Oplenac & Topola - heroic heart of Serbia
Drive south of Belgrade, to the very heart of Serbia – Sumadia. After 70 km we are reaching city Topola on feet of hill Oplenac. Topola is the place where Karageorgije was chozen as a leader of First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1804. Here, Karageorgies home and church within the walls are visited.
Then we will climb to the pick of Oplenac hill ( 335 meters) to visit impressive Church dedicated to St. Geogrgije / Mausoleum. It’s building started in 1910. and finished in 1930. All members of Karageorgevich family have been buried in the crypt, while the ground level is all covered with copies of the best frescoes from Serbian medieval monasteries and churches. Surface of 3.500m2 mosaics is covered with 40 milion of colorful pieces, 15.000 nuances, forming 1.500 figures. There is not no covered space.
Also the house in which King Peter I lived, now turned in museum is visited. After visiting Oplenac, we will drive to the Kings vinery and vine cellars.
This heroic heart of Serbia stands proud not only of its rich history but of its natural beauty as well. Back in 19th century, Topola was Serbia’s administrative and political center. Karadjordje Petrovic chose Topola as his base for freeing Serbia from the Ottomans in 1804. Sadly, the fortified city was destroyed in 1877 under the rule of the Obrenovic dynasty. Karadjordje’s residence was turned into museum, which displays his personal belongings and weapons from the period.
Perched high above Topola on Oplenac Hill, the Karadjordjevic family mausoleum and St. George Church (Crkva Sv, Djordja) complex is one of the most historic sites in this part of Sumadija (Šumadija). The church features five spectacular domes and a white marble exterior. The mesmerizing interior features stunning mosaic frescoes of sixty Serbian monasteries. There are 725 compositions and 1,500 figures crafter from 40 million mosaic tiles in 15,000 shades. Explore further and you will find the tombs of Karadjordje and King Peter the First (1903-1921) in the central part of the church.
This region is synonymous with good grapes and fine wine. According to historical data, the vineyards here produced such plentiful harvests during Prince Milos’ time that there was not enough space to store the grapes. Today, grape and wine are symbols of each village in this region. The King’s cellar in Topola has two floors of underground cellars maintained at a constant temperature of 8°C. Ninety-nine barrels of wine are stored here. Each barrel contains 4,000 liters of wine. Sample some for yourself!