Mt. Rtanj – The energy of brand new experience
Mountain Rtanj belongs to the group of pyramid-shape mountains, it resembles a three-side roof justifying its nickname „The roof of Serbia”. Rtanj is the mountain located in eastern Serbia, about 200 km southeast from Belgrade, near Boljevac. It belongs to the Carpathian mountains with its peak named Siljak (Spike) 1,565 m and it stands out as a respresentative and natural phenomenon of karst relief. The mountain abruptly rises from the valley, ending in an almost perfect cone, making people believe that Rtanj is also a pyramid similar to those in the neighbouring Bosnia. In its foothill it consists mostly of sandstone and rocks while the upper parts comprise limestone. Slopes are gentle on the mountain’s southern side and towards the foothill there is a plateau slowly giving its way to Sokobanja. However, the northern side of the mountain is deeply cut off with a sharp ridge towards the peak. The highest peak Siljak is situated on the eastern part of the ridge.
The northern part is covered with forests and green grass pastures, with autochthonous plant species and abundant fresh-water wells. This is where a hunting ground is situated, comprising 6,368 hectares of land. Roe deer and boars are usual hunting game. The Rtanj Mountain stands out as a remarkable biological diversity. Part of the mountain is covered with woods (pine and beech) covering area up to 900 metres above sea level. The upper part of the mountain is covered with low bushes, shcrubs and grass where one can find a large number of medicinal herbs such as mint, thyme, rosehips as well as an aphrodisiac herb used for making widely-known Rtanj tea. It was not long ago when collecting Rtanj tea herb was organized, but recently it has been banned to collect the herb from its habitat due to its worrying rareness.
The Rtanj settlement is a typical mining one which was founded successively along with the works on exploiting stone coal from the mountain. On the top of the mountain there was a church built by 1,000 workers and it was sanctified in 1936. The chapel was demolished as result of people’s beliefs in legends some 20 years ago. It was blown away with dynamite in vain efforts to discover treasure hidden long ago. There is initiative to rebuild the chapel. Modern visitors very often pay their admiration to the Minh’s Rosarium, standing proudly between two yew trees and representing the most valuable and precious aesthetic work of art.
Rtanj is primarly favorite tourist resort for amateur mountain climbers. Form the beginning of April till the end of October climbing to the mountain peak is organised not only by the mountaineering associations but by individual citizens al well. During winter months, mountain peak is conquered by serious professional climbers, due to serious winter conditions.
The vicinity of the mountain is abundant with economic potentials which can be successfully applied in many interconnected areas such as tourism (health tourism, scientific tourism, hunting tourism and hotel and restaurant management), sports (mountain climbing, sports trainings)production of medical herb teas, remedies containing edical herbs, produciton of fresh water and produciton of healthy food. The Rtanj mounatin area is abundant with natural beauties, i.e. fresh air, clean fresh drininking water, plenty of endemic medical herbs, old forests, games and breath-taking views.