Famous director Emir Kusturica has built the beautiful ethno village “Drvengrad” (eng. Wooden town) set between two mountains. Every year it hosts Kustendorf festival, an event visited by some of the world’s top film stars.
Located on Mećavnik hill in Mokra Gora nature park, the meeting point of two beautiful Serbian mountains Tara and Zlatibor, ethno village “Drvengrad” is a product of film director Emir Kusturica’s imagination, and was built for the production of his film “Life is a miracle”.
Around the world it is better known under the name of Kustendorf, a gorgeous oasis just beside Mokra Gora, a town of only 605 residents not far from the city of Užice.
“Drvengrad” is a rectangular ethno village with main street leading from the entrance gate on one end to a small wooden Christian-orthodox church on the other.
The church was built in tradition of Russian log cabin churches and is dedicated to St. Sava, the founder of Serbian autocephalous christian orthodox church. In the center of the village is a square paved with wooden blocks and surrounded by authentic log cabins brought in from their original locations and placed on foundations made of stone.
Streets in the village are named after some famous people. Main street bears the name of a Nobel prize winner, writer Ivo Andrić.
There are also streets named after Cuban revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara, Argentine football player Diego Armando Maradona, Serbian actor Miodrag Petrović Čkalja and famous film directors Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman. One street is named after Novak Djoković, one of the best tennis players in the world.
“Drvengrad” has an art gallery, a library, a cinema called “Underground” after one of Kusturica’s most famous movies, a cake shop with home made sweets, a restaurant with traditional Serbian cuisine, a souvenir shop etc.
Somewhat fantastic and mystical atmosphere of the place that actually resembles a fairy tale town, is additionally amplified by wooden birds placed on the upper plateau of its main square.
In 2005 the Brussels based “Philippe Rotthier foundation for architecture” has named “Drvengrad” the best architectural achievement in Europe in past three years. This ethno village was also awarded a four-star city-hotel status (just like Sveti Stefan in Montenegro).
“Drvengrad” also hosts the international “Kustendorf” film festival, founded by Emir Kusturica. It is conceived as an event where young filmmakers and students can meet famous actors and directors, but also as a meeting point of bands and musicians. Special highlight of the festival is a “bad films burial” ceremony taking place at the Bad films cemetery.
The first film “buried” here was “Die hard 4.0”. Over the years, actors Johnny Depp and Gael Garcia Bernal but also directors Nikita Mikhalkov, Jim Jarmusch and Abbas Kiarostami were among celebrities that have visited “Kustendorf”.
A visit to “Drvengrad” is not complete until you took a train ride along the Šargan eight, a 12km part of the narrow-gauge heritage railway.
“Ćira”, the old steam train, shall take you through deep rocky gorges sliding up and down an extraordinary number-eight-shaped track route. This so-called “eight”, the only such combination of tunnels and bridges in the world, manages to overcome a 300 meter altitude difference between Mokra Gora and Šargan.
Near “Drvengrad” you can also find another “must see” site. That is a village called Kremna, the home of “prophets” from the Tarabić family.
How to get to the magical village of Drvengrad?
The nature park Mokra Gora extends between Mt. Tara and Mt. Zlatibor at about 210 km from Belgrade and 290 km from Niš.
You can get to Mokra Gora and Drvengrad by your own vehicle. Google maps to Drvengrad >>HERE<<
To the very Mokra Gora and Drvengrad you come using the road to Višegrad from the direction of Užice or Bajina Bašta.
When you are already here, don’t miss…
Taking the old “Ćira” on the “Šargan eight” railroad between Šargan and Mokra Gora.
Visiting Zlatibor and the Zlatibor area, as well as Čajetina where you must attend the traditional event “Pršutijada” and try some of the domestic specialties prepared from the well preserved recopies.
Don’t miss a visit to Tara and enjoy the beauties.