|Municipality and Town|
Spomenik Mare Resavkinje (Statue of Mara of Resava)
Location of the municipality of Svilajnac within Serbia
|• Mayor||Gorica Dimčić-Tasić (G17+)|
|• Municipality||326 km2 (126 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code||+381 35|
Svilajnac ( pronounced /sviːlaɪnʌt͡s/; Serbian Cyrillic: Свилајнац, Vlach: Svilaina) is a town and municipality located in central Serbia at 44.13° North, 21.12° East, 100 km (62 mi) south-east of Belgrade, on the banks of the river Resava, and bordering the river Morava. Its name stems from the word for silk in Serbian. It is the de facto administrative center of the Resava region. The population of the town is 9,131 while municipality has 23,391.
Svilajnac was first mentioned in Turkish records in 1467 as a village of a hundred households. The village, and later town, gained prominence through its silk (Serbian:svila) production, from which it derives its name. Location at the crossroads between north-east, south-east and western Serbia helped it flourish as a trading center, where silk, wool and livestock were traded.
Svilajnac and the area around it have been the birthplace of one of the most important and famous people in Serbian history, one of the leaders of the First Serbian Uprising, Stevan Sinđelić. A statue in his honor was raised in the central square of Svilajnac.
One of only several bridges across the Morava is located in Svilajnac, giving it a unique strategic value. During the Second World War, the original bridge was destroyed by the retreating Yugoslav Army. After the war, the bridge was rebuilt with German war reparations.
On 3 September 2007 there was a Democratic Party initiative to depose the president of the municipality Dobrivoje Budimirovic "Bidža" (Serbian Radical Party). It failed, partially due to the opposition of the Democratic Party of Serbia.
In 2011 the town has total population of 9,131, while municipality has a population of 23,391. A substantial part of the population (around 7,000) works abroad.
Today, Svilajnac is a fairly wealthy city, though its wealth can be attributed to the fact that 7,000 of its residents work abroad. The city's economy is largely based on its service sector that caters to the diaspora that returns over the summer. Apart from commercial services, Svilajnac's economy is largely agricultural, with the exception of the Compo (now defunct) furniture factory.
The state-owned factory contributed substantially to the local economy, until the 1990s, when economic crisis lead to the partial closure of the plant. The factory has been privatised in recent years, and is expected to reach its former production output, greatly aiding the local economy.
Recently, the municipal government signed a deal with the German car-parts manufacturer, Reum GmbH, on the construction of a new manufacturing plant, which should eventually employ 200 workers, and produce up to 50 million euro worth of exportable goods.
Svilajnac is also the location of a coal power plant. Built in 1969, only several hundred meters upriver from the bridge, it has an energy output of 125 MW. The town is also the location to now decommissioned military barracks which could house up to 5,000 soldiers at any one time.
- "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.
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