LES MONTAGNES SERBES
OD SRPSKIH PLANINA
VISITING SERBIA IN 1989
first destination that year was the city of my birth, Belgrade. This is
the city of our youth, the city in which we both attended faculty, in which
we shared the unforgettable moments, and where we left all our friends.
Belgrade is a city about 2000 years old, however, since in the course of its history it has always been the target of various conquerors, and has burned and been bombarded a number of times, it does not contain dwellings much older than 200 years or so. Its destiny was not the result of its being beautiful and white, as the name Belgrade («White City») suggests, but because of its strategically important location. Belgrade was founded by Celts under the name of Singidun. As it fell in Roman hands it became Singidunum, to finally be occupied for 250 years by Turks. Only its inhabitants maintained their Slavic identity over the centuries until the present time.
When we visit Belgrade, we are always drawn to stroll down its streets, walk in its parks, visit art exhibits and museums, and eat in its restaurants. The enclosed photographs illustrate marvelous location of this city at the junction of two large rivers, Danube and Save.
Exactly at the point where smaller Save joins the might Danube, the Turks raised on the foundation of roman fortress the fort Kalemegdan. Within its walls resides a magnificent park, a beautiful small Orthodox Church, a number of monuments, and tennis courts. One can see on the photos the statue of the Conqueror, conceived by the world renowed sculptor Mestrovic. From Kalemegdan opens a magnificent vista on two rivers and the town New Belgrade.
|Other photographs illustrate Saborna Crkva, city’s main orthodox cathedral , the National Museum crowned with the monument of the Prince Mihailo Obrenovic riding on his horse,|
the Parliament whose entrance guard two prancing horses (“Igrali se vrani konji”), work of the well known sculptor Toma Rosandic, the monumental church of St. Mark. In a still different region of the city one can discover a building built in 1823 in an oriental style, and housing the famous restaurant known only as “?”.
|Naturally, during our visit we also took the opportunity to visit Sarplaninci. Our first stop was the small town of Jagodina. There we visited Mr. Draskovic Slavko whose bitch Ajsa has been awarded CAC at a recent exhibit in Nis. She had one shortcoming, a little too narrow skull, but that was due to her youth.|
Once we saw Ajsa, we headed for the home of the naïve painter Dobrosav Milojevic and made an acquaintance with him. One can truly admire his paintings. Dobrosav was born in a village near Jagodina in 1948. He is a farmer. His paintings always depict an event as a part of the overall scene, whether plowing of a field, cutting wheat, village folk dancing, tending the goats, or working in the fields. He is a typical painter lead by his instinct.
|Since we showed an admiration for his oil paintings, he took us over to his colleague, Dragica Gajic, another talented naïve painter from the local school of naïve artists. We also photographed her paintings.|
then visited brothers Nicolic and one young, talented painter-farmer
Jovanovic Ljubisa-Kene. We returned with a few paintings from each artist.
|The next phase of our travels took us to Velika Plana, where we visited our friend, judge and breeder of Sarplaninac, Bratimir Bjelica. We were greeted exceptionally warm. Only Serbs and Montenegrins know how to prepare such receptions for their guests. Very proudly Bjelica showed us his mating dog, the champion of Yugoslavia, three-year-old and nine times BOB, Dingo-Ben.|
|We liked the dog because of his head, his very strong skeleton, and particularly because of his strong paws, his maneuverability, and his character. Bjelica emphasized that his dog is pretty aggressive and he would not allow a foreigner to approach him. Stanoje asked for a piece of bread and to let Dingo-Ben loose. Bjelica let the dog loose and he peacefully approached and took offered bread. I believe that Bjelica never forgave Stanoje his request, since Yugoslav breeders love to show aggressive dogs. We said good byes to the friendly Bjelica family and returned to Belgrade.|
last visit of Sarplaninac was at a veterinarian and breeder, Stevan Filipovic-Zuca
in Zemun. Zemun is a town near Belgrade, situated on Danube. Throughout
the history it was frequently under Austro-Hungarian occupation.
Zuca had a few Sarplaninac. We liked the best Marko and his daughter Gea. Marko was a strong dog, about 72 cm tall. He had a beautiful, strong head, good built, and an iron-gray coat.
still very young, Gea was equally strong and tall like Marko. Her mother
Gea was the sister of Dimitri imported into France, a mating dog who was frequently used by G. Millet in the kennel Bories de Yakoubia.
|We returned to Belgium full of beautiful impressions, unforgettable memories, and many photographs.|