Rzav (Drina)

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Rzav (Рзав)
Le Rzav près du village de Vardiste.jpg
Rzav near village Vardište
Country Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Physical characteristics
Main source Čigota (Zlatibor, as the Black Rzav) mountain, west Serbia
River mouth Drina river, at Višegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Length 72 km (45 mi)
Basin features
Basin size 605 km2 (234 sq mi)

The Rzav (Bosnian Rijeka Rzav, Serbian Cyrillic: Рзав) is a river in western Serbia and eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 72 km long right tributary to the Drina river, it originates from two headstreams, the Crni Rzav and the Beli Rzav. The river is sometimes referred to as the Zlatiborski Rzav (Cyrillic: Златиборски Рзав; Rzav of Zlatibor).

Beli Rzav[edit]

The Beli Rzav (Bosnian Bijeli Rzav, Serbian Cyrillic: Бели Рзав; White Rzav) is the Rzav's shorter headstream. It originates from the eastern slopes of the Zvijezda mountain, close to the Bosnian border. After it passes the hills of Batura, it turns southward to the Tara mountain, receiving many small streams from both Tara and Zvijezda mountains. At the monastery and village of Zaovine, the Beli Rzav is dammed and the artificial Zaovine Lake is created. After crossing the village of Mokra Gora (hamlets Kršanje and Kotroman), the river turns west, enters Bosnia and Herzegovina and right across the border meets the Crni Rzav at the village of Donje Vardište.

Crni Rzav[edit]

The Crni Rzav (Bosnian Crni Rzav, Serbian Cyrillic: Црни Рзав; Black Rzav), is the Rzav's longer headstream. It originates from the Čigota mountain, eastern section of the Zlatibor mountain. The river originally flows northward, next to the villages of Vodice and Jokina Ćuprija, reaches the central section of the Zlatibor where it is dammed and creates the artificial Ribnica lake (surface area of 10 km²), after the nearby village of Ribnica. After the lake, the river sharply turns west and soon gets followed by the parallel stream of the Jablanica river. After crossing the village of Mokra Gora (hamlet Panjak) on the Serbian-Bosnian border Crni Rzav meets the Jablanica river at the village Gornje Vardište and finally the river Beli Rzav at the village of Donje Vardište.


The Rzav continues as the natural extension of the Beli Rzav, but since the Black Rzav is longer, the latter is considered to be the main headstream. It floes between the southernmost part of the Zvijezda mountain (Ponos peak) from the north and the Suha Gora mountain from the south, next to the villages of Prosjek (and ruins of the medieval city of the same name), Dobrun and Žagre, before it empties into the Drina at the town of Višegrad.

The Rzav drains an area of 605 km², belongs to the Black Sea drainage area and it is not navigable.


  • Mala Prosvetina Enciklopedija, Third edition (1985); Prosveta; ISBN 86-07-00001-2
  • Jovan Đ. Marković (1990): Enciklopedijski geografski leksikon Jugoslavije; Svjetlost-Sarajevo; ISBN 86-01-02651-6

Coordinates: 43°47′N 19°18′E / 43.783°N 19.300°E / 43.783; 19.300