“Poganovska sopka” Rural Tourist Household Poganovo village Dimitrovgrad

The Poganovska šopka is authentic rural tourist household – the ethno /traditional/ house of 3 stars category with the main house dating from the end of the 19th century, located in south-east Serbia in the village of Poganovo, some 20 km away from the main road Niš-Sofia. The Greben Mountain and the Vlaška planina Mountain in southeast Serbia, south of Pirot and Dimitrovgrad, are divided by the narrow and high canyon of the Jerma River, on which entrance is set the magnificent Poganovo Monastery dedicated to Saint John the Theologian. Traditional house and other structures around it make fully authentic example of the Balkan style of architecture.  Beautiful and spacious house features white-washed walls, roof covered with tiles /ceramida/, original porch with terrace decorated with arches, and is reinforced with strong wooden beams, as per style and demands of the traditional building pattern and the house of the former corbadzija /commander of the elite Ottoman Jannisary army/. The name of this rural tourist household come from šopka – specific tile produced in the Poganovo Tile manufacture after which the village was highly reputed.

The surroundings of the Poganovska šopka rural tourist household – the ethno village of Poganovo feature extraordinary richness of plant and herb species. The Poganovo village is encircled with centenary beech forests and fragrant meadows, so here numerous herbs can be collected – St John’s wort, thyme, absinthe, and highly rare wild oregano and so-called Rtanj Tea. Wild blueberries, dogwood, hawthorn, and abundance of rose hip are round nearby the Poganovska sopka, as well as wild apples and pears. Along with the fact that the Poganovo village is host to various legends, it was widely renowned for its herbs healers that testify on extraordinary biodiversity of the area.

Accommodation capacity of the Poganovska šopka ethno house – rural tourist household is 10 beds in 4 traditionally appointed rooms with bathrooms /with shower/. The entire atmosphere of the Poganovska šopka toutist complex echoes ecology and tradition thanks to cordial hosts, wonderful natural environment and numerous items collected locally and are specially highlighted in the dining room with a fire place. During their stay at the Poganovska šopka Ethno House guests enjoy in pure clean environment, clear mountainous air, exceptional homemade food, hiking and mountaineering along marked trails on the Greben Mountain and the Vlaska planina Mountain, hunting and fishing, discovery of well-preserved customs, exploration of local events and manifestations and the Poganovo Monastery,… Visit to the Rakita village highly contributes to and supports the protest of the local population against construction of small-hydro power plants. As per guests wish, visit to the nearby Poganovo and Sukovo Monasteries is organized, as well as tour of Dimitrovgrad, where guests visit the museum collection and the Weaving House with machines from the last century that manufacture woolen blankets and coverings ….

The surroundings of Dimitrovgrad and Pirot is proud for wonderful nature, hospitable locals and tasty healthy and organic food. Guests of the Poganovska šopka Ethno House are served with outstanding sheep and cow cheese, homemade yoghurt, urda, kachkaval cheese, stuffed suspe – dried peppers filled with meat or vetebles, sarme made in wine leaves, various djuvech dishes, salads, banica /cheese pies and other types of pies/, smoked meat (hanging and maturing in traditional way), various sprža dishes /specially conserved and spiced meat and cracklings that come with čubrica aromatic spice which is absolute master in kitchens of southeast Europe and Mediterranean, that cannot be found in other parts of Serbia. Guests can obtain original recipes of memorable tasty food from the cordial owners of the Poganovska sopka rural household.

In the middle of the 20th century the village of Poganovo was municipal seat with population of some 1500 people, the Elementary School, Police station, ambulance, post office and lots of raspberry plantations, plenty of sheep and cows, and the Tile Factory of the Todorovi Family (Dunđerovci brothers) that was one of the first industrial facilities in this part of the Dimitrovgrad Municipality. At present there are some 30 people who constantly live in the Poganovo village that is connected with good paved roads with other parts of Serbia that pass through picturesque landscapes of the mountainous canyon of the Jerma River, and in proximity of the Parks of Nature of Stara Planina and Sicevo canyon, and the Odorobacko and Vlasko zdrelo springs… . This tiny and quiet village is 27 km away from Dimitrovgrad, the same from Pirot, some 80 km from Sofia, some 100 km from Nis and 350 km away from Belgrade. The nearest airports are Sofia Airport and Nis Airport, and the nearest railway station is in Dimitrovgrad.

Remains of the old and highly impressive architecture in the proximity of the Poganovo village are in the Ribni point at the locality of Čitapšov kamik and testify on traces of a settlement and a stronghold dating from the late Antiquity and the early Byzantium. The accidental discovery of the Roman items – the lights and decorative fibulas in the hamlet of Sumje, and the military acknowledgements from the nearby Planinica village determine beginning of the continuous life in the area of Poganovo village from the 3rd century and the time of the Roman administration in the region. Given that the thorough archaeological excavations were not carried out in the Poganovo village and the surroundings, without material finds we can only guess on the life that existed already in the prehistoric times.

At the beginning of every August for more than two decades is traditionally organized International Painting colony in the Poganovo Monastery in close vicinity of the Poganovska šopka tourist household. This cultural event attracts reputed painters from all over the world. Since recently the Poganovo village is host of the Summer school of Architecture which is dedicated to the original traditional building and urbanism. The Architecture Summer School iin Poganovo village is organized by the Faculty of Architecture and Construction of Nis and the Architecture faculty from Pernik that recognized the village of Poganovo and the Poganovska sopka facility as the completely preserved source of traditional Balkan architectural style, and the point for organization and management of an authentic village.

Besides the comfortable accommodation and perfect ambiance provides visitors options of excursions, sports and recreation in horse-back riding of healthy and trained authentic horses that are rarely found in Serbia. Along the fact that horses are enduring, they are extraordinary calm and suitable for riding endurance and panoramic touring of the Poganovo village and the surroundings. For children beginners in horseback riding, the Poganovska šopka complex arranges riding instructor.

It is poorly known that the Poganovo village with surroundings provided scenery for the film named ‘Goldsmiths’ Gold’ that was shot during the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, somehow inspired by legends on buried up gold. It was directed in 1928 upon opening of the Rakita coal mine and start of the narrow gauge railway from Sukovo to Rakiva village with the Poganovo village that used to be one of the stations. The locals of Poganovo took part in filming, and later there were other films produced here as the “Dorotej”, “Battle for southern railway” and other films of the later periods….