Rajac Cemetery – Rajac, Serbia - Gastro Obscura

Rajac, Serbia

Rajac Cemetery

Beautifully carved tombstones fill this unmarked graveyard, uniquely situated near the village's famous stone wine cellars.  

With less than 500 inhabitants, the village of Rajac is a typical small Balkan settlement, except for one peculiar feature not common in Serbia. Just outside the village there are 20 or so windowless stone structures. Though they look like houses, no one lives there. They exist to make, store, and imbibe the delicious wine the region is famous for.

In fact, wine is so important to Rajac, the local cemetery is located not in the settlement where people live, but next to the wine cellar complex outside of town. Indeed many of the burial tombs were made from the stone used for building the cellars, which locals say tells a lot about their relationship with wine.

The unmarked and unkempt centuries-old graveyard is itself a unique and beautiful sight, lined with elaborately carved tombstones. Scholars have proposed that the tombstones were made by the Vlachs, the ancient dwellers of the village. Many are covered in ancient pagan symbols like the swastika and kolovrat, though the most interesting combine Christian and pagan symbols. 

Some of the tombstones are huge, taller than six feet, and a lot of them are shaped in the form of a monolith cross, like the letter “T.” Many are not named and are clearly deteriorating. Some of the newer graves with Cyrillic inscriptions are marked with dates from 19th century, while locals claim the oldest graves date back to the 14th century.

Know Before You Go

Parking is available anywhere you find a spot and the entrance is, obviously, free. Unfortunately there is no info or guided tours... The road leading to the village from the town of Negotin is not in a great shape.