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Pyramidal shape of Šiljak
Highest point
Elevation1,565 m (5,135 ft)
Coordinates43°46′34″N 21°53′36″E / 43.77611°N 21.89333°E / 43.77611; 21.89333Coordinates: 43°46′34″N 21°53′36″E / 43.77611°N 21.89333°E / 43.77611; 21.89333
Rtanj is located in Serbia
Location in Serbia
LocationEastern Serbia
Parent rangeSerbian Carpathians

Rtanj (Serbian: Ртањ, pronounced [r̩̂ːtaɲ]) is a mountain situated in eastern Serbia, approximately 200 km southeast of Belgrade, between towns of Boljevac on north and Sokobanja on south. It belongs to the Serbian Carpathians. Its highest peak is Šiljak (pronounced [ʃǐːʎak]) (1,565 m), a natural phenomenon of karst terrain.

The north side of the mountain is covered with forests and shrubs, full of autochthonous plant species and plenty of sources of potable water. A hunting ground covers 6368 ha. The most common prey are roe deer and wild boar.


Rtanj is located in the eastern Serbia, occupying the south-western, Balkan section of the Carpathian Mountains. Administrativelly, it belongs to the municipalities of Sokobanja and Boljevac. The most obvious physical feature is the conical shape on top of the mountain ridge, which appears to be perfect. The highest peak is the 1,565 m (5,135 ft) tall Šiljak.[1]

Human history[edit]

Greta Minh, widow of the Rtanj mine owner Julijus Minh, built a mausoleum in the form of a little chapel dedicated to her husband on the Šiljak peak. The chapel was built in 1932 and was dedicated to St. George. Some 1,000 miners participated in the construction as Minh, in the process of developing the mine, built apartments, school, community health center, cinema, etc. In an effort to find the gold and jewels which according to the folk mythology were hidden inside the mountain, the treasure hunters damaged the chapel using dynamite on several occasions.[1]



According to the folk legend, the castle of a wizard was situated on Rtanj Mountain, in which a great treasure was guarded. However, the castle has disappeared within the mountain, trapping the wealthy sorcerer inside. Ever since the treasure hunters have been visiting the mountain seeking for the lost gold and gems.[1]

Fringe theories[edit]

In 1971, poet Miodrag Pavlović wrote a poem "Splendid wonder" (Divno čudo). Inspired by the folk myths from the area, Pavlović described Rtanj as an abode of the ancient Serbian gods. In the next decades, additionally influenced by the pyramidal shape of the mountain, Rtanj became popular among the fringe theories supporters. In the 21st century it became a place of regular gathering of the believers in paranormal, which organize groups, symposiums and "surveys" of the mountain.[2]

Most popular theory is that, due to its shape and other "observed" factors (precise pyramidal geometry, golden ratio math, wondrous natural life, strong electromagnetism with fine frequencies, endemic plants, healthy energy radiation, special climate, mystical cultural heritage, naturally radiation-ionized air, Tesla waves), the mountain had to be artificially built. Claims are made that it is a multi-dimensional portal, that a channel leads from the top of the mountain to below the ground being used as a launch pad for alien space ships and that Rtanj is an "oscillator and resonator of the subtle energy hubs".[2] Alleged sightings of the "flying balls" over the mountain became a common place.[1]

For some New Age believers, the pyramidal shape of the mountain is due to it containing an alien pyramid emitting mystical energies. Many people have flocked here prior to the predicted 2012 Mayan Doomsday, believing it will protect them.[2][3][4]


Rtanj tea[edit]

A widely known traditional product of Rtanj is the "Rtanj tea", a herbal tea made of winter savory. It is celebrated for its antiseptic and aromatic properties, and is allegedly an aphrodisiac,[5] which gave the plant a local moniker đipikur ("jump(ing)-dick"). Allegedly, the plant also has bronchodilatory and antioxidant effect and the virility is enhanced because of the flavonoids which stimulate the production of testosterone.[2] Before it gained its modern reputation, it has been used by the local population as a remedy for bronchitis, asthma, coughing, children's respiratory inflammations and for gerontology problems.[1]

By May 2019, the massive summer harvesting of winter savory on Rtanj was banned by the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia until the species recovers. The plant has been over-harvested in general, but it was especially damaged as, instead of the former harvesting using knives or scissors, the harvesters began massively pulling out the plants from their roots.[1]

Medicinal and aromatic wildly grown herbs picked on the Rtanj and the mountain Ozren, which is on the opposite, southern side of Sokobanja, account for the majority of the Serbian export of these commodities, which in 2018 reached €3.3 million.[6]


Rtanj was placed under the state protection in May 2019 when it was declared a natural monument ("Special nature reserve Rtanj").[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Slavica Stuparušić (16 May 2019). "Rtanj, novo zaštićeno prirodno dobro" [Rtanj, new protected natural monument]. Politika (in Serbian). p. 8.
  2. ^ a b c d Slobodan Kljakić (5 August 2018). "Занимљива Србија: Ртањ и ртањско биће" [Interesting Serbia: Rtanj and Rtanj's Entity]. Politika-Magazin, No. 1088 (in Serbian). pp. 19–21.
  3. ^ Matt Blake (11 December 2012). "Hotels sell out as dooms-dayers flock to ANOTHER mountain which believers say houses an 'alien pyramid with magic powers'". MailOnline. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  4. ^ Tanquintic-Misa, Esther (11 December 2012). "2012 Mayan Doomsday Countdown: Serbia's Mount Rtanj is Alternate Refuge". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 19 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ Rtanj bez čaja, Politika, 2008-03-29
  6. ^ Dragoljub Stevanović (21 April 2019). "Lekovito bilje kao posao - Nanu i kamilicu najviše kupuju Nemci" [Medicinal herbs as business - Germans are the major buyers of mint and chamomile]. Politika-Magazin, No. 1125 (in Serbian). pp. 3–5.

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