Bajina Basta has been inhabited continuously for the last 7,000 years. The oldest known settlement so far dates back to the period of The Starcevo culture of the early Neolithic. The settlement is known in science as Kremenilo and is located in today’s Visesava 2.5 km from the very centre of Bajina Basta. The inhabitants dealt mainly with farming, as evidenced by ornaments found on pottery. Excavations during the 1960s demonstrated the continuity of settlements throughout the Neolithic until the very transition to the metal age.
From the eneolite, i.e. the transitional age from neolithic to metal age, comes the settlement Jovin breg whose pottery reveals the communication links of this settlement to the inhabitants of Pannonia. Part of the archaeological findings from Kremenila and Jovin breg are on display today in the hallway of the Elementary School ”Rajak Pavicevic” in Bajina Bašta.
The remains of the medieval castle of Solotnika, the log cabin church in Dub, the Rača monastery in Nemanjići from the 13th century and the stećci tombstones that are on the UNESCO list are only part of the rich Serbian cultural heritage located in the territory of the municipality of Bajina Bašta. As a modern urban settlement, Bajina Bašta was created in the middle of the 19th century when Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević 12. July 1858 issued an act on the declaration of this place as a small town.
There are several legends about the origin of the name Bajina Bašta. What is indisputable is that the name of the small town in the heart of Podrinje is linked to the gardens that have adorned the valley between Tara Mountain and the Drina River since ancient times.
The first the name of the town at the foot of Mount Tara and in the embrace of the river Drina is linked to the famous Serbian Hajduk Harambash and knight Baja Pivljanin, whose name is deeply engraved in folklore, after which many toponyms in the area of Serbian lands were named, and history recorded him as a prominent historical figure XVII century. Baja Nikolić Pivljanin was also immortalized by the great Njegoš in “Gorski Vijenc”, and his name is part of history as well as oral and written literature, myth and legend. The fact is that the majority of the population of Bajina Bašta is of ancient origin from the area of Montenegro, the Hills and Herzegovina, where the name of this hero was particularly strongly imprinted in the public consciousness as a symbol of resistance to the Turks and the Serbian struggle for freedom, while he himself was in battles and military campaigns. came all the way to the Drina. Although it has not been precisely determined where the descendants of this hero ended up in several documents, their relocation to the Užice region is mentioned, so there is a possibility that the name of the hero celebrated in the battles with the Ottomans was connected to this area in the time of liberation from the centuries-old conqueror. Bajo Pivljanin and the name of the municipality in the heart of Podrinje are also related to the interesting fact that Bajina Bašta is named after him, and the neighboring municipality of Ljubovija is named after the bey Ljubović, and the conflict between the famous Serbian knight and the Turkish bey is sung in one of the most famous Serbian epic songs “Bajo Pivljanin and the Bey Ljubović”. It is also the most frequently performed fiddle song about the famous bandit leader after whom Bašta is named.
Another legend says that in the area of today’s city center, along the river Pilica, in ancient times, a landowner named Baja had large gardens and orchards, and that part of the town took its name from that. With the formation of the district center, the name for the center of the town spread to the city and later to the entire Podrin municipality.
The third explanation has in mind the climatic features of this region, namely the mild and calm climate favors many types of fruits and vegetables that thrive here, including the almond, which in Montenegro and Dalmatia was also called “bajam”. Thus, by shuffling the word, the form “bajin” came about.
The fourth version of the origin of the name is from “fabulous beauty”, so Bajina Bašta would get its name from the enchanting landscape or the intoxicating gardens and orchards that have adorned the Drina valley in this area for centuries.
All these legends and stories about the origin of the name of the fairy-tale city are just one more piece in the perfect puzzle of natural beauty, cultural and historical heritage, historical facts, folk myths and traditions that make Bajana Bašta an attractive tourist destination and a place for an ideal and meaningful vacation at any time. years.