Name Knjazevac dates form 1859. And town got it after Prince Miloš Obrenović, Serbian ruler. Before that Ottoman rulers called it Gurgusovac. River Timok runs true it. Distance from Niš is about 60km, from Zaječar 40km. It is in Zaječar county, in eastern Serbia.
History of Knjazevac
First traces of settlement on this territory can be found from prehistoric times in cave drawings. Original name of this area was Tim aqua (Black water). First written traces were in second century when ancient chronicler was writing about it as part of Roman Mezia district. In that time there was a fortress in this area with same name as city in that time Timacum Minus. In 4th century maps town of Knaževac was named Timaco Maiori.
At the end of 14th century (1389) Ottomans conquered this area, and this city too.
Knjazevac and around
Around the town Knjazevac are mountains Tupižnica (1165 altitude), Tresibaba (787altitude) i Stara planina (2376altitude). This municipality is 4th large in Serbia with it’s territory, but the town is not so big. It has around thirty thousand inhabitants. Three rivers run through Knjazevac town, and the is one of the reasons for it’s nickname Little Venice. Three rivers are Svrljig and Trgovište Timok and the third is formed from this two White Timok. Part of Knjazevac are connected with seven bridges. Most famous of them is Stone bridge built in 1913. which was in that time longest stone bridge in Serbia.
Original look of the town can be seen in part called Stara čaršija ( Old town), by the river. Tourist attraction that can be seen here are Gurgusovac tower, Museum of Aca Stojanovic, St. George church, Dzervin tower. Next to Knjaževac is Vinary Dzervin, with long tradition and great vines. One of villages of Knjazeva, i village Stogazovac. It is famous that here is located rock formation called Serbian Metheora, similar to one in Greece. Here is Ždrelo gorge. And also ruins of Roman, Byzantine fortress Timacum Minus is near by. Museum of stone figures in Skrobnica is located also near Knjazevac.
Tourist attraction near Knjazevac
Rgoska spa is medical treatment location known even in Roman, Byzantine time. For it’s characteristics here is training ground for professional swimmers in winter time. As spa center Rgiska spa is specialized of breathing organs and spine problems, nerves diseases, rheumatism. Baranica, public river bath spot is located about 5km form Knjazevac town. It is favorite location of locals in summer days. It is on Trgoviski Timog river. Near by is Stara (Old) mountain 2169 meters of altitude, favorite in winter period. Highest top in southern and eastern Serbia is located on the mountain. And also it’s one of highest in the Balkans. One of favorite for hikers and skiers.
Bigar Waterfall Stara planina mountain
In the southern part of the Stara Planina, head towards Knjaževac, on the left side you will see a picnic area with a small cave. The Bigar waterfall is also located on that picnic area. Nearby (about 5 km) is the famous village of Kalna. Bigar waterfall si located on Stranjinac village territory. It is 32 km away from Pirot, and 35 km from Knjaževac. There is a large percentage of limestone in the river itself, so it was named after it. Above the waterfall, very close, there is a “pond”. Named by the locals Ludo vrelo (Crazy spring). Next to it is an old mill, which is no longer in operation. But the atmosphere is nice, because of the colors of the ponds. By the way, there were a dozen mills on this stream in the past. But they are no longer in function. In addition to these things, about 15 kilometers away is the monastery of St. Onfurije from the 15th century. By the way, this part of the Bigar stream belongs to the protected nature areas of the Bigar stream valley.
Saint Onfurije monastery
The monastery of St. Onfurije was built a long time ago. It is not known exactly when. But it is known to be mentioned for the first time in the 16th century, more precisely in 1576. It is located near the Bigarski waterfall. The record, the Psalter, in which this monastery is mentioned, is today in the Plovdiv library. Given the long existence and turbulent history of this part of Serbia, it should be said that it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. It was last renovated in 1868.
Photo by SawaCC BY-SA 3.0 ; Bigar waterfall credits to Gdin.Veljic