History

Besides spectacular Sokograd, which is the most famous archaeological site, municipality of Sokobanja is full of sights and historical monuments, and some of them seem quite impressive. The oldest traces of human settlements in Sokobanja originate from the period of neolith (the remains of pottery from the Ozren cave). There are fortresses (Sokograd, Vrmdza, Bovan) from the period of Emperor Justinian, which were part of Serbian medieval state until 1413. when they were destroyed.

Sokobanja was a military fort and the settlement was first mentioned in the biography of Despot Stefan Lazarevic written by Constantine the Philosopher. Evlija Celebija, the Turkish author, was the first person who mentioned the healing properties of Sokobanja springs, describing Turkish bath in 1663. This bath was, after liberation from Turks in 1834, restored and enlarged by Serbian Duke Milos Obrenovic. In 1808 Hajduk Veljko liberated Sokobanja from the Turks in the First Serbian rebellion, and called it his Banjica. In the second half of the XIX and the beginning of XX century, until the 2nd World War, Sokobanja became the meeting place of famous scientists, writers, artists and bohemians: Ivo Andric, Branislav Nusic, Isidora Sekulic, Stevan Sremac, Jovan Cvijic, Mesa Selimovic etc. who were regular guests of Sokobanja.

On the 8th of Jun, 1837 (the Julian calendar) from the office of Duke Milos in Kragujevac, a voucher was written for major Lazarevic, who was sent to Sokobanja to use hot water. This referral (voucher) was used to mark the starting point of health tourism of Sokobanja since the 21st of Jun (the Gregorian calendar).