March 18, 2012


 Since I saw movies like Zona Zamfirova and Ivkova Slava I always had the wish to visit Vranje, a lively city of South Serbia. From our family home in Kovaceva Bara it's just about an hour of traveling, but somehow I never made it to Vranje until last summer, when we wanted to show the area to my relatives from Italy! My husband made us a tour of  the region and so I had finally the oppurtunity to visit Vranje!

In ancient times, various tribes inhabited present-day Vranje, until the Romans conquered the region in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. The Roman fortresses in the Vranje region were abandoned during the Hun attacks in 539-544 AD. The name Vranje stems from the old word for "black" ("vran") in Serbian. Vranje was an important Ottoman trading site.

Around Vranje’s busy pedestrian zone is the Pasha’s residence on Pionirska Street. The complex comprises two buildings erected by Raif beg Džinić in 1765 as his residence. Its architecture is a typical example of South Serbian architecture. 

The National Museum in Vranje (Народни Музеј Врање)
It was founded in 1960. Pionirska 1, Vranje, Tel: 017 424018
The Museum features a collection of Roman excavations, medieval coins, traditional costumes and craftwork.

In general, buildings of this period include a basement and two floors. The walls are pierced by many windows arranged symmetrically. The façade is decorated with one or two bay windows, a cantilevered glass Advanced overlooking the street and expanded interior space, while the courtyard façade is decorated with a balcony. The court, located at the rear of the manor, is fenced by high walls.

The daughter of the last pasha sold it to the local metropolitan bishop who converted the building into Vranje’s first high school in 1881.

The building’s front residence, the selamluk was reserved exclusively for men. It faces the street was used by Pasha and his male entourage. The sheltered rear residence, theharemluk, was reserved for women. 

Мy Sketchbook entry for Vranje

Vranje is located 35km from the Macedonian border and 345km from Belgrade.
King Milutin annexed Vranje to the Serbian medieval state in 1282, the same year he acceded to the throne. Vranje consequently became the center of the župa (a small administrative division).

The old hamam of Vranje dates from 17th century and lays in the Roma District, but the surrounding doesn't look super inviting for a tourist (it's located in Ulica petog kongresa) 

The Pašin's Quarter and the picturesque pedestrian zone of Vranje

The school is a an exemple of modern socialist style mixed up with oriental details. Vranje is one of the Serbian cities where the Tursk stayed the longest and it shows in many details of architecture.

The White bridge is a symbol of the city and is called "most ljubavi" (Lovers bridge) after the tale about the forbidden love between the Muslim girl Ajša and Serbian-orthodox Stojan that resulted in the father killing the couple. After that, he built the bridge where he had killed her and had the story in-scripted in Ottoman Arabic.

The Burberry signature on a building in the center of Vranje :-)

Colorful buildings at the entrance of Vranje