Rustic ethno household Banja Josanica village

The original traditional/ethno household of the Lazic Family is known to lovers of rural tourism by the authentic water mill from 1888, healthy and tasty food and atmosphere without any pollution and modern time conveniences, located in the village of Banja Josanica, 16 km from the Soko Banja Spa. This tiny village is set on slopes of the Bukovik Mountain, in the north-western part of the Soko Banja Valley. This village has 7 mineral springs along which it got its name of Banja Jošanica. There are data on curative features of the Banja Josanica and its springs, known even in the Roman period, while the earliest written sources date from the Turkish time. In 1962 the new baths were constructed on the foundations of the old baths of Banja Josanica from 1905, when springs were renewed with water temperature of 27-34 C. Mineral curative waters of the Banja Jošanica help in healing acute renal failure and kidney beans and renal calculus, gastric ulcer and peptic ulcer disease, urinary tract diseases, anemia, neurosis, skin diseases, eczema, dermatitis, ….

The Lazic couple, Zorica and Danijel are tireless owners of the agricultural estate and extraordinary hospitable hosts of the Banja Josanica Spa who cordially welcome their guests in their one-storey house and spacious yard full of flowers, greenery and vine, and the small bridge over the Josanicka Reka River. Danijel Lazić is engineer of agriculture who gained miller knowledge and skills in his childhood, and renew it when he lost his job. Danijel says that their water mill was erected as part of the family house from where one today practically enters the kitchen and other parts of the house. Diligent host possesses the document which testify that the water mill was constructed in 1888, but his ancestors used to say that it was actually built from brushwood 60 years earlier, when there were 13 owners – partners. Grandfather of Danijel, Sojan, who lived until 96, discovered springs of mineral waters of Josanica in 1947, after a dream that he should reconstruct the curative springs which date from the Roman times, as well as the steam – Turkish baths. In the past Zorica worked at the reception of the spa capacities of the Banja Jošanica, then within the former hotel enterprise of Lepterija from Soko Banja Spa, when she used to welcome numerous guests who visited this spa for healing and vacations. After the bankruptcy of Lepterija, mineral springs and spa capacities of Banja Josanica were neglected, so Zorica decided to welcome guests in her household.

Thanks to original water mill and wonderful beauties of the surrounding nature, hosts started rural tourism business and own agricultural production. The watermill is not only decoration, but also place where all kinds of grains are processed – the whole grains of wheat /barley, oat, rye and corn turn into whole wheat bread, base for homemade bread baked under the pot, various pastries and pies, as well as the pancakes from whole wheat grains that are part of the menu of this household. Hosts of the ethno/traditional household in Banja Josanica proudly explain how the watermill of their ancestors functions today and provides flour for the price of 120-150 dinars for a kilo, because it gets more business in the last years as people turn towards the healthy diet, return to nature and healthier way of life.

This household is usually visited by visitors and guests keen to enjoy in uniquely tasty food of hosts Zorica who was awarded for preparation of healthy good and nearly forgotten traditional dishes. Menu contains old dishes – corn bread prepared from white corn flour, whole wheat bread, rye bread from the watermill, various pies and gibanitza /cheese pie/, kacamak /hominy/, soups, sarma in vine leaves, or with linden leaves, sarma with cabbage and beetroot, sarma with lamb meat, slowly cooked beans slightly baked under the heat, various lean meat and low fat dishes and starters, slowly cooked lamb or goat meat with mushrooms and nettles, string beans, beans, potato, goulash, vegetable dish, rice dishes, chicken and turkey prepared in various types. ‘Kravajčići’ prepared of whole wheat grains /small beads made from integral flour/ are baked under the pot and best go with cheese or cracklings, or as bread with the main course. Sour or sweet-regular milk goes with sarma in vine leaves or sarma prepared from lamb meat. Aspic is favorite winter starter and best goes with cabbage casserole and brandy or aspic prepared from broad beans /fava beans/ are served as fasting meal. Meat is roasted in built-in bakery in open fire from beech wood. This household prepares homemade cookies with nuts, vanilla, peach-form cookies, strudel with poppy seeds and nuts and jam, apple pie, noodles from integral/whole wheat grains with dried plums…. During their stay here guests enjoy in homemade brandies /rakija/ prepared in traditional way, wine and natural juices from fruits grown in the area – elder flower, lemon balm, rose, raspberry, blackberry, cherry, apple, pear, quince and peach…. Food is delicious, extraordinary fresh and prepared from ingredients from own production of this household, without any additives.

Accommodation for guests in the ethno household of Lazic Family in Banja Josanica is organized in the new house, arranged in rustic style. There are one single room, two twin rooms and one triple room with usage of common bathroom with shower available to guests. This type of accommodation is suitable for family vacations or stay of close companies.

During their vacations in the traditional household of the Lazić Family in Banja Jošanica guests can visit the Church of Ascension of the Holy Virgin, built in 1396 which hosts frescoes of extraordinary beauty, next to the springs of the Banja Josanica. The later church of the Banja Jošanica dates from 1899 and is dedicated to the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius. In close vicinity on the mountain slopes guests enjoy in easy walks and relaxed vacations in intact nature. Also during their vacations in the Banja Josanica Spa guests can take part in agriculture works, preparation of pickled salad and learn well preserved customs of this village and diligent hosts who bravely and successfully confront globalism. The traditional museum-collection in the nearby village of Vrmdža /42 km/, which in recent years becomes example of excellent development of rural tourism and healthy life, has been established in 2010 in the parish. It contains permanent exhibition of traditional costumes of this area, pottery, various fabrics and tools from which costumes are manufactured, as well as process of making costumes. Close to the Banja Josanica /17 km/ is the Bovan Lake, rich in fish, with several nicely appointed beaches, and options for rowing, sailing and boat and pedal boat ride.