Sokograd - the most important information
In the area of Lepterija in Sokobanja, a landscape of distinct beauties and natural resources, are the remains of the once-mighty Sokograd. This fortification was built in the Byzantine era on the site near the river Moravica, which still preserves what is left of it. Although in ruins, Sokograd, due to its turbulent history, appearance, and interesting location, receives many curious visitors every year.
History of Sokograd
According to some research, Sokograd was created at the same time as the fort Vrmdzanski Grad. It is believed that it was built by Emperor Justinian (4th century) to stop the forcing attacks of the Avars and Slavs. It was most probably named after the falcons, which still circle above its remains.
From its construction until the 19th century, Sokograd witnessed the turbulent events of the Balkan Peninsula. Interestingly, this fortification was first conquered and demolished by the great zupan Stefan Nemanja, in 1172, in the fight against the Bogomils who ruled this region.
At the end of the 14th century, Sokograd was occupied by the Turks, and in 1413 it suffered great destruction in the battles between the rebel ruler of Sokograd Hamza and Musa Kesedzija. In the 17th and 18th centuries, this fortification was under the rule of Serbs and Austrians until the beginning of the 19th century, when everyone left it, and it ended up completely abandoned.
Significance of Sokograd
Built on a high rock that rises above the river Sokograd, it has long been an invincible fortress. It is believed that the fort was large and quite scattered throughout today's Lepterija area. In relation to its former size, it can be said that today we have only a few remains of it. However, that does not diminish the value of Sokograd as a witness to the history and attractive location that even today tourists like to "conquer".
What to see
Sokograd most likely spread in two levels, but only parts of it have been preserved:
- Entrance tower "Motrilja" - entrance to the upper town
- The main tower - where the ruler of the city once resided
- Observation towers - two partially preserved and connected by a rampart
How to get to Sokograd
Sokograd has located 2 km from Sokobanja and rises on very inaccessible terrain. You can only reach it:
- On foot: going upstream along the path that leads from Lepterija, follows the signpost to Sokograd. This trail ascends and leads to the first tower "Motrilja".
- Road: be careful when visiting Sokograd because some parts of the path and walls are steep and located on the sharp edges of the rock.
While climbing towards Sokograd, on the right side of the road leading from Lepterija, you can see the cave of Hajduk Veljko, who is said to have conquered this fortification himself on one occasion. If you go down to the river canyon, you will have the opportunity to see some of the famous beaches of Moravica