There are many villages in my country, some of them with dilapidated houses and only a few citizens, other rich with population and architecture, but all of them different. There is one special village in many ways, a village with a spirit and wealthy history. Located on the slopes of the mountain Jablanica the village Vevchani is waiting to be discovered.
The village architecture is something that will captivate you; houses built of stones, red bricks and wood. Everything looks warm and pleasant. And the locals are friendly and known by their hospitality.
The residents (3650) of the village planned to create their own independent state right after the Vevchani Emergency in 1987 because of the attempt of the Communist government to redirect the water springs of the village. It resulted in massive demonstrations from the people of Vevchani.
During the Vevchani Emergency for the first time in Yugoslavia, electrical hitting sticks were used by the police to stop the protest. The citizens of Vevchani, even woman, and children on the first line, strongly stood their ground making a point that they will not stand for the decision of redirecting the water from the springs.
After the breakup of Yugoslavia, the residents made a new independent state of Vevchani in 1991 having the plan to preserve the springs and to increase tourism. Vevchani proclaimed a republic and made their own flag and coat of arms.
The village itself is independent municipality nowadays. They have their passports and currency, used only as souvenirs now. This is my Passport. To become a resident of Vevchani you only need to buy the Passports 😉 .
You can find the Passports and the local currency on the stands at the entrance of the springs. As well as in the souvenir shop on the way to the springs located in the house below.
The famous scientist Mihajlo Pupin, one of the founders of NASA, colleague of Albert Einstein and Nicola Tesla, has origin from this village. You can visit the memorial Pupins’ House and learn more about him and his contribution to the humanity.
I’ll take you on a walk to the famous springs of Vevchani now. On the way to the springs right in front of you will rise the Orthodox church St.Nikola from the XIX century. This is the biggest church with beautifull fresco paintings and a very interesting story from the Ottoman period.
This door on the next photography is the entrance to one of the local watermills. It has a high level of security as you can see.
You can freely enter the watermill located just before the entrance of the springs on the right side of the street at the parking. You have to take a look inside. The same watermill is in use for few centuries. Just don’t forget to turn off the light and close the door properly when you leave.Water is running everywhere in the village. Locals use it to water the gardens, as well the fields, and is good for drinking. One of the best uses of the cold water is to simply chill your drinks or a watermelon.When getting closer to the springs of the Vevchanska River be prepared for the pleasent freshnes created by the vegetation and the cold water. As you are entering the gate at the spring area excitement grows. Just relax and enjoy the nature. It’s like a picnic area perfectly arranged by the locals for your full experience. (Symbolic ticket entrance of 50 cents.)Don’t forget to take photographies of this natural phenomenon. I especially like taking photographies of the many wooden bridges covered with ivy.This year because of the big amount of snow and rains much more water is coming out from everywhere. Even from this cave on the next photo. This used to be one of the main springs, but it was almost dry last year. This year it is at its fullest capacity. I could stay there for hours letting the sound of the waterfalls chase away all of my worries.It’s like walking through a fairytale. This green paradise is enriched with the sounds of the water and birds, the smell of the herbs and flowers. If you find yourself there in late spring check out the wild strawberries and experience the sweet taste of paradise.Give yourself time to stay longer in the Village and try the traditional specialties in the local restaurants. Most of the ingredients are local, starting from the homemade bread with the flour from the local watermill, homemade cheese, meat, wine, fruit, and vegetables from their own gardens.
Vevchani is also known because of the Vevchani Carnival, celebrating the “Old New Year” (New year according to the old callendar) on 13 and 14 of January each year. Expect a post about the carnival in January.
I hope you will have an opportunity to visit this amazing village. No matter if it’s in winter for the carnival, or through the year, spend at least half of the day, try the local food, walk to the springs and meet the locals.