70 | Novi Pazar » Novi Pazar MY NOV I PA Z AR : F ROM T HE P EN OF AU T HOR ENES HA L I LOV I Ć Our nature is the jewellery of thisworld Inviting people to visit the Novi Pazar region is nothing strange, because travellers and passersby have always come to this valley, between the mountains, to see, hear, buy and try food from a rich spread Behind physical matters exists spirit. Every year for decades,more thana hundred thousand tourists have visited Novi Pazar, which has also been visited by many travel writers throughout its long and rich history.The nature that a traveller sees here is the jewellery of thisworld. Located in the immediate and further surroundings are a total of sixteen mountains: Rogozna, Crniš,Mojstirsko, Draški, Hajla, Turijak, Žilindar, Jarut,Ninaja, Giljeva, Ozren, Jadovnik, Zlatar, Javor, Golija and Vinik. And then there‘s the Pešter Plateau, which is known far and wide. Long ago, when my cousin drove cattle toThessaloniki, amerchant askedhimif it was possible to ride a horse on snow on the Pešter Plateau, and then dismount inNovi Pazar and encounter people sitting in front of teahouseswith their sleeves rolled up. My cousin confirmed this climatic phenomenon, which didn‘t surprise him. There, nestledon the Pešter Plateau, is also the village of Karajukića Bunari, the coldest inhabited place in Europe. The Novi Pazar area has been inhabited since the Stone Age and the Iron Age. It has the ancient fortresses of Ras and Jeleč, the oldest church in the Balkans, Peter‘s Church, themonasteries ofĐurđevi Stupovi and Sopoćani, andbetween the villages of Postenje and Dolovi stands the westernmost fortress of Bulgarian Tsar Samuel. In the city itself are the Kula motrilja [watchtower] and the Bedem [Ramparts], as well as the Altun-AlemMosque – a work of famous mason MuslihudinAbdul Gani, theHamamand the Amir-agin han (inn). Not far from Ras Fortress is a marketplace that was once home to merchants from Dubrovnik, including among them the father of Ruđer Bošković. The city was most likely established sometime before 1461. Its founderwasOttomanmilitary leader Isa-beg Isaković, who previously foundedSkopje, then later Sarajevo. Today we can talk about the R I TAM SRBI JE / RHYTHM OF SERBIA Nemojte doći u Novi Pazar, a da ne probate nadaleko čuvene mantije / Don’t come to Novi Pazar and fail to try its widely renowned manti dumplings