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Zofona > Zofona Serbia > Serbia country information > Valjevo
This city is located around 100 kilometers South West from Belgrade. Getting there is easy. First take road E763 towards Cacak. Just after Lazarevac you turn to the right. On our way back we took road 21 towards Sabac.
Compared to cities like Sabac and Smederevo the center doesn't look big and attractive. The shopping area looks old and some parts are abandoned. They are constructing a big new Serbian Orthodox Church just outside the center but it is not finished and therefore not interesting at this moment.
There are around 60.000 people living in Valjevo and like with the other cities we visited the history is richer than you expect by the appearance nowadays. Located at the banks of the river Kolubara
this city was located at important crossroads already centuries ago. The first document in which Valjevo is mentioned dates back to 1393. We decided not to be suprised anymore because it looks like every city in Serbia has a long history. By now we will only be surpised if we manage to find a city which a history less than 300 years.
The oldest traces of humans walking around in this area date from the Palaeolithic period and were found in the Petnica cave. Valjevo was also mentioned in the travel accounts of Eulia Chelebia (1660), Felix Kaniz (1860 and 1888) and Hans Vogel (1913). In the town center you can find an old shopping center (Turkish bazaar) of Tesnjar which was already used in the 17th cetury. Today look dates back to the end of the 19th century. The dukes Aleksa Nenadovic and Ilija Bircanin were imprisoned in Valjevo before their execution in February 1804. Тhis event started the first Serbian Uprising against the Turkish occupation.
Valjevo also has some industry. We noticed a big Gorenje factory which looked brand new and in fact is new. If you do not live in this region you might have never heard of Gorenje, but it is a Slovenian owned electrical appliances manufacturer which has a big market share in the whole Balkan region. You bump into Gorenje dish washers, fridges, electrical tooth brushes, water boilers and so on everywhere. It is just like Philips stuff but cheaper.
So why should you visit Valjevo? The answer is easy, the surrounding hills are very nice. You can find some clean rivers, spa's, walking trails, and plenty of fresh air. Just take a small country road and discover where it will bring you. We did it and we liked it very much.