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psychogeography portrait. 41. koraćica 2023  
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023, map  
 

 

 

This will be one of the longest walks in our collection. It will be in four locations within the village of Koraćica in Serbia. The first boring part was a drive to the town of Mladenovac and then more than 5 km to the entrance of the village. The rest of the walk will take 5 more hours in four different areas, as marked on the map above. If you are interested, more detailed maps of each location are available if you click on the numbers on the map.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

But we are here. Why is this village important for us? We already have a special page dedicated to Koraćica from our last visit in 2011. If you want to know, you can go back to 2011 and figure out what was happening then. Otherwise, you can stay here and go step by step through this visit.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

The centre of the village looks like a centre now compared to 2011. You can purchase newspapers or bottles of water if you are thirsty. There are two more stores around, the post office and the medical dispensary.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

The white lines on the photo right are marking Spot #01, the most important on this tour.

The photo on the left is of an abandoned Grandmother Janja house, or Baba Janja, as we kids were calling her back in the 1950s. When our own grandmother, Jela, was busy or had something to take care of, Baba Janja was in charge.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

The house that my father designed and helped build in 1965, mainly with the materials from the other house that stood on our property for 100 years, is today surrounded by the proper jungle. It is hardly even visible at first sight. In 2011, on our last visit, it was in much better shape. Even then, entrance from the front was blocked with unpenetrable greenery.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

The only possible way in is from the back entrance, which is kind of understandable if you know that it is facing north. Much less sun means much fewer plants blocking the way.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

There was a porch with a summer kitchen on the back of the house, but it is gone completely. Just a few leftover wood pieces on the ground are reminding us that there was something there.

OK, we are in now. This large living room is in better shape than the rest of the house. The ceiling is standing firmly, and even the furniture standing there looks usable if cleaned.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

We are still in the living room. Main entrance is blocked with plant with some dangerosly sharp thorns. Room is marked with #5 on the plan bellow.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

Photos right and left are from rooms #1 and #2. Room #1 is in the worst state, roof is completely missing, you can imagine how it looks what it rains or snow.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

More photos from inside of the room #1. I was brave [or maybe crazy] to get in and check it out.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

By far in the best shape is room #3. It was used as a kitchen. All the kitchen dishes are neatly arranged. It even looks clean compared to other rooms.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

Room #2 is partially without a roof, and Room #3 is without a lot of furniture. Still, on some shelves, we found some old school notebooks. Years around the 1970s are when they were used. It was an exciting find, not only for us but also for those relatives to whom they belonged. The view from one of the front windows is quite picturesque; what do you think? what do you think?

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

Few other items were also found. Some of the in surprisingly good shape.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

This western side of the house is showing some signs how it looks back in late 1980s when it was last time used intensively.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

When exploring, surprising finds are possible. Nine small puppies, without their mother, were in one of the bushes. Someone is taking care of them; a dish full of water was close by.

     
   
     

The property plan, above left, shows the position of this house. Part of the property, towards the street, is sold to the nighbour, someone living permanently in Koraćica, with the idea he will take care of our part when none of us is there. That person died, then even his son recently died, but his son, working and living in Austria, is coming back. Their house is completely repaired, a little bit enlarged and with a new roof. That looks promissing, we hope, at least he will clear the jungle surrounding everything.

Red dashed line is showing position of the original house, demolished in 1965. For more info go to our 2011 visit.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

Now is the time to go down memory lane. These two photos of my mother and my father were taken around 1975, just after I came back from my life changing trip to India. That was one of the best summers ever. We even did some repairs on the house.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

These photos are from 1983. Our daughter was one. My mother was famous for creating the very complicated Wiehler Tapestries Embroidery Art. My father made a special stand and frame for her, as seen in the photos. I found one of the Tapestries, called "Summer Day", in the house and brought it back home.

My wife's mother, Jelena, was also with us, making us a company.

     
   
     

There was always some fun to go on with.

     
   
     

The property was full of flowers, planted mainly by my mother. My father's contribution was a very pleasant sitting area with tables and benches. Of course, with constant repairs to the house itself, My contribution was a little pond with a small waterfall.

     
   
     

Una, Sloba, me and my sister and Mira are enjoying ourself while kids are pretending to fish in the pond.

     
   
     

The year is 1988. My older sister Svetlana, Mira, and Silja [my other sister husband] are enjoying newspapers and coffee; on the other photo, my younger sister Jelena is with Mira, Sloba, and Una on the picnic on the nearby mountain Kosmaj.

     
   
     

These are the oldest photos that I have taken on this property. All of those kids were there for a couple of months each summer. The only person taking care of us was grandmother Jela; she was absolutely having no trouble with us at all. On weekends, parents would usually come to visit, bringing food. Transportation was quite difficult. You will have to take a train to Mladenovac and then a horse carriage or 10km walk to the village.

Kids in photo #1 from 1954 are Aleksandar and Ivana Dugandžić, Svetlana, Aleksandar, and Jelena Janićijević. Unfortunately, except for me, none of them are still alive.

Photo #2: Svetlana, Aleksandar, and Jelena Janićijević, Aleksandar Dugandžić, and Mile Janićijević. Again, I am the only one alive. On the last photo #3, from 1966, is my dear sister Saša Bojović-Janković. She was a participant in this walk and our host for the whole visit to Serbia.

     
   
     

Now we are heading towards spot #2 on our map. This church is actually just 150 meters away in a straight line. There is another property in between, so we need to go around. The whole area around the church, school yard, and even the football field, together with our property, belonged to the family Živojinović. My grandmother Jelena was born Živojinović, and she originally inherited our house too.

     
   
     

The Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit was built in 1858. It is still in very good shape, together with the surrounding space shared with a nearby school, a commemorative well, and a very small graveyard. Its building style resembles the main Orthodox Church [Saborna Crkva] in Belgrade, built just a few years earlier, in 1850.

     
   
     

Excellent space to have some quiet time. Of course that doesn't go when FK Kosmajac is playing.

     
   
 

Experience the 360˚
view in the full screen

 

OK, it is time take the road to spot #3, some 3km up the road. Nobody is tired so let's go.

     
  Botanical Garden, Beograd  
     

Next spot #3 is Monastery Pavlovac, [manastir Sv. Nikole Miraklijskog] toward the top of mounting Kosmaj. It was celebrating 600 years in 2017!! There is a lot more information about this monastery here, but it is only in Serbian.

     
  Botanical Garden, Beograd  
     

The main road above was 600 years ago a main road connecting Beograd and Istanbul [Istanbul was called Carigrad then and road Carigrad Road]. Serbia, actually the whole Balkan peninsula, was occupied by Turks, so it was understandable that it was hidden in the deep ravine, surrounded by a tick wall. The lodgings where monks were living were inside. The remains are all around. Before 1973, the monastery was in ruins, covered with stones from the hill above. Stones were cleared around 1973, but only half of the walls are standing, of course, without a roof.

     
  Botanical Garden, Beograd  
     

In 1690, Turks eventually found a monastery, demolished it, and burned it. Ever since 1973, work on the restoration has been going on, and eventually, in 1993, work on the church building was finished.

     
   
 

Experience the 360˚
view in the full screen

 

We were really spending some relaxing time there but unfortunately church itself was locked.

     
  Botanical Garden, Beograd  
     

I was trying to explain to Sloba some facts I knew about the monastery, he was quite interested.

     
  Botanical Garden, Beograd  
 

 

 

Nice sights were observed , well with drinking water, bell tower and the obviously new building, but we haven't seen anybody, priests, monks or anybody else.

 

 

 
  Botanical Garden, Beograd  
     

But! Those monastery logging remains are carrying almost forgotten memories.

     
  Botanical Garden, Beograd  
     

We found images from 1987: Una and Sloba, me and even Mira courageously climbing up, but there was someone else, someone who was taking those photos. We don't know who, probably my sister Jelena.

     
  Botanical Garden, Beograd  
     

Finding spot #4 was quite challenging. It is 1.5 ha of our forest connected to the forest, going all the way up to the top of Kosmaj Mountain. Nobody was there for more than 30 years, so finding it even with all the contemporary navigational technology was quite hard. Eventually, somehow, we found that Street Tijanovac was leading there, but where is it?

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

It must be there somewhere, just down the hill maybe? See elarged portion of the map.

     
  Koraćica, Srbija  2023  
     

Then, by pure incident, we blocked his way out of the woods with our parked car, we found this person. His property, BTW, advertised for sale, was bordering our property. He was kind enough to lead the way to show us markers on the trees and the ground. A big thank you!

This concludes this quite long walk. After 57 photos, few maps and 2 VR panoramas we are ready to relax. Thank you to all participants, Mira, Saša, and Sloba, for their patience with me. You can now maybe understand why I was so nervous about this wish to visit this very special village for me. In the 2011 visit, you can find even more reasons for me to feel this way.

     
             
  ~ 21 Praça des Flores, Lisbon, Portugal, 2017 ~ 26Funchal City Centre, Madeira, Portugal, 2019 ~
38 ❖ Everyday Visuals, Toronto, 2023 ~ 39 ❖ Botanical Garden, Beograd, 2023 ~ 40❖ Beograd Visuals, 2023 ~
 
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