|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 Slavic tribal area of the Merehani, or Moravians, not to be confused with that of Great Moravia in Central Europe. In 844, the Bavarian Geographer mentioned the Merehani bordering the Franks furthest away. They lived in the Morava river basin valleys and were still unconquered by the Bulgars. However, after 845, the Bulgars added these Slavs to their societas (they are last mentioned in 853). Šumadija was located directly northeast of Raška, the centre of the Serbian Principality; the early Serbian rulers added parts of Šumadija to their states (i.e. Časlav (r. 927–960) and Constantine Bodin (r. 1081–1101)); the whole region came under the rule of Stefan Nemanja and the Nemanjić dynasty (1166–1371).
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. In 1788, the Habsburg-organized Serbian Free Corps liberated Šumadija, which, after subsequent Austrian military involvement, came together with the rest of the sanjak under Habsburg occupation (1788–92). The First Serbian Uprising, which broke out in 1804, saw the region liberated under self-organized Serbian rebels led by Šumadijan-born Karađorđe, the national hero of Serbia. The Second Serbian Uprising in 1815 was led by Miloš Obrenović who successfully repelled Ottoman 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: