|Municipality and Town|
Panoramic view on Kuršumlija
Location of the municipality of Kuršumlija within Serbia
|• Mayor||Goran Bojović|
|• Municipality||952 km2 (368 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code||+381 27|
Kuršumlija (Serbian Cyrillic: Куршумлија, pronounced [kurʃǔmlija]) is a town and municipality located in Serbia, near the rivers Toplica, Kosanica and Banjska, on the southeast of mount Kopaonik, and northwest of mount Radan. As of 2011, the town has 13,306 inhabitants, while municipality has 19,213.
Kuršumlija sits on the area of 952 km2 (367.57 sq mi) and administratively is in Toplica District. Its borders the municipalities of Brus, Blace, Prokuplje, Medveđa, Podujevo, and Leposavić. Its southwest border (105 km) is with the disputed territory of Kosovo.
The Romans established the Ad Fines military outpost in the 3rd century AD. There are also remains of churches from the Byzantine period. The Serbian principality of Rascia expanded from this region. Stefan Nemanja, a Serbian lord (župan), and the founder of Nemanjić dynasty, built his residence here, as well as the two monasteries of St. Nicolas and the Holy Mother of God (before 1168).
There are a lot of historical sights in Kuršumlija from that era: Mara Tower, Ivan Tower, and many medieval churches. The name in that period was Bele Crkve (White Churches) and Toplica. After the invasion by the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century, the Ottomans gave the town its current name, simply by translating the old name, Bele Crkve (White Churches). During Ottoman rule Kuršumlija was part of the Sanjak of Niš.
Albanians were a majority population in some areas of the Sanjak of Niš, like the Toplica region and some villages in the district of Vranje, prior to the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) In 1878, Kuršumlija became a part of the Principality of Serbia, which in 1882 became the Kingdom of Serbia. From 1929 to 1941, Kuršumlija was part of the Morava Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
Kuršumlija is known for a natural monument of hoodoos near Mount Radan known as Đavolja Varoš ('Devil's Town'). There are three spas (banjas): the Prolom Banja, Kuršumlijska Banja, and Lukovska Banja. Prolom water is bottled at the Prolom Spa.
Kuršumlija Municipality include one urban and 89 rural settlements. According to the 2011 census there are 19,213 inhabitants in the municipality.
Ethnic groups in the municipality:
- The most notable Grand Prince of Serbia, Stefan Nemanja, established his first capital, Bele Crkve, near the location of today's Kuršumlija in 1166–1172. His wife, Grand Princess Anastasia (Ana), died and was buried here as a nun, St. Anastasia Nemanjic.
- Sultania Mara, daughter of Despot Đurađ Branković, later wife of the Ottoman Emperor Murad II, and step mother of Emperor Mehmed II also at the end of her life came to live here as a nun in monastery of Holy Mother of God, where she made a fortress called Mara Tower. She died in around 1487.
- Kosta Pećanac, a notable Serbian soldier in the First and Second World War. His house is protected of by the municipality.
- Dragoljub Mićunović (born in 1930. in Merdare, Kuršumlija), professor of at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy. He was a dissident during the Communist period, and the first president of the Democratic Party. He was the first president of parliament of State Union of Serbia & Montenegro.
- Rade Vučković, a famous composer of popular music from 70s until today. His greatest hits were: Isidora, Sneg je opet Snežana, Nisam te se nagledao, Ja sam dete Kuršumlije, Viki Viki Violeta and many others.
- Žarko Dragojević, director, born in Kuršumlija, professor at the Faculty of Drama at the University of Belgrade. He is director of several notable films: Kuća pored pruge (House by the tracks), Noć u kući moje majke (Night in my mother's house). He also directed many documentaries, among them series on Serbian monasteries for the Serbian national broadcaster (RTS).
- Vojin Šulović, academician, humanist, doctor of gynaecology. 7 July and October awards of city of Belgrade winner. Also Serbian medical society award winner and Serbian warrior medallist. Smederevo and Kuršumlija municipality freeman.
- "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" (PDF). Statistical Office of Republic Of Serbia, Belgrade. 2014. ISBN 978-86-6161-109-4. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
- Godišnjak grada Beograda. Museum of the Belgrade. 1977. p. 116. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
- Bataković, Dušan T. (2007). Kosovo and Metohija: living in the enclave. Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute for Balkan Studies. p. 35. Retrieved 22 June 2011. "Prior to the Second Serbo-Ottoman War (1877-78), Albanians were the majority population in some areas of Sanjak of Nis (Toplica region), while from the Serb majority district of Vranje Albanian-inhabited villages were emptied after the 1877-1878 war"
- in memoriam academician Vojin ŠuloViĆ(1923-2008)
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