Where is Vučje

Vučje is part of territory of City of Leskovac. Early traces of history can be found from 6th century and Justiniana Prima who marked all territory near Leskovac. After that period Slavs conquered it and stayed till today. When they came, they founded village Bučje (later named Vučje). It was part of The Great Serbia state in 12th century. After that, rulers here changed and followed change of government in Leskovac. Great place to go and see for relaxing and as history travel. Only thing of this kind in whole country, not only in southern Serbia. Much as rare in the world.

electricplant Vucije, river Vucijanka, electricity production, Hydro power plant Vucje south Serbia

Power plant in Vucje and river Vucjanka

In the town of Vučje, can be found hydroelectric plant made in 1903. Probably is one of first in the world, and for sure second oldest in Serbia. And it continued production of electricity till today, and can be visited as tourist attraction. It is by itself curiosity. Because from it to the town of Leskovac is first transmission line in Serbia. Milestones of can be found first transmission of hydroelectric plant Vučje. In vicinity of plant hydroelectric plant Vučje, can be found accommodation Hotel Vlajna, on Kukavica mountain, for people who like nature and beautiful waterfall. Today that hotel is closed. Power plant in Vučje started to work on 25th anniversary of Leskovac liberation day, 24.12.1903. Near this place is first Balkan textile museum, located in Strojkovice village.

Vucjanka river canyon and Djoka’s whirpool

Djoka’s whirlpool are two whirlpools located in Vucjanka river.They are very near Hydro power plant Vucje. Djoka’s whirlpool consists of two parts. Upper and lower whirlpool. This part, is the favorite part of the river, for locals. Because it is used for summer cooling of. The biggest problem is that this part of the river is unregulated and unsafe. Djoka’s whirlpool are located in Vucjanka canyon, that is 2 kilometers long. It starts from the peak Kitko (988 meters altitude) and goes all the way to peak Samaric (619 meters altitude). In part where whirlpools are, canyon is narrowes.

Upper whirlpool is 15 meters wide, and deep 2.5 meters. It is around 5 meters wide. Lower whirlpool is about 20 meters wide. Long around 10, and deep around 4,5 meters.

Vucjanka Canyon is a canyon on the river of the same name and in the valley of the same name. It is located not far from Leskovac on the mountains Kukavica. Below the Vucjanka canyon there is another pot in the river, Devkazan. This is the largest pot of the Vučjanka river. It’s bigger than Dojika’s whirlpools.

Saint John the Baptist church in Vucje

St. John the Baptist church in village Vucje was built in 1932. On foundation of much older church from middle ages and ruling of Duke Nikola Skobaljic. For it’s rebuilding, stone from surrounding ares was used, and architect was architect Samoilov. He was part of Russian Octobar revolution refugees in Serbia. Frescoes are painted jet another Russian, Petar Suhacev. Fro this original icons only one is still there. Others are, due the deterioration, are repainted in 201. Church is Foundation of Teokarevic family, and it is officialy opened in 7.7.1938. That is the date when it is St.Jonh Selebration, the celebration of Vucje.

Skobaljić Grad (Zelen grad fortress) near Vucje

Skobaljić Grad (translated form Serbian Skobaljic town or City) was named after one of the last Serbian territory defense leaders in 15th century. He fought against the Ottomans in the Middle Ages,  the Duke Nikola Skobaljić. His fortress was named Zelen grad (which means Green town). This locality is located on about 16 kilometers from Leskovac, and about 5 from Vucje. After his defeat and falling in 1454, Leskovac valley fell under Ottoman ruling. As a result, period of prosperity of this area ending the centuries-long period of construction and the revival of the city-fortress stopped. The fortress itself was destroyed. Archeological findings let us now that this fortress was built on foundation of previous fortress, probably from 10 century. Some findings say that here the fortress was built the early Byzantine period. It was stronghold in the time of Emperor Justinian II.. And first people were here even in copper age.

This legendary hero and Duke of Dubocica territory is important because he was persistent in his fighting with Ottoman invaders till his end. He fought 24.9.1454 with his soldiers won the battle against Ottoman empire. After that battle, Sultan Muhamed II and his army came for second battle and revenge. New battle was on the mountain Trepanja. Nikola Skobaljic was captured in battle 16.11.1454. and executed. There is saying that he is first Serbian that was put on spike by Ottomans. His fortress tried to put resistance but was destroyed at the end. Even thou, the fortress was very strong and was fortification in two parts, that can be seen on today’s remains. Skobaljic town consisted from two parts, Upper and Lower.

That was time of building and development of Skobaljic town – fortress and around. Fortress was initially made in Roman time, Byzantine time. In time of Emperor Justinian II, it was very strong military fortification. Another name for this fortress was Green town. It is located on about 150meters above Vucjanka river.

Legend of Nikola Skobaljic

About this famous militray commander from Dubocica territory there is one legend. For his mortar death, he got legend right away. People day he wasn’t born as everyone else. Skobaljic was born by some girl in local village. But she got pregnant buy eating fish, Common nase. In Serbian Skobalj, which was his last name, means Common nase. He was so wise that he couldn’t get caught, unless he was betrayed. By that legend he was not caught and killed, but he jumped on his horse and flew away.

Vucje and mountain Kukavica are the most beautiful tourist attraction of this area. It is often the starting point of the hiking routes. While target point Vucjanka canyon and mountain Kukavica. In addition it’s about 17km away from Leskovac.

Textile Museum Strojkovice

The village of Strojkovce is located next to Vučje. 11 kilometers from Leskovac. A textile museum located here, some 30 kilometers from the Kukavica mountain. This is the place where the river Veternica got another tributary, the Nakrivanjska river. But that is certainly not the most important thing. Why is Strojkovica important? The city of Leskovac was once known as the Serbian Manchester. This village used to be, as it is now, known for its enterprising inhabitants. Apart from the Hydro power plant that existed in the village, there were some other things.

The first cord factory was founded here in 1884, “Braća Teokarević”. This factory was transferred to Leskovac in 1896. But it is certainly considered that this is the beginning of the textile industry in Serbia. In this museum you can also see the beginnings of the Serbian textile industry. The inventory and everything in the museum is authentic. Also, you can see the original way of making a cord at that time. By the way, the museum is located in a building that was previously a mill. The river that flows here is used for the production of braids. The building was purchased for the museum in 1954 and renovated. Things that are from that time are entered. Since 1980, this building has been a cultural asset and enjoys the protection of the Republic of Serbia.

Strojkovce Leskovac museum, textile production beginning in Serbia

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Photos are by Mickey Mystique CC BY 4.0 ; Textile museum Strojkovce credits Museum Leskovac