Avala’s challenges

Avala is considered a mountain only because of 11 meters, it is more a hill then anything. It is only 511m high.  

You can conquer Avala in two ways:

The sports way

or the gentleman’s way

Since I had a ‘sports injury’ I chose another way. In our ‘oldsmobil’, or our 20-year-old van with the rear pull, I reached the top with minimal fuss.

There are many legends about how Avala got its name. One of them is that the name derives from the Arabic word ‘avala’ which means a viewpoint or Turkish word ‘havala’ which means an obstacle or from the Arabic word ‘avali’ meaning a bare hill because Avala was only forested in the 19th century.

I go relatively often to Avala, my mother’s mother went and I can say that it hasn’t changed since the time of king Alexander Karadjordjević.

I was at the Unknown Hero monument for the first time when I was 7 while my parents were still crazy enough to carry me.

The first traffic sign in Belgrade was just on the Avala road and it’s rumored to have said: hold right!

This was the time when gasoline was bought in pharmacies and Avala was as far away from Belgrade as in that 1914 story:

      – “Where are you going to spend the summer?”

-“In my sister’s vineyard in West Vračar. There is also a well there, and there is also a spring beneath the great tree in the rock query above the house.”

Avala as we know it today was made by King Alexander. He toppled the Serbian Avalon, that is, the old fortress Žrnov ,which had an undeniable historical significance, to erect a monument to the Unknown Hero that was in fashion at that time. When asked why he had done so, he said he thought it was a Turkish fortress.

The most important symbol of Avala is it’s tower, originally built in 1965, it was 202.87 feet tall and was the only tower in the world that had a Equilateral triangle for an intersection, it was a real masterpiece of architecture.

The construction lasted five years and it was one of the greatest TV transmitters in Europe.

During the NATO bombing in 1999, the original tower was demolished.

However, thanks to the initiative of a large number of citizens, the tower was restored and released in 2010. Today’s Tower is 204.8 m high and, like its predecessor, is the tallest building in the Balkans, it has no telecommunications significance, but it is still a symbol of Belgrade and an undeniable sign that you are nearing the capital of Serbia.

In the vicinity of the Avala Tower there is also a church dedicated to the despot Stefan Lazarević.

The new tower also has a lift to the entrance.

At the top of the tower there is a viewpoint to which the visitors are transported by two lifts in 40 seconds.

Avala is rich in pure water springs, which is also used for beer production. the Spring Sakinac was named after the sacks with which the water was transferred to the factory.

Under the tower there is also a souvenir shop.

There is also a monument dedicated to the Soviet delegation headed by marshal Birjuz, who participated in the liberation of Belgrade and who were tragically killed in 1964.

The hotel Avala was built at the request of King Alexander in 1931. At today’s parking lot, the hotel started its first official skiing competition in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929. In May 1957 the first TV signal was released from the roof of the hotel. The transmitter was in this place until 1965 when the famous Avala TV tower was built…

After strolling at these ‘heights’, we got hungry.

Traveled and enjoyed,

Marko Veličković.


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