Prokuplje

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Prokuplje, Serbia
Прокупље
Municipality and Town
View on Prokuplje form Savićevac on Hisar hill, Serbia.
View on Prokuplje form Savićevac on Hisar hill, Serbia.
Coat of arms of Prokuplje, Serbia
Coat of arms
Location of the municipality of Prokuplje within Serbia
Location of the municipality of Prokuplje within Serbia
Coordinates: 43°14′N 21°36′E / 43.233°N 21.600°E / 43.233; 21.600Coordinates: 43°14′N 21°36′E / 43.233°N 21.600°E / 43.233; 21.600
Country  Serbia
District Toplica
Settlements 107
Government
 • Mayor Ljubiša Đurković (SNS)
Area[1]
 • Municipality 759 km2 (293 sq mi)
Population (2011 census)[2]
 • Town 27,163
 • Municipality 43,631
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 18400
Area code +381 27
Car plates PK
Website www.prokuplje.org.rs

Prokuplje (Serbian Cyrillic: Прокупље, Serbian pronunciation: [prǒkupʎe]) is a town and municipality located in Serbia at 43.24° North, 21.59° East. According to 2011 census, the town has a total population of 27,163 inhabitants, while population of municipality is 43,631. It is the administrative center of the Toplica District of Serbia. It is one of the Roman sites of Serbia. It was a kaza center in Niš sanjak as "Ürgüp" during Ottoman rule and was incorporated in Kingdom of Serbia in 1878.

Geography[edit]

The Prokuplje municipality is located between municipalities of Blace, Kuršumlija, Bojnik, Žitorađa, Merošina, Aleksinac, and Kruševac.

History[edit]

Remains of Roman Baths

The traces of early settlements can be found on neolithic localities such as: Macina (near Zitni Potok), Kavolak 6 kilometres (4 miles) on the west from Prokuplje (village Donja Trnava) and settlements on south slopes of Jastrebac mountain in Donja Bresnica village. Vinca period is preserved in Plocnik locality (22 km (14 mi). from Prokuplje), on the left side of Prokuplje –Kursumlija road. The earliest known metalworking in Europe was found in Pločnik in 2007 dating to 5500 BC making the Copper Age several centuries older than previously thought.[3] Those agricultural settlements were replaced by the emerging Thracians and then the invading Celtic Scordisci in 279 BC. Pieces of ceramics found by the Latin church are traces of those tribes movement on their way to Greece.

Between 73-75 B.C., after the Romans subjugated the tribes of the region, this part of Serbia became a part of the Roman province of Moesia. It was part of the Roman „via militaris“ (connecting the central Balkans with the Adriatic) from Niš, the town was known as Hammeum, or Hameo; the first known name of the settlement. At the end of 4th century A.D., when the Roman empire was divided, all settlements in Toplica region belonged to (Byzantine Empire). The name of the place was Komplos or Komblos (village-town). Some historians believed that Komplos was rebuilt by Emperor Justinian.

When South Slavic tribes first settled in this area in the 6th century, Komplos was rendered as the Slavic Prokuplje.

Monument in Prokuplje

The first written document about today’s town name is from 1395 A.D. when the Duchess Milica gave away as a present two houses and some belongings from the town of St. Prokopius to St. Panteleimon monastery on holy Mount Athos in modern-day Greece. Today’s name of the town of Prokuplje was first seen in use after the replacement of St. Prokopius' relics from Nis in the year 1396 A.D.

Church of Jug Bogdan

In early middle age, during the rule of Stefan Nemanja, Prokuplje is not mentioned in any written documents. The settlement gain its importance in Tsar Lazar's period, before the Turkish invasion, when the fortress on Hisar Hill was rebuilt. Prokuplje was besieged in 1454 and during 423 years of Turkish rule the name of the place was Urcub or Okrub. It was part of the Sanjak of Niš.[4] Between the 16th and 17th centuries, the town gets important status and becomes very important like other Serbian towns: Kruševac, Stalac and Leskovac. Prokuplje prospered through the trade connections with Dubrovnik. During the Great Turkish War Prokuplje was captured by Austrian troops and Serbian Militia in 1689 and burned down during their retreat in 1690, against the order of Antonije Znorić.[5]

Prokuplje was liberated from the Turks on the 19th of December, 1877 and the whole Toplica region was liberated in 1877. From 1929 to 1941, Prokuplje was part of the Morava Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During the First and Second World War Prokuplje was completely destroyed, but in the post-war period it became an industrial town.

Archaeological findings[edit]

In July 2008 a major Roman spa was unearthed.[6]

On October 9, 2008, Serbian archaeologists at Pločnik found a copper axe believed to be 500–800 years older than the actual beginning of the Copper Age, suggesting that the human use of metal is older than believed.[7][8][9]

Economy of Prokuplje[edit]

Prokuplje has a weak economy, with most of the employed people working in public sector. In 2009, LEONI Wiring Systems opened a factory in Prokuplje, employing 1500 people.

Demographics (2002 census)[edit]

Ethnic groups in the Prokuplje municipality[edit]

  • Serbs = 45,793
  • Roma = 1,809
  • Montenegrins = 168

Ethnic groups in the Prokuplje town[edit]

  • Serbs = 25,760
  • Roma = 1,258
  • Montenegrins = 138

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Prokuplje is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Municipalities of Serbia, 2006". Statistical Office of Serbia. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ http://remotecentral.blogspot.com/2007/10/archaeologists-in-serbia-discover.html
  4. ^ Godišnjak grada Beograda. Museum of the Belgrade. 1977. p. 116. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Kostić, Radoje. "Нишка Епархија у првој половини 18. века". Niš: Istorijski Arhiv Niš. Retrieved 14 December 2011. "Прокупље је запалио пуковник Антоније Знорић приликом повлачења 1690. године," 
  6. ^ http://www.b92.net/eng/news/comments.php?nav_id=52063
  7. ^ http://www.serbianna.com/news/2008/03159.shtml
  8. ^ http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/india-news/ancient-axe-find-suggests-copper-age-began-earlier-than-believed_100105122.html
  9. ^ http://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/002557.html
  10. ^ "Association Suisse des Communes et Régions d’Europe". L'Association suisse pour le Conseil des Communes et Régions d'Europe (ASCCRE) (in French). Retrieved 2013-07-20. 

External links[edit]