Connecting Perls – Western Balkans, Serbia, North Macedonia

CONNECTING PERLS

Hisar is a 341-metre high hill near the city of Leskovac, in the south of Serbia. A symbol of the city, the hill is known for the remains of a large fortified settlement from the Bronze Age and was declared a nature park.

The evidence confirms almost continuous habitation on this site from the Neolithic to the Ottoman period, and since the city of Leskovac covers the hill, even to this day.
The ethno-archaeological park on Hisar covers an area of 2hectaresre. 

The archaeological research covers a range from prehistoric, through the Byzantine to the Turkish period.

The findings from the XIII to the X century BC indicate the presence of Dardanians. Archaeological excavations began in 1954 on the eastern slope when a small single nave stone church was discovered, and they have intensified since 1998. 

One of the most significant discoveries is the compact iron needle (sceptre) made of pure, stainless iron, which is an epochal discovery because even with all the modern technology such objects cannot be cast.

Traces of frescoes from the XII and XIII centuries have also been found on Hisar. From 2002 to 2006, a large number of architectural and other objects, ceramics, money and archaeological objects made of metal, glass, bone and stone were discovered.

Some of the objects of exceptional value include an ivory diptych with a buckle and the silver buckle.
The attractiveness of this locality is reflected in the existence of a large number of sights in the locality:

The archaeological site, the monument to the Unknown Hero, Memorial Park “Forest Goddess”, 9. Jugović park, St. Ilija Church, the observation deck, a picnic area and closeness to the centre of Leskovac.

 The hiking tour to the top of the observation decks, fitness training preparations, and cycling are some of the most relevant activities.

St. Ilija church on Hisar, in the national style, was built in 1889 in the place of a stone church from the Middle Ages. The building has a cross as a base, with a dome above the centre, according to the project of the architect Svetozar Ivačković. 

According to a legend, the construction of the church is attributed to his grandmother Stanojka, who, in 1860 during the rule of the Turks, had a dream that there were the remains of an older church. After the excavations, the remains of stone slabs decorated with crosses were found.

Despite the ban from the Turks, a wooden chapel was built in this place, that was later replaced by a church. The “Hisar šampioni” association contributes to the arrangement and maintenance of the Hisar locality. 

This year the first sports event “Hisar 2021” has been held.