Connecting Perls – Western Balkans, Serbia, North Macedonia

CONNECTING PERLS

Flowing through the gaps, rocks and cliffs of Kukavica mountain, the Vučjanka river creates beautiful canals, waterfalls and “cauldrons”. In the canyon, which is several kilometres long, there are several attractive places for swimming.

The Vučjanka river rises at about 1,100m above sea level and flows for a length of 18 km. On the northern side of Kukavica, it cuts out a canyon with a depth of about 300 m with cascades and waterfalls, i.e. swimming ponds, resembling natural pools, with clear and transparent water such as Devkazan, Jaz, Donji Đokin Vir, Srednji Đokin Vir and the hard-to-reach Crni Vir. Gornji Đokin Vir is 15 meters wide and 2.5 meters deep.

 Its width is about 5 meters. Donji vir is about 20 meters wide. It is 10m long and about 4.5m deep.

Donji vir is about 20 meters wide. It is 10m long and about 4.5m deep. During summer, the Vučjanka becomes a swimming pool with a water temperature of around 23°C where many people go to refresh. The Vučjanka River has recently been recognized as an attractive destination for canyoning and free climbing and is one of the stopover locations for hiking and mountaineering.

In addition to the natural beauty and activities associated with Kukavica mountain, the attractiveness of this area is reflected in the existing sights. There is the Sokolica viewpoint above the Vučjanka river canyon and above the Vučje hydroelectric power plant. From that point you can see the stone canal through the gorge, that leads to the hydroelectric power plant itself. 

In the lower part of the Vučjanka river, there are numerous old watermills that still grind wheat. At the confluence of the Mala and Čukljenica rivers, there is a well-preserved watermill from 1786. The “Days of the Watermill” event is held in the canyon of the Vučjanka river. The organizer of this event is the local Cultural Center, sponsored by the City of Leskovac.

It is believed that the beginning of the textile industry is connected to the Vučjanka water when the Teokarević family realized that by using the water from this river it is possible to obtain fabric of exceptional quality. Not far from the site is the Strojkovce Textile Museum.

River “Vuchjanka”
Saint John’s Church

In the vicinity of this site, there is the St. John church in Vučje which was built in 1932 and is the work of the famous Russian architect and professor Grigori Samoilov. According to some sources, it was built in a place where there used to be a medieval church, an endowment of Nikola Skobaljić and the Serbian heroes from the Turkish era. Nearby, there is St. Nicholas church and Vlajko’s monument in the village of Čukljenik and Saint Petka church in the village of Rudare.

In the area of the Vučjanka river and the village of Vučje, the association “Naše Porečje,” is active, with the aim to contribute to the development of the village of Vučje and its potential. The association has defined several projects that can contribute to the development of tourism: commissioning Villa Teokarević as a multifunctional object in the cultural segment, the installation of a ZIP LINE in the Vučjanka river canyon, protection of the Laza Teokarević complex – Industrial tourism, the arrangement of the space as a museum exhibition – the space that was used during the filming of the film and the series “Once upon a time in Serbia – Ethno Avlija, development of the locality town of Skobajić.