Avala is a mountain in Serbia, overlooking Belgrade. It is situated in the south-eastern corner of the city giving a great panoramic view to Belgrade, Vojvodina and Šumadija, as the surrounding area. It stands at 511 metres (1,677 ft) above sea level.
It’s is located 16 kilometers south-east of Belgrade. The entire area of the mountain belongs to the Belgrade City area.
Despite being officially protected for almost 150 years, only in 2007 were a preservation plans for the mountain made. That way, Avala entered a circle of protected green areas of Belgrade, which also include the mountain of Kosmaj, the island of Veliko Ratno Ostrvo and the woods of Stepin Lug, with the forests of Košutnjak and Topčider.
Aside from the rich animal life, the Avala is known for its diverse plant life, despite not being a high mountain. There are over 600 plant species the habitat of which is there on the mountain. Some of them are protected by law as natural rarities, like certain types of laburnum or box tree. The area also abounds in herbs with medicinal properties. High woods mostly consist of durmast oak, Turkey oak, hornbeam, beech, linden, black pine, black locust and other trees.
The famous Avala tower- monument made of concrete was designed by Uglješa Bogdanović, Slobodan Janjić and Milan Krstić in 1965, destroyed in 1999 in the NATO bombing and reopened for visitors in 2010.
Photos by Jovana Marković
Dragana Kostica is the Belgrade-based editor in chief and founder of Still in Belgrade art, culture and club scene magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management in Arts (MA of Arts) and a Bachelor degree in Archaeology.