The lower Danube area is one of the tourist aces of Serbia, especially regarding Veliko Gradiste, a place that has become synonymous with vacation on the “Serbian sea”, which is how many people refer to the Srebrno Jezero (Silver lake). According to the local tourist organization, the accommodation capacities are 90% full, which is 5% more than in the same period last year. More from Jelena Gligoric.
Veliko Gradiste is located 100km from Belgrade, on the bank of the Danube, where Romans built a castrum in the first century AD, a military and civilian fortification. The town has flourished upon the leaving of the Turks, and was one of the first places in Serbia to have had telegraph, postal services, steamboat station and customs office. Today, it is a port for all ships that sail the Danube, coming from the Black Sea, on their way to Vienna. According to Milan Marjanovic, the director of the local tourist organization, the tourist pearl of this town is the lake. “Srebrno Jezero Lake is surrounded by woods, and it emerged in 1971 with the redirection of a stretch of the Danube. It is 14km long, 380-450 meters wide, and the biggest measured depth is 16.5 meters”, he says.
In the summertime almost 5,000 people come on daily basis, and they all point to the clean water as the greatest advantage. The cleanliness is taken care of seriously, and the process of natural purification is interesting, as the water passes through the sand dunes. The lake was named after the silver-colored reflection, it is rich in fish, and the guests can enjoy various sports and activities, too. Since last year, it is also the center of the national rowing selection.
In the vicinity of Srebrno Jezero and Veliko Gradiste are significant cultural monuments. One can take a boat ride to the Golubac fortress, hike or take transportation to the Ramska fortress from the 12th century, archaeological site Viminacium from the Roman period and the Neolithic settlement of Lepenski Vir, which was turned into a visitor center last year. In the town itself, architectural features are the buildings of municipal center, library, customs office and the church of St Archangel Michael.
Milan Marjanovic says that the local self-government tries to organize several events to present the beauties of this area to its guests, and realized in cooperation with other towns are several interesting projects aimed at the sustainable development. One of those projects relates to the improvement of water management, and in cooperation with the Herculanum spa in Romania a tourist route is planned, entitled “Roman streets”, which revives four localities from the Dacia province of the Roman period. Such projects are important for the improvement the tourist potential in the cross-border zone.
Having merit for the tourist development of Veliko Gradiste is the company Silver Lake Resort, which makes the offer richer every year. “Our goal is to create a unique congressional-sports-recreational center. The project has been in realization for a few years now, and the necessary infrastructure has been built. Now, the company own the water tower, electrical station and optical network that were needed for the further realization of the idea”, explains director Milan Slavinski.
Since last year, most attractive is the Danubia Park hotel, which was completed in only 11 months, as well as the aqua park. According to Slavinski, the novelty in the hotel is the health zone “Dr. Feelgood” – the fitness and wellness center meant for the people who wish to escape the city heat. Also owned by the company is a comfortable passenger ship for some 200 people, used for the trips over the lower Danube area. It is anchored in the modern marina, equipped to accept 32 vessels.