|• Mayor||Dragoslav Šćekić (SNP)|
|• Ruling coalition||SNP-DF|
|• Total||717 km2 (277 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|• Density||49/km2 (130/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code||+382 51|
|ISO 3166-2 code||ME-03|
Berane (pronounced [bɛ̂ranɛ], Montenegrin and Serbian Cyrillic: Беране) is one of the biggest towns of northeastern Montenegro and a former administrative centre of the Ivangrad District. It is a seat of one of many multi-ethnic and multi-religious municipalities in Montenegro. The town is located on the Lim river, being part of Sandžak region. Its name is derived from the Turkish word meaning "One house". The town has a population of over 11 thousand, whereas its municipality area reaches 34 thousand people, making it one of the largest centres of Polimlje area.
During the medieval period the land of Berane was known as Budimlja. It was of great holistic, political and economic importance in the Serbian state of Raska. Until 1455, when Turks took the city, it was part of the Medieval Serbian state. Since the first Serbian Uprising until its final liberation, fights against Turks were constant. Famous battles occurred from 1825 to 1862 when the most important Rudes battle was fought on 7 April in which the Montenegrin rebels won. Berane was finally liberated in 1912. The town shared the destiny with its country being damaged in both World Wars. From 1949 until 1992 it was named as Ivangrad (Иванград) in honour to people's hero Ivan Milutinović. As Ivangrad, the town was meeting with prosperity and population growth being of one the Yugoslav industrial centres. Although the Civil War in Yugoslavia did not reach Montenegro, the city suffered from it as the industry collapsed and the people started to leave it. Nowadays, Berane is one of the poorest settlements in Montenegro so most of the population lives in difficult conditions. Despite that, the town remains an important educational, medical, religious and sporting centre, having produced many successful individuals in those categories.
Berane is administrative centre of municipality of the same name. There are 13 elementary schools, four high schools and four institutions of higher education. Having a solid sport infrastructure, the most successful sport collectives in the town are handball club and table tennis club. Berane is connected with rest of the country by two-lane motorways. It also has an airport which hasn’t been used for a while. In 2012, Berane was to celebrate 150 years since its official foundation.
In the Middle Ages, Berane was known as Budimlja. It was of great holistic, political, and economic importance in Medieval Serbia. Saint Sava, the first Serbian archbishop, founded one of the first Serbian eparchies here in 1219. The Monastery Đurđevi stupovi was built by the end of the 12th century by Prvoslav, the son of Nemanja's brother Tihomir. Many monasteries and churches tell the story on the rich holistic life of Serbs in this area. There were seven bishops and nine metropolitans.[when?] Literary and painting schools existed in this Monastery. Apart from Đurđevi stupovi, the second most important monastery in this area was Šudikovo, which was destroyed and burned by the Turks in 1738. Archbishop's throne was vacant for more than 350 years. However, the Budimlja episcopate, known as the Budimlja-Nikšić eparchy has been restored in 2002 upon the appointment of bishop Joanikije. The area of Berane municipality and its wider neighbourhood, was part of the Medieval Serbian state until 1455, when Turks took the city of Bihor and Budimlja. This valley was populated with Serbians until the mid 17th century, when it went under terrible suffering and many of them left. The Turks distributed the land to the Islamised population.
During the First Serbian Uprising (1804) and Karađorđe's march to Novi Pazar, the people of this area revolted and met the Serbian dukes Anto Bogićević and Hadži-Prodan Gligorijević. Then, Mojsije Zečević, prior of Đurđevi stupovi, had the leading role among the Orthodox people of Budimlja. He was one of the closest allies of Petar I Petrović-Njegoš and Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, the archbishops and political leaders of Montenegro. Since the First Serbian Uprising until its final liberation, fights against Turks were constant, especially during the second part of the 19th century. Famous battles occurred from 1825, until 1862, but the most important one was Rudes battle on 7 April 1862, in which the Serbian and Montenegrin rebels won. Berane was finally liberated from Turks in 1912 and it was incorporated in Montenegro.
During World War II, there was a civil war in the region between Partisans (communists) and Chetniks (royalists and nationalists). During the communists' reprisals in 1944 and 1945 thousands of people were killed. From July 1949 to March 1992, Berane was known as Ivangrad as a tribute to Ivan Milutinović. In 1992, its original name was restored.
Culture, education and science
The main impact for the development of culture of this area historically, and up to recent times, came from the Serb Orthodox Church, or it monasteries in the area: Šudikova, Đurdjevi stupovi and other, as the cornerstones of spirituality of the Serb population, as previously mentioned. That part is later to a certain extent taken over by schools, and, more and more institutions dealing with culture.
A special role in that process was that of the Berane Gymnasium, founded in 1913. Its classrooms were a home to many prominent artists and scientists in various disciplines such as: Mihailo Lalić, Dušan Kostić, Radovan Zogović, Jovan Zonjić, Mišo Popović, Aleksandar Rafajlović, Luka Radojević and the others. The institutions in Berane that are still working in culture, there are: Cultural Centre (with the library), and Polimski Museum, with a very rich collection of valuable artefacts; and the House of the Duke Gavro Vuković, the first jurist with a university degree, a long term Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Principality of Montenegro, and the writer of famous “Memoirs” has been reconstructed, planned to be used for cultural events. Berane also has a school for primary musical education, and there are also few amateur clubs and societies in various disciplines of artistic creation.
There are 13 elementary schools, four secondary schools and one school for elementary musical education in municipality of Berane. Berane has four institutions of higher education: Faculty of management in transport and communications, Faculty of Teacher-training, Higher Medical School and Applied Computer engineering (study program of Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Podgorica). Berane, as is usually the case with small communities, does not have a specialised scientific institution, but in spite that fact, many prominent scientists from various scientific disciplines come from here. A remarkable contribution to science was given by, among others, chemist Vukić Mićović, bacteriologist Milutin Đurišić, geographer Milisav Lutovac, and historian Miomir Dašić.
Economy, infrastructure and sports
The municipality of Berane is one of the poorest in Montenegro. The level of industrial production is very low, since a big number of companies have stopped working in the past 15 years due to the known crisis in former Yugoslavia. In the earlier period (60’s and 70’s) many village, agricultural households have moved to the town in the process of “industrialisation”, which decreased agricultural production, and industry later collapsed so most of the population lives in difficult conditions. Many small private companies have been started recently, mostly in the areas of commerce and catering industry. There is a very small number of companies that are creating new value. Workers in those new companies nave no insurance or health service, so those companies do not have a bigger positive impact on the community. Total number of employed in the municipality is approximately 3,000.
Berane is connected with rest of Montenegro by two-lane motorways. Bijelo Polje is 35 km away, where there lies the major junction (railway and the road) towards Podgorica and the coast, and to Serbia. Serbia can also be reached eastwards via Rožaje (for Novi Pazar). Berane is on the corridor of the future Beograd - Bar motorway. Berane has an airport, which hasn't been used for years, although there have been plans for its revitalisation and usage as regional airport. Podgorica Airport is some 150 km (93 mi) away, and has regular flights to and from major European destinations.
Berane has solid sport infrastructure. The most successful sport collectives are: handball club Berane and table tennis club Budim. There are also football club Berane, basketball club Lim, boxing clubs Baćo King and Radnički Berane, athletic club, tennis club etc. The Sports Centre consists of many sport objects. City Stadium with capacity of 11,000 people is the second largest stadium in Montenegro. Just next to the stadium, a new modern city hall is under construction.
Berane is administrative centre of Berane Municipality, which in 2011 had a population of 33,970. In 2013. after Petnjica became an independent municipality, Berane has 28,315 citizens. The town of Berane itself has 11,073 citizens.
Population of Berane (city):
- 1981 - 12,720
- 1991 - 12,267
- 2003 - 11,776
- 2011 - 11,073
Population of Berane (municipality):
- 1948 - 27,646
- 1953 - 30,316
- 1961 - 34,280
- 1971 - 40,385
- 1981 - 42,060
- 1991 - 38,953
- 2003 - 35,068
- 2011 - 33,970
Ethnicity in 2011
Twin towns — sister cities
Berane is twinned with:
- Čukarica, Belgrade; SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia (since May 20, 1985)
- Teramo, Italy (since July 30, 1985)
- Peć, Kosovo (since April 12, 1998)
- Kostroma, Russia (since December 8, 2005)
Despite all the problems, the town remains an important educational, medical, religional and sport centre having produced many successful individuals in those categories.
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