Drvengrad – Serbia’s famous wooden village that we happened to visit by accident.
Back in June 2018, San and I had to pick a travel destination and it was tied between two.
Should we go to Serbia or Greece?
We picked Serbia. Why? Well, because we had not heard any travel stories about this country. We have a lot of traveler friends but hardly anyone of them had visited Serbia. For us, it was a country of mysteries!
The select few that had visited Serbia, mentioned Belgrade and Novi Sad. One also mentioned “Serbia’s wooden village” but no one ever mentioned the name of this wooden Village. Neither did we have any idea and it wasn’t even a part of our plan.
We reached Mokra Gora at the beginning of our Balkans road trip where our love affair with this country began. We spent our time here gazing at the mountainous landscape and enjoying the Sargan steam train ride.
At the end of our train journey in Mokra Gora, we noticed a little area with wooden houses and decided to visit it. To our surprise, it was an entire village that was entirely wooden, even the lamp post. Yep, this is Drvengrad, a.k.a. Küstendorf, the famous wooden village of Serbia.
Introducing Drvengrad – the wooden village near Mokra Gora
Mokra Gora in Serbia is an idyllic mountain destination and the nearby Drvengrad is truly magical. If you like hills and elevated viewpoints, you’re going to love both these places. The best about Drvengrad is that it is surrounded by the unbelievable landscape that connects Mount Tara and Mount Zlatibor.
I particularly enjoyed the view of this tiny church in an elevated part of Drvengrad. The clouds behind the church make it appear as if it is floating in the air. So holy and light. (hehe) On a serious note, this St. Sava Church is perhaps the loveliest Church that I have ever seen.
The name Drvengrad means “timber town” in Serbian Cyrillic. It has so many names! It is also called Küstendorf (where Dorf means village in German), Mecavnik and also Kusturica.
Why was Drvengrad Built?
A little research told us that Drvengrad was initially built for a movie Life is a Miracle, by Emir Kusturica. After the movie was shot, the village remained here. It is now a (not so touristy) destination.
You will be interested to know that Drvengrad isn’t the only village that was created for an Emir Kusturica movie, there’s the stone town called Andrićgrad in Visegrad, which is a lovely riverside town in the nearby Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was featured in the “The River on the Drina” book and is just 27 KMs away and is totally worth a visit.
Küstendorf Film and Music Festival
Drvengrad was initially built for a film but in 2008 it hosted the Küstendorf Film and Music Festival. It is an annual film festival that was even visited by Johnny Depp in 2010!
Our visit to Drvengrad was not during the music festival (thank God) because the prices hike up almost 10 times. Even though Johnny Depp visited this place, it is STILL offbeat. Look at our pictures, there are just a couple of people around.
How to reach Drvengrad
You can reach Drvengrad from Mokra Gora train station, it is a short walk from there.
What to See in Drvengrad
Walk around and you will cover the entire village in 15 – 20 minutes. If you’re here with your family, they will love exploring Drvengrad with you.
See the wooden playground, eat in the wooden restaurant, spend time in Ivo Andrić Library, see the Stanley Kubrick Cinema and enjoy the artwork.You can get a room in the nearby Mokra Gora or Drvengrad itself. Yes, you can rent a wooden room here and enjoy Drvengrad’s swimming pool, sauna and the gym.
Drvengrad Hotel Information
We stayed in two different places in Mokra Gora – Apartment Mateja and Apartment Matogi. They are not just rooms but cottages with kitchen, living room apart from the en suite bedroom. Apartment Matogi is closer to Mokra Gora train station, so pretty close to Drvengrad. Apartment Mateja is a little further away and it makes sense to book this place if you have your own car.
If you want to stay inside Drvengrad, then check out Mecavnik Resort. It is super fancy and has its own spa, swimming pool, tennis court, basketball court, fitness centre,
Our Final Thoughts about Drvengrad
Drvengrad is arty and lovely but in noway as amazing as the nearby destinations – Mokra Gora and Tara National Park. Don’t just drive all the way to Mokra Gora and leave just after seeing Drvengrad as many others do. Go ride the Sargan steam train if you have time. Drive to Tara National Park and check out the scenic viewpoints. Spend time in Zlatibor mountains.