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Skyline of Kragujevac
Flag of Kragujevac
Coat of arms of Kragujevac
Coat of arms
Location of Kragujevac within Serbia
Location of Kragujevac within Serbia
Coordinates: 43°59′N 20°53′E / 43.983°N 20.883°E / 43.983; 20.883Coordinates: 43°59′N 20°53′E / 43.983°N 20.883°E / 43.983; 20.883
Country Serbia
District Šumadija
Municipalities 5
Founded 1476
 • Mayor Radomir Nikolić
 • Ruling parties Serbian Progressive Party
 • City 835 km2 (322 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • City 188,809
 • Urban 221,588
 • Urban density 559.10/km2 (215.87/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 34000
Area code(s) (+381) 34
Car plates KG

Kragujevac (Serbian Cyrillic: Крагујевац, pronounced [krǎɡujeʋat͡s]) is the fourth largest city in Serbia, the main city of the Šumadija region and the administrative centre of Šumadija District. It is situated on the banks of the river Lepenica. According to official results of the 2011 census, the city has a population of 150,835 inhabitants, while administrative area has a population of 179,417.

Kragujevac was the first capital of modern Serbia (1818–1839), and the first constitution in the Balkans was proclaimed in this city in 1835. Further on, the first full- fledged university in the newly independent Serbia was founded in 1838, preceded by the first grammar school (Gimnazija), Printworks (both in 1833), professional National theatre (1835) and the Military academy (1837).

Belgrade took the lead by becoming the seat of the throne in 1841. The University of Kragujevac was not reestablished until 1976. Contemporary Kragujevac is known for its weapons, munition and automobile industries.


Kragujevac lies at 180 metres (591 feet) above sea level, the mathematical and geographical position +44 ° 22 '; +20 ° 56' and is located in the valley of the river Lepenica. The city area covers an area of 835 square kilometres (322 sq mi), surrounded with further slopes of mountains Rudnik, Crni Vrh and Gledić mountains. Šumadija characterized by hilly - mountainous land, slightly ruffled. Kragujevac has developed transportation infrastructure.
Thanks to the good geographical position, it’s possible to arrive to the city from five important roadways from: a) Belgrade, across Batocina, by State road, IB class, number 15; b) the Montenegrin border, across Novi Pazar and Kraljevo, by State road, IB class, number 15; c) Belgrade, across Mladenovac and Topola, by State road, IB class, number 16; d) Jagodina, across Donja Sabanta, by State road, class II, number 170; e) Gornji Milanovac, across Bare, by State road, class II, number 176.


Climate data for Kragujevac (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.6
Average high °C (°F) 5.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.9
Average low °C (°F) −2.6
Record low °C (°F) −27.6
Precipitation mm (inches) 37.9
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 12 12 11 12 13 12 9 8 9 10 11 13 132
Average humidity (%) 79 75 69 67 68 68 65 67 72 75 77 81 72
Mean monthly sunshine hours 71.9 94.8 144.5 180.4 234.5 257.4 293.5 275.5 200.8 152.1 93.9 63.7 2,078.1
Source: Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia[2]

Municipalities and settlements[edit]

Municipalities and settlements

The city of Kragujevac is divided into the following municipalities:


List of settlements in the municipalities of Kragujevac:


Early and medieval[edit]

Amidža Residence, Balkan style architecture

The name of the town derived from the archaic Serbian word "kraguj", which is a name used for a particular species of hawk, thus the name means "hawk's nesting place".[3]

Kragujevac experienced a lot of historical turbulence, not always without severe casualties. Over 200 archaeological sites in Šumadija confirm that the region's first human settlements occurred 40,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic era. In the Middle Ages, the area of modern Kragujevac was part of several Serbian states. Kragujevac was first mentioned in the medieval period as related to the public square built in a settlement, while the first written mention of the city was in the Ottoman Tapu-Defter in 1476.[4]Ottoman documents from the 15th century refer to it as a "village of Kragujevdza". The town itself gained prominence during the Ottoman period (1459–1804) as the central point in the Belgrade Pashaluk (Sanjak of Smederevo).[5] In 1718-1739 the town was controlled by the Habsburg Monarchy and was part of the Habsburg Kingdom of Serbia. In 1788, it was part of Kočina Krajina, an area controlled by the Serb rebels, while in 1789-1790 it was again controlled by the Habsburg Monarchy.

Early modern period[edit]

The old bridge over Lepenica river

The city has been devastated many times and has suffered great losses of life in a number of wars throughout history. It began to prosper after Serbia's liberation from Turkish rule in 1818, when Prince Miloš Obrenović proclaimed it the capital of the new Serbian State and built the Amidža Konak.[6] The first Serbian constitution was proclaimed here in 1835 and the first idea of independent electoral democracy. The first law on the printing press was passed in Kragujevac in 1870. Kragujevac, the capital, was developing and cherishing modern, progressive, free ideas and resembled many European capitals of that time.[7]

Riverside and the "New Church" in the background

Apart from contemporary political influence, Kragujevac became the cultural and educational center of Serbia. Important institutions built during that time include Serbia's first secondary school (Gimnazija), first pharmacy, and first printing press.[8] Kragujevac gave rise to many international scholars, professors, academics, scientists, artists and statesmen.

The turning point in the overall development of Kragujevac was in 1851 when the Cannon Foundry began production, beginning a new era in the city’s economic development.[9] The main industry of the 19th and 20th century was military production. Kragujevac became one of Serbia’s largest exporters in 1886, when the main BelgradeNiš railway connected through Kragujevac.

During World War I, Kragujevac again became the capital of Serbia (1914–1915), and the seat of many state institutions; even the Supreme Army Command was housed within the court house building.[10] During the war, Kragujevac lost 15% of its population.

Interbellum period[edit]

King Peter's promenade in central Kragujevac

The social aspect, especially theater life, in Kragujevac between the two wars was very vibrant. The first cultural event in liberated Kragujevac occurred in 1918. That was the establishment of the Theater Gundulic that worked only one season and moved to Belgrade.[11]

Following the model of Academic Theater in Belgrade, the formation of the Kragujevac Scholars Academic Theater in 1924 was a theater that supported contemporary ideas, modern approach to stage, live word and repertoire, thus gaining the reputation of a serious art organization.[12] There were many other cultural institutions in the city which began to grow into a large cultural and industrial hub of Central Serbia.

"Broken wing", WWII commemoration site

WWII and the Kragujevac massacre[edit]

Main article: Kragujevac massacre

Kragujevac underwent a number of ordeals, the worst probably having been the October massacre during World War II. The Kragujevac massacre was the slaughter of 2,300 to 5,000 civilians—mostly Serbs and Roma— by Nazi soldiers between 19–21 October 1941.[13] Staniša Brkić, curator of The Museum of 21 October, published a book in 2007 where he listed names and personal data of 2,796 victims.[14]

The killings went on from October 19 to October 21, 1941, in retaliation for a partisan attack on German soldiers. 50 people were killed if a German soldier was wounded, while 100 were slaughtered if a German soldier was killed. Among the killed was a whole generation of boys taken directly from schools. A monument for the executed pupils is a symbol of the city.[15] This atrocity has inspired a poem called "Krvava Bajka" ("Bloody Fairy Tale") by Desanka Maksimović, a well known Serbian poet from the former Yugoslavia.[16]

Post-war city[edit]

In the post-war period, Kragujevac developed more industry. Its main exports were passenger cars, trucks and industrial vehicles, hunting arms, industrial chains, leather, and textiles. The biggest industry, and the city's main employer was Zastava, which employed tens of thousands.[17] The industry suffered under economic sanctions during the Milošević era, and was all but destroyed by the NATO bombing campaign in 1999.[18] Despite a possible deal with the Italian auto manufacturer, Fiat, to reopen the factory, the city currently suffers from widespread unemployment.[19] Since 1976, Kragujevac has grown as a university centre.

Main sights[edit]

Museum of Genocide in Kragujevac

The architecture of Kragujevac displays a fusion of two different styles—traditional Turkish (nowadays almost completely gone) and 19th century Vienna Secession style.[20] Modern conceptions also appear throughout the city, firstly in the shape of post-war concrete (usually apartments designed to house those left homeless during World War II), and secondly the up-to-date glass offices reflecting the ambitious business aspects of modern architects.

Some important buildings and institutions in Kragujevac include:

  • The old church of Descent of the Holy Spirit was built in 1818, as a part of Prince Miloš' court. Its interior was decorated from 1818 to 1822. The new belfry was built in 1907.
  • The Old Parliament was built in the court of the church where the first parliamentary meeting was held in 1859. Many events of great historical importance, such as verifying the Berlin Congress decision about the independence of Serbia, took place there. After undergoing reconstruction in 1992, the building was converted into a museum.
  • The Amidža Konak was built by Prince Miloš in 1820 as a residential house. It is one of the finest examples of regional architecture in Serbia. It now houses an exhibition from the National Museum.
  • The Prince Mihailo Konak was built in 1860. Its architecture blends local tradition with European architectural concepts. The building is now the National Museum.
  • The High School (Gimnazija) was built between 1885 and 1887 according to designs from the Ministry of Civil Engineering. It is one of the city's oldest edifices designed in a European style, in the tradition of the oldest Serbian Gimnazija from 1833. Some famous Serbian scientists, artists and politicians were educated in this school.
Knjaževsko-srpski teatar (Serbian Principal Theatre), 1835
  • These institutions continue to promote cultural activities in modern-day Kragujevac: Knjaževsko-srpski teatar (founded in 1835), National Library "Vuk Karadžić" (1866), Cultural and Artistic Group "Abrasević" (1904).
  • The "Kragujevac October" Memorial Park, located in Šumarice, commemorates the tragic events of October 21, 1941.
  • The National Museum has various displays including those pertaining to archeology, ethnic diversity, the history of Kragujevac and Šumadija and many paintings. The archeology department has a rich collection of 10,000 display items and over 100,000 study items. The painting department has over 1,000 pieces of prominent Serbian art of extraordinary value.
  • The "Old Foundry Museum" is located within the old gun foundry, the oldest surviving part of the military factory with military - artisan school, the first of its kind in the principality of Serbia. Museum is founded in 1953 and exhibits the history of industrial development in Kragujevac and Serbia. It has the collection of 5,800 pieces: weapons and equipment, machines and tools, archive material, photos, paintings, trophies and medals.
  • The Historical Archives of Šumadija collects and files the archives and issues of the seven municipalities of Šumadija and has at its disposal 700 metres (2,297 feet) of archive issues with 780 registries and hundreds of thousands of original historical documents.
  • Tourists may also be interested in the range of scenic attractions nearby, including the Aranđelovac, Gornji Milanovac, Vrnjačka Banja, and Mataruška Banja, Karađorđe's castle, the Church of Saint George in Topola 40 kilometres (25 miles) away, the Old Kalenić monastery 55 kilometres (34 miles) away, the resorts of Rogot (28 km (17 mi)) and Stragari (34 km (21 mi)) with old monasteries of Blagoveštenje and Voljavca.


Kragujevac pedestrian zone

Kragujevac has been an important industrial and trading centre in Serbia for over two centuries. The city's industry are best known by its automotive production and firearms manufacturing. The former state-owned Zastava Automobiles company was founded in 1953 and produced the well known, Yugo subcompact brand of vehicles. Zastava was sold to Fiat in 2008, with Fiat pledging to invest 700 million euros into the company now renamed as Fiat Automobiles Serbia.[21] Weapons manufacturing in Kragujevac began in 1853 and has since grown to become Serbia's primary supplier of firearms through the Zastava Arms corporation.

Among more renowned companies, Johnson Controls, Hödlmayr, Rapp Marine Group, Meggle AG, Metro Cash and Carry, Mercator, Plaza Centers established their operations in Kragujevac. The most important local companies are Forma Ideale, Blažeks (furniture production), KUČ Company (production of diary), Valentino (production of clothes), Flores (brandy production), Prizma (Production and distribution of medical equipment), Agromarket (distribution of merchandise for agriculture production) and Agrojevtic (production and distribution of mill and bakery products).

Kragujevac Fair was established in 2005 thanks to the project "Support to the development and promotion of regional economy through development of City Fair". It comprises 1,600 square metres (17,222 sq ft) of area dedicated to trade and exhibitions and 1,000 square metres (10,764 sq ft) of area for other activities (administration, Media center, restaurant etc.). More than 20 trade shows are organized every year, including Fairs of Tourism, Agriculture, Furniture, Sport, Construction, etc.

Out of 179,417 inhabitants of administrative area, around 65% is of working age. Total number of employees in September 2012 was 41,457. Majority of persons of working age have secondary education (51.34%) or primary education (21,22%), while 14% have college or university degree.[22] Around 93% of total city area is covered with water supply system, 78% with sewage system, 72% with natural gas supply network, and 92% with cell phone networks.[23]


University of Kragujevac

There are 22 primary and 8 secondary schools in Kragujevac.[24] There are also 3 special schools: School for hearing impaired children,[25] Music school Dr Miloje Milojevic,[26] and School for children with disabilities Vukasin Markovic.[27] University of Kragujevac was established on 21 May 1976 although the first higher education institutions started with operations in 1960 as departments of the University of Belgrade. It is fourth largest university in Serbia and is organized in 12 faculties and two institutes which are spread over six cities (Kragujevac, Cacak, Kraljevo, Uzice, Jagodina and Vrnjačka Banja) of the Central Serbia region which covers an area populated by 2,500,000 people. Around 16.000 students is currently enrolled at the university. It has around 1.350 employees out of which 900 is teaching and research staff.[28] The University Library in Kragujevac is of generally scientific character, and its primary users are university teaching staff and students. It takes space of 1,500 square meters and includes several storage rooms, reading area and University Gallery. Library takes care of around 100,000 copies of books, 2,500 doctoral and master thesis, 450 titles of domestic journals and 105 titles of foreign journals.[29]


Stadion Čika Dača in Kragujevac

Kragujevac is home to Čika Dača Stadium, which is the third largest stadium in Serbia by seat capacity. FK Radnički 1923 is the city's most successful football club and competes in the Serbian SuperLiga. However in football, Kragujevac is also known for having the oldest Serbian club, FK Šumadija 1903 (although FK Bačka 1901 is the oldest club in present-day Serbia, at time of its foundation was located in Austro-Hungary while Kragujevac was in Serbia, so that is why Šumadija is the oldest Serbian club, while Bačka is the oldest club in Serbia).

KK Radnički is the city's premier basketball team which, besides the Basketball League of Serbia it also competes in the Adriatic Basketball League. Volleyball club Radnički is one of strongest volleyball teams in Serbia, and water polo club VK Radnički Kragujevac competes in the Serbian Water polo League A and has won the domestic league and the LEN Trophy in 2013.

The city is home to the CROSS OVER Basketball Summer Camp, and Bandy Federation of Serbia.[30] The team of Kragujevac plays against the one from Subotica.

Futsal team KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac established by teachers and students of the Faculty of Economics of the University in Kragujevac in 2000 is one of the best teams in Serbia and one of the top 10 in Europe.


St. George's Cross at the entry of the city.

Ethnic groups in the municipal area of Kragujevac (including all municipalities) as of 2011:



Serbs 172,052
Roma 1,482
Montenegrins 645
Macedonians 297
Croats 192
Yugoslavs 175
Gorani 101
Other 4,473




Results of the 2012 local elections (there are 87 seats in local assembly):[31]

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Kragujevac twinning agreement

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Kragujevac is twinned with:[32]

Partnerships and Cooperations[edit]

The town has other forms of cooperation and city friendship similar to the twin/sister city programmes with:

Local media[edit]

Radio stations

  • Radio Kragujevac (94.7)
  • Radio 9 (95.9)
  • TDI Radio (97.9)
  • Radio Centar (95.9)
  • Radio Bravo (103.7)
  • Radio Stari Grad (RSG) (104.3)
  • Radio Zlatousti (90.50)
  • Radio 34 (88.9)

TV stations


  • Svetlost
  • Kragujevacke

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Human resources". Statistics office of Serbia. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  2. ^ "Monthly and annual means, maximum and minimum values of meteorological elements for the period 1981 - 2010" (in Serbian). Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia. Retrieved 2012-09-15. 
  3. ^ Kraguj meaning
  4. ^ Tapu-Defter
  5. ^ Map of the Belgrade Pashaluk
  6. ^ Amidza Konak
  7. ^ Kragujevac, Once Serbian Capital
  8. ^ History of Serbian Printing
  9. ^ National Canno Foundry
  10. ^ Kragujevac Capital
  11. ^ Theater Gundulic
  12. ^ Kragujevac Theaters
  13. ^ Carl K. Savich. "German Occupation of Serbia and the Kragujevac Massacre". Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  14. ^ "Blic Online | Srbija | "Engleska krvava bajka" u Kragujevcu". Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  15. ^ Monument to the executed pupils
  16. ^ Krvava Bajika
  17. ^ Zastav
  18. ^ NATO Bombing campaign and Kragujevac
  19. ^ Fiat Factory in Serbia?
  20. ^ Kragujevic Architecture
  21. ^ Zastava Automobiles
  22. ^ City of Kragujevac Human Resources
  23. ^ City of Kragujevac Infrastructure
  24. ^ City of Kragujevac
  25. ^ School for hearing impaired children
  26. ^ Dr Miloje Milojevic
  27. ^ Vukasin Markovic
  28. ^ University of Kragujevac
  29. ^ University Library in Kragujevac
  30. ^ "Federation of International Bandy-About-About FIB-National Federations-Serbia-Serbia". 
  31. ^ "24. седница ГИК-а - Седнице :: Званичан сајт града Крагујевца". Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  32. ^ "Kragujevac Twin Cities". © 2009 Information service of Kragujevac City. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  33. ^ "Bielsko-Biała - Partner Cities". © 2008 Urzędu Miejskiego w Bielsku-Białej. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  34. ^ "Mostar Gradovi prijatelji" [Mostar Twin Towns]. Grad Mostar [Mostar Official City Website] (in Macedonian). Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  35. ^ "Opole Official Website - Twin Towns". (in English and Polish) © 2007-2009 Urząd Miasta Opola. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  36. ^ Vacca, Maria Luisa. "Comune di Napoli -Gemellaggi" [Naples - Twin Towns]. Comune di Napoli (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2013-06-22. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 


External links[edit]