Location of Kragujevac within Serbia
|• Mayor||Veroljub Stevanović|
|• Ruling parties||Together for Šumadija|
|• City||835 km2 (322 sq mi)|
|• Urban density||559.10/km2 (215.87/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||(+381) 34|
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.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Main sights
- 4 Economy
- 5 Sports
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Politics
- 8 Climate
- 9 Municipalities and settlements
- 10 Famous residents
- 11 International relations
- 12 Local media
- 13 See also
- 14 Notes
- 15 Gallery
- 16 External links
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.
Early and medieval
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.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). 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
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. 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.
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. 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. 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 Belgrade – Niš 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. During the war, Kragujevac lost 15% of its population.
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.
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. There were many other cultural institutions in the city which began to grow into a large cultural and industrial hub of Central Serbia.
WWII and the 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. 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.
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. This atrocity has inspired a poem called "Krvava Bajka" ("Bloody Fairy Tale")
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. The industry suffered under economic sanctions during the Milošević era, and was all but destroyed by the NATO bombing campaign in 1999. Despite a possible deal with the Italian auto manufacturer, Fiat, to reopen the factory, the city currently suffers from widespread unemployment.
Since 1976, Kragujevac has grown as a university centre. The University of Kragujevac includes the Faculties of Medicine, Engineering, Law, Economics, Philology, Arts, Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
The architecture of Kragujevac displays a fusion of two different styles—traditional Turkish (nowadays almost completely gone) and 19th century Vienna Secession style. 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.
- 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 "Zastava Museum" is located within the old gun foundry and exhibits the history of industrial development in Kragujevac and Serbia.
- 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, 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 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. Weapons manufacturung in Kragujevac began in 1853 and has since grown to become Serbia's primary supplier of firearms through the Zastava Arms corporation.
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.
Futsal team KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac is the one of the best teams in Serbia and one of the top 10 in Europe.
Ethnic groups in the municipal area of Kragujevac (including all municipalities) as of 2011:
Results of the 2012 local elections (there are 87 seats in local assembly):
- Together for Šumadija-United Regions of Serbia (37)
- Let's Get Kragujevac Moving (18)
- Democratic Party-Social Democratic Party of Serbia (12)
- SPS-PUPS-JS (10)
- Liberal Democratic Party-Serbian Renewal Movement (5)
- Democratic Party of Serbia (5)
|Climate data for Kragujevac (1981-2010)|
|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|
|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|
Municipalities and settlements
The city of Kragujevac is divided into the following municipalities:
List of settlements in the municipalities of Kragujevac: