Kopaonik 01.10.2021. It has been 40 years since the beginning of the development of modern tourism on Kopaonik and the opening of the Hotel Karavan, today’s Grand Kopaonik. Few people today remember the humble beginnings of tourism on our most famous mountain, the first trails and cable cars. Mountain lodges have been replaced by luxury hotels, bringing a completely new holiday experience.
What were the beginnings of white sports in this area, what did the first enthusiasts in the conquest of Kopaonik look like and many other interesting facts, inspired the famous Grand Hotel to organize a unique exhibition in Belgrade on behalf of the jubilee important for Serbian tourism. Visitors to the exhibition, symbolically called “Paths of Memories”, will have the opportunity to see archival photographs from all periods that marked the path of Kopaonik as a tourist destination on the Sava Promenade from October 1 to 22.
In the thirties of the last century, a group of enthusiasts, inspired by the development of skiing in the Alps, recognized Kopaonik as a destination where they would create their winter memories and founded the Serbian Mountaineering Association in Belgrade. The first mountain lodge was built in 1953, and served as a base for all lovers of skiing and hiking. In September 1980, the infrastructural equipping of Kopaonik was completed. The municipality of Raska, Brus and the company ‘Generalexport’ from Belgrade founded “Genex Kopaonik” as the carrier of tourist construction on this mountain, and Genex’s cable cars in December 1981 transported the first skiers to Sunny Valley and Suvo Rudiste. The development of infrastructure has created the conditions for the construction of high-class hotels.
The opening of the Karavan Hotel, today’s Grand Hotel in 1981, is considered a symbolic beginning of modern tourism on Kopaonik. A project of such size and grandeur was not characteristic of the circumstances at the time. Created and designed as a fashionable ski resort that resembled European ski centers, Kopaonik, along with the Caravan, marked a new era of Yugoslav tourism. In the same year, the Assembly of Serbia declared a part of Kopaonik a National Park, and the International Ski Federation granted this mountain the status of an International Ski Center. From that moment, the ascent of Kopaonik started unstoppably, which today is one of the most important destinations for Serbian tourism.
The last segments of the exhibition will present the new era of the Grand Kopaonik Hotel, its luxury edition and facilities that guests will have the opportunity to enjoy as early as this winter. In addition to the new look, the Grand Hotel also received a new visual identity, which will also be premiered at the opening of the exhibition in Belgrade.
The exhibition “Trails of Memories” is realized by Grand Kopaonik with the support of the Archives of Yugoslavia, the Tourist Organization of Serbia, TO Raska and Ski Club Raska with the desire to show the general public the most important moments from the rich heritage of this destination.