- District: Zlatibor
- Municipality: Arilje
- Post code: 31230
- Area code: (+381) 31
- Web site:
- Contact / booking:
- Contact / booking:
The municipality of Arilje is situated in the western part of the Republic of Serbia and is a part of Zlatibor County, its altitude being from 330 up to 1382m. It covers an area of 349km2 among the three rivers-the Moravica, the Veliki and the Mali Rzav (one of the cleanest rivers in Europe). Its ground configuration varies from hilly to mountainous with the narrow belt of plain land surrounding the Moravica River. According to the census carried out in the year 2002, the population of Arilje is 19. 784. Arilje is most famous for its raspberry production. It is often referred to as the world’s raspberry capital. Textile products with the quality trade-mark ” Ariljski tekstil” are well known not only in the region but in the whole country.
Being the administrative centre of the municipality, Arilje is well connected with other big economic, cultural and administrative centres such as Užice, Čačak, Kragujevac and Beograd.
This region is rich in pure waters and attractive forest areas, which sets it amongst the cleanest and healthiest regions in Serbia. Clear mountain rivers and streams abound in pure and high – quality water, they flow across the whole teritory and are suitable for water-supply, fish breeding and their water power potential is not inconsiderable. Preserved environment enables excellent conditions for healthy food production.
Indisputable economic boom, developed energetic spirit, constant export increase, foreign trade surplus are all a result of deep-rooted tradition of private entrepreneurship. Prevailing branches are agriculture, manufacture of agricultural products, textile industry, processing of lumber, metal industry.
Arilje is most famous for its raspberry production. It is often referred to as the world’s raspberry capital. Almost everybody is involved in growing raspberries. Over 5000 small manufacturers annually produce approximately 20 million kilos of raspberries. The municipality of Arilje has the highest concentration of raspberry patches in the world and there is also the biggest cold storage plant for freezing fruit in Europe ( ” Zemljoradnička zadruga Arilje ” ) .
Textile products with the quality trade-mark ” Ariljski tekstil “ are well known not only in the region but in the whole country.
THE HISTORY OF ARILJE
The territory of the municipality has been inhabited since ancient tithes the proof of which are archeological finds of cave settlements on the Veliki Rzav which date from Paleolithic period. The continuity of constant community dwelling continues through the Copper Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.
In the first century AC the Romans occupy these regions and join them to the Dalmacija province. The location of Gradina in the village of Brekovo, where there are a fortress and a Roman road from today’ s Ivanjica to Požega through the valley of the Moravica, testifies of the times of the Roman rule. With the fall of the Roman Empire the sources of antique culture and literacy have also been destroyed and so the written data from this period remained in the total darkness.
Not by the second half of the tenth century did the regions arounh today’ s Arilje come to light. It was then that the refugees from Larissa ( Greece )brought the relics of St Achilles to the place of today’ s church. The Greek bishop, the great preacher of Christianity, lived in the fourth century. Today’ s Arilje ( earlier Moravice ) got its name after St Achilles and his cult is being celebrated even today as a folk holiday and City’ s feast – May 28. Sava Nemanjlć ( 1219.) proclaimed the monasery of Arilje the center of the Moravička Bishopric which was situated on the teritory of Arilje, Užice, Valjevo and Čačak. In this place the Serbian Orthodox Bishop and later even Metropolitan held court. After the first cathedral of the bishops of Moravička was destroyed in the thirteenth century. King Stefan Dratfutin started the construction of the new cathedral on the same place.The new church was built between 1283 and 1286. The inside of the Church was fresco-painted in 1296 and the preserved remains of the frescoes originate from that period.
The fortresses Golubinjak in the village of Visoka above the Veliki Rzav and Gradina in Brekovo originate from this period of the medieval Serbia, and in the village of Bjeluša alongside the Rzav there is a plateau called Carevo polje. On one part of this plateau there is a pile of rocks which the locals call emperor’ s pile. It was believed that the army of an emperor was camping there and that it buried their inheritance under this pile of rocks. According to another belief was the army of Miroslav, Stefan Nemanja’ s brother, and they were collecting the rocks for building the monastery of Župljan. And the third belief says that Carevo polje was the gathering place of the emperor Lazar’ s army on their way to Kosovo.
During the seventeenth century, in the times of the Qreat Migration of the Serbs in 1690, because of the christians’ hard position in an enslaved Serbia, Arilje and its surroundings became deserted. During the eighteenthcentury, new settlers from eastern Hercegovina and Montenegro started inhabiting these region .
After the First and the Second Serbian Uprising, people started returning to their peaceful occupations ( farming, sheep raising, crafts and trade ) enjoying the first fruits of the freedom they fought for. As a result of the population growth, settlement around the ruins of St Achilles monastery revived. After the building of the inn of serdar Jovan Mićić the foun dations of the town were set up.
In the gloomy and changeable nineteenth century, the small settlement around the church and in its shadow, being a caravan, shelter and a road inn, developed and urbanized slowly. However, its cultural and economic growth, under the spiritual learning and because of the fact the church existed and lasted, couldn’ t be stopped. Consequently, the downtown life concentrated around the temple at first and then extended from the plateau towards the foothill and down to the rivers.
The Duke Milan Obrenović himself proclaimed Arilje a town on October 23, 1880 which was the next step in the development of Arilje and since that point building settlements and economic development have been accelerated.
After the Second World War Arilje continues its life as the county center till 1955 at which point the number of counties increases and the County of Arilje becomes a part of the newly formed County of Užice. In December 1959, the number of counties and municipalities increases and then a new municipality of Arilje is formed which functions in the same composition even today.
The beginning of the twentieth century was marked by an intensive development of handi crafts and fruit growing. Today Arilje is the city of raspberry, private economy, with tourism potential.
The Church of St Achilles was erected in the thirteenth century as the cathedral temple intended for large numbers of believers. Facade painting in the Byzantine cell type style makes the Church of St Achilles a unique thirteenth century structure in the whole Byzantine world considering the fact that there is no preserved example of any orthodox place of worship dating from that period with the facade entirely decorated in this way.
Besides its architectural value and historical significance the church also stands out as the gallery of valuable frescoes. The fresco of St Archangel Gavrilo called the Blue Angel ( The Angel of Arilje ) is one of the master pieces of the old Serbian painting.
St Nicholas church was erected in the thirteenth century in the village of Brekovo, 20km south-west of Arilje. Preserved frescoes which cover the inside wall surface of the altar space date from the first half of the seventeenth century. Monument of Aleksandar I Karađorđević in the shape of an obelisc stands in the central area of the church yard. It was erected in 1940.
St Nicholas church is under the state protection as tne Highly Important Cultural Monument.
THE OLD SCHOOL – The Old School was built in 1834. and is located in the town’s center near the church of St Achilles. During the last ten years the school has been reconstructed and is now used as the Town Gallery its main field of work being the presentation of art and other objects of museum and archeological value. Through the workshops with the town’s youth it is working on the issue of spreading literacy. The work is sometimes carried out in the collaboration with the Arilje Comission for Drug Abuse Prevention.
WATER CAVE – The entrance to this attractive water cave is on the border between villages of Brekovo and Dobrača, in the canyon of the Panjica. Numerous secrets of this natural phenomenon divers and speleologists are only about to explore.
So far, it is only an assumption that the water mass, which flows out from the cave, is a sinking river generated from several sinking springs. In the gorge of the Panjica, Josif Pančić discovered the endemic species campanula secundiflora.
Active vacation – Nearby Beaches: Urjak, Sonjine čari, Uski vir Green Beach-Vukotići, Žuta stena.
Viseći most, Šljunkara, Bosa noga (beach volleyball field, cafe, big open area for rock concerts, fly fishing).