Monument in the city center
Location of the municipality of Kraljevo within Serbia
|• Mayor||Dragan Jovanović|
|• Municipality||1,530 km2 (590 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code||+381 36|
Kraljevo (Serbian: Краљево / Kraljevo; [krǎːʎɛʋɔ] ( listen)) is a city in Serbia, built beside the river Ibar, 7 kilometres (4 miles) west of its confluence with the Western Morava. It is located in the midst of an upland valley, between the mountains of Kotlenik in the north, and Stolovi in the south.
In 2011 the city had a population of 68,749 (administrative area: 125,488). It is the administrative center of the Raška District. The city administrative area consists of 16 settlements. In 1991, Kraljevo administrative area had 80,559 inhabitants. Because of the enormous number of internally displaced persons from Kosovo (around 18,500), the population of Kraljevo today is estimated to be close to 100,000.
Formerly known as Rudo Polje (Рудо Поље), Karanovac (Карановац) and Rankovićevo (Ранковићево), Kraljevo received its present name, meaning "the King's Town", from King Milan I of Serbia.
History and sights
The "lower" Ibar region is thought to be the first area where Serbs began to develop cultural, political and economic life. The Serbian state named Raška was formed in the 11th century and the most active part of this state was in the area of today's Kraljevo. There are numerous monasteries in the area, of which Studenica (1188), Žiča (1219) are examples. These provided a seat for the Archbishop and have been used for the crowning of seven Serbian kings, e.g. Ljubostinja, Gradac, Stara and Pavlica. There is also a medieval fortress known as Maglič.
The village of Rudo Polje, from which Kraljevo arose, was settled during the 14th century. This area was occupied by the Turks in the period between 1458-1459.
During Turkish rule Rudo Polje became known as Karanovac. Karanovac became an important settlement during the war between Austria and Turkey in the period between 1718-1739. After 1718, a border between Austria and Turkey was established on the river Moravas which led to Karanovac becoming a place of refuge for Turks who were fleeing from the Austrians.
During the first uprising of the Serbs in 1805, Karanovac was heavily damaged and most of the Turkish population left, leaving the Serbs to continue development of the city during the period following the uprising. Karanovac became a county capital in 1819.
During WWII Kraljevo was caught up in the fighting between the occupying German army and the Serbian people. In 1941, local resistance fighters attacked a German garrison stationed near Kraljevo. In retaliation for the heavy losses that the German army sustained in this attack, the population of Kraljevo were massacred on 14 October 1941 and the two nights following this saw many more civilians killed.
During November 1944, heavy battles were fought for Kraljevo and its surrounding areas. The Soviet and Yugoslav forces fought fiercely with their opposing German forces until, on 29 November 1944 Kraljevo was liberated from the occupying Germans.
The NATO bombardment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 saw Kraljevo and its citizens suffer much military action and the first rocket to fall on Yugoslavia hit the airport at Lađevci, located nearby to the city of Kraljevo.
One prominent feature of the area is the Coronation church which belongs to the Žiča monastery. Here, seven Serbian kings are said to have been crowned (the seven crowns on the city coat of arms represent these seven kings). The church is Byzantine in style, and has been partially restored, with only the main tower remaining from the original building dating to 1210, when it was founded by Saint Sava, the patron saint of Serbia.
The famous monastery of Studenica, 39 km (24 mi) south west of Kraljevo, stands high among the south-western mountains, overlooking the Studenica, a tributary of the Ibar. It consists of a group of old-fashioned timber and plaster buildings, a tall belfry, and a diminutive church of white marble, founded in 1190 by King Stefan Nemanja, who became a monk and was canonized as Saint Simeon. The carvings around the north, south and west doors have been partially defaced by the Turks. The inner walls are decorated with Byzantine frescoes, among which only a painting of the Last Supper, and the portraits of five saints remain from the original artwork. The dome and narthex are modern additions.
The silver shrine of Saint Simeon sits within the church, along with many gold and silver ornaments, church vessels and old manuscripts, and a set of vestments and a reliquary, believed by the monks to have been the property of Saint Sava who founded the first hospital in Studenica in the 13th century.
Kraljevo was shaken by a Mw 5.4 earthquake on 3 November 2010. Two people were killed and over 100 suffered light injuries. A number of buildings suffered damage, and several hundreds, chiefly older buildings, were rendered unusable. There were several weaker aftershocks including a 4.3 Mw earthquake on November 4.
At 1,530 square kilometres (591 sq mi) Kraljevo is the largest municipality of Serbia by area. Apart from the city, municipality of Kraljevo includes 92 settlements:
- Bapsko Polje
- Dolac (Kraljevo)
- Mataruška Banja
- Musina Reka
- Orlja Glava
Of those, Adrani, Centar, Čibukovac, Grdica, Higijenski Zavod, Jarčujak, Konarevo, Mataruge, Mataruška Banja, Metikoš, Ratina, Ribnica, Stara Čaršija, Vitanovac, Vrba, Zaklopača, Zelengora and Žiča lie within the proper city limits.
Ethnic groups in the town of Kraljevo: (2011 census)
NBA player Vlade Divac started his career in Kraljevo, while playing for "Sloga" basketball club (his wife is from Kraljevo). He now donates to the club. Another NBA player, Nenad Krstić was born in Kraljevo, and played for "Mašinac" basketball club from Kraljevo. Kraljevo is the birthplace of international footballer Aleksandar Luković.
Twin towns — Sister cities
Kraljevo is twinned with:
- Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, France
- Sendenhorst, Germany
- Ahlen, Germany
- Lod, Israel
- Zielona Góra, Poland
- Maribor, Slovenia
- Kotor Varoš, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The most popular sports in Kraljevo are basketball, volleyball and football. The town is known as "Serbian Bologna" because it is home of KK Sloga and KK Mašinac both playing in Top Serbian basketball division - Naša Sinalko Liga. Kraljevo's volleyball team OK Ribnica recently became one of the best teams in Serbia. FK Sloga Kraljevo is the best Kraljevo football team.
- "Municipalities of Serbia, 2006". Statistical Office of Serbia. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- "2011 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in the Republic of Serbia: Comparative Overview of the Number of Population in 1948, 1953, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2002 and 2011, Data by settlements". Statistical Office of Republic Of Serbia, Belgrade. 2014. ISBN 978-86-6161-109-4. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
- Earthquake kills two in central Serbia, BBC
- 2 killed in earthquake in central Serbia
- Dan posle zemljotresa
- Magnitude 4.3 - SERBIA
- "Zielona Góra Miasta partnerskie". Urząd Miasta Zielona Góra. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
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