Suva Planina and Vidojevica Mountains, April - May 2012.

Mountains of Serbia are amazingly different in their geological composition, and we can see this in their morphology as well. An additional interesting fact is that most of the time you do not need to travel far (approx. 30-50km) for the landscape to change. Let's take southern-central Serbia as an example:

- Jastrebac Mountain - Long compact horst structure typical for strong fault uprising. Old Precambrian gneiss base rock, massive layer of green schists, interesting intrusive bodies (caldera of an extinct volcano)
- Kopaonik Mountain - Very long ridge and an amazing mix of many types of metamorphic and igneous rocks together with some sediments
- Vidojevica Mountain - Star shaped connected ridges with gentle slopes, old Precambrian gneiss, quartz and feldspar bearing rocks, rare earth mineral content
- Radan Mountain - Cupola shaped extrusive body, massive andesite crust layer (Miocene) covering the bedrock
- Suva Planina - Heavily eroded compact sediment body, limestone rock (Cretaceous) with prominent karst features

Suva Planina is an amazing sight of natural rock erosion. It is predominantly formed of porous limestone rock (mountain name translation is "Dry Mountain", because in such karst areas most water springs are located at very low altitudes). This erected, compact sediment deposit has been heavily eroded on its northern side, leaving a wide valley crisscrossed with water streams and two sharp ridges on its sides. Southwestern ridge is the most prominent, where the highest peak of the mountain is located (Trem, 1810m). The slope under this peak facing the valley is almost vertical and over 500m high at some places.

Vidojevica is a very old mountain, its Precambrian rocks have been eroded and crushed by numerous orogenesis for eons and have gentle slopes today. Now this fertile rock base is covered in dense deciduous forest of oak and birch. Vidojevica rocks contain many different igneous minerals like muscovite, biotite, quartz and various feldspars and gemstones. Vidojevački Krš, the only exposed rock on this mountain was once used as a mine for such minerals. The Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade has built its remote observing station on the highest peak of this mountain (Mrljački Vis (a.k.a. Bandera), 1154m).

Rainbow from the Outskirts of Brzi Brod Village

Rainbow from the Outskirts of Brzi Brod Village

Nature does not choose the place to show its magnificence.

Roman Settlement of Mediana Near Niš City (VR)

Roman Settlement of Mediana Near Niš City (VR)

Niš is one of the oldest Balkan cities, standing at the junction of natural passages literally between all four sides of the world. The first inhabitants date back from the Iron Age. Romans named it Naissus and set it up as a base for their operations between 170 BC and 443 AD when it was destroyed by Atila. Mediana was set up as an Imperial Villa by Constantine the Great roughly around 315 AD and was used until 443 AD. Today it contains some well preserved Roman mosaics, together with many identified and partly reconstructed structures. Mediana was added to the Archaeological Sites of Exceptional Importance list in 1979.


Mediana, Roman mosaicMediana, Villa with the PeristyleMedianaMediana, granary and other storehousesMediana, reconstruction of the grain holding jars
Ćele Kula (Skull Tower) in Niš City

Ćele Kula (Skull Tower) in Niš City

This is one of the most famous monuments of the ruthless Turkish rule over Serbia. The battle of Čegar led by Stevan Sinđelić took place as part of the First Serbian Uprising in 1809, but was unsuccessful due to the far stronger Turkish forces and strategic errors. Huršid Paša ordered a tower to be built using the heads of the killed Serbs, to serve as a warning to all those that opposed the Ottoman Empire. It consisted of 952 heads and was placed along the main road entering the city. The monument was badly damaged by Bulgarians during WWII when many skulls were smashed. The skull which is thought to belong to Stevan Sinđelić was kept in a nearby monastery, and is displayed in a separate case today.


Ćele Kula (Skull Tower)Ćele Kula (Skull Tower)Ćele Kula (Skull Tower)Ćele Kula (Skull Tower)Ćele Kula (Skull Tower)
Jelašnička Klisura Entrance (VR)

Jelašnička Klisura Entrance (VR)

This is a small gorge of the Studena river between the villages of Jelašnica and Čukljenik. Apart from natural karst features and a small waterfall, it is home to some endemic species of flora.


Jelašnička KlisuraJelašnička KlisuraJelašnička KlisuraJelašnička KlisuraJelašnička Klisura, Suva Planina
Jelašnička Klisura Panorama (VR)

Jelašnička Klisura Panorama (VR)

From the right slopes above the gorge.


Jelašnička KlisuraJelašnička KlisuraJelašnička KlisuraJelašnička KlisuraJelašnička Klisura waterfallSuva Planina, ascent from Bojanine VodeSuva Planina, ascent from Bojanine VodeSuva Planina, Trem peakSuva Planina, ascent from Bojanine VodeSuva Planina, Devojački Grob saddle and the Trem peakSuva Planina, Sokolov Kamen peakSuva PlaninaSuva Planina, view towards Stara PlaninaSuva Planina, Trem peakSuva Planina, Trem peak
Trem Peak Panorama (VR)

Trem Peak Panorama (VR)

The highest peak of Suva Planina, Trem (Golemi Kamen) 1810m.


Suva Planina, Niš citySuva Planina, Stara Planina (Midžor peak)Suva PlaninaSuva PlaninaSuva Planina
Sokolov Kamen Peak Panorama (VR)

Sokolov Kamen Peak Panorama (VR)

The second prominent peak on the main ridge, Sokolov Kamen 1552m.


Suva PlaninaSuva Planina, Trem peakSuva Planina, Trem peak
Mrljački Vis (a.k.a. Bandera) Peak Panorama (VR)

Mrljački Vis (a.k.a. Bandera) Peak Panorama (VR)

The highest peak of Vidojevica mountain, 1154m. Ahead the Radan mountain can be seen.

Vidojevica 60cm Cassegrain Telescope Dome Panorama (VR)

Vidojevica 60cm Cassegrain Telescope Dome Panorama (VR)

This installation was still in testing phase at the time of this writing. Tuning of the instrument and auxillary equipment outdoors will be finished soon and all cables will be removed from the floor. It's good to know that students of the Universities of Belgrade and Niš will have a working instrument just 3 hours drive (or one hour in case of Niš) from their cities.


VidojevicaVidojevicaVidojevicaVidojevicaVidojevicaVidojevica, JastrebacVidojevica, ProkupljeVidojevicaVidojevicaVidojevica
Vidojevački Krš (Kamen) Peak Panorama (VR)

Vidojevački Krš (Kamen) Peak Panorama (VR)

This is the only exposed rock on this mountain, it offers a nice view of the Toplica valley and the surrounding mountains Kopaonik and Jastrebac.


VidojevicaVidojevicaVidojevicaVidojevicaVidojevica, my telescope getting ready for the night skyVidojevicaVidojevicaVidojevicaVidojevicaVidojevica