Friday, May 14, 2010

Topola - A field trip into hystory

Belgrade, May, 10. 2010 (Serbia today) To experience Serbia’s struggle against Turkish rule that lasted nearly 500 years and the tradition of the royal family Karadjordjevic, you do not need a time machine. All you have to do is travel 80 kilometers from the Serbian capital Belgrade to Topola, the town of uprising leader Karadjordje.It was during the leadership of Djordje aka Karadjordje Petrovic, between 1804 and 1813, that Serbia started offering serious resistance to the Turkish Empire and restoring its statehood. Karadjordje is known in Serbian history as the leader of the First Serbian Uprising (1804) and is the ancestor of the Karadjordjevic royal line.Today, one can visit Karadjordje’s stronghold, his house and church. A destination that should not be missed is the Legacy House of King Petar I Karadjordjevic on Oplenac hill, which includes a majestic Karadjordjevic family crypt, Petar’s House, the Wine Maker’s House. To view historical monuments, walk through  the pleasant environment of Oplenac hill, and after that great wine from the  Royal Wine Cellar. Royals vineyards used to span about 50 hectares. The entire legacy house used to live off the production of wine from the Royal cellar, built by King Petar’s heir Aleksandar in 1931. Today it is a museum exhibiting old equipment, wine presses and barrels dating back to the 1930s. One can also see the oldest Serbian winery, with bottles from the period between 1931 and 1957. After World War Two, the winery fell into neglect. Production gradually slowed down and finally came to a halt in the 1970s, but was restarted in 2004. Of the planned 50 hectares in the king’s vineyards, 11 have been planted. The wine Sauvignon Blanc is, for the time being, the first and only wine made from grapes from the restored royal vineyards in the total quantity of 20,000 bottles. Representatives of the Legacy House say they will restore the old glory of the Royal Cellar and will produce the best wine in increasing quantities, but according to traditional, natural procedure with no chemical processes.

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