|Geographic region of Serbia|
Map of Šumadija region, including its entire geographical area
Šumadija (Serbian Cyrillic: Шумадија, pronounced [ʃumǎdija]) is a geographical region in Serbia. The area used to be heavily covered with forests, hence the name (from šuma 'forest'). The city of Kragujevac is the center of the region, and the administrative center of the Šumadija District in Šumadija and Western Serbia region.
Šumadija is located between rivers Sava and Danube in the north, river Great Morava in the east, river West Morava in the south, and Kolubara, Ljig and Dičina in the west. According to some interpretations (for example, physiologists such as Jovan Cvijić and ethnologist such as Erdeljanović.), the northern border of Šumadija lay between Avala and Kosmaj mountain. According to that view, the capital of Serbia, Belgrade does not belong to this region.
Slavs settled the Balkans in the 6th and 7th century. In the early 9th century, the region was part of the tribal area of the Merehani, or Moravians", a South Slavic tribe not to be confused with that of the Great Moravia in Central Europe. In 844, an anonymous Bavarian geographer mentions the Merehani were the people that bordered the Franks furthest away. They lived in the valleys of present-day Morava river basin, and were still unconquered by the Bulgars. However, after 845, the Bulgars added these Slavs to their societas (they are last mentioned in 853). The Serbian Principality was located directly to the southwest. Serbian Prince Stracimir Zavidović held parts of the region after 1163, under the rule of Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja. The zupe (counties) of West Morava and Pomoravlje which had territory of modern Šumadija existed during the Serbian Grand Principality.
During the 18th century, the forests and hills of Šumadija were the refuge for the hajduk bands (brigands, rebels, guerilla fighters) that fought against Ottoman occupation. Parts of the Sanjak of Smederevo, all of Šumadija, were liberated by the Austrian army in 1718, resulting in the establishment of the Kingdom of Serbia (1718–39). After the Austro-Russian–Turkish War (1735–39), the sanjak was re-established. Koča's frontier rebellion (1788) saw Šumadija briefly liberated under Habsburg control (1788-90). The first Serbian uprising in 1804 was led by national hero Karađorđe. The second Serbian uprising in 1815 was led by Miloš Obrenović who successfully repelled Turkish forces and, by 1830, gained full autonomy for Serbia, leading to the independence of central Serbia after several centuries under Ottoman rule.
Between 1922 and 1929, one of the administrative units in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was the Šumadijska Oblast. It roughly included territory of present-day Šumadija District with its administrative seat in Kragujevac, which is the seat of the modern district as well.
Some of the large cities and towns in Šumadija are:
- Gornji Milanovac
- Smederevska Palanka
- Velika Plana
Other smaller towns include: