Warm water cures best
Harmonious Priboj runs along the Lim River coast, full of various tourist curiosities both in its historical and newly-built part. It portrays the connection of cultures, intertwinement of modern tendencies and tradition, showing sincere welcome and attention to each guest. Five kilometers uptown, in the nearby Banja, you will find what these people are most proud of: beautiful Banja Monastery, which has resisted everything for nine centuries, surounded by warm springs of exceptionally medicinal water.
Banja’s St. Nikola Monastery is a living witness of our long existence in this region. It was built back in the time of the Nemanjić Dynasty; although the precise date of its construction is unknown, but it certainly existed in the 12th century. It used to be the center of Dabar Episcopacy. Tyrants and conquerors repeatedly demolished the monastery while the people renewed it as soon as they would leave, prolonguing the life of this beautiful edifice. Today, as a cultural monument of exceptional importance, this temple takes pride in the highly-valuable 17th century monastery treasury, discovered in 1974. It is one of the most preserved medieval treasuries in the Balkans, with a plenty of church articles made of precious metals – white and gold-plated silver, either jewelled or non-jewelled, rock crystal – of invaluable historical and artistic merit. There are three churches in the churchyard, the biggest of which is dedicated to Saint Nikola.
There are hot springs of medicinal water with extraordinary properties all around the temple. This thermomineral springs with the temperature of 37 degrees have been used for medical treatment ever since the monastery was founded: in the period of Nemanjić Dynasty there was a furnished hospital in which even Saint Sava found the cure for his leg ailment. Ofcourse, later on ita was the place with Turkish bathrooms. A modern inpatient built in 1971, which has physical medicine and rehabilitation wards with swimming pools and restaurants, has considerably contributed do the development of Banja. Thousands of people from all around visit Banja so that to bathe in its medicinal water in order to heal nerve, spine, rheumatic, skin and gynaecological diseases etc.
Coming down from that boon plateau to Priboj, a guest can take the way to other sancturies of this region: ortodox temples, Saint Lazar of Kosovo’s Church and Christ’s Ressurection Church, Orahovica Monastery in nearby Mažići, and finally churches in Goleši and Poblaće. As for Islamic cultural monuments, there are Hasanaga’s Mosque in Priboj, mosques in Čitluk and Zabrnjici.
It is not that widely known that long time ago Priboj was the cradle of tennis in Serbia. ”White sport“ was played in this town as early as in the 19th century, and that only three years after Vimbldon: the first tournament of Wimbledon took place in 1877 and the one of Priboj in 1880. As recorded in history, after the Congress of Berlin, Austro-Hungarian authorities got the right to use garrisons in Priboj, Prijepolje, Pljevlja, so that, apart from barracks, they also used to build post offices, bakeries, apartments and even sports courts. Therefore, they made a tennis court by the River Lim in the field called Zelenac, of the dimensions similar to the ones of the Wimbledon court, and the first tournament took place in 1880. These tournaments were organized in Priboj until 1929, when a railway crossed the court. Yet recently, tennis has revived in this town, which is proud of the success in numerous sports.
Priboj, whose economy has been developed for decades (FAP, Poliester, Epoksid and other companies), has always been open for businessmen from abroad; therefore it developed catering industry, top-level professional personnel and hospitality. Hotel ”Lim“, located in the new part of Priboj, is the leader regarding comfort and service; you can run into Hotel ”Koran“ on the road leading to Uvac; in addition to the inpatient hospital of Banja, there are also ethno-suites, while good national restaurants which offer excellent kebabs (”Bonanca“, ”Zlatibor“, ”Priča”, ”Tavolino“, ”Baš čaršija“, ”Gala“ Tavern are to be found everywhere in town.
When it comes to natural resources, it is good to mention Lake Potpećko upstream the River Lim, which are both simply God-sent for fishing. A rafting event with a number of devoted participants is organized in this watercourse each the summer, in the third week of August. Nearby hills Bić, Javorje, Crni Vrh are realms of clean air and forests, convenient for mountaineering and walks, while wolf battue is regularly organized in the middle of October on Lisja Stena, where Hunting Lodge ”Priboj“ is located. Krnjača Highland is a natural phenomenon (locals call it The Fridge) that will soon become an air spa and a substantial excursion site.
Among cultural events of Priboj, we would like to point our traditional ”Poetry Evenings of Lim“, and among manifestations there are ”Ilindan Days“ in Banja, with a flute competition, brandy producers contests and other events. The whole region is also famous for cherishing its traditional songs, customs, toasts, as well as traditional crafts: pottery, woodcraft, for handicraft of hard-working knitting-women and embroiderers.
MAGICAL TOURIST RING – JOINT OFFER OF TWO TOURIST REGIONS
”Magical Tourist Ring“ is a novelty in the joint offer of two tourist regions, Western Serbia and Eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. The idea of joining together tourist offers on both banks of the Drina River is a couple of years old, but this extraordinary tourist product has come to life this year due to the opening of the waterway.
Natural attractions and cultural and historical sites of this region are famous and acknowledged worldwide, and they have extraordinary tourist value: National Park Tara, Natural Park Mokra Gora with the Šargan Eight and Emir Kusturica’s Drvengrad, the famous Bridge on the Drina in Višegrad protected by UNESCO, Andrićgrad of Višegrad, Drina Canyon, the third by its size in the world. These pearls of tourism connect into the ”Magical Tourist Ring“, whose masters will be tourists that will have a single dilemma – which means of transport to use for the trip.