must in fashion.

It was named after the nearby Obed monastery, known among the people as the Church of Mother Angelina (Branković). Originally, it was built from the material of a ship she sailed on happily, the legend says. Today it is a special nature reserve, which covers more than 9,800 hectares. It is one of the richest and most preserved habitats of the living world in the Pannonian Basin. It provides settlement for 226 species of birds, 50 species of mammals, 13 species of amphibians, 12 species of reptiles, and is the only habitat of glossy ibis in Serbia. Carp, pike, and crucian carp are enjoying the water, while wild boars, deer, and hedgehogs are walking around, and the black stork nestles in impassable oak forests.

Pecanje na Obedskoj bari

The park is appropriately arranged for rest, with its wooden tables, benches, and fireplaces, where kettles are used and barbecues are made. The necessary wood is stored – cut and neatly stacked. You come here for a whole day of socializing, and relaxation. If you are still up for some action, you can rent a bike or paddle boat to cruise and go fishing on your own, walk the marked paths, or watch the birds. Be sure to climb the lookout to enjoy the view.

A visit to Obedska Bara is incomplete without a catamaran ride. The captain is friendly and eager to share with us some of the secrets of the swamp-forest space.

He lovably starts his story of the food chain, on whose top there is the main predator here, the white-tailed eagle, or rather its female. He also mentions a yellow-crowned night heron, which people call “danguba”, because it can stand in the same place for hours and not move. He presents us with plants and vegetation, angry with the algae that have grown in recent years due to low water levels. There is a continuous croaking sound in the background. It is a reedbird, a small orange bird. That is, he says, how they call one another, call out, quarrel, chat. We have not seen them, but we have seen some turtles. Not each of them manages to hide well. Along the way, the captain reveals the dangers of a nearby forest that hides the quicksand. He emphasizes that you can walk through that forest only on marked paths. He recalls how this terrible sand was indeed of great help to the Serbian army in the Great War.

Namely, after the Battle of Cer, the people who knew this region well managed to lead the Austro-Hungarian soldiers to the quicksand that swallowed up the entire enemy cavalry. A little heroic and wise history never hurts. As you cruise this strange realm, be quiet. Observe and listen carefully. Everything sings here.


6 reasons to visit Obedska Bara

4. Because the village of Kupinovo was a despotic neighborhood

Only in Srem, which carries this title, and at the same time the last Serbian despotic capital, the locals proudly say. This is evidenced by the remains of the fortress of Kupinik. Written sources mention it at the end of the XIV century. It was erected on a small island and was surrounded by a defensive trench and five towers. Its history is turbulent. The fortress was the residence of despot Stefan Lazarević, and later on of nobles of the Branković family. This is where Vuk Branković, also known as Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk, female despot Angelina, and the last Serbian despot Stefan Berislavić, lived. It was conquered and destroyed in 1521 during the march on Belgrade by Turkish Sultan Suleiman.

Archaeological research has only recently begun, so no one can imagine what can be found. Before going on a tour of the fortress, consult the TO staff of the Municipality of Pećinci. Young and cordial people will guide you in detail on all the secrets and traps of the medieval fortress. They welcome you to the ethno-park Kupinovo, the oldest preserved part of the village, where a traditional farmhouse and grassy and flower garden are presented. You will see old furniture and furnishings, a small wooden house without windows (“vajat”), a barn more than 200 years old, and a well. Be sure to climb up to the observation deck, from where the view of the fairytale, wild environment begins.

They thought of kids as well. A swimming pool with sand was built for archaeological games, and the brave ones can be photographed with the Dragon of Kupinik. How? That is what you will find out at the visit. A photo with a being with wings is certainly the most imaginative way to perpetuate the encounter with Kupinovo.

Selo Kupinovo

The oldest part of the ethno-park is the Church of Saint Luke, the most ancient Orthodox temple in Vojvodina, erected in the middle of the XV century. It is the endowment of despot Đurađ Branković, and the iconostasis was painted by the famous baroque artist Jakov Orfelin in the last decades of the XVIII century. In the surrounding villages, there are several more preserved buildings of folk architecture that are worth a visit.

Across from the ethno-park there is a restaurant with a terrace under good shade. We are also tempted by a song that is greatly sung, but we must move on, to arrive at another special place on time.

5. Because the Serbian museum of bread reveals the spirit of the people

Bread has always been more than food for the Serbs. Made up of a handful of wheat grains, it is a symbol of unity, and after being made by skilled hands, it is broken and divided, thus representing a common life. The Serbian museum of bread – Jeremija was founded in 1995 by the painter Slobodan Jeremić, out of love for his own heritage. In the area of 1200 square meters, about 2000 objects are exhibited, classified into three thematic collections: ethnographic, archaeological, and fine arts. They were collected during the painter’s travels around the country, during which he also researched and recorded customs. The setting shows the way of the wheat grains “from the earth, across the bread, to heaven”, revealing how the bread was once made, its significance and symbolism, but it also tells about people and their customs and a way of living.

Most of the exhibited objects can be touched, they are not under glass, because the controlled dust is an integral part of the museum, the founder explains. Some of them even start to work, and with the sound of a hand-held threshing machine, which is about 200 years old, cracking machine and millstone you can travel to the distant past. You can also see a bread baking oven, a hearth and a military kitchen.

The collection of ceremonial breads is particularly interesting, a rich testimony to spirituality and different customs. Family patron’s day, wedding, all soul’s day and harvest bread, cakes, Christmas ritual bread (“česnica”), Christmas figural bread laws (“zakončići”) are presented…

The walk further leads to the room where the host’s pieces of art are displayed. They are great. The founder also created a church, dedicated to Serbian fame, which he painted personally. On the wall in front of the chapel the rulers of the Nemanjić family are painted, inside on the dome are Serbian saints, and on the sides old Slavic goddesses and gods.

It was nominated for the 2017 European Museum of the Year Award. It is open for visitors on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It can be considered as another artwork of Jeremija. Magnificent and unique. As our mindful people would say, “He is as good as bread”.

6. Becuse on their way back, many people refresh themselves at PS Gazprom Krnješevci

After a day of strolling through Srem, our four-wheeler is running out of gas, and so are we. We are going to the PS Krnješevci on the Belgrade – Šid highway where we will all “recharge”. While the kind fuel attendant at the petrol station takes care of the vehicle, we quickly choose our food. Drive Cafe burger made of pure beef, with cheddar cheese, and lettuce well packed in a soft roll, with hot fries. And a freshly made sandwich with cream and roast meat to replace the missed flavours of Srem. It is working, almost completely.

NIS Burger

Let us drink Jazak spring water of different tastes. Everyone has their own favorite. We end the adventure with a sweet bite. Strudel is gone, but cheesecake will do – with raspberry topping. A novice in an already rich offer of candies. Bingo. We could do another round, but you have to pay attention to your figure, summer is coming.

NIS Petrol Čizkejk


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