Rhythm of city » Ritamgrada | 57 AVA L A Belgrade’s most beautiful observation point At only 511 metres tall, it’s just over the boundary that separatesahill fromamountain, which is why the Turks called it “Havala” (a lookout point, a rise that dominates its surroundings), and that’s why it’s today called Avala. e credit for the alternative name of the Watchtower, which it was also dubbed, belongs to the former fortification that was built on its highest point during the Middle Ages. Žrnov towered over the city like a guardian, although today its contours can only be imagined. Our mountain is known around the world for its characteristic blue-green mineral, which is unique anywhere in the world and is named Avalit after themountain. It is preserved in the collection of rare minerals at the Museum of Natural History. Among lovers of the treasures of nature, it is known for its 600 plant species, some of which are very rare and some very medicinal, but also high forests and eight clean water mountain springs. InSerbia, however, Avala is best known for its tower, which– froma height of 202.8metres –has been telling generations of Belgraders fromafar that they’ve arrived home since it became operational in 1965. One of the most beautiful TV towers in Europe, it was destroyed in the bombing in 1999, and until 2010 – when it rose proudly above Avala again – we were left without one of our favourite landmarks indicating that we’re home. As a symbol of rebirth, it was erected anew, now two metres taller than its predecessor, and is open to visitors every day exceptMondays. ere youwill enjoy the magnificent views that extends over the whole of Belgrade and the surrounding area from the café-restaurant at the top, which can be accessed using one of two lifts. Just a fewminutes’walkfromthe Tower is the very top of the mountain and the monumental lane surrounded by rich greenery that reveals another important building - the famousMonument to the Unknown Hero on Avala, which was erected on the site of the old town of Žrnov on the holiday of Vidovdan, 28th June, 1938. e work of famous sculptor Ivan Meštrović, it was designed in the neoclassical style in the form of a Greek temple. e mausoleum of an unknown fallen soldier fromWorld War I is guarded at the entrance by monumental pillars, caryatids in folk costumes that symbolise the mothers of soldiers and the united peoples of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In the vicinity of the Čarapićev brest mountain lodge, don’t miss out on visiting two monuments – one dedicated to Karađorđe’s duke, Vaso Čarapić, but also the Monument to Soviet war veterans. Or just come to enjoy the natural beauty of this mountain that’s so important to the inhabitants of Belgrade. Just be careful, because when you’ve been once you’ll definitely feel the need to return. It’s very easy to fall in love with our Avala. Just twenty-odd kilometres fromthe city centre, posing high above Belgrade, is Avala, the city’s green guard, the oasis of the capital, a haven for Belgraders and everyone eager for nature and beauty