Dubrinka i Slavko Joksimović
homemade products tasting; accommodation
Kozica is a typical scattered mountain village with numerous hamlets. It is surrounded by mountain ranges and dense black pine forests with diverse flora and fauna. Fertile meadows and fields mildly descend towards the Kozička and Raćevska rivers that meet and then flow into the Ćehotina River. The village is extremely rich in springs of drinking water that almost every hamlet has. It is 30 kilometres away from Pljevlja in the direction of Slijepač Most (Slijepač Bridge).
Kozica was known in the Middle Ages. In Dubrovnik documents the Vlasi from Kozica (Vlachus de Cosize) are mentioned in relation to cattle (in 1415 and 1442), as well as the traders Kozičani who made contracts with the inhabitants of Dubrovnik. As it was a border area, it had the character of a lively transit point. Nearby caravan stations are also mentioned (Breza, between Mataruga and Kozica in 1398 and Komarani, recorded as a settlement or location in 1424).
The attraction which is worth visiting and which can be found nearby is the remains of the Orlić Monastery. Once the monastery owned a large estate and vineyards and from it led a hiking trail to Koznik, which is visible even today, on which you can find a spring called Kamena Česma (Stone Fountain). A reconstructed watermill can be found nearby. There used to be eight watermills on the Kozica River, and the location of a medieval iron mine is also nearby. The most valuable among the attractions is Jerina's Town i.e. Koznik – a medieval stone fort located on a strategic elevation, by which an important trade route led from Dubrovnik to Prijepolje. It was built to serve as defence and protection but, according to archaeologists, it remained uncompleted most possibly due to Turkish invasions in the Balkans. Take advantage and ask your hosts more about these locations and related legends.
The Joksimović family lives in Kozica throughout the year. The family remained faithful to preserving tradition and customs in the village along with agriculture as a primary activity, since Kozica provides favourable conditions. In the immediate vicinity of the house there are five springs of drinking water. Dobrinka and Slavko will offer their guests a welcome drink called vodnjika – a beverage made of wild apples or pear or plum brandy made from fruits from their orchard. Ask Slavko about the traditional way of making (distilling) brandy by using a cauldron, kabula and pipe and ask why dough is used. The skilful housewife Dobrinka produces famous Pljevaljski cheese made from cow milk, which represents a regional brand. On the family table, you can also find fresh sweet and sour milk, various types of pies, kačamak, cicvara and homemade dried meat. Dobrinka can show you old wooden kitchen dishes in the dairy hut (mljekarnik – a special facility for the production and storage of dairy products) and can tell you what they are used for. Within the household, there are other facilities such as an amber, where grain was once stored and today it is used as a storage for tools, a meat dryer and a facility used for the production of brandy.
In the village people used to sow barley, wheat, clover and ploughs, harrows and yokes are still used for ploughing soil. Collecting medicinal herbs (juniper, St. John's wort, yarrow, wild mint and nettle) and forest fruits (raspberries and blackberries – at the end of summer) as well as traditional agricultural work – mowing and hay collection are just some of the activities that you can join in these hospitable households.
In the winter months, when there is more free time, Dobrinka often uses needles, thread and wool and knits woollen socks and vests, therefore staying in this household is an ideal opportunity for getting an authentic souvenir.
After visiting the thematic trail “Reviving forgotten trails at the foot of Koznik“, do not miss the opportunity to visit this household for a break and refreshments.