Medieval Serbian history is still preserved in the village of Borač, which is located in the heart of Šumadija. From the plain Gruž rises magnificent karst on which are the remains of the old town where the Serbs took refuge from the enemy.
Some historians say that at that time Borač had more inhabitants than London, and over the centuries, emperors, kings and lords lived there. According to archeological research, the city is about two thousand years old, and the Serbs built it on Roman foundations.
“Stefan Lazarević, who signed a free trade agreement with the people of Dubrovnik, contributed the most to the construction of this city and its glory. The city was divided into three parts, the upper for the nobleman, the middle for the then officials and the army and the lower for the population “, said Mladen Novaković, a religious teacher and a good connoisseur of the history of the village of Borač, for RINA.
“Legend has it that there were so many houses that a cat could jump from roof to roof from the rubble all the way to lower Gruž as far as it stretched,” he says.
Serbian village on the world map
Around this famous Serbian city, the great powers of that time fought. It was a military-strategic stronghold, and due to its geographical position, it was considered an invincible fortress for a long time. The fact that a Venetian cartographer drew it on the map of the world also shows how important it was.
“With its altitude of over 500 meters, it was the dominant point in this whole area. According to the legend, it was named after the exceptional fighting spirit of the local population. It was not only a military but also a spiritual and trade center. “Grain and wool were produced here, cattle were traded, but also church books were written”, says Mladen.
“At that time, there were two monasteries and nine churches in Borači. In the center of the village, the oldest one is still preserved, from 1359, which is recognizable by its authentic iconography, because the Holy Warriors are painted in the middle, which is a symbol of the locals, “he added.
The unique cemetery in the Balkans
In front of the church, on the path that leads to the top of Borački karst, there is a cemetery that is unique in the Balkans in terms of the shape and number of monuments. This is another proof that Borač used to be full of people.
The cemetery covers an area of about half a hectare, and several hundred monuments rise on it, stećak tombstones called “kapačari” because of their unique top. The stone was procured in the squares of Boracki karst, and they were built by skilled local masters “, said the religious teacher from this village in Šumadija.
“Although time has taken its toll, it is clear that all these monuments were originally made in strong colors, which was probably a fascinating picture. “Certain markings can also be seen on the monuments, if a lumberjack is buried, then an ax, if he is a soldier, then a nail clipper,” he explained.
Although he resisted the enemy for a long time, Borač fell under the Turks in 1438, and although they conquered the city, they did not use it.
Today, only the ruins that speak of the glorious past and the great battles fought in this area remain in that place. Veteran Karst has been declared a Monument of Nature and is under state protection.
It is visited annually by thousands of people who are fascinated by the specific rocks of volcanic origin, but also by the rich history of this area.