This was a dirt-poor small village until some local kids in 1981 claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary. Since then, a tacky and ugly small town of hastily erected hotels and restaurants, various so-called 'sacred sites', a very ugly church, massive 'confession' factories, countless souvenir shops peddling Chines-made Mary statues, and the usual crowd of misguided miracle-seekers turned it into a dusty Balkans version of Lourdes. In reality, there is really nothing worth seeing here - no monuments, no history, no great scenery, just an assemblage of commercial establishments dedicated to ripping off the gullible visitors. To its credit, the Vatican so far classified these alleged 'miracles' as not proven, but this does not seem to deter the pilgrims. No sane person could believe what is claimed here; the most obvious give-away is the extreme vacuity and banality of the Messages claimed to be handed down by the Virgin - tantalising promises of 'ten secrets' to be revealed, suggestions to using the rosary (which didn't even exist in biblical times), and encouragements of love and piety in this sinful world. Frankly, if this is all she came down to reveal, the journey was obviously wasted... On balance, unless you inisist on believing all this nonsense, there is no reason to come here at all - visit the region's truly interesting and fsacinating historical and scenic sites instead!
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