Kraljevo » Kraljevo | 77 WE LCOME TO KR A L J EVO From legends, via kings, to Maglič Kraljevo, a city with a rich history and culture, encompasses the territory onwhich the modern Serbian state was formed, which is why themonasteries of Žiča and Studenica are unavoidable tourist destinations Kraljevo is said to represent the heart of theRaškadistrict, as the administrative centre of this regionon the territoryof theSerbianmedieval state of the same name. That heart beats to the rhythm of the currents of the rivers Ibar, West Morava and Ribnica,while itsrightandleftventricles, the Kotlenik andGledićmountains, were formed in juxtaposition to the harsher massifs of the Stari Vlah and Kopaonikmountain ranges. Local children learn to ski on the gentle slopes of Mount Goč, while the steep slopes of Stolovo formthe Ibar Gorge. Thenameof thecitycomes from the belief that asmany as sevenmedieval Serbian rulers were crowned in thenearbyŽičaMonastery,which wasbuilt intheearly13th century, and that’swhy the city’s coat of arms features seven crowns. However, that number of coronations falls under thecategoryof legend, giventhat the monastery’s main church, which is devoted to the Ascension of Christ, provided the scene for the crowning of Stefan the First-Crowned and his sons Radoslav, Vladislav andUroš I, aswell as his grandson, Dragutin, all of whom belonged to the Nemanjić dynasty, according to Kraljevo National Museum curator Ljubiša Simović. “The intention of the builder, StefantheFirst-Crowned,was for Žiča tobecomea royal church,which iswhy the colourof the façade ispurple,” explains Simović. There are also legends linked to the section of the Ibar Valley to the southofKraljevothat’sknownas the Valley of Lilacs, because King Uroš I purportedly planted this fragrant plant here in an effort to “compensate for the homeland” of his wife Helen of Anjou - France, where lilacs bloomed in profusion during the 13th century. This legend also led to the creation of the Lilac Days event, which is today linked to the annualMaglič Fest. And Maglič is another partly legendary structure, given that it’s not knownwith certainty when the castle was erected atop a steep hill. “It is considered to have been built in the 11th century, as a Byzantine fortification, while the earliest written records confirm that it was the seatofArchbishopDaniloII,”addsSimović. And this locale returns to the way it looked in bygone times every September, whena knights’ tournaments isheldunder the scopeof this event dedicated to Maglič. Slightly further to the south stands StudenicaMonastery, which owes its renown to the fact that it was used to promote a new style of architecture and construction, the Raška style, which was authentic and differed from the pre-existing Byzantine style. Studenica contains the relics of its founder, Stefan Nemanja, and thoseof StefantheFirstCrowned, while themonastery is also included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Every Kraljevo native will also recommendthatguestsvisit theVrnjačka, Mataruška and Bogutovačka spas, where they are awaited by spa treatments in mineral waters with healing properties that have been known since Roman times. When it comes to the overall tourist offer, however, the standout event is the ‘Veliki spust’ [GreatDescent], downstream along the river Ibar from Maglič to Kraljevo. While you’re in the city itself, don’t miss out on the scene on Serbian Warriors Square, which is said tohavebeen thepersonal brainchild of Prince Miloš. A recognisable urbangridrepresents averitable trademark of Kraljevo and distinguishes it from other Serbian cities, while there is also the Monument to Serbian Warriors, as a tribute to those who fell in the wars that raged from 1912 to 1918. Visit the Hotel Paris, whichwas built around1881 and represented the heart of Kraljevo’s cultural and political life in the period prior to World War II. There’s a lot of beauty for you to enjoy in and around this city, while testifying to thewelcoming temperament of the people of Kraljevo is themottoon the city’s coat of arms: ‘Good for us, and harm for none’, which reflects the traditional hospitality of the city’s inhabitants, who are open to both those in need and newcomers seeking a good time. Okamenjena šuma na brdu Lojanik svedoči o nekadašnjoj vulkanskoj aktivnosti u području The petrified forest on Lojanik hill testifies to the former volcanic activity of this area