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The northernmost of Sumadija mountains, which are like "islands" scattered across the green Šumadija, is called Avala.
It is four to five km long, and about two km wide.

Avala is a favorite destination of hikers, nature lovers of Belgrade, local and foreign guests.
It's just
12 km away from city by asphalt road Belgrade - Mladenovac - Kragujevac, also known by the name of old Kragujevac road or even more often - Avala road. From the bottom to the plateau - the parking lot and back to the bottom there is a circular one-way paved road with a total length of 8 km.

Avala forest is mostly deciduous, with various species like the oak, beech, hornbeam, ash, elm, lime, pine, spruce and fir.
The forests of Avala are well preserved, compared to rest of Šumadija, thanks to a strict order of Knjaz Milos Obrenovic which saved it from further destruction.

From the twelfth to the fifteenth century there was a Serbian medieval town Zrnov, when the Turks in 1442-nd captured and turned it into a fortress and named it Havala, which in Turkish means the height, hill, and on persian it means barriers, partitions, since it has protected the mines of lead, zinc, silver and mercury in the bottom, and if needed it was able to defend Belgrade from invadors.
Two years later (1444) The Turks lost Zrnov, just to concour it again in 1458 when. The city - fortress was known as "Porcin-city", named after famous Turkish tyrant, who was staying in it - attacked, robbed and blackmailed people and, at the same time, controlled the road to and from Belgrade, looting caravans and individuals. He was, on the request of looted, murdered by Serbian Despot Vuk the Fiery Dragon, the son of blind Grgur, grandson of Djurdje Brankovic.

Until World War II Avala had its day - Djurdjevdan, when she was especially lively and cheerful. From early dawn ("Djurdjevdanski uranak" on 6 of May), a lot of groups of young people, hikers, nature lovers and residents of surrounding villages in colorful national costumes used to come and enjoy nature. After the war, this beautiful custom has fallen into oblivion.

Monument to the Unknown Soldier

After World War II, the locals have found a number of graves of Serbian soldiers killed in action, including the tomb of an Unknown soldier. The people of the surrounding villages built a modest monument in 1922nd.

 Later, the State Board of monumentdecided to raise a more representative monument on top of Avala . The project for a monumentwas done by the sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, in the form of the mausoleumrepresenting women in traditional costumes from all over Yugoslavia. The monument is built of Jablanica granite from 1934. to 1938. year. For the purpose of construction of this monument in 1934th medieval city Zrnovowas blown with the dynamite.
Serbia is different from all the participating countries of the First World War by the fact that all other countries have monuments to the Unknown Soldier, and only Serbia has monument to the Unknown Hero.
Nearby is the monument to Soviet war veterans who have been killed in a plane crash on 19th October 1964th.


Travel Guide

Avala is a low mountain, 16.5 km south of Belgrade. It is 511m high and rises about 200m above the surrounding terrain. Mineral avalit got its name from the Avala where it was found.
In late 2007. the Belgrade City Council declared Avala Protected Landscape Area with a total area of 489 hectares. Since 1936th Avala is a national park. 
There are about 600 plant species in a protected area. Avala is well forested with wild trees, and partly under planted pine trees. It is one of the favorite resorts of Belgrade.

Avala Tower

At the lower top of Avala, built in 1965. there is Avala TV tower, designed by architects Uglješa Bogdanovic and Slobodan Janjic, which was destroyed in NATO bombing on 29th of April 1999. The tower was the tallest building in the former Yugoslavia. 
In 2010 the tower was fully reconstructed and opened to visitors.

Medieval town Zrnovo

On Avala mountain there was medieval town with the same name. The Serbs called it Zrnovo but the Turks named it Avala (Arabic for dam or barrier). It is not known when it was first built, although its surroundings was inhabited even in prehistoric times.


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