Devil’s town (Serbian: Djavolja varoš) is one of the most attractive natural phenomena within the Balkans. It’s located in south Serbia, 27 km south-east of Kuršumlija and presents one of the seven Serbian wonders. Djavolja Varoš has been protected by the state from 1959. By the Decision of the Serbian Government 1995, it was declared the natural good of an outstanding importance. Devil’s town is given the first-category level of protection – natural monument. It was a nominee in the New Seven Wonders of Nature campaign. This place is a complex of stone-capped, spindle-shaped pillars, known as soil pyramids and two springs of extremely acid water. About 200 soil figures were created by soil erosion. Pillars are high between 2 m and 15 m and wide from 0.5 m to 3 m. Most of them have heads and caps which provide shields from further erosion. You can also book your stay in Leskovac that is just 18km away from this landmark.
These soil pyramids were so mysterious to the locals. There are a lot of legend about its origins. One of the most famous legends said that a long time ago there were living kind and generous people. Devil didn’t like the harmony between folks, so he was making a plan how to harm them. He ordered to locals to marry brother and sister. They set out to the church where the ceremony was planned. Didn’t know what to do to prevent incest, fairy prayed to the God to help her. The God listened to her request: he made cold wind to blow very fast which also brought rain and then the storm flip wedding guests into stones.
Another legend said that devils were those who turned into stones. Devils used to hook to people’s back bringing trouble to them. Poor people didn’t know what to do, so they ask God for help. They were praying and staying all night in the church of Saint Petka. In the morning, all the devils unhooked and have become stones.
Church of Saint Petka
Remains of the church from the 13th century was discovered nearby Devil’s town and a few years ago it was rebuilt and dedicated to St. Petka. Nowadays, local people believe in the miracle of this saint and the church. They believe it can help illness people if they tie their scarf to the tree near the church. After one week, scarfs must be buried. According to belief, illness would disappear.
Two springs placed near stone figures have a high mineral concentration. Devil’s Water (Serbian: Djavolja voda) is a cold and extremely acid spring (pH 1.5) with high mineral concentration (15 g/l of water), springing out in Devil’s Gully. It is ten to thousands times richer in minerals as compared to drinking water.
Red Well (Serbian: Crveno vrelo) is another spring 400 m away from Devil’s Gully (Serbian: Djavolja jaruga). Its water (pH 3.5) is less acid and contains a lower general mineral concentration (4.372 mg/l of water). Iron, contained in water in large amounts, oxidizes and turn water into an attractive red. Water overflows because of a flat terrain and runs into nearby yellow stream.
Springs like these are very rare in the world and they are used in spa treatments because they have healing effect. However, scientists warn that these springs can’t be used for drink.
In the vicinity of Devil’s town, there are remains of Ivan’s fortress (Serbian: Ivan kula). It was built on the top of the volcanic flattened cone on the Radan mountain. According to legend, it was a residence of a famous Serbian hero Ivan Kosančić, who fought in Battle of Kosovo.
This unique wonder of nature is calling you to explore it. If you like mystical places, you will be amazed by Devil’s town, so come and visit!