On the wooded slopes of the mountain Kukavica, above the town of Vučje and the canyon of the river Vučjanka, on inaccessible terrain bordered by sharp rocks, there is Skobaljić grad (Zelen-grad).
The cultural and historical heritage of the Leskovac region in the Middle Ages is considered extremely rich and valuable. The history of medieval Dubocica consists of people, objects, temples and legends that have been retold for generations. The decision of the Roman emperor Manojl I Komnin to hand over “Glbočica” (Dubocica) to the hereditary possession of Stefan Nemanja is one of the key events in the history of this region.
From that time until the middle of the 15th century and falling under Ottoman rule, Leskovac was part of the Serbian medieval state. The Leskovac region has been one of the most important pillars of the protection of Serbian statehood several times in history. This was also the case during the Serbian despotism under the rule of Đurđe Branković. The most famous person from these parts was Duke Nikola Skobaljić, the military leader of the Serbian despot Đurađ Branković and a witness to the last battles in the defense of the southern borders of the Serbian state from the Ottoman Empire in the Middle Ages.
Numerous legends have been told about this person. One of them talks about the etymology of his surname, which is related to the scallop fish that his mother ate at the time of his conception, while the other brings information that Nikola was not killed in the fight against the Ottomans, but that he flew away on his horse. In his native history, he was remembered as a hero of great virtues, extremely high stature and warrior skills. What separates the legend from history are the historical sources which state that it defeated the Ottomans near Banja in September 1454, while the Ottoman forces defeated the army led by Nikola Skobaljić in the battle near Trepanje in November of the same year.
After this defeat, Nikola Skobaljić and his uncle were impaled. The way in which Nikola Skobaljić was killed served to spread the cult among the Serbian people, and the halo of his martyrdom was golden. Famous Serbian erudite of the 19th century Milan Ђ. During his tour of the Leskovac area, Milićević noticed the story of the hundred-year-old Stojan about Nikola Skobaljić and the city that was a ruin at the time, then the spring named after the hero, as well as the church built by this Serbian hero.
On the wooded slopes of the mountain Kukavica, above the town of Vučje and the canyon of the river Vučjanka, on inaccessible terrain bordered by sharp rocks, there is Skobaljić grad (Zelen-grad). Surrounded by dense forest, slopes and ridges, this place had natural protection.
From time immemorial, these areas have been strategically important, both for trade and military interests. Roman-era pottery was found near the town, as well as finds from the early Middle Ages. The youngest fortification, the one in question here, dates from the 15th century, from the time of Nikola Skobaljić.
Today we know the remains of walls, ramparts and towers. Archaeological research began in 1984 at the initiative of the National Museum in Leskovac and organized by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Nis, and in 1986 experts from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade joined the research.
Skobaljić grad consists of Gornji and Donji grad built on the rocky end of the slope of the west-east direction and the suburbs. Remains of weapons and military equipment testify that this city had a strong and well-equipped military crew, armed for offensive actions, but also for the defense of the fortifications and the entire area.
Skobaljić grad was the end of the Serbian despotate and it is especially worth noting that it was located near Novi Brdo, the most important Serbian mine in the Middle Ages. The most powerful walls of the city were located in the west, while a defensive moat was located in the north.
After the renewal of the Serbian despotate in 1444, the town was rebuilt, and as an important novelty in the town of Skobaljić, a tower appeared next to the entrance to the small town. The tower is filled with earth about two meters high and is adapted for artillery action. With the reconstruction from this period, the city became an important point in the defense of the Serbian border. Life in the town of Skobaljić was interrupted by the Ottoman conquest in the second half of the 15th century. Even today, in the Leskovac area, the memory of the hero Nikola Skobaljić, who long ago surpassed the framework of homeland history, remains alive.
Since 1990, Skobaljić grad has been on the list of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Niš as an immovable cultural asset of exceptional importance.
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