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Пљевља / Pljevlja
Municipality of Pljevlja
From upper left: City of Pljevlja 2009, Coat of arms, Đurđevića Tara Bridge, Holy Trinity monastery (Pljevlja)Lycurgus Cup
From upper left: City of Pljevlja 2009, Coat of arms, Đurđevića Tara Bridge, Holy Trinity monastery (Pljevlja)Lycurgus Cup
Coat of arms of Pljevlja
Coat of arms
Pljevlja is located in Montenegro
Location of Pljevlja
Coordinates: 43°22′N 19°22′E / 43.36°N 19.36°E / 43.36; 19.36
Settlements 153
 • Mayor Miloje Pupović (SNP) (SNP - NOVA - PZP)
 • Total 1,346 km2 (520 sq mi)
Population (2011 census)
 • Total 19,489
 • Density 27/km2 (70/sq mi)
 • Municipality 30,786
Postal code 84210
Area code +382  89
ISO 3166-2 code ME-14
Car plates PV

Pljevlja (Serbian: Пљевља, pronounced [pʎɛ̂v̞ʎa]) is a town and the center of Pljevlja Municipality located in the northern part of Montenegro. The city lies at an altitude of 770 m (2,530 ft). Pljevlja is a town of long rich past,encountering place of different civilizations. Since the settlement of the Slavs, and Serbs among them, to the Balkans in 6-8th century, the region of Pljevlja presented nucleus of the Serbian state territory, at the time of Vlastimirović dynasty, form the reign of Prince Vlastimir until the reign of prince Caslav. For centuries, Pljevlja had been a crossroad of the important commercial roads and cultural streams.Important international roads connecting the littoral Dubrovnik and Kotor with the Eastern parts of Balkans, primarily Thessaloniki and Constantinopole, run through it.

In 2011, the municipality of Pljevlja had a population of 30,786, while the city itself had a population of about 19,489. The municipality borders those of Žabljak, Bijelo Polje and Mojkovac in Montenegro, as well as the republics of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. With a total area of 1,346 km2 (520 sq mi), it is the third largest municipality in Montenegro.

Prehistory and antiquity[edit]

Municipium S (Komini, in Pljevlja) and other finds from the Roman period: 1. Caption; 2nd Necropolis; 3rd Religious monument; 4th Mine; 5th The remains of architecture 6, Settlement..

The most ancient traces of human life in prehistory could be dated at the time period between 50,000 and 40,000 years B.C. It can be reliably concluded that the valley of Ćehotina river had been inhabited at latest around 30,000 yesrs B.C. The oldest traces of human presence in this area, one flint tool, had been found in the cave under Gospić Peak. The traces of settlements in the later stages of the Stone Age were found in two big archeological sites called Mališina Stijena and Medena Stijena ( around 10.000 tools and arms made of different types of stone and almost the same number made of animal bones were found.The oldest stage of Medena Stijena apperaed between 12.000 and 8.000 years B.C. at very end of the Ice Age.

During the Bronze and Iron Age,since around 2.000 years B.C. up to Roman Conquests a large number of necropolis with tumuli,as wel as fortified settlements arises along the Ćehotina valley,especially around villages of Mataruge,Kakmuža,Hoćevina and Gotovuša.The tumuli found in Ljutići, Gotovuša and Borovica have been archeologically researched.

Roman era[edit]

The first cultural people in this region are considered the Illyric tribes, Pirust, which lived there until the Roman invasion of the 1st century AD. The Romans built their own city on the ruins of the Illyrian city and named it Municipium S (S is the first letter of the name of the city that was founded on the ruins near Pljevlja's Komini suburb). The city was the second largest Roman city in modern Montenegro after Doclea. Municipium S was the large trade and religious center of the upper Roman province of Dalmatia. A large number of valuable objects including jewellery pieces, glass vases and pottery have been found in the ruins of the old city. The most valuable object is the Diatreta or cage cup, a glass vase trimmed with blue glass threads which is considered to be priceless.

Middle Ages[edit]

In the Middle Ages, the region of Pljevlja was also a part of nucleus of the Serbian state under the Nemanjić dynasty, unntil the end of the rule of the Emperior Dušan.After his death, Pljevlja was under the rule of Serbian autonomous rulers Vojislav Vojinović and Nikola Altomanović. After the defeat of Nikola Altomanović 1373, by the joint forces of prince Lazar Hrebeljanović and Bosnian Ban Tvrtko I, the region of Pljevlja made a part of the eastern section of the medieval Bosnian state.

Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul

Ottoman conquest and Austrian invasion[edit]

In 1465 Ottoman Empire conquered,the whole Balkan region,as well as the city of Pljevlja. During the Ottoman offensive, after strong resistance,the fortres of Kukanj, residence of duke Stefan was destroyed.Fearing from the Turks, many merchants,almost all feudal land owners and wealthier population fled from Pljevlja.They went to the territory of the Venetian Republic, Dubrovnik or Italy.

The Ottoman Census book[edit]

In the first Ottoman census book (Defter) 1475/1476, almost all inhabitants registered in Pljevlja were Christian Orthodox with 101 households.


From the standpoint of large geographic areas Sandžak region is located in the Raška (region), which are often shunned in favor of the Turkish-speaking nomination, Sandžak (Administrative divisions of the Ottoman Empire). These translations are rarely agreement between the works of various scholars, however. The region is a with long and rich past,encountering places of different civilizations.

The new name, Pljevlja, was not in use for a long time because after the Ottoman invasion the city was renamed Taşlıca (rocky terms). Turks upgraded the city to 'kasaba', a larger Ottoman city without a fortress. The 15th and 16th centuries were a period of much construction in the city: in 1465 the Holy Trinity Monastery (Pljevlja) was founded, in 1569 Husein-paša’s mosque was built and during the 16th century the city got a sewage system. When the center of Hercegovački Sanjak (Sanjak of Herzegovina) was moved to Pljevlja from Foča in 1572, the city started to change rapidly: urban housing increased— 72 houses in 1468, 150 in 1516, 300 in 1570; in the 17th century Pljevlja had around 650 houses in the city center and over 400 in the surrounding area. The first Muslim religious school, Madrasa, was built in the 17th century; water-works were constructed in the 18th century. The Russian consul visited Pljevlja in the 19th century and wrote that Pljevlja was a very beautiful oriental city with gardens and fountains, mosques and churches and over 800 houses in the city center (7,000 citizens) which made Pljevlja the second largest city in Hercegovački Sanjak beside Mostar. After two big fires that burned the city center to the ground, the city's economy was ruined. That was the reason for displacing the center of Hercegovački Sanjak to Mostar in 1833. After 1833 the city stagnated in both an economic and cultural sense.

old Čaršija in Pljevlja

Modern history[edit]

In 1875, after a failed uprising, mass emigration took place around Pljevlja in the direction of Užice, Valjevo and the Drina river basin.[1]

In 1878, Pljevlja was occupied by Austria-Hungary like Yenipazar sanjak. 5,000 army soldiers with their wives and children came to Pljevlja. That was a beginning of a new era for the city because Austrians transformed Pljevlja into a modern western city with hotels, bookstores, theater and cultural events. The first modern drug store was opened in 1879, a photo store in 1892, hospital in 1880 and beer factory in 1889 (Šećerović beer factory). Austrians withdrew from the town in 1908 and the Ottoman army returned to it. In 1880 Pljevlja became the center of Pljevaljski Sanjak (Sanjak of Taşlıca) which existed till 1912 when Pljevlja was captured from the Ottoman Empire. Serbian and Montenegrin armies captured Pljevlja on the same day. In 1913 Pljevlja became a part of Kingdom of Montenegro, and after World War I, in 1918, it became a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which Montenegro joined. From 1929 to 1941, Pljevlja was part of the Zeta Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. At the beginning of the Second World War Pljevlja, like the rest of Sandžak, was occupied by NDH Ustaše forces. Notable Muslims from Pljevlja, Bijelo Polje and Prijepolje wrote to Pavelić and expressed their loyalty to the Independent State of Croatia allegedly in the name of all Muslims of Sandjak.[2] By September 1941 Ustaše left Sandžak which was occupied by Italian forces within Italian governorate of Montenegro. The Battle of Pljevlja, fought on 1 December 1941 between attacking Partisans and Italian Pljevlja garrison, was the biggest battle of the Uprising in Montenegro. In April 1942 Italians established a battalion of Sandžak Muslim militia in Metaljka, near Čajniče, composed of about 500 Muslims from villages around Pljevlja and Čajniče. A little later a command post of Moslem militia was established in Bukovica, near Pljevlja. Since the end of 1943 Pljevlja belonged to the German occupied territory of Montenegro and after the war to Yugoslav Socialist Republic of Montenegro.


Pljevlja is the administrative center of Pljevlja municipality, which has a population of 35,806. The town of Pljevlja itself has 19,136 citizens, and is the only town in the municipality with a population of over 1,000. The municipality has a majority of Serbs.

Population of Pljevlja (Town):

  • March 3, 1981 - 16,792
  • March 3, 1991 - 20,887
  • November 1, 2003 – 21,337
  • April 15, 2011 – 19,489

Ethnicity in 2011

Ethnicity Number Percentage
Serbs 17,569 57.07%
Montenegrins 7,494 24.34%
Bosniaks 2,128 6.91%
Muslims by nationality 1,739 5.65%
Albanians 17 0.06%
Croats 16 0.05%
Other 115 0.42%
not declared 1448 4.62%
no data 205 0.55%
Total 30,786 100%


Architectural Ensemble of the Holy Trinity in Pljevlja - Montenegro.jpg
Husein-paša’s mosque with the tallest minaret (42m) in the Balkans
Monastery of the Holy Trinity

The main features are :


Pljevlja is also one of the main economic engines of Montenegro. The only thermal power plant in Montenegro, which provides 45% of the electric power supply for Montenegro, is situated outside Pljevlja as well as the biggest coal mine with 100% of the coal production in Montenegro. Zinc and lead can be found in Šuplja stijena mine. The richest municipality with forest in Montenegro is Pljevlja and its lumber industry. Agriculture is widespread in the whole municipality. Pljevaljski sir (Pljevlja's cheese, from Пљеваљски сир) is considered a delicacy. There is big potential for ecological and winter tourism.


Culture and education are all present throughout history of Pljevlja and its region. The first educational life,churches and monasteries,as well as in the mosques some time later. The Holy Trinity Monastery (Pljevlja) is the richest treasury of cultural and spiritual life of the Orthodox Serbs from the Middle Ages to the present times. The school in the Holy Trinity Monastery has been working continuously since the 16th century. In 1823, a primary school in Pljevlja started working. The school in Dovolja monastery worked since the 18th century. The very important date in the history of education in Pljevlja is the opening of the Pljevaljska Gymnasium in 1901. The Heritage Museum Pljevlja is a treasure trove of rich historical and cultural heritage of the city and region.




The main transit road connections are:



Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Jovan Cvijić, Balkansko poluostrvo i južnoslovenske zemlje /Balkan Peninsula and South Slav Countries/ (Belgrade: Zavod za izdavanje udžbenika, 1966), pp. 151-152.
  2. ^ Knežević, Danilo (1969). Prilog u krvi: Pljevlja 1941-1945. Opštinski odbor SUBNOR-a.