A scenic walk through the medieval lilac valley

2 minutes to read

There is something royal in the enchanting fragrance of the lilac flowers. Speaking the language of flowers, the lilacs are the symbols of the first emotions of love, the strength of youth, and innocence. It doesn’t surprise that the favorite flower of a French princess (and later a Serbian queen) Helen of Anjou was exactly the lilac. In the valley surrounding the river Ibar, you can enjoy the scenic walk through the medieval lilac valley that flourishes patiently every year since 1250. Symbolizing the love and ideas that become timeless, the valley serves as a reminder of a once glorious kingdom and the most beautiful woman of that time.

Epic royal love story behind the medieval lilac valley in Serbia

When it was the time to welcome Helen, Serbian medieval king Uros I Nemanjic, wanted to prepare a magnificent reception, a one that the French princess and the most beautiful woman of the time deserved. The lilacs were planted all the way on the road towards the medieval Serbian capital Ras, following the valley of the river Ibar.

Ibar river
Ibar river
Ibap

A generous gesture of love and affection showed by the Serbian king marked the start of a long friendship and connection between the two countries: France and Serbia. Hellen of Anjou remains the favorite Serbian queen among the Serbian people, and legends of her beauty and kindness are told even today. In her old days, she even built the Gradac Monastery, easily reachable from the valley where she spent her last days living a modest life as a nun.

Gradac Monastery, Stara Raska
Gradac Monastery, Stara Raska
Gradac, Serbia

The days of lilacs

Today, Serbian people recognize the importance of this place, as well as the touristic potential that the medieval lilac valley offers. In the nearby town of Kraljevo and on the banks of the Ibar River, there are various music, cultural and artistic events organized during “The days of lilacs”.

The days of lilacs
The days of lilacs
Kraljevo, Serbia

Visiting the medieval lilac valley is best in spring when nature sustains a total transformation and landscapes in the area receive the charming light purple and deep green colors. Atop the hill, shadowing the valley are the ruins of an ancient guardian tower Maglic.

The ruins are easily reachable with a pleasant walk through the woods and meadows of untouched nature. The enchanting smell of lilacs brings us back to the time long passed, and as you enjoy the scenic walk through the medieval lilac valley, the contours of an ancient town almost appear on the horizon, and you can almost hear the chanting in the name of the beloved queen.

Maglic fortress
Maglic fortress
Maglic Fort 36341 Bogutovac Raski county, Maglic, Serbia

The author

Milena Mihajlovic

Milena Mihajlovic

I am Milena, and enjoy traveling, hiking and everything coffee-related. Through my writing, I want to inspire fellow travelers about Serbia, my dear country.

Stories you might also like