Tesnjar - the most important information
Located in Valjevo, Tesnjar is the old part of the city and as such is one of the symbols of this part of Serbia. It is located on the right bank of the river Kolubara, where it follows its course, and consists of one main street with several smaller ones that descend narrowly down the hill towards the river. The main street is only 6 meters wide and looks at the place where Ilija Bircanin and Aleksa Nenadovic were executed. As a whole, it was built modestly, in the spirit of classicism and traditionalism, and centuries of changes in the social climate did not affect its appearance. The dilapidated condition in which it is today is reminiscent of the long history of this bazaar. It has the status of a cultural monument.
History of Tesnjar
Tesnjar was a craft district in Valjevo with workshops, craft warehouses and shops that were part of the houses with large yards. The courtyards of these houses, built in the 19th century, contained auxiliary facilities that also had commercial and craft purposes. The records of the playwright Joakim Vujic from 1826 mention 100 shops, of which there were as many as 86 more in just a few years.
The atmosphere in Tesnjar was energetic throughout the day thanks to vendors, bakers, cevap makers and craftsmen. Cakes, salty and sweet pastries, boza, alva, sour milk and salep were sold, and in the evening young people turned the street into a promenade.
When significant changes affected the settlements on the left bank of Kolubara, Tesnjar remained intact and gathered Valjevo around its borders. After the new rise of Valjevo, which led to an increase in the number of inhabitants, life developed again on the left bank of the Kolubara, which did not affect Tesnjar itself and its significance.
The industrialization of Valjevo in the 20th century exposed this street from its previous purposes and thus it entered a slow process of decay. Although similar bazaars in Serbia suffered the fate of complete disintegration, at the end of the 20th century, Tesnjar entered the process of restoration and conservation, which is still ongoing.
What to visit
Tesnjar is a well-known place for people from Valjevo to go out, and a must-see place for tourists, with it’s large number of catering facilities. To this day, about twenty houses have been preserved, whose yards are covered with cobblestones and are decorated with trees and jardinieres full of flowers. Crafts that are still present are:
- Shoe making
Among the preserved objects are:
- The house of Jovica Milutinovic: at the very entrance to the bazaar is a building that is mentioned as one of the most important buildings and it houses the restaurant "Kod Saraca"
- The house of the merchant Milan S. Popovic: it stands out for its architectural style
- Merchant Zivko Tadic's house: highly decorative street facades with pilasters and horizontal wreaths
- "Curved house": the first floor of the house goes beyond the ground floor and thus covering the entrance to the building
- The building of the District Trade Union Council of Valjevo
- Kovac han building
How to get to Tesnjar?
You can walk to Tesnjar from the city center and it won't take more than 20 minutes. A similar route can be followed by car and taxi services with affordable prices are always available.
- By car: follow Vladike Nikolaja street to Pop Lukina and turn in Dusanova; follow Dusanova and road 170 through Bircaninova and Milovan Glisica streets to Bobovceva from where Tesnjar is only a few steps away
- On foot: The same route can be followed through Vladike Nikolaja, but can be shortened through Vojvode Misicaa Street or Pop Lukina
- Taxi stations: City Taxi Valjevo: 014 / 291-129, Pink Taxi Valjevo: 014 / 292-929, City Taxi Valjevo: 014 / 354-2222, Kula Taxi: 014 / 290-29
If you visit Valjevo in August, you can attend the Tesnjarske veceri festival. This festival brings together theater and film artists, writers, modern painters and musicians and offers an accompanying program that covers the tourist and economic offerings of the city.