The town of Arandjelovac stretches along the small River Kubrsnjica, in the very heart of Sumadija region, between the mountain line of Mounts Bukulja-Vencac on one side and the hill of Orasac on the other.
In the very centre of this picturesque town, at the altitude of 270 m, lies one of the most beautiful spas in Serbia – Bukovicka Spa. (it was named by the village of Bukovik within the boundaries of which the first mineral springs had been discovered.)
The springs of curative waters that surge out of the northern cleft of Mt. Bukulja (696 m) slopes, have been known since ancient times – much earlier than the town of Arandjelovac was established. However, the first reliable data on Bukovicna Spa were given by M.P. Lindermeier, then Superintendent of the Sanitary Department of the Princedom of Serbia, in his book “The Description of Mineral Waters of Serbia”, published in 1856. It can be learned from the book that in the time of Prince Milos Obrenovic, the curative capacities of the waters beneath Bukulja were noticed.
Dositej Obradovic, the Serbian 18th-century educator, wrote in 1811 that “when the vigor has left the body, 1 went to look for cure and refreshment at the springs of the beneficial Bukovik waters”.
We can find from the notes of Milan Dj. Milicevic, written down in 1876, that the curative properties of the mineral waters and the freshness of the air coming from Bukulja “have made Arandjelovac a favourite place of Prince Milos, where he spends his holidays”. However, it was not before the 7th decade of the 19th century that organized usage of the mineral water started, with the support from Prince Mihailo Obrenovic who financed building of Staro Zdanje (the Old Edifice) in 1868, followed by redesigning of the springs and opening of the “Steam Bath” in 1870, when the Spa instantly became famous.
The renowned Austrian archeologist and travel writer F.F. Kanitz visited Arandjelovac in 1898 and wrote: That was the first sanatorium in the country, which, thanks to Prince Mihailo, was landscaped in the likeness of the western world spas. In the season, the Spa is full of guests so that it is difficult to find even the simplest room in the town…”.
The Bukovicka Spa had another period of speedy development in the thirties of the 20th century when it was managed by the Danube Region Savings Bank. Serious research works were undertaken at that time and a modern bath building was built, a pool opened, deep capturing of the springs made, “Sumadija1 Hotel built (1936), and Park renovated…
Today, Bukovicka Spa is one of the most important, most complete and most frequented Spas in Serbia, with up to 40,000 guests visiting it. The sanatorium has one hot and four cold mineral wells (Djulara, Talpara, Knjaz Milos, Pobeda).
This water (12° – 18° C) is ranked among the best known alkaline-carbonated acidic waters in Europe and the world. It supports healing of numerous diseases, while regular consuming provides for efficient preventive effects.
For balneologic purposes, the hot water is used by bathing, and the cold one by drinking. (Water is exploited from the depth of 1000 m, from the well secured as early as 1903 – where the internationally known “Knjaz Milos mineral water has been tapped and bottled (since 1864) – the winner of domestic awards as well as he awards in Paris and “Grand Prix” at the World Exhibitions in Brussels (1906), in London (1907)…
Medical treatment has been conducted in “Bukovicka Banja” Institute for prevention, treating and rehabilitation of gastrointestinal and hepato-biliary tracts, which has operated as an institution of importance for Serbia since 1984. The dispensary portion of the sanatorium is situated in the “Izvor” Hotel. Bath tubs for underwater massage and acupuncture cabinet are located in the closed-bath building. Various medical procedures are applied there, such as balneo, physio, electro and kinesi therapies. The specialized programmes have become very popular, including those for curing obesity, tobacco addiction and those of preventive recreation.
Bukovicka Spa is known by its unique Centre for Recuperation of children suffering from blood sugar, where little patients (up to 18 years old) are systematically taught how to live normally with diabetes – becoming familiar with the disease, learning adequate nutrition methods, physical activities…
Using of clay, rich with health aiding minerals has been initiated lately in this Spa where cosmetic preparations are made out of it in the Institute.
The Spa is proud of its waters and the air, but of its park as well. The park vegetation, covering an area of 20 ha, opulent like a forest and rich with various trees, with nicely landscaped lawns, flower beds and fountains, is one of the most beautiful parks in Serbia.
It is streaked with hundreds of “white flowers” that add special value to the park, the flowers being the white sculptures made from the marble taken from Vencac quarries. The sculptures have been made in the course of the traditional “Marble and Sound” cultural event, taking place in Arandjelovac since 1960.
There are nicely arranged areas for children’s entertainment, as well as pools, sports fields, paths for walking… Thus, Bukovicka Spa offers a wide variety of possibilities for medical treatment, rest, recreation and entertainment. (The climate is moderately continental, with some sub-mountain characteristics, with an average annual temperature of 11.2° C. September is the month with least rainy days.)
From July 4th till September 19th, within the “Cultural Summer” festivity, various performances are held either in the outdoor stage or in the Hall of Princes (in “Staro Zdanje” Hotel), with opera, ballet, drama and cinema performances, as well as literary meetings, fine art exhibitions, concerts of classical, folk and pop music and folklore.
In the vicinity of Arandjelovac, there are numerous sites suitable for picnic and those of cultural and historic importance. Besides the Town Museum, there is also Risovaca Give in the vicinity of the park. It is of unique cultural value – the archeological site of Paleolith.
In Orasac, the village where the First Serbian Insurrection against Turkish rule was initiated, a monument has been raised in the memory of this event.
Topola and Oplenac are 14 Ion away from Arandjelovac, with a complex of monuments related to the time of Vozd (Leader) Karadjordje and the royal dynasty of the Karadjordjevics.
Bukulja is an attractive picnic site, with its thick forests of a hundred-year old trees of hornbeam, birch and oak, and clear springs and streams and picturesque Garasko Lake that attracts fishermen and are suitable for kayak rowing, sailing and diving.
The village of Banja is situated on the slopes of Mount Vencac. The village is known for its vineyards and one of the oldest collective wine cellars.
In Ranilovici (141cm), there is an exquisite ancient monument of an oak tree with a religious script in it – the Lukic’s Register…
Guests can be accommodated in
Izvor, Staro Zdanje, Sumadija hotels;
Lovacki Dom and Cesma motels in Bukulja;
there are also Karadzic Villa and an indoor bath in the the park, and Lovacki Uranak in the town.