Can you imagine that in this very place once there was an endless field of daisies, the flower which gave its name to both the field and the settlement, as well as today’s town – Bijelo Polje? It was also taken over by the Turks who, after they conquered these areas, translated the name of the settlement into their language naming it Akovo. Nevertheless, if legend is to be believed, the nymphs who once-upon-atime dwelt in the surrounding mountains take major credit for the name of the town. It is said that the nymphs from Mt Bjelasica were the most beautiful because they washed their faces with the water from the healing springs which this gentle mountain had in abundance. One day the story of a girl who was more beautiful than any nymph and who lived right there in the foothills of Mt Bjelasica, at the court of the feudal lord Radić reached the dwelling place of the nymphs. Spying on the girl, the nymphs found out that she used to wash her face with the miraculous bitter-tasting water from the spring which the goddess of beauty revealed to the mother of the beautiful noblewoman. Unable to accept that there could be somebody more beautiful than them, the nymphs decided to leave Mt Bjelasica and search for another dwelling place. While they were flying above the field beside the River Lim they cried bitter tears for their homeland and right there where their tears fell to the ground white flowers of extraordinary beauty sprouted. The flowers, which grow back every spring were named bijela rada (White Rada), after the beautiful noblewoman called Rada, and the place where they were most abundant was called Bijelo Polje. Today the main town square which is the centre of social life and the gathering place of the people of Bijelo Polje is located there. The square is dominated by the huge monument dedicated to the fighters of the People’s Liberation War, the work of sculptor Stevan Bednarov, which testifies to the traditional courage and willingness of people of this area to sacrifice their lives in the fight against fascism during World War II. From the square one can also see a large five-pointed star.

Built in the mid-1970s on the hill Ćukovac in order to illuminate the main street as a symbol of the fight against fascism, this five-pointed star of Bijelo Polje has had an unusual story. Made in honour of the arrival of Josip Broz Tito in Bijelo Polje, beside it once stood the inscription “Tito”. Then in the turbulent 1990s both memorials disappeared. Those who could not come to terms with the removal of the five-pointed star, on their own initiative returned it to the place in which it had stood for years, and even a night watch was organised in order to protect the star. The story about this metal, five-pointed star, weighing half a tonne, was turned into a documentary titled Re(Birth) of a Nation, which won the main award at the 40th International Film Festival in the Spanish city of Bilbao in 1998. At the crossroads of caravan routes and various cultures, the region of Bijelo Polje has connected various gastronomic influences. Therefore, here you can try fresh dairy products from the pastures of the surrounding m o u n t a i n s , t r a d i t i o n a l Montenegrin specialities and the most delicious oriental pies and desserts. In order for you not to miss anything we recommend to you the following menu which will make you feel like a native of Bijelo Polje. For breakfast in one of the numerous bakeries look for mantije – a kind of pie made of small pieces of rolled pastry, baked and topped with sour milk. For lunch, treat yourself to a traditional Montenegrin speciality called jagnjetina u mlijeku (lamb in milk), and then sweeten it with tulumbe or urmašice (oriental cakes with a sugary-sweet topping). If you have visited all the spots of the cultural route on foot, for your dinner you have deserved to try heljdija, a generous pie made of buckwheat flour which is served along with sour cream.

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