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Summer in Golden Cross-Section
“Carnival”, “Lovefest”, Film Screenplay Festival, International Business Summit, “Days of Danilo Bats Stojković”, International Festival of Classical Music, “Days of the Renaissance”... gathered more than 300,000 visitors. Banja received benches of Ivo Andrić, Desanka Maksimović, Dobrica Ćosić, the Bridge of Science and “Carnival Stairs”, as well as a thousand new fans. It was the 146th summer of organized tourism here

Cultural summer in the “capital of Serbian spa tourism” has always been considered one of the best in the country, and has been a true magnet for the lovers of good film, music, theatre and entertainment. This summer, a rich program was organized again, with numerous, already traditional and some completely new gatherings, attractive and according to the highest cultural standards and for wider audiences.
After the floods in April, people from Vrnjci reacted with entrepreneurial spirit and remedied the primary consequences, getting ready for the season that was just behind the door. Already in May numerous seminars, events and congresses ensued. In Banja it is also the month of mathematics and International Congress of Mathematicians. On this occasion, next to the “Bridge of Love”, the famous attraction in Banja, written about this year by New York Times, another bridge in Vrnjci came into the focus of attention. Upon initiative of students of Elementary School “Popinski borici”, the main bridge on the Vrnjci River was declared the bridge of mathematics and science, and was named “Golden Cross-Section”.
In late June, in Hotel “Breza”, the International Business Summit took place, with “Gegula Fair of Rakia and Wine”. The organizer was Ethno Centre “Gegula”, and sponsors were the City of Kraljevo, Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kraljevo and Municipality of Vrnjačka Banja. As the best place for business encounters, and prestigious on the tourist map of Serbia, the organizers selected Vrnjačka Banja. The goal: to gather, in a place like this, important people from economy and trade, political and cultural life of Raška district, Serbia and abroad, enabling them to present their line of business in the best possible way. At this year’s Business Summit, which took place under the slogan “Let’s Employ Serbia”, “Gran Prix” for the Best Manager –president of a municipality in Southeastern Europe went to Boban Đurović, the first man of Vrnjačka Banja.


In July, the “Carnival of Vrnjci” took place, tenth in a row. During seven turbulent and colorful days, from July 13 to 20, it had about 200,000 visitors. Numerous carnival groups from the country and abroad participated, and the event confirmed the reputation of one of the most visited and most attractive events during the summer in Serbia.
Then came the “Bata’s Days”, theatrical and film encounters dedicated to the unforgettable actor Danilo Bata Stojković, founded last year under the slogan: “And if they remember me, so be it” (the famous Bata’s line from the film Balkan Spy). The program of this festival included a retrospection of Stojković’s films, as well as theatre performances Time of Honor and Pride by Žika Živojinović (produced by the National Theatre from Belgrade) and Around the World directed by Jug Radivojević (coproduction of Kruševac Theatre and the “Days of Comedy” from Jagodina).
This season, Vrnjci Park got refreshed with benches that carry the names of the most famous writers visitors of the spa resort (Ivo Andrić, Desanka Maksimović, Dobrica Ćosić...), and century-old trees received carnival clothes, made by women from the Association “Zlatni vez”... From the abundance of small tourist innovations, which turned the summer in Vrnjci into an interesting collage, we should also mention the “Carnival Stairs”.
In the “Castle of Culture” numerous excellent programs took place. We single out the thematic exhibition Milunka Savić – a heroine of the Great War. International Festival of Classical Music gathered many participants from the country and abroad (Ukraine, Italy, France, Switzerland, USA, Great Britain, Germany...). In addition to a series of good quality concerts, an educational program was also organized, with violin and chamber music classes.
Event called the “Days of the Renaissance” was realized in cooperation between Cultural Centre of Vrnjačka Banja and Italian Institute for Culture in Belgrade. Numerous films dedicated to this crucial era that gave birth to the modern world were shown. We single out Restoration of the Dome on the church Santa Maria del Fiore in Firenze directed by Gabriella Lasagni.


August was marked by “Lovefest”, which gathered an exceptional number of young visitors from Serbia and abroad. “It seems that this event will become one of the best European music festivals for youth”, marked the thrilled reporter. “From August 7 to 9, more than 62,000 people from fifteen European countries took part in this festival, making it global by spirit and quality.”
More than 1,000 people found accommodation in the first “Love Camp”. Musical program was happening on four big and three small stages and side programs took place in ten different zones.
The prestigious Film Screenplay Festival in Vrnjačka Banja took place this year for the thirty eighth time. Great attention was dedicated to the works of young filmmakers. On the Summer Stage and in the movie theatre, projections were followed by about 5,000 spectators. Interest was also great for side programs in the city library. The event was supported by the ministries of culture and local self-government.
The summer of Vrnjci, in its 146th year of organized tourism here, is coming to an end. According to some estimates, it attracted about 300,000 visitors. This is especially important in the light of celebrations of one hundredth anniversary of the adoption of the first Serbian Law on Spa Centers.
– Because of everything that Vrnjačka Banja today represents in the tourism of Serbia, we have the obligation to preserve it for future generations and to develop it further, so that we would not be embarrassed either before our ancestors or before our offspring –says Boban Đurović, president of this municipality. – We must reintroduce, on the principles of sustainable development, into the community of the best European spa centers, where it has always belonged. It is necessary that we raise the level of hotel capacities as soon as possible, to build an aqua park and sports-recreational facilities... For this, we need investors. In the past two years we have managed to increase the municipality budget by 200 million dinars, but we are still facing a series of problems: lack of higher category hotels, problems in property-legal relations, necessity to adopt a new Law on Spa Centers, insufficient number of investors... Still, Vrnjačka Banja as a brand is continuously getting stronger.


On the occasion of its Day, July 14, the Municipality of Vrnjačka Banja presented awards to deserving individuals who are supporting it and affirming its significance. The highest ranking municipality charter was presented to Nebojša Stefanović, the Minister of the Interior of Serbia. Plaques with golden emblem went to the director of the PIO Fund, professor Momčilo Babić and actor Dragan Nikolić. Plaques with silver emblem went to Zvonimir Veselinović, director of Health Centre “Studenica” in Kraljevo, as well as national female handball team of Serbia.
The ceremony was attended by more than one hundred distinguished guests from cultural, commercial and public life, including representatives of the government of Serbia.


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