Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Djavolja Varos

By:Jelena Jovanovic

Belgrade, July 15, (Serbia Today)- Djavolja Varos, the official nominee of Serbia in "New 7 Wonders of Nature" campaign, was placed in the list of the Top 77 nominees. Last week, at the end of the first circle of the campaign, Djavolja Varoš was at the first place in the category Canyons, Caves and Rock formations. At the beginning of this campaign, people from all over the world were able to vote for the candidates on Internet. (At the official web site of the campaign and other web sites)
In the third, final circle of the campaign, Panel of experts will choose 28 finalists. That list will be announced on July 21st.
The New Seven Wonders Foundation was established in 2001 by the Swiss-born Canadian filmmaker, author and adventurer Bernard Weber to contribute to the protection of the world’s human-built and natural heritage and to foster respect for the cultural diversity on our planet.
Djavolja Varoš is a natural landmark in the South Serbia, 27 kilometers south from a small town Kuršumlija. It gathers two rare natural phenomena at the same spot: 202 stone formations created by erosion and two springs of extremely acidic water with very high mineral content.
Stone formations are between two and 15 meters in height - the middle diameter is 1 meter, and heavy stone blocks at the top weigh 100kg. These geological forms have indeterminate origin. Each reference to this location of peculiar landforms describes it briefly as erosion of volcanic rocks. Those erosions had lasted for centuries.
Djavolja Varoš is mystical place with many legends that explain forming of this rare, unusual and attractive landscape. According to the first legend, humble, calm and religious people had inhabited this area. This had annoyed the devil who made “Devil’s Water” to make people forget their lineage. The fairy interrupted a devil’s plan, and according to the legend, she still keeps this area under her protection.
The campaign for the election of new 7 world wonders started in 2007. Serbian natural monument Djavolja Varos started to compete thanks to the company AD `Planinka` from Kuršumlija, the sponsors of Djavolja Varoš.
Snežana Ilić from AD Planinka explains for Serbia Today that Djavolja Varoš had an intensive promotional campaign, supported by the Ministry of Diaspora and Serbian Institute for the Nature protection. She said, “We do not know yet the exact number of votes given to Djavolja Varoš. We had an intensive campaign and we were in obligation to send all information about campaign to the organizer. We just know that over 2 000 people voted over our official web site. That is the only thing we could measure.”
Djavolja Varoš , Serbian wonder of nature, has been under the State protection since 1959. In 1995 it became a natural wonder of an outstanding importance and got the first-category level of protection.
Main rivals of Djavolja Varos in the last circle were candidates from Bulgaria – Belogradchic Rocks and from Australia – Uluru, Ayers Rock.
As a result of this successful promotional campaign for Djavolja varos and its good position on the list of new 7 wonders of nature, more tourists came to this area. Before this campaign Djavolja Varoš had 2- 3 000 visitors per year. In 2008. there were 50 000 visitors. This year, in the first 6 month, we had 35 000 visitors. It had significant economic effects on this area. If Djavolja Varoš manages to place on the list of the first 28 candidates, it would mean a lot for the tourism of this area and for the tourism in Serbia in general.

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