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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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