Located in the southeastern corner of Belgrade, Avala Mountain stands nearly 1,700 feet above sea level. The only mountain in the area, it features more than 600 plant species and has been protected since 1859 as a monument of nature. The mountain is made of serpentinite, limestone and magmatic rocks and is a source of lead and mercury ore, although mining activities ceased in the 1960s. Today, it is a favorite recreational spot for Belgrade residents and is home to several important monuments.
The Monument to the Unknown Hero, built on the site of a medieval town called Avalski Grad, is dedicated to unknown soldiers from World War I. The Monument to the Soviet War Veterans honors members of the Soviet military who died in a plane crash on the mountain in 1964 and the Monument to Vasa Carapic remembers one of the leaders of the First Serbian Uprising in 1804. Avala Mountain is also the site of the tallest structure in Serbia: a 202-foot-tall television tower.
Avala Mountain is just 16 kilometers from the center of Belgrade. On summer weekends, the bus company Lasta runs buses to Avala from Nikola Pasic Square at 10:30 a.m., returning at 2:30 p.m. Tickets should be purchased in advance from the tourist information center or from the Lasta offices next to the train station. Additionally, on weekends from early May to the end of August, public bus number 400 leaves from the Vozdovac bus stop every 40 minutes from 8:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.