Drvengrad: The Wooden Town

It’s so nice to get away from the city every so often. Sure, longer vacations are ideal, but even weekend getaways or one-day trips can do much for the soul. And you don’t have to go far, there are so many places to see in Serbia!

Click here for an article I wrote a long, long time ago about 3 options for one-day getaways.

Another one to add to the list is Emir Kusturica’s Drvengrad in Mokra Gora. I recently spent a couple of days there and it is SO SO charming!! Not to mention the beautiful nature surrounding the little town is magnificent and soothing. And it’s only about a 3.5-hour drive away.

Mecavnik1
Kusturica originally built Drvengrad for his film, Life Is a Miracle, but I also found this interesting quote from him on Wikipedia:

“I lost my city [Sarajevo] during the war. That is why I wished to build my own village. It bears a German name : Küstendorf. I will organize seminars there, for people who want to learn how to make cinema, concerts, ceramics, painting. It is the place where I will live and where some people will be able to come from time to time. There will be of course some other inhabitants who will work. I dream of an open place with cultural diversity which sets up against globalization.”

Drvengrad is also home to Küstendorf, his annual film and music festival and the hotel, Mećavnik, where guests can stay in one of the quaint and rustic bungalows. There’s not too much to do there other than eat, relax (there is a sauna and pool) and breathe in the beauty. It is a full out little town with cafés, 2 restaurants, a bakery, movie theater, church, bookstore, market where they sell local crafts and goods.

Mecavnik2

AND they even have a town prison…
Um, that’s George Bush’s mug on the left…
Too funny!!

Mecavnik4

Oh and the streets are named after famous people like Novak Đoković and Ernesto Che Guevara. See, the whole place is just so creative and definitely worth seeing!

You can also take a ride on the Sargan Eight, the old locomotive train that takes you in a figure eight up the mountain, making stops along the way at various locations to take photos. The station is only a few minutes drive away from Mecavnik. Unfortunately, we ended up not ever making it, but most people say it’s worth checking out.

You can find more information here:
www.zeleznicesrbije.com

I also discovered, during my stay, that…

1. Kusturica really does live there. Or at least, spends a lot of his time there. I actually saw him twice within the 3 days. I also spoke with an “insider”…haha…who had the opportunity to see the inside of his bungalow and he said it’s no different than the rest of the bungalows. Meaning, it’s just as rustic and quaint. He didn’t make one for himself that’s more fancy or anything like that.

2. Kusturica has started the construction of Kamengrad (Stone Town) located in Višegrad, Republicka Srpska, BiH. It’s only a few kilometers away from Drvengrad and it’s scheduled to be completed by 2014. Once that is open, it will be easy to combine seeing both locations over a long weekend.

All in all, I highly recommend checking out Drvengrad. It’s something different to see and the perfect place to unwind and recharge.

You can also find more information on Mećavnik’s site:
www.mecavnik.info

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