The wealth of colour and outstanding artisanship on the ceiling of Helvetian Tekkie in Berat, Albania. Breathtaking view, hidden if we don't look up.
– Rand Eppich
There is a place that I really like between Belgarde and Smederevo in Serbia, called Grocka. It has marvelous position on wavy hills above meandering Danube. When I drive from Belgrade to Grocka certain views stun me every time.
Besides nice scenery Grocka is also hiding a lot of heritage, among which is old successful tradition in growing most delicious fruits and grapes. Where fruits are, there are different kinds of brandies, and where are good grapes there has to be decent wine.
Winemaking is hard work and it takes more than a day, actually it is a whole year effort.
Participating in wine-making is a real joy and every year I try to learn something new from this ancient tradition.
– Srdjan Nastasic
But this small island used to shine with world-wide fame and glory. It used to be a very well-known limestone quarry. People from Korcula and Vrnik were very skillful working and selling their stone all over the Adriatic area. Most of the important buildings in this area are done in Vrnik’s limestone: in Venice, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Kotor… But also stone from Vrnik could be seen on some remarkable buildings elsewhere, such as: the Town Hall in Stockholm, Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, the White House in Washington, the parliament in Vienna.
I try to visit Vrnik at least ones a year. It makes me keep contact with my inner self.
– Martina Strugar
Even though it might seem that this place is nothing but a mountain peak, it is actually an archeological site Kokino in Macedonia. The archeological site was discovered in 2001. It is claimed to be a sacred site and megalithic observatory. There are a lot of findings from the Bronze Age, like ceramic vessels, molds…
I really like to visit this site because it has a special atmosphere of a consecrated place. It is very peaceful and while there, one can feel isolated from everything, even from present date.
- Aleksandar Elenin
Since 2005 the old town was inscribed on the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list. It has a similar architecture as Berat. I am deeply in love with this city. I adore the everyday monotony, maybe it is because I love nature and tranquility, i adore fresh air of the morning and the view of mountains combined with stones. It is like being so far away from the noise, cars, urban life. In the higher part there is the castle and a big wavy flag in the middle of the city. The old pazari that seems to vitalize somehow the life of Gjiro, as you go through cobble-stoned streets – kalldremet. One can see house after house and how elders take care of them. It seems that they are the ones who are loyal to the ancient authenticity of the city, and the youth tends to run to the noise and life in bigger cities.
- Ambra Myftari
Why do I like it? I appreciate it because of the history and good vibes going through the streets. I always have a very good feeling at heart after visiting, fresh energy and positivity, all good things. There is a new part of the city and the old one, and while I am visiting the old city, my mind and my body is so in pace, is like I can freely breathe. The mountains around, the river and old architecture are so perfect with each other.
- Ambra Myftari
There is a bay named Godinje's Bay on Skadar Lake, Montenegro where group of buildings is located, forming the settlement Lekovici that represents unique rural architecture. The architecture is typical for this part of Montenegro called Crmnica, but for the rest of the country it is exceptional and representative, and thus rare in the context of its kind, both in terms of segments and in its wholeness.
Typical Godinje house consists of economical facilities – cellar called “konoba” and multi-level residential part of the building. Cellars are vaulted with stone vaults and excavated in the soil-forming rock room, served to accommodate the long barrels and containers for wine and brandy, to accommodate agricultural and other tools, and sometimes to accommodate cattle, especially in winter. Interiors of the cellars are especially impressive in terms of architecture and construction. Cellars are connected among themselves with a hidden passages through which it was possible to communicate, escape and reach spring Tocak during conflicts and periods of crises. The upper parts of houses are simple living spaces, with quite sizable and opened balconies that were considered an integral part of the living space of the house. Traditional elements such as niches, recesses and hearthstones are included in every house.
The most significant building is a summer house of Balsici in the photo. The portal of the house has undergone through numerous modifications from XIV till XX century – extensions, alternations, disappearance or dispersions of construction materials. The cellar of this complex is considerate to be the best preserved part, whose wall thickness is up to 2m, consists of several rooms vaulted with stone volts, abundant arcades and consoles. In front of the house there is a portal containing a decorative stone plastics that are not typical for the vernacular architecture.
Mirjana Lubarda and Andreja Mugoša
When we were children we couldn’t wait for school brakes to start so we could go to the village Gradac (Serbia) where our grandfather Bozidar lived. We were enjoying fairytale summers on our grandfather’s estate. It would be very hard to name all the games that we had played and retell every anecdote and story or describe all vivid characters that we had met there.
Of course, like in any other country side there are a lot of trees. Nevertheless one particular tree has always been a mark point and living thing of admiration. The Bosa’s Oak. Our great grandfather was telling us stories about the oak which was growing on his estate. And later our aunt Bosa inherited it, and that is why we are still calling it Bosa’s oak. The oak knows long forgotten stories of our past and we are hoping that it will continue to be an important member of our family and village life for a very long time. We would like to think that it will maintain to admire passersby as well as residents yet to come.
Ratibor and Bosko Tanasijevic
Even though I am spending my summers on island Krk where my family heritage is, I like to explore other Croatian islands too. Island Rab is near Krk, and its capital town also called Rab is beautiful neat place – the real Romanesque-Renaissance gem, with many palaces, churches and bell towers. Its three Romanesque bell towers built so near one another in such small space, give exceptional character to Rab. The oldest bell tower St Anton dates from XII century.
The remains of a turbulent past are embedded in the fabric of the city, and hence unusual architectural decorations of different styles can be found on a same building. Often the coats of arms of patrician families are noticeable on the facades of houses they owned. These houses are still living houses or sometimes even small hotels.
Island Rab is the birthplace of St Marin who was the founder of the world’s oldest Republic of San Marino in Italy.
The city has several major events - the Rab art events, Musical evenings and numerous folk festivals.
The patron of the island is St Kristofor, at whose arbitration according to legend, Rab was liberated from Italo Norman siege in 1075. In honor of this patron Medieval Summer Festival is held yearly from 25-27 July. This festival is well known by its crossbow competition and mass-attended event Days of the Middle Ages.
Labin is a small town in Istria, Croatia. And it is exhilarating to me with its gorgeous architecture, splendid piazzas and streets designed on human scale, interesting topography with lots of climbs and descends, full of life and rich with art crafts and art galleries…
Istria always fascinates me; I always think that I must be in a land of elves, somewhere far away from real life. I believe that many people have the same impression. So if you ever need to run away to a fairytale, just visit Istria. And among many other wonderful towns, don’t miss Labin.