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The untouched nature of the spring, only 150 kilometers from the capital, enchanted many tourists in 2020. During the spring and hot summer days during the pandemic, everyone turned to nature and domestic tourism, so many heard about Krupajsko vrelo for the first time near Žagubica, in eastern Serbia. Unreal blue-green shades of water behind the wide canopy of trees are an ideal place for “selfies”, but also for real art photographs, but few people know the story of the old legend of this beautiful spring.

According to the legend, the Homolje mountains swallowed a large amount of gold, which is hidden in the Golden Cave at the bottom of Krupajski vrelo, which is guarded by Tartor, the water spirit. Every year on “Devil’s Day”, Tartor strikes his drums and summons other spirits. Only on that day is the entrance to the cave open. Women from this part of the country who want great power enter the river at night, wanting to surrender to the water spirit. If they succeed, they become very powerful. In return, the ghost seeks a reward, usually a beautiful and young girl.


There are actually semi-submerged caves below Krupajski vrelo. Divers partially explored these caves by diving to 123 meters, which is a national record. Here they found an earlier human presence which they attribute to gold hunters.

The approach to Krupajski vrelo is of special interest. Near the old mill, you can see a narrow road and a couple of steps built of natural stone. When you go down those stairs, you can see two small pools. The third smaller lake is a sign that the goal is close. It is worth a little trouble because the final scene will enchant you.

On the way to Krupajski vrelo, you can also visit the Zaova monastery – one of the large number of festivals located in the Braničevo district. The origin of this monastery also has symbolism. It perpetuates the legend of the tragic death of sister Jelica, from the time of Prince Lazar. The legend says that the brothers Pavle and Radul, lords at that time, had the youngest sister Jelica, whom they adored. Paul’s wife, jealous of that love and attention, decided on a terrible scenario. After she slaughtered his falcon and horse, and accused Jelica of that, she killed her own child in the cradle, and put bloody knives under the pillow. Pavle trusted the woman, whom the people called “Pavlović’s bitch”, and ordered his sister to tie her horses by the tails and tear them apart. Where, according to tradition, her beard fell, the monastery of Bradača was built, where her hand fell, the monastery of Rukumija, where her eyes fell, the spiritual building Sestroljin was built, where the visually impaired are treated, and at the place where Jelica’s body fell, is the monastery of Zaova. Her tears and whispers flowed through the dense forest, so that the healing springs of Šopot and Suzina were near the monastery, and immortelle and basil grew everywhere where Jelica’s blood fell.


Pavlović’s bitch became seriously ill and was ill for nine years. She prayed to God for forgiveness, but there was no salvation for her. In the end, she confessed to her husband’s crime, and he took it and tore it to the horses as well as his sister.

It is believed that this shrine was built by Prince Lazar himself. This is, for sure, a place where history, tradition, legends, faith, nature and peace meet. Not far from the monastery there is a beautiful artificial lake Zaova.

The east of our country is rich in exceptional landscapes, nature and monasteries, and it is definitely worth a visit. In the hope that even when the borders open, domestic tourism will develop, and that we will “catch” every free moment to escape to nature, let eastern Serbia and Krupajsko vrelo be on your list of priority places.

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