Big Povlen (smaller than Small Povlen)
|Elevation||1,347 m (4,419 ft)|
|Parent range||Dinaric Alps|
Povlen (Serbian: Повлен) is a mountain in western Serbia, located thirty kilometers west of Valjevo. It has several peaks, the three most important being Small Povlen (1,347 m (4,419 ft)), Middle Povlen (1,301 m (4,268 ft)) and Big Povlen (1,271 m (4,170 ft)), which is, ironically, the lowest.
It belongs to the Valjevo mountain range, which form the highland west of Valjevo towards Mačva. The mountains are not very high, their highest point, Small Povlen, reaches to 1,347 m (4,419 ft), but they are difficult to cross. Dense forests and deep river canyons hide narrow and winding roads that lead to small hamlets.
One of the attraction of the Povlen are the "Taor Springs" (Taorska vrela). Beautiful cascades were used in many touristic brochures in the Former Yugoslavia. They are located at the village of Taor's hamlet of Donji Taor. It is located in the southwestern section of the mountain, 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Valjevo and 16 km (9.9 mi) northwest of Kosjerić. Majority of the location is covered in beech forests and the location is especially known for bear's garlic, which is abundant.
The Taor is known for its tufa rocks, on which the Taor springs formed cascades, which ultimately flow into the Skrapež river. In the 1980s. when the Kosjerić waterworks was constructed, the springs were partially capped and transferred to town's water system which harmed the cascades. The area was placed under the preliminary protection, but on paper only. Locals were digging the tufa stones, ruining the waterfalls and the entire environment. There were 12 watermills on the springs, but as of 2017, none of them are operational, with only a few still physically surviving.
Area of Povlen is known for its myths. Southern extension of the now extinct Pannonian Sea, which drained out some 600,000 years ago, reached Povlen. Hence, fossils of the sea snails are occasionally being found, which influenced the myth about the massive ring, which allegedly exists somewhere on the mountain, by which Noah moored his ark after the deluge. Large balls, called the "Povlen balls" (Povlenske kugle), which are results of an underwater volcanic activity during the existence of the sea, are claimed by the locals to be made by the extraterrestrials or by the extinct race of giant warriors who used it as the cannonballs or for the catapults.
- Slavica Stuparušić (14 May 2017), "Došlo vreme za ćuvanje prirode", Politika-Magazin No 1024 (in Serbian), pp. 26–27
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