Devil’s Town is special in the world in many ways and here are the reasons for it. It represents a natural monument of the first category, unique in the country and very rare in the world.
It came under the spotlight through the internet voting on the website of the New 7 Wonders where it was in first place for the new seven wonders of nature in the caves, rock formations and valleys. In the end, it was not qualified for the finals, but the place in the top 77 list of candidates is a big success for our country. That has contributed to a higher number of visitors both local and foreign. Annually, it is visited by nearly 40 000 tourists from around the world (Bulgarians, Poles, Chinese, Germans, French …)
It is located in the south of Serbia 299km from Belgrade, on the route Krusevac , Celije, Blace and Kursumlija. It is only 90km away from Nis and 20km from Kosovo.
Whether you come by your own transport or organized by some travel agencies, vehicles remain in the parking lot before entering the mysterious forest! It takes 15 minutes of walking through that mystical landscape. Immediately at the first step, you will feel the fresh air given by the selfless and untouched nature. The unavoidable company certainly is the figures sculpted by our famous sculptor Bozo Terzic. You cannot without noticing them until you are getting ready for your unforgettable adventure, which, according to the tradition, is in the hands of the devil. Upstream along the valley, the yellow stream 850m long introduces you to the track from the site`s entrance to the powerful clay. Another mystique fact is that there is no living creature in the stream.
Adventure is never complete unless you encounter the residents of the city. Even this time, there had to be some acquaintance. We asked an old lady to tell us her experiences through the stories from the past. In fact, her father had a watermill near Devil’s Town and at night he went to the mill, where he heard the music, confused because no one was there, he came back for his brother to set off together and convinced him of what he had heard, but there was no music. Previously, there had almost not been a man who would dare to walk through the town at night alone. The various legends are being told such as why people in that place to hear music and how those 202 marvelous figure width and height of 2-15m 0.5-3m with stone caps on top of that cause admiration and unexplained facts.
THE LEGEND AND THE DEVIL`S FIGURES
Once upon a time in that area lived humble, quiet and affectionate people. That harmony disturbed the devil, so the devil prepared the devil`s water to them to forget about the kinship relations. After they drank the water, the stunned villagers decided to marry brother and sister. A fairy tried to prevent the devil`s plan and according to the legend, up to this day, she still tries to preserve that region. She was not able to bring the wedding guests to the reason, who headed to church for the wedding with the newlyweds. The fairy then began to pray to God to prevent the incest. God answered her request, brought together heaven and earth and let the strong, cold wind, which petrified the wedding guests and newlyweds. I leave to you to hear in person other interesting legends about this place and the devil taking the power and reigning.
SCIENCE AND THE DEVIL`S FIGURES
Architecture of the Devil’s Town was being created for centuries by the geomorphological processes of soil erosion, accelerated rinsing and the removal of loose soil and disorganized runoff of the rainwater. External forces, rain, snow, ice and wind were endangering the old towers in time by tearing them down, while on the other hand, rinsing sand and gravel beneath the stone blocks accrue were making the entirely new towers. In that way, this unusual clay figures changed, decreased, disappeared and moved, drawing deeper and deeper into the interior of the mountain slope. The terrain on which it is located is becoming inaccessible to curious visitors, as if the towers want to become separated from the world and hide from the prying eyes and. The larger rocky blocks which protect the land directly below themselves from leaching are located on the loose soil, which is subjected to washing out . Clay figures, or pyramids, as they are also known, range in the height from 2 to 20 meters and in width from 0.5 to 3 meters and cover an area of 4,300 square meters. The sheer size, number and position represent a unique natural phenomenon in the world. Science still has no explanation for how the material of the ground from which the figures were made can put up with the walls up to the half a ton heavy. It is also not know when it exactly occurred. Similar, but much smaller figures exist on several sites; many compare this phenomenon with a garden of the gods in the USA or glavucima in Tyrol.
THE WONDROUS FIGURES ARE NOT ALONE
The Devil’s Town poles of Earth are not alone. The mystique of the area is completed by the sources of extremely acid water and medicines that belong to the extremely rare resources, not only there, but throughout the world as well. There is a total of seven of them in the world. They are used in spa treatments. The red color is formed by oxidation of iron which is rich in both sources. No one has still drank the water from these springs, some due to the advice of the professionals that water is not adequately tested, and others because they think they will come into play with the devil.
The first spring is the “Devil’s Water” located in the immediate vicinity of earth pyramids in “Devil’s ravine”. The spring has a cold and extremely acidic (pH 1.5) with a high mineralization (15 g / l of water).
The content of some elements (aluminum, iron, potassium, copper, nickel, sulfur) is high compared to the ordinary drinking water, respectively increased by 10 to 1,000 times. In addition, there is a viewpoint 2, at 693m above sea level, which provides a view of the whole complex of the clay figures.
“Red boiling” is another spring which is located downstream, about 400 m of the first on the alluvial terraces, i.e. on the flat ground. It is less acidic (pH 3.5) and lower general mineraliization (4.372 mg / l of water). Due to the flat terrain, its water is poured in a very thin layer and flows into a nearby sink the Yellow stream. Because of iron oxidation which water contains in large quantities, the red terrace fanlike is being formed in the space that looks very attractive. At 90m from the “red hot” there is the viewpoint 1, from which one can see figures that are in the devil’s ravine, and also do a great photographs.
Locals use this water mostly to combat infections and treat the surface wounds.
THE CHURCH OF ST PETKA
Where do those deep wounds, the wounds on the soul, heal? Visitors believe they can heal in the church of St. Petka. St Petka helps the sick and needy who visit this place, hence the belief that one should touch the sore spot with the handkerchief and make a wish and then bind the handkerchief to the pillar, so that all the trouble and problems (devils) remain in Devil’s Town. Tissues remain in this place one week and are then buried deep in the ground. Several people tried to spend the night outside the church to be connected with God but during the night they heard terrible noises (probably due to the wind that ran between the devil’s wall and created an unpleasant music) so they quit. Since then, the man who spent the night in this very place is not yet known . The church was built on the site where once there was a sanctuary of miners and is under the reconstruction. Germanic tribe of Saxons aka Saxons lived in this territory in the 13th century because they were known as skilled miners. They were brought by the emperor Uros to deal with the excavation of ore. Upstream of the gallery which is located a few meters away from the restaurant with the international photos of the art colony founded in 1977, following the yellow stream to the right, you come across the first of the four mines. Nearby are three other mine shafts from which they exploited copper ore, iron and gold in the 13th century. On the slopes of Mount Kopaonik there are still villages where people around the physiognomy resemble Saxons.
WHERE TO EAT AND SPEND THE NIGHT
At the end of this one-day trip the next step was to get a bite to eat. You will agree that there must be a good, strong bite of the traditional Serbian way. In the Devul`s Town, there is a restaurant in the open, where you can taste prepared dishes and roast lamb. They also serves popara and polenta. It is open during the summer season.
In addition to the gourmet specialties, all products are made of what nature has given them. There is the natural tea, herb, sweet, brandy, cream, cheeses, souvenirs from different materials. At the parking lot, you can find two stalls where you can buy some of these products. Our locals will welcome you with a sweet and brandy and greet you for goodbye along the way to the Prolom Spa, where there is also the only hotel where you could spend the night, Hotel “Radan”. Unless you are brave and stay in the very nature, the Devil’s territory!