Bački Monoštor Rural Tourism

Bački Monostor is ancient village of Vojvodina in the Sombor Municipality, which has been first time mentioned in historical records in 1250. The tranquil village of Backi Monostor is entrenched in the heart of the Gornje Podunavlje Special Nature Reserve, embraced with the Danube River and its branches and channels of the Dunav-Tisa-Dunav system and the Veliki Backi Kanal – Large Backa Channel. In 1802 the Veliki Backi kanal – Large Backa channel was dig to connect Bački Monoštor-Bačko Gradište, so that today one can reach the Backi Monostor along the channel Rhine-Main-Danube. The Monoštor marshes spread on the western side of the Bački Monoštor village that were created in 1902 when the course of the Danube River has been redirected.

Backi Monostor village is also known as the »village on 7 Danubes« since it is an island which can be reached along bridges, completely surrounded with the Danube River course and channels, marshy forests of the  „Gornje Podunavlje” Special Nature Reserve and fruitful cultivated land, which proudly preserves its rich heritage. The most important advantage of the Backi Monostor village is its multinational and multicultural population structure which includes members of Sokacs /Serbian-South Slavic ethnic group, Catholic by religion/, Croats, Hungarians, Germans and Serbs. The term “šokac” means “guerilla” or “refugee”, as per the first inhabitants who have escaped in the 17th century from Klis /today Dalmatia in Croatia/, Slavonia and Bosnia and Dalmatian hinterland to Monostor due to Turkish persecution. At the end of the 17th century some 5000 the Bunjevac people, who were called by the Austro-Hungarian court the “Rascians of the Catholic faith” settled this border area, and soon, in 1690 here settled the Serbs, led by Arsenije III  Čarnojević. Backi Monostor adorns the authentic cultural heritage which is presented in number of innate customs, folklore, language, cheerful songs, feasts, traditional costumes, food and music, that have kept its original forms more than 200 years, while the natural wealth adds to the special experience of the village lifestyle. Monostor population since the ancient times maintain their old crafts based on natural materials found in the surroundings, colorful traditional costumes and habits, songs and dances, as well as love for the waters and forests. Here one meets the rogozar /reed mace craftsman/, camdzija /boat maker, the only registered one in Serbia/, klompar /clodhopper manufacturer/, kovac /blacksmith/, woodcarver, korpar /basket manufacturer/, souvenir manufacturers /from natural components/, handmade traditional costumes production…

Very attractive /and memorable/ manifestation of SFRJ Rakijada – competition of the hundred sorts of rakijas – brandies of the former Yugoslavia is held traditionally in Backi Monostor to revive the famous holiday of the 29th November – Day of Republic of the “old Yugoslavia”. On this occasion with participation of representatives of all the former republics of the former Yugoslavia, rakija producers of Backi Monostor and the area come to present their delicious homemade fruit products. It is the anthem of the former Yugoslavia sung along with the music from the time of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, and the mandatory dress code is Tito’s cap and the red scarf /of Tito’s pioneers/. As per the program of the Rakijada event there are prizes for the best rakija producers, as well as various music and dancing moments, along with some surprises. Organizers of this interesting event are the Podunav Association of citizens for development of rural and eco tourism and the Community office of Backi Monostor.

Locals of Backi Monoštor are famous rakija – fruit brandy producers. Every host has larger or smaller quantity of this spirit aimed for various moments of life. The favorite rakijas are kajsijevaca – peach brandy, dunjevaca – quince brandy, kruska – pear brandy, along with the plum and grape brandies. For visitors of Backi Monostor keen to taste some unusual spirits there are rakijas – brandies produced from wild pear, cranberry, cherry and sour cherry, with the special category and taste of mulberry ! Some seventy years ago, streets of Backi Monostor were full of mulberry trees, due to silk production and silkwarms who consumed leaves. Juicy black and white mulberry fruits were very popular in mulberry rakija production, with specific and intense taste and aroma.

Numerous ethnologists and musicologists visit Backi Monostor during the festivals and throughout the year, as well as bird watchers who enjoy in diversity or rare birds of the Gornje Podunavlje Reserve, and rich hunters from all over the world, who hunt the wild game in hunting season. Josip Broz Tito used to hunt here in the forests of Backi Monstor as well as numerous foreign and national statesmen. Visitors to Backi Monostor have various activities at their disposal – visit to the Gornje Podunavlje Special Nature Reserve, boat ride, fishing, visit to the original ethno houses, active participation in various workshops and old crafts manufactures, folklore and music courses, course of traditional preparation of bread, cakes and cookies, competition in preparation of original fish soup and paprikash, bicycle ride, ride by jeeps, carriage ride….

The Eco-recreational Center of UG ’’Podunav” in Backi Monostor contains the amphitheater with wooden benches for various workshops and education in nature, a small children playground with swings and seesaws, game polygon and a football terrain which is suitable for sport and recreational activities. The Podunav Eco-recreational Center is set at the edge of the Gornje Podunavlje Special Nature Reserve and thus serves as the starting point of visitors for preparation and visit to the nature. Within the Podunav Eco-recreational Center there is a room equipped with kitchenette, toilets and showers, very suitable for workshops, parties and gatherings. The Eco space is also suitable for camping and there are tents for 2 persons available, as well as possibility to rent bicycles, hobby fishermen equipment, boat ride or cart ride, organized walking tours along the Gornje Podunavlje Nature Reserve and visit to the village of Backi Monostor.

Adult visitors have opportunity to take their children with unique harmony of nature and traditions at the Podunav Eco-Recreational Center within this jewell of nature – the Gornje Podunavlje Special Nature Reserve. In Bački Monoštor village there is well-preserved heritage and tradition carefully maintained by diligent locals. Young visitors are excited to visit nicely appointed ethno houses where grandmothers and grandfathers used to live, discover old crats, meet the blacksmith who makes horse shoe, or boat manufacturer who completes the wooden boat, or bee keeper who will offer honey cookies and honey to taste, and spend healthy time in the Eco center where they will learn more about the nature protection and the Gornje Podunavlje Special Nature Reserve.

Backi Monostor makes the unique combination of cultures, traditions and nature, mysteries of the Medieval town of Bodrog and the surprises of the amazing Bodrog Fest, which evokes to every visitor a nostalgia and wish to come again.