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Novi Pazar

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Old quarter of Novi Pazar

Novi Pazar is a multicultural and multi-ethnic historical city in southwestern part of Serbia, close to the borders with Montenegro, Kosovo and Bosnia, and it's the capital of Sanjak region. Therefore, the city feels different (or let's say more oriental) comparing to other cities in Serbia. Predominant religion in the city is Islam (80%), although many historical monuments from both Islam and Orthodox Christianity can be found in the city, and in the region. Ras, the capital city of the Principality of Serbia from 8th century, is found near the city and it's one of four UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Serbia. An impressive group of medieval monuments consisting of fortresses, churches and monasteries show connection to the rich history of the whole region. It's a home city of popular singer Emina Jahović.

Get in[edit]

Nis airport's located about 3 hours from the city. The best option is going there by bus from any Western European country like Austria, Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Denmark, France and The Netherlands. You can check the timetables on Balkan Viator site. They're operated by different carriers.

Get around[edit]

The city's composed by old town (carsija) and suburbs. There's many streets in carsija but it's hard to get lost.

See[edit][add listing]

The impressive collection of three ecclesiastical monuments dating from the 10th to the 13th centuries eminently illustrates the birth of artistic activity in medieval Serbia, which attained the highest standards in the art and culture of the Byzantine Empire and the regions of Central and Southeastern Europe. The unique architectural complex formed by numerous structures in Stari Ras (Old Ras), situated at a crossroads of eastern and western influences,testifies to the period from 12th to the early 14th centuries when the ancient town was the first capital of the Serbian state. - from official UNESCO site.

Ras, Church of St. Peter (UNESCO site)
  • Stari Ras (Old Town of Ras) and its fortifications

About 10 km from the city, there are ruins of the first Serbian capital of Ras, founded in 8th century, and listed as UNESCO site (together with several other monasteries). Thirty minutes walk uphill will bring you to the old fortification "Gradina" which overlooks the whole valley.

  • Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul

Also known as Church of St. Peter (Црква Светог Петра), is the oldest intact Serbian Orthodox church in Serbia, and one of the oldest ones in the Balkan region. It dates from 8th century, although it's built on the foundation from the 4th century. It's about 3 km from the town center, and to get in you have to ask for a key from the nearby house. 1 euro entrance fee is being charged to foreign visitors.

  • Sopocani Monastery

Together with Stari Ras, this incredible monastery was also included as UNESCO heritage site. It was built in 13th century near the source of river Raska. Sopocani monastery is a reminder of the contacts between Western civilization and the Byzantine world. It's about 15 km from the city center.

  • Djurdjevi Stupovi (Pillars of St. George)

Many hills surround the town of Novi Pazar. At the top of one of them there's a small pine forest which hides impressive 12th century monastery with unique architectural style, built by the Serbian ruler Stefan Nemanja. 4 km from the city center.

  • Novi Pazar Fortress

Built in 15th century, by Isa beg Ishaković. At first, the settlement was made of wood, but later replaced with stones and made into fortifications. The fortress consists of three polygonal bastions, two octagonal towers and a moat. One tower at the northern bastion was destroyed in the First World War.

  • Amir-Aga's Inn

Amir-Aga's Han is one of the two preserved inns (han) and its beauty surpasses the other. It is situated in the city center and it dates from 17th century. In its architectural characteristics it differs from the typical buildings of the kind. It was built to host the merchants on their travels from Istanbul to Dubrovnik in the past.

  • Hamam - Turkish Bath

Turkish Bath is in the city center. It was built in the 15th century as an endowment of Isa-bey Ishakovic, the founder of the City of Novi Pazar. It is a rare example of symmetrical structure with the facilities for simultaneous bathing for men and women.

  • Altun-Alem Mosque

It is one of the most famous mosques from the Ottoman sacred edifices and is situated in the enclosed area that also includes a religious school. It was built by a famous master builder Abdul Gani in the 16th century. It has a dome and a spacious porch covered with cupolas, which was built in a different way at that time. The interior consists of an nicely shaped niche and a wooden gallery.

  • Crna Reka monastery

About 35 km from the city, near the village of Ribarice (before border of Montenegro), there's an unusual 14th century hillside monastery built inside the rock. The main church lies inside the cave, and it's connected by the tunnel from the outside. Being hidden inside the forest, it is considered as the only monastery that was never damaged in Serbian history.

  • Uvac Special Nature Reserve

Uvac river canyon valley lies some 60 km to the west of Novi Pazar (in Sjenica municipality). The major value of canyon parts of the river valley are curving meanders. Relative height of meander heads is 100m at some places. Canyon is surrounded by karst surface with numerous karst formations: karst plains, karst depressions, karst sinkholes, rock shelters, caves and potholes. There are 104 bird species living here, the most important being griffon vulture.

Do[edit][add listing]

Novi Pazar is a relaxing city. Enjoy the slow day in the main square, and play chess with friendly locals.

Chessboard at the main square

Buy[edit][add listing]

The best things to buy are handmade things.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Mantiye: delicious local pastry with meat, served with yogurt. You also must taste sweets like baklava or lokum (They're very sweet).

Drink[edit][add listing]

There're some bars and disco clubs where you can enjoy your evening.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Lepi Apartments, Miodraga Komatine 24.  edit Apartments in old town center, garden, free WiFi
  • Motel and Restaurant Dar, Save Kovacevica.  edit Object located 1,5 km from city center, restaurant, bar, free WiFi
  • Prenociste DM5, Josanicki Kej 4.  edit An object located in city center, WiFi
  • Avio Apartments, Salih Bega Rasovca.  edit Apartments in city center, free WiFi
  • Elements, 28 Novembra 56.  edit Object in city center, free WiFi
  • hostel Palma, Josanicki Kej.  edit Hostel in city center, restaurant, bar, garden, terrace, free WiFi
  • Korzo Apartmani, 28 Novembra 52.  edit Apartments in city center, terrace, free WiFi
  • Dubai Apartmani, Dr Tirse.  edit Apartments in city center, free WiFi
  • Apatmani 23.  edit Apartments located about 1 km from the center, free WiFi
  • B&B Divanhana, Ramiza Koce 1.  edit B&B in city center, free WiFi
  • B&B Agusevic, Josanicki Kej 4.  editB&B in city center, free WiFi
  • hotel Tadz, Rifata Burdzevica 79.  edit Hotel in the city center, free WiFi, snack bar
  • Apartmani Marić, Stevana Nemanje 93.  edit Apartments located about 1,5 from city center, free WiFi
  • hotel Oxa, Postenje 14.  edit Hotel located 5 km from city center, restaurant, bar, terrace, free WiFi
  • Prenociste Brokat, Dimitrija Tucovica.  edit Object located 2 km from city center, bar, garden, terrace, free WiFi


Get out[edit]

  • Raska — Historic heart of Serbia
  • Golija Nature Park — Beautiful place idea for trekking
  • Zlatibor — Main Serbian ski and hiking center

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