We are tirelessly working to bring new talents into our team and expand our presence both across the region and internationally. This time, we are taking you to Kragujevac, where a still small group of around ten people (but growing) joined their forces to help us drive innovation and make a world of difference. To hear more about the HTEC office in Kragujevac, we’ve talked with Vojin Vasiljevic, Project Manager at HTEC Group. But, let’s first take you on a ride through this wonderful Serbian city.
Kragujevac is the fourth largest city in Serbia. It is the historical and administrative center of Šumadija (a district in Central Serbia) settled on the Lepenica river. Moreover, Kragujevac used to be the first capital of modern Serbia, while the first constitution (known as the Sretenje constitution) was pronounced there.
If you are considering moving there, you certainly have some questions on your mind. What does Kragujevac have to offer? How does it look like to live there? We’ve listed the most important aspects of life in this city to help you have a wider picture.
What is Kragujevac like?
With a population of 150.850, Kragujevac is neither too large nor too small — it has everything you need. It is also well known as an industrial center and a university town.
Jerina cave from the Paleolithic era testifies that this terrain was suitable for settlement from ancient times. With plenty of attractions and natural beauty, Kragujevac can be defined as a delightful and inviting town with an easygoing vibe.
Kraguj, in the Serbian language, denotes the name of the bird cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus), which is in the name of the town and is also represented as a symbol of the city’s coat of arms.
What are the city’s highlights?
With its charming old town and the main pedestrian zone, Kragujevac is the city you will easily fall in love with at first sight. While many other parts of Serbia were still underdeveloped, the heritage of progressive civil society in Kragujevac in terms of architecture and culture is still very much alive.
When it comes to sights and landmarks, there are many things to see – National Museum, University Gallery, Old Firearms Manufactury Museum, The Prince’s Arsenal, Princely Serbian theatre, Theatre for Children, etc.
SKC Kragujevac is a Students Cultural Centre where various programs take place – including events in different spheres of visual arts, music, literature, choir and folklore, movies, and theatre.
Speaking of religious sites, the great Monastery of Drača is a spiritual center that dates back to the XIX century.
Šumarice Memorial Park is an open-air museum that tells the distressing story of the 1941 massacre of around 3000 Kragujevac inhabitants during the Nazi occupation of Serbia. The path will lead you through the 352-hectare park, past the locations of 30 mass graves and ten memorials. This landmark of exceptional importance includes monuments such as Resistance and Freedom, Pain and Defiance, and Interrupted Flight dedicated to school students, along with the heartbreaking farewell messages of executed civilians. Besides the remarkable tale of art and history, this park has stunning nature to offer.
What are people like?
You’ll have no trouble discovering people who will make it easy for you to feel the heartbeat of the city and share with you what they love about their hometown.
The locals are very attentive and eager to show you around. They will help you explore Kragujevac and make you feel at home.
Do people speak English in Kragujevac?
Young people speak English on an advanced level, while older people are able to communicate using some basic phrases. The staff in cafés and restaurants speak English very well, and they are very helpful and kind.
What’s the weather like?
Kragujevac has a warm and temperate climate. It should be taken into account that it is a city with significant rainfall. Even in the driest summer months, there is a lot of rain.
What is it like to live there?
When it comes to health, education, culture, and free time, Kragujevac has it all.
Kragujevac has well equipped Clinical center with comprehensive health services and private hospitals as well. Schools of all levels of education and educational centers can be found here, and they are in good standing.
The city contains places that organize cultural events such as concerts, shows, exhibitions, and it is also home to many sports clubs and venues, from classic to extreme ones. Ekopark Ilina voda is a great outdoor space where you can enjoy your walk in the woods beside the small creek. Here is also a children’s playground and a mini Zoo with domestic animals.
Additionally, from small stores and shops to market with a wide range of products, it also has a huge shopping mall where you can buy everything.
What about the nightlife?
For a more authentic version of Kragujevac, you should visit it at night. Bars and nightclubs are full of people who socialize and have fun, so you can feel free to join them.
For those who prefer aesthetically sophisticated, subversive, and socially responsible theatre plays, Joakim fest is the place to be. It is an international theatre festival held every October in Kragujevac, and it is based on the Euro-regional concept.
If you are fond of alternative music, there is something for you, too. Arsenal fest is held every summer, and it is placed in ex ammunition fabric from the 19th century hosting significant names of the world music scene with the local support of Serbian bands and DJs.
Where can I try the best local food?
Can’t miss spots to dine are mostly downtown. Restaurants have different choices of dishes cooked traditionally.
You can easily find a place where the delicious Serbian breakfast is served. Don’t forget to taste kačamak made of corn flour served with cheese and kajmak.
Several restaurants offer Eastern European food, mainly barbeque and cooked meals. Here, you can grab a local beer and ćevapčići or svadbarski kupus (cabbage with meat and vegetables slowly cooked in a clay dish). When you are there, give duvan čvarci a try. It is a version of pork cracklings with a unique flavor and appearance containing only 10% fat, looking like thinly cut tobacco.
HTEC Group in Kragujevac
We asked Vojin Vasiljevic to tell us more about the early beginnings of the HTEC Group office in Kragujevac:
“Kragujevac has a very good technological background, educational opportunities, and outstanding IT experts. Overall, I believe that it has a big potential to become a thriving IT center. Many IT experts come from Kragujevac because it has incredible talent, and many new young enthusiasts are ambitious to bring their value and help the community grow. The HTEC Group office in Kragujevac is currently probably the best company in the city, and this might be why most people choose to join HTEC here. Also, HTEC offers a number of opportunities to work on some of the most innovative projects and grow, which is why more and more people are joining us.
When the office was opened in April this year, only two people joined, and now the office is around ten people strong. Now, our initiative is to find an office space where we can further develop our culture and grow our team. Here in Kragujevac, we also make sure to create a good atmosphere and spend more time after work where we get to know each other better.
I believe that if this team continues to expand, it will bring great value and make an impact not only inside the company but also on present and future projects.
Also, I believe that HTEC will make a change in Kragujevac, as more and more people will decide to stay in the city and join us on our mission. The future looks bright for the HTEC Kragujevac office.
At HTEC, everyone is very open to talking about different issues and suggestions and very supportive when it comes to implementing some new ideas from employees. I think that the best thing about HTEC is that it allows everyone to find their ideal career path where they would flourish the most. It does the perfect match-making by providing people the opportunities to work on projects that fit their requirements and needs. On top of this, all offices are well-organized, with a great atmosphere and support for projects and the needed equipment for work. And this is what matters the most to our people.”
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