Historic cultural monuments
Novi Pazar spa is surrounded by many green areas but above all a park that extends over an area of about 4 hectares in which a variety of plants grow. Because of the proximity of the mountains Golija and Rogozna staying in the spa can be even more interesting in addition to regular physical and healing treatments. Nature excursions, sightseeing of historic and cultural monuments are just some of the activities that we suggest.
What to visit
Monastery of Djurdjevi Stupovi
The monastery is located near Novi Pazar, on the top of a prominent elevation covered with woods. It was erected in ca. 1170 as an endowment of Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja, dedicated to St. George; it is known as the "Tracts of St. George", often incorrectly as "Pillars of St. George". The monastery is exceptional not only for its position and significance it had according to medieval chronicles and manuscripts, but also for its particular architecture. It was named after the church dedicated to St George and its two former bell towers, two high towers – pillars (old Slavic language- stolp, stub). Namely, according to Stefan the First-Crowned, Nemanja had built this church to commemorate his gratitude to St. George for saving him from dungeons-caves where he was put by his brothers.
This sacred place is very important for the culture and history of our country and is included in the world's cultural heritage and is under the protection of UNESCO.
The Sopocani Monastery
The Sopocani Monastery, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is an endowment of Serbian king Stefan Uros I. The monastery was built near the source of the river Raska, 17 kilometers from the town of Novi Pazar. The endowment of the third son of King Stefan Prvovencani surpasses all others with its beauty and grandeur. The frescoes in the monastery are a true masterpiece of art that have brought international fame to the Sopocani monastery. Today this is one of the most important cultural monuments that was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. It can’t be said with certainty when the monastery was built but it was probably around the year of 1260. These conclusions were made based on the fact that the frescoes were painted in the 60-ties of the 13th century. The Sopocani monastery represents an exceptional example of the Raska school. It was named after the Old Slavic word “sopot” which means “spring”.
The Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul
The Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, commonly known as Church of St Peter or simply Peter's Church is a Serbian Orthodox church, the oldest intact church in Serbia and one of the oldest ones in the region, situated on a hill of Ras, the medieval capital of the Serbian Grand Principality, in Novi Pazar, Serbia. It is part of the Stari Ras complex, an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Old town Ras
The mediaeval town of Ras is 11 km west of Novi Pazar and stands on a hill known as Gradina. It is thought to have been founded during the reign of John II Komnenos (1118-1143). There are three archaeological sites within the old Ras complex: the fortress on Gradina, the cave together with the monastery of the Archangel Michael beneath the fortification and the settlement of Pazariste (formerly Trgovište), the buildings of which evidence an urbanized structure. Around Ras there is also a group of mediaeval monasteries and churches that in 1979 were entered into the UNESCO World Heritage List under the common name of Stari Ras and Sopocani.
This Turkish bathhouse in Novi Pazar is a Serbian “monument of great importance” and was built by Isa-Beg Ishakovic in the last decades of the 15th century. This was an urban hammam, so it had a symmetrical plan in which identical male and female areas were separated by a central wall.Each room has a dome, pierced with hexagonal openings, and there are 11 domes in all. The baths were filled by fine marble fountains and there was a grand shardivan (special fountain for ablutions) on the north side of the building.
As a city on intersecting trade routes, Novi Pazar once had six khans, or inns for merchants. They would spend the night here on their travels between Istanbul and Dubrovnik. Amir-Agin Han is the most complete of the two remaining, and can be traced to the middle of the 17th century. This is a gorgeous cantilevered building, with the outsized eaves that are a trademark of Ottoman houses. It is also the last surviving element of the city’s bazaar that was on the bank of the River Raska. It sat at the corner of this market, and had two floors of rooms for accommodating traders, as well as space for cattle, horses and even camels.
Fortress Of Novi Pazar
Close to the baths in the city centre is another structure erected by Isa-Beg Ishakovic. Being in the middle of a city that has survived many wars, not a great deal remains of the fort, but there are interesting fragments in amongst the greenery of Novi Pazar’s City Park. What you see now is the result of a big reconstruction project that happened all over the Ottoman Empire following the defeat in the Battle of Vienna in 1683. There’s a chunk of the ramparts, a five-sided bastion and the only remaining tower among scattered ruins.
With a name that translates to “mosque with the golden finial”, Novi Pazar’s largest mosque is from the first half of the 16th century. The mosque is in a compound with high brick walls, and is accompanied by a maktab (school) and courtyard with nisani (tombstones), around 30 of which have inscriptions. The mosque itself has a minaret, and a single large dome, fronted by two smaller domes above an impressive arched porch. This is a feature that is almost never seen in the mosques in this region. The mahfil (gallery) is carved from wood, while the frame of the mihrab (niche to indicate the direction of Mecca) boasts masterful workmanship on its moldings.
Uvac Special Nature Reserve
For the day trip of a lifetime go north to the Uvac River. In a mountainous dreamland, the river’s goose-neck meanders have sliced through the limestone to sculpt gorges, caves and promontories. The nature reserve holds one of the largest cave networks in the country, with six kilometers explored so far, while wild boars, wolves and bears roam the forests beside the river. The majestic griffon vulture creature has been successfully reintroduced to the Uvac Gorge after disappearing in the 20th century. In flight you’ll have no trouble sighting this gigantic bird as it has a wingspan of three meters.
According to the folk epics and traditions, Sjenica is named after the abundance of grass /”seno/”, which is richly harvested even three times during year in the Sjenica area. The name of the Pester region comes from the word pestera which is an archaic term for cave. The Pester Plateau is actually a large field (Pestersko polje) full of endless vast pastures with plenty of stock, surrounded by mountains of Jadovnik (1734 m), Zlatar (1627 m), Ozren (1680 m), Giljeva (1617 m), Zilidar (1616 m), Javor (1520 m) and Golija (1833 m). With the area of around 50 km², Pester field is the largest field in Serbia, and the highest one in the Balkans. Rivers Uvac, Vapa, Jablanica and Grabovica flow through the Pester plateau. In the geologic past, Pester field was a large lake, of which only a small Sjenica Lake near the village of Tuzinje remained.