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In Southern Serbia, at the heart of Radan Mountain, nature has “carved” exactly 202 figures in the soil, bedecked with rock caps. Standing up to fifteen metres high and three metres wide, they inspire awe from the moment you set eyes on them.
There are many folk legends about these figures. In an effort to explain how they came to be, locals have named them after the one thing they feared the most. According to one legend, the petrified devils used to ride on people’s backs, the people endured their fate only managing to free themselves by spending a night at the nearby church of Saint Parascheva. Another legend says they are in fact a group of petrified wedding guests - the bride and groom tricked by the devil into marrying a brother and a sister.
However, scientists have found that the Devil’s Town was created by erosion of the soil caused by heavy precipitation, which carried away layers of clay, while the parts of the soil underneath the rock caps remained intact. With the effects of wind, the sun and temperature changes, we are left with the curiously-shaped figures we see today.
If you come to see the Devil’s Town, be sure to also visit the two unusual springs nearby. Đavolja voda (Devil’s Water), which springs near the “Town”, has extremely acidic water full of aluminium, iron, copper and sulphur. Several hundred metres away lies Crveno vrelo (Red Spring), so named because of its characteristic colour, which is due to a high iron concentration.
We suggest you also visit the mining shafts built as early as the 13th century, when Serbian King Uroš brought Saxon miners to extract iron, gold, silver and aluminium. Entrances to the shafts are very narrow and only one shaft, whose entrance has been expanded, is partly explored and is believed to be some 800 metres long!
Info: Devil’s Town