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|Municipality and Town|
View on Prokuplje form Savićevac on Hisar hill, Serbia.
Location of the municipality of Prokuplje within Serbia
|• Mayor||Miroljub Paunović (SNS)|
|• Municipality||759 km2 (293 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code||+381 27|
Prokuplje (Serbian Cyrillic: Прокупље, Serbian pronunciation: [prǒkupʎe]) is a town and municipality located in the southern part of Serbia. According to 2011 census, the town has a total population of 27,333 inhabitants, while population of municipality is 44,419. 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.
The traces of early settlements can be found on neolithic localities such as Macina (near Zitni Potok), Kavolak 6 kilometres (4 miles) west of Prokuplje (village Donja Trnava) and settlements on the south slopes of Jastrebac in Donja Bresnica village. The Vinca period is preserved in the Plocnik locality (22 km [14 mi] from Prokuplje), on the left side of the road from Prokuplje to Kursumlija. The earliest known metalworking in the world was found in Pločnik in 2007 dating to 5500 BC making the Copper Age several centuries older than previously thought. 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.
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.
In early middle age, during the rule of Stefan Nemanja, Prokuplje is not mentioned in any written documents. The settlement gained its importance during Tsar Lazar's reign period, before the Ottoman 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. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, the town's importance increased (similarly to other towns, such as 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, although colonel Antonije Znorić ordered otherwise.
Prokuplje was liberated from the Ottomans in 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.
In July 2008 a major Roman spa was unearthed.
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.
According to the last official census done in 2011, the Municipality of Prokuplje has 44,419 inhabitants. Most of Prokuplje’s population is of Serbian ethnicity (92.16%) while 61.5% of the municipality’s population is urban.
Ethnic composition of the municipality:
Twin towns – Sister cities
Prokuplje is twinned with:
- "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.
- "Serbian site may have hosted first copper makers". UCL Institute of Archaeology. 23 September 2010.
- "Serbian site may have hosted first copper makers". ScienceNews. July 17, 2010.
- Godišnjak grada Beograda. Museum of the Belgrade. 1977. p. 116. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
- 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,
- "Подаци о обвезнику: Leoni Wiring Systems Southeast". apr.rs (in Serbian). Агенција за привредне регистре. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- "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.
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