Mecavnik Wooden Town and Sargan Eight Train

Mecavnik Wooden Town and Sargan Eight Train

The Šargan Eight is a narrow-gauge railway in West Serbia, running from the village of Mokra Gora to the Šargan Vitasi station. Surrounded with slopes of three mountains and intersected with river valleys which here and there turn into gorges, and rich in mountainous streams and springs, vast forests and flowery meadows, the Mokra Gora village is one of the most beautiful and most impressive nature ambiance in Europe.

“Šargan Eight” Train railway is one of the most beautiful train section which  since 1974 connects Mokra gora point in the Western Serbia with the Eastern Bosnia and West Morava and Drina River Valleys. The Sargan train – narrow gauge railway has been built on the junction of the two railways – the one built by the Kingdom of Serbia from Belgrade to Mokra Gora and the railway built by the Austria-Hungary Empire from Dubrovnik to Visegrad, via Sarajevo. The narrow gauge railway – so called the ”Užička pruga” in West Serbia, was constructed between villages of Vardište and Kremna in spring and summer of 1916 by the occupation forces of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Among constructors were the former soldiers of the Tsar Russian Empire captivated in Serbia in 1915  who were forced to work on this extremely demanding and difficult construction of railway track by digging and cutting the rocky inapproachable terrain. The Austrian-Hungarian forces abandoned the building of the Sargan railway track in autumn 1916 because of huge expenses and unbearably high difficulties in construction which resulted in numerous casualties. Construciton works on Sargan train were continued only after the First WW in 1924 in the newly established Kingdom of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, when eventually the railway track connected Uzice and Sarajevo and the Adriatic Sea.

Sargan Eight railway had been finally built in 1925 and when completed had performed a true building miracle, as in 13.5 kilometers from Šargan to the Mokra Gora train station the narrow gauge railway climbs the altitude difference of 450 meters. The Sargan train route is remarkable and features shape of the digit “eight”. To pass distance from Šargan to Mokra Goravillage, the train goes over 5 bridges and 20 tunnels and by several observation points from where spreads magic view of the Mokra Gora nature. The Sargan railway track is narrow – only 0.76 meters! In 1974 the railway traffic on Sargan Hill was suspended. After comprehensive reconstruction works carried out by the Serbian Railways in 1999 trains started to operate again, when the famous Sargan train was introduced again. The Sargan train operates in season daily between Mokra Mokra Gora-Šargan Vitasi-Mokra Gora with two regular departures from Mokra Gora at 10:30h and at 13:30h. Additional departures are introduced, depending on interest of visitors, and they are operated at 08:00h and at 16:10h. The „Osmica“ Boarding House in Mokra Gora is comfortable accommodation and facility set right at the famous Sargan rail track station. The „Šarganska osmica“ and the Motel „Mokra Gora“ are part of the separate tourist facility which accommodates up to 40 guests. Rooms of the Osmica Boarding House in Mokra Gora /good 3 stars quality/ are comfortable, double, twin, king-size beds and triple rooms, with wooden furniture and own bathrooms. There is the meeting room with 50 seats available for various events and meetings, that along with comfortable accommodation and food and the renown Sargan train ride, best evokes the passed times. The visitors say that Sargan Train and the Mecavnik Wooden Town make the unique /and the best/ tourist attraction of Serbia.

Famous Film Director Emir Kusturica founded a unique “Wooden-Town” made from the coniferous wood from Tara, Zlatibor and Sargan Mountains on top of the Mecavnik Hill, where his film “Life is miracle” was shot. Kusturica is the author of such movies as “Time of the gipsies”, “Underground”, “When father was away on business” and other acclaimed works. The entire tourist complex and Film academy and traditional settlement of the Drvengrad-Kustendorf-Mecavnik is magically designed with plenty of authenticity to testify the rich cultural features from Western Serbia, with a result of “a medieval fortress defending itself from all the forms of poison that attack society”, as professor says. Decision to establish the Mecavnik Drvengrad – Wooden Town as the unique touristic and artistic settelement-Film Academy in the middle of the wonderful intact nature of the breathtaking Tara National Park-Mokra Gora Nature Reserve, Kusturica made during the shooting of his ingenious film “Life is miracle”. The construction of Drvengrad tourist settlement, 4 stars complex, followed the idea of a perfect life beyond everyday routine, abandoned into the magic of nature and the call of tradition, keeping in the same time the links with the current moment. Kusturica has worked with the likes of Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway, Jerry Lewis and Iggy Pop and numerous famous artists and personalities. Kusturica has won countless film awards and is one of the best-known film directors in Europe and the world. Within the unique Wooden Town tourist settlement there are numerous archaic and hand-painted authentic Old Vlach chalets and various wooden structures featuring different luxurious facilities that enable variety of imaginative artistic, relaxing and tourist services. Mecavnik Drvengrad-Kustendorf consists of traditional mountain cottages surrounded by the tranquil Saint Sava Church, cinema, restaurants, pastry-shop, library, swimming pool, sport-hall, sport grounds and ski-track. The No Smoking Orchestra and Emir Kusturica are a significant phenomenon of the anti-globalist movement and a unique paradox of the environment they have sprung from. They are more famous and more recognized on the international scene than in Serbia whose repute they have been successfully boosting. Together with the nearby “Sargan Eight” narrow-gauge railway Wooden Town – Kustendorf form /one of/ the most popular tourist attractions in Serbia.

The 15 cycling routes of total 400 km have been marked within the West Serbia area, in favor of the active bikers and cyclists outdoor vacations. In this way the marked cycling routes connect tourist destinations of West Serbia which provide visitors and locals choice of their wishes and physical conditions, as well as to choose tourist attractions they want to visit. Zlatibor is connected with the Tara Mountain via Mokra gora, Divčibare with the Užice area, Kosjerić and Požega. Arilje and Ivanjica are connected with the Golija Mountain, Uvac Special Nature Reserve, Pešter Plateau, Zlatar Mt and Prijepolje. The cycling routes are well marked with the tourist signposts, there are wooden coverage in the resting points for cyclists, hikers and mountaineers. For the active vacations in Serbia, there are available bikes to rent. In the close proximity there are ski runs and well marked hike trails, and numerous comfortable hotels  and rural households which provide visitors pleasant stay.