Šumadija region is the spiritual and cultural capital of Serbia and has given its own touch and contribution to much of that which makes Serbia different. Here trumpets and pipes are provide musical entertainment, the kolo dance weaves in and out at major gatherings, cold days are warmed up by a mug of “Šumadija Tea” – (Serbian Rakia brandy heated and sweetened with honey or sugar), and people still gather round to hear stories of Serbian heroes and army commanders, great battles and even greater victories. Partially cleared forests were transformed into Wine from Župa and the royal cellars in Oplenac and rakija (brandy) from Čačak and Kraljevo are droplets of history distilled into tradition.
Small and large rivers like the Zapadna Morava, Studenica, Ibar and Gruža flow through central Serbia, but this region is also home to numerous natural mineral water springs with proven medicinal qualities – these are Serbia’s spas. Once this area was full of woods and that was the reason for its present name. Sumadija is the heart of new Serbia both in geographic and historic sense.
The first Serbian rising against the Turkish rule started in Orašac close to Arandjelovac and the second rising began in not far from Kragujevac. These were the reasons why king Petar chose Oplenac near Topola for a place to build a mausoleum for his dynasty - Karadjordjevic. At the farthest south, there is a Ovčar- Kablarska gorge. It is famous for its natural beauties and monasteries. Rural tourism is very developed, and joyful landscapes with forests and meadows simply lure tourists.
Located near rivers, springs and streams and on mountains slopes, the villages of central Serbia offer opportunities for a varied and active holiday, which depending on the season can be a mixture of fishing, hunting, skiing, swimming, horse-riding, picking medicinal plants and forest fruits, walking, biking, preparing food and winter provisions with hosts, rakija distilling or grape-picking. Some village households hold workshops on how to make handicrafts and prepare traditional food or dry plums. Touring the landmarks of mediaeval Serbia – its many monasteries further adds to the powerful spiritual electricity felt across the region. The Endowment of King Petar I is located in Oplenac, and of special interest is the Church of St George, known for its unusually beautiful mosaics.
The Dragačevo Brass Bands Festival in Guča, with its rich and unique tradition, and celebrated good music, world-class fun and genuine hospitality, has helped to make Serbia’s name known around the world.
The Rajac Mow (Kosidba na Rajcu) is an event born from the tradition of mowing, in which relatives, neighbors and friends came together to cultivate the land. At that time, the mountain meadows below Rajac, near Ljig, were mowed in the middle of summer to the melodies of authentic folk songs.