Dreams that came true: legacy of Supreme Leader Karageorge and his grandson king Peter I For five centuries, Serbs dreamed of Liberty from the Ottomans. One brave man, Karageorge ('George the Black') led them to fulfill this dream in 1804. A century later his grandson became king of Serbia - a visionary who built one of the most impressive Royal Mausoleum - beautiful Church of Saint George with its must-see mosaics. This program is the insight into Serbian royal heritage and the Dynasty of Karageorgevich.
This program begins with a short drive to Mt. Avala for a visit to the Monument to the Unknown Hero, well known work of Ivan Meštrović, famous Yugoslav sculptor. It is built on the mountain top (511 m), and offers excellent views of the rolling hills of Šumadija. Photo stop by one of the landmarks of Belgrade - Avala TV tower, with 204 meters it is the tallest structure of all the Balkans and its architectural design makes it unique in the world. Drive to Topola. Upon arrival visit to the Church of Our Lady from 1813, Karageorge's endowment, and to his Residence, which is today a museum of the First Serbian Uprising and it's leader who established the Royal House of Karadjordjević Short drive to the top of Oplenac hill (337m) where one very special and unique church is situated. Built after WWI by king Peter I Karadjordjević, church of St. George was envisioned to be the Royal Family mausoleum for both his ancestors and descendants. Out of the 22 tombs of the Karadjordjević Dynasty, seven of them belong to rulers: Supreme Leader Karadjordje (Karageorge), Prince Alexander, King Peter I, King Aleksandar I, Queen Mother Maria, Queen Alexandra and King Peter II. Church design follows best tradition of famous Serbian medieval architecture. Marble for it's columns came from Carrara in Italy. But the absolute highlight are the must-see mosaics: 725 painted compositions (513 in the temple and 212 in the crypt), on which there are 1500 figures. The entire area of the mosaic is 3,500 square meters (!) (38,000 sq ft); with 40 million various colored pieces of glass which have 15 thousand of different varieties of color, making the artistic impression most vivid and detailed.Optional: • Visit to the Royal Oplenac Winery, or fifteen minutes drive to the wine cellar of the Aleksandrovic family. They are keepers of the Royal wine-making tradition as some of their wines are made according to royal recipes. Wine tasting and demonstration. • After the visit, a lunch can be arranged in the nearby town of Arandjelovac in a restaurant with interior decoration fully devoted to the Royal House of Karageorgevich.