Cer Mountain

Cer Mountain

Cer Mountain is the legendary historical area where the Serbian celebrated History has been written ! The Cer Mountain with the Tekeris Monument take the special place in the history of Serbia and the Identity of the Serbs. The Serbian soldiers of the Battles on Cer, Gucevo, Mackov kamen and Kolubara did not want to knee before the enemy in the hardest moments, but they have crossed the Albanian Golghota to protect the honor of Serbia. The Giant-heroes captured the Kajmakčalan Mountain and broke the Salonica Front and were not conquerors but liberators of their country, their Fatherland! The Battles of Cer Mountain, and the Kolubara and the Kajmakchalan and the Salonica Front mark the brilliant crown of the extraordinary victories of the Serbian soldiers. 

Cer Mountain is located in north-west Serbia, around 100 km southwest of Belgrade and 35 away from Šabac. From the slopes of the Cer Mountain spreads beautiful panorama of the Macva Plain up to the Sava and Drina Rivers and toward the gently-rolled Pocerina region. From Loznica one reaches the Cer Mountain through the Lesnica village and the Memorial complex in Tekeris village which commemorates the Cer Battle and Serbian victory in the First World War over the Austria-Hungarian Army. Visitors should note the crossroad with the cross from were road goes left direction the “Lipove vode” mountain hut, 500 meters beneath the Šančina peak, 689 meters – the highest point of Cer Mountain. There are two roads at the Mountain Hut “Lipove vode” on Cer Mountain – one leads to the Kosana ‘s town fort, and the other to the Sancina peak. Walking along the mountain trails and small roads of Cer Mountain visitors in unique way discover both the historical periods of the Romans and the most heroic victory of the Serbian Army in the beginning of the First World War!

The Cer Mountain reveals the legend of the Emperor Troyan and his five daughters – Kosana, Kovilyka, Vida and i Soka, after whom the towns were named – Kosana’s town fortification /on Cer Mountain itself/, Koviljača, Vidin grad and Soko grad. Remains of the military stronghold of Trojan grad from the 3rd century AD testify on the powerful Roman Empire and its rule over this territory. The archaeological site of Konjuša dates from the early-Byzantine period – the 5th and the 6th centuries. The stronghold has been built during and after the time of barbaric attacks in the 4th and the 5th centuries, and comes from the time of restatement of the northern border of the Eastern Roman Byzantine Empire. Researchers believe that the early-byzantine fortification of Konjuša has overtaken the control over the Sava River Valley and the Srem area, which was in Roman period controlled from the Troyan fortification. Besides the safe-guarding of the area and control of traffic and trade, this stronghold provided protection against barbarian incursions towards southern territories of the Byzantine Empire in the central Balkans. On Cer Mountain there are still visible parts of the Roman road from the 3rd century, built along the ridge of the mountain that had connected the fortifications of the Troyan town and the Kosana’s town. Legend also has it that Milos Obilic originates from this region, who is believed to have built the Čokešin Monastery, dedicated to the Birth of the Holy Virgin. The Battle of Cokesina took place on 16 April 1804 in close proximity to the Cokesina Monastery. It was attributed the ‘Serbian Termopiles’ by the famous German historian Leopold Ranke in his work “The Serbian Revolution” and Nedic brothers who led the 300 brave soldiers who in the decisive combats were named The Serbian Leonidas”.

The area of the Tekeriš – Vodice – Lipove vode – Trojanov grad – Kosanin grad and slopes of the Cer Mountain forms an unique ensemble where one can today still see the marks of the perilous combats of the Cer Battle. On the Tekeriš Monument on the Cer Mountain it is written : “Your deeds are Immortal”, which commemorates the first great allied victory of the Serbian Army of the Great War in the Cer Mountain Battle. There were the Serbian Heroes of Cer Mountain and their courageousness and the Serbian Generals, Commanders and Field-marshals and their military tactics and patriotic skills who have shown the mighty military power of Austria-Hungary how to fight and defend the country.

The Tekeris Monument has been built of the granite from the Cer Mountain, on whose top there is the eagle holding the laurel wreath which is symbol of power and victory. The Serbian Army commander was General Stepa Stepanović, promoted into the field-Marshall for his ingenious conceptions and strategy of the Cer Battle.

Stepan Stepanovic – Stepa /1856-1929/ was a Serbian military commander who fought in the Serbo-Turkish wars, the Serbo-Bulgarian War, the First Balkan War, the Second Balkan War and World War I. Having joined the Serbian military in 1874, he fought against the forces of the Ottoman Empire in 1876. Over the following years, he climbed up the ranks of the Serbian Army and fought against Bulgarian forces in 1885. He was the Serbian Minister of Defense twice. During this period, in the organizational, professional, financial and moral sense, the Serbian Army was well prepared for the upcoming wars. In the First Balkan War /1912-1913/ Stepa Stepanovic commanded the Second Army. During the Second Balkan War the Army under the command of Stepa Stepanovic selflessly defended the Nisava zone with a fortified camp in Pirot. When the First World War broke out as a representative of the at the time absent Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Army Radomir Putnik, Stepanovic was in charge of the mobilization and concentration of the Serbian Army. After Putnik returned to the country, Stepanovic again took over as commander of the Second Army, and with its main forces he carried out a march-maneuver over Koceljeva and Tekeris. In a night attack on the eastern slopes of the Cer Mountain, he defeated the 21st Division of the Austro-Hungarian 8th Corps. For the Serbian victory over the Central Powers in the Battle of Cer, he was promoted to the rank of Voivoda – field marshal, on 20 August 1914. In the Battle of Kolubara, from 16 November to 15 December, the Second Army first stopped the enemy attack on the right bank of the Kolubara River, and then participated in the maneuver of Voivoda Radomir Putnik and General Zivojin Misic, which led to the collapse of the Austro-Hungaria Balkan Army. During the Austrian invasion of Serbia in the autumn of 1015, Stepanovic’s army, together with the Timok army foiled an attempt of the Bulgarian First Army to penetrate through Nisava zone and attack the main forces of the Serbian Army deployed on the northern front, and thus greatly contributed to the decline of the Austro-Hungarian plans for the rapid destruction of the Serbian Army. Although he had a significant role in the reorganization of the Serbian Army on the Greek island of Corfu and its first successes in the front near Gornicevo, at Kajmakchalan and around Bitola, the greatest success is related to the breakthrough of the Salonica Front and Bulgarian capitulation”. Meet the Serbs

Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Army was Radomir Putnik who confirmed his status as one of the greatest strategists of Europe. General Petar Bojović was the first commander of the First WW wounded while combating in first rows with his units. General Živojin Mišić, the military strategist and Deputy of the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command made first decisive military maneuvers which led to the victory on Cer Mountain, whose army tactics and skills are still researched at the most prestigious Military Academies in the world.

Next to the Tekeris Monument on Cer Mt there is the Memorial Museum with busts of Field Marshals Radomir Putnik, Petar Bojović, Stepa Stepanovića and Živojin Mišić. The hardest casualties of the Cer Battle were civilians and army, as there were 17000 Serbian wounded and victims and 23000 on the side of Austria-Hungary. At the Transfiguration Church in Krivaja village there was the rescue point for wounded soldiers, from where after the first aid treatment, they were transported to the large hospital in Valjevo. Next to the Krivaja church there is the military cemetery where 41 Serbian soldiers were buried, and 3 of Austria-Hungarian soldiers rest in peace next to them.

Cer Mountain provides its visitors various possibilities for memorable guiding of perfect local guide Ms Ana Pavlovic, along hiking along the well-marked trails which lead to the important localities and tourist attractions of Sabac and surroundings : Tekeriš Memorial complex established to honor the victims of the Cer Battle in August 1914, Monasteries of Radovašnica, Petkovica and Čokešina, Memorial Ossuary in the village of Macva Prnjavor, which commemorates the unspeakable atrocities of Austria-Hungarian soldiers over the civilians and rural population of Macva. On top of the Cer Mountain there is the Lipova voda Mount Hut which provides visitors tourist services of food and accommodation for very affordable prices.

Visitors keen to discover numerous historical facts on Cer Mountain and its surroundings, its rich cultural heritage and imaginative stories and legends, are strongly recommended to hire superior local guide Miss Ana – our fantastic colleague with lots of experience, knowledge and patience ! Visitors who want to stay overnight or spend their pleasant holidays in this part of ‘historical Serbia’ are warmly recommended to book the nicely appointed facility of the respectable rural tourist household of Vila Albedo in the village of Varna. There visitors can have comfortable accommodation, extraordinary food and successfully experience VARIOUS well-preserved customs as the Easter Workshop, Souvenir Workshop, Painting Workshop, Theater performance, Night of Museum, Pocersko prelo event and the Ethnic-yard market…..