Koznik Fortress Zupa region
The remains of the medieval Koznik castle and stronghold are located 10 km northwest of the town of Aleksandrovac, on a steep hillside of the picturesque mountain of Zeljin, on the right bank in the fertile upper flow of the Rasina River. The Koznik fortified castle was built by the Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic as the Medieval military defensive aristocrat structure on the top of a steep hill dominating the surrounding terrain from the elevation of 920 meters. Koznik Fortress was probably erected on the site of a former ancient fort, and historical evidences testify that the fortress of Koznik was exceptionally important strategic point from where the whole area of the fertile viticulture Zupa region and the Rasina River Valley were controlled. Koznik Fortress remains dominates the whole area which is at present called the Rasina region. From the original Medieval town of Koznik itself only walls with three octagonal towers of large dimensions and several small towers are preserved. On the south side below the fortification there are visible remains of the Lower Koznik Town with the ruins of a tower.
The Koznik castle was mentioned for the first time in duke Lazar’s decree-law and is connected with the name of nobleman Radič Postupović – Oblačić Rade from the Serbian Medieval poetry, who was historically recorded during the time of Despot Stefan Lazarevic between 1413 and 1435. In the early 15th century, Koznik fortification belonged to the nobleman Radic Postupovic, one of the most important squire at that time. Princess Milica spent time in Koznik in 1402, according to historical records. It is known that despot Stefan issued two decrees in Koznik fort in 1405, granting Radic Postupovic all surrounding villages and the church on the river Grabovnicica. After brief Ottoman conquest of the Koznik Fortress, the castle returned back into the hands of Despot Djuradj Brankovic, in 1444. The Ottomans again seized the Koznik castle at same time when they conquered Krusevac in 1454-1455. During the 16th and the 17th century, Ottoman squad was located within the stronghold until 1689 when Koznik was taken hold of by Serbian rebels, which indicates that at the time Koznik was still active fortification.
Koznik Fortress is an example of a small highland fortified castle. It features an irregular polygonal base that follows the configuration of the terrain. South from the Koznik fort were other constructions and structures, of which some and recognizable today. After the research and reconnaissance works carried out at the end of the 20th century, the Koznik Fortress has been preserved. There are several small dirty trails leading to the top of the Medieval stronghold of Koznik, of which one starts in the village of Koznica,while climb up lasts some 45 minutes.
„Koznik – town of knights” is extremely interesting event of Serbia which is traditional held on the Koznik fortification every August. Along with plentiful choice of food, knights competition, artisans and old crafts, merchants, Calvary and peasants, but also thanks to the colorful presentation of the cultural and historical heritage of Serbia, visitors experience the Medieval times and spirits of Serbia. This interesting tourist manifestation is organized with the aim to rise awareness of preservation and protection of the Koznik fortification, which belongs to the most beautiful Medieval fortifications and strongholds of Serbia. Memory of one of the most important Medieval fortifications of Serbia lives in the local traditions, while the event of the Koznik Knights, organized by both municipalities of Aleksandrovac and Brus, proudly represents the rich Serbian and European culture.