From the First Ski Traces to Elite Tourism

Exclusive exhibition about Mt. Kopaonik

It has been 40 years since the start of developing modern tourism at Mt. Kopaonik and the opening of the Karavan Hotel, now Grand Kopaonik. Few people still remember the modern beginnings of tourism at our most popular mountain, first ski runs and chairlifts. Mountain chalets were replaced by luxury hotels, bringing a brand new vacation experience. The beginnings of the white sport in our country, first enthusiasts in conquering Mt. Kopaonik and many other interesting facts inspired the renowned Grand Hotel to organise a unique exhibition in Belgrade, marking the milestone anniversary of Serbian tourism. Visitors of this exhibition, symbolically dubbed ‘Memory Lanes’, will have the opportunity to see archive photos from all periods marking Mt. Kopaonik’s growth into a tourist destination, at the Sava promenade from October 01 until October 22.

Grand Kopaonik Hotel

Back in the 1930s, a group of enthusiasts, inspired by the development of skiing in the Alps, recognised Mt. Kopaonik as a destination for creating their inter memories and set up the Serbian Mountaineering Society in Belgrade. The first mountain chalet was built in 1953 and served as a hub for all skiing and mountaineering lovers. Infrastructure development was completed in September 1980. The Municipality of Raška, Brus and Belgrade-based ‘Generaleksport’ founded “Geneks Kopaonik, as the leader of the tourism construction activities, and the Genex chairlifts transported the first skiers to the Sunčana Dolina and Suvo Rudište runs in December 1981. Infrastructure development provided conditions for constructing a high-category hotel. The opening of the Karavan Hotel, now Grand, in 1981, symbolically marked the beginning of modern tourism at Mt. Kopaonik. A project of that size and grandeur represented something unprecedented back then. Planned and designed as an elite ski resort resembling Europe’s ski centres, Mt. Kopaonik with the Karavan Hotel marked the new era of Yugoslavia’s tourism. In the same year, the Parliament of Serbia granted a National Park status to a part of Mt. Kopaonik, and the International Ski Federation ranked this mountain as an International Ski Centre. From that moment on, the rise of Mt. Kopaonik, one of the most popular destinations for Serbia’s tourism today, has been unstoppable.

Hotel Karavan Kopaonik Archives of Yugoslavia

The final segments of the exhibition will present the new era of the Grand Kopaonik Hotel, its luxury design and elements which guests will have the opportunity to enjoy as of this winter. In addition to the new design, the Grand Hotel also has a new visual identity, which will also be presented for the first time at the exhibition opening ceremony in Belgrade.

Kopaonik Archives of Yugoslavia

The Grand Kopaonik Hotel organised the ‘Memory Lanes’ exhibition with the support of the Archives of Yugoslavia, the Tourism Organisation of Serbia, the Tourism Organisation of Raška and the Ski Club Raška, in the aim of presenting the most significant milestones from the precious heritage of this destination to the general public.

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