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Град Врање
City of Vranje
Pašin konak - National Museum in Vranje
Pašin konak - National Museum in Vranje
Flag of Vranje
Coat of arms of Vranje
Coat of arms
Location of the city of Vranje within Serbia
Location of the city of Vranje within Serbia
Coordinates: 42°33′N 21°54′E / 42.550°N 21.900°E / 42.550; 21.900Coordinates: 42°33′N 21°54′E / 42.550°N 21.900°E / 42.550; 21.900
Country  Serbia
Region Southern and Eastern Serbia
District Pčinja
Municipalities 2
Settlements 105
 • Mayor Slobodan Milenković (SNS)
 • Administrative 860 km2 (330 sq mi)
Elevation 487 m (1,598 ft)
Population (2011 census)[2]
 • Rank 17th
 • City 60,485
 • Administrative 83,524
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 17500
Area code +381(0)17
ISO 3166 code SRB
Car plates VR
Website www.vranje.org.rs

Vranje (Serbian Cyrillic: Врање, pronounced [ʋrâɲɛ]) is a city and the administrative center of the Pčinja District in southern Serbia. The city has a population of 83,524 inhabitants, while the urban area of the city has 60,485 inhabitants.

Vranje is the economical, political, and cultural centre of the Pčinja District in South Serbia. It is on located on the Pan-European Corridor X, close to the borders with Macedonia and Bulgaria. The Eparchy of Vranje is seated in the city and the 4th Land Force Brigade of the Serbian army is stationed here.


Vranje is situated in the northwestern part of the Vranje basin, on the left waterside of the South Morava.[3]

Vranje is at base of the mountains Pljačkovica (1,231 metres (4,039 feet)), Krstilovice (1,154 metres (3,786 feet)) and Pržar (731 metres (2,398 feet)). The Vranje river and the city are divided by the main road and railway line, which leads to the north Leskovac (70 km), Niš (110 kilometres (68 miles)) and Belgrade (347 kilometres (216 miles)), and, to the south Kumanovo (56 kilometres (35 miles)), Skopje (91 kilometres (57 miles)) and Thessalonica (354 kilometres (220 miles)). It is 70 km (43 mi) from the border with Bulgaria, 40 km (25 mi) from the border with the Macedonia.

Vranje is the economical, political, and cultural centre of the Pčinja District in South Serbia.[3] The Pčinja District also includes the municipalities of Bosilegrad, Bujanovac, Vladičin Han, Preševo, Surdulica, Trgovište.[3] It is located on the Pan-European Corridor X.



The Romans conquered the region in the 2nd or 1st centuries BC. Vranje was part of Moesia Superior and Dardania during Roman rule. The Roman fortresses in the Vranje region were abandoned during the Hun attacks in 539–544 AD; these include the localities of Kale at Vranjska Banja, Gradište in Korbevac and Gradište in Prvonek.[5]

The first written mention of Vranje comes from Byzantine chronicle Alexiad by Anna Comnena (1083–1153), in which it is mentioned how Serbian ruler Vukan in 1093, as part of his conquests, reached Vranje and conquered it, however only shortly, as he was forced to retreat from the powerful Byzantines.[3] The city name stems from the Old Serbian word vran ("black"). The second mention is from 1193, when Vranje was temporarily taken by Serbian Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja from the Byzantines.[3] Vranje definitely entered the Serbian state in 1207 when it was conquered by Grand Prince Stefan Nemanjić.[3]

Some time before 1306, tepčija Kuzma was given the governorship of Vranje (a župa, "county", including the town and neighbouring villages), serving King Stefan Milutin.[6] At the same time, kaznac Miroslav held the surroundings of Vranje.[7] Next, kaznac Baldovin (fl. 1325–45) received the province around Vranje, serving King Stefan Dečanski.[8] Next, župan Maljušat, Baldovin's son, held the župa of Vranje.[9] By the time of the proclamation of the Serbian Empire, holders with the title kefalija are present in Vranje, among other cities.[10] During the fall of the Serbian Empire, Vranje was part of Uglješa Vlatković's possessions, which also included Preševo and Kumanovo. Uglješa became a vassal of Serbian Despot Stefan Lazarević after the Battle of Tripolje (1403); Vranje became part of Serbian Despotate.

Markovo Kale, ruins of a medieval fortress.

The medieval župa was a small landscape unit, whose territory expanded with creation of new settlements and independence of hamlets and neighbourhoods from župa villages and shepherd cottages.[3] Good mercantile relations with developing mine city Novo Brdo led to creation of numerous settlements.[3] In 1455, Vranje was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, amid the fall of the medieval Serbian state.[3] It was organized as the seat of a kaza (county), named Vranje, after the city and the medieval župa.[3] In the mid-19th century Austrian diplomat Johann Georg von Hahn stated that the population of Vranje kaza was 6/7 Bulgarian and 1/7 Albanian, while the city population consisted of 1000 Christian-Bulgarian families, 600 Albanian-Turkish and 50 Gipsy.[11][12] It was part of the Ottoman Empire until 1878, when the town was liberated by the Serbian army commanded by Jovan Belimarković.[3] The city entered the Principality of Serbia, with little more than 8,000 inhabitants at that time.[3] Up until the end of the Balkan Wars Vranje had a special position and role, as the transmissive station of Serbian state political and cultural influence on Macedonia.[13]

In the early 20th century, Vranje had around 12,000 inhabitants. As a border town of the Kingdom of Serbia, it was used as the starting point for Serbian guerrilla (Chetniks) who crossed into Ottoman territory and fought in Kosovo and Macedonia. In World War I, the main headquarters of the Serbian army was in the town. King Peter I Karađorđević, Prime Minister Nikola Pašić and the chief of staff General Radomir Putnik stayed in Vranje. Vranje was occupied by the Kingdom of Bulgaria on 16–17 October 1915, after which war crimes and Bulgarisation was committed on the city and wider region.[14]

World War II memorial.

After the war, Vranje was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in one of the 33 oblasts; in 1929, it became part of the Vardar Banovina. During World War II, Nazi German troops entered the town on 9 April 1941 and transferred it to Bulgarian administration on 22 April 1941. During Bulgarian occupation, 400 Serbs were shot and around 4,000 interned.[citation needed] Vranje was liberated by the Yugoslav Partisans on 7 September 1944.

During Socialist Yugoslavia, Vranje was organized into the Pčinja District. In the 1960s and 1970s it was industrialized. During the 1990s, the economy of Vranje was heavily affected by the sanctions against Serbia and the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

Municipalities and settlements[edit]

City of Vranje in Pčinja District

The city of Vranje consists of two city municipalities: City municipality of Vranje and Vranjska Banja.[15] Their municipal areas include the following settlements:

Municipality of Vranje
Municipality of Vranjska Banja

Society and culture[edit]


White Bridge, a landmark of Vranje.
Local traditional costume.

Vranje was an important Ottoman trading site. The White Bridge is a symbol of the city and is called "most ljubavi" (lovers' bridge) after the tale of the forbidden love between the Muslim girl Ajša and Christian Stojan that resulted in the father killing the couple. After that, he built the bridge where he had killed her and had the story inscribed in Ottoman Arabic. The 11th-century Markovo Kale fortress is in the north of the city. The city has traditional Balkan and Ottoman architecture.

The well-known theater play Koštana by Bora Stanković is set in Vranje.

Vranje is famous for its popular, old music, lively and melancholic at the same time. The best known music is from the theater piece with music, Koštana, by Bora Stanković. This original music style has been renewed recently by taking different, specific, and more oriental form, with the contribution of rich brass instruments. It is played particularly by the Vranje Romani people.

Vranje is the seat of Pčinja District and, as such, is a major center for cultural events in the district. Most notable annual events are Borina nedelja, Stari dani, Dani karanfila (in Vranjska Banja), etc.

Vranje lies close to Besna Kobila mountain and Vranjska Banja, locations with high potential that are underdeveloped. Other locations in and around Vranje with some tourist potential include Prohor Pčinjski monastery, Kale-Krševica, Markovo kale, Pržar, birth-house museum of Bora Stankovic.

Largest hotels are Hotel Vranje, near the center and Hotel Pržar overlooking the city and the valley. The city has traditional Serbian cuisine as well as international cuisine restaurants and many cafes and bars.

Culture institutions[edit]

The Museum of Vranje
  • National Museum (in former Pasha's residence, built in 1765)
  • Youth Cultural Centre
  • National Library
  • Centre for Talents
  • Theater "Bora Stanković"
  • Tourist organization of Vranje


The city has one top-flight association football team, Dinamo Vranje.


Pumpkins in the suburb village of Vlase.

Vranje is in southern Serbia, on Corridor X near the border with Macedonia and Bulgaria. The distance from Thessalonica international harbor is 285 km (177 mi); distance from the international airports of Skopje and Niš are 90 km (56 mi). With the excellent transport connections of Vranje, anyone can easily access the markets of southeastern Europe (CEFTA) and the European Union, with all the tax reliefs that Serbia have with these markets. Vranje has a long tradition of industrial production, trade, and tourism and is rich in natural resources, such as forests and geothermal resources.[16]

Until the second half of the 20th century Vranje was a craftsman town. The crafts included weaving, water-milling, and carriages craft. With the beginning of industrialization in the 1960s, many of these crafts disappeared. In those years, many factories were opened, such as the Tobacco Industry of Vranje (Дуванска индустрија Врање), Simpo, ahoe factory Koštana, cotton plant Yumco, industry of technical goods Alfa Plam, SZP Zavarivač Vranje. In 1961 there were 1525 employees; in 1971, 4374 employees; and in 1998, 32,758 employees, of which 28,347 were in business and 4,411 outside of it.

After the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević in 2000, the number of employees began to drop, due to the closure of many factories like Yumco and Koštana. Employees in 2010 numbered 18,958 and there were 7,559 unemployed people. The city of Vranje has 59,278 available workers. In Vranje the most common industries are timber industry, clothing, footwear and furniture, food and beverages, agricultural, textile industry, chemical industry, construction industry, machinery and equipment, and business services. There are more than 2,500 small- and medium-size companies. To potential investors there are industrial sites, with plan documents and furnished infrastructure. Among the companies with business locations in the city are British American Tobacco, Simpo, Sanch, Kenda Farben, Danny style, OMV and Hellenic Petroleum.[16]

In 2010 the City Council passed the "Strategy of sustainable development of the city of Vranje from 2010 to 2019," for the achievement of objectives through a transparent and responsible business partnership with industry and the public.[16]


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1093 3,900 —    
1386 5,800 +48.7%
1800 10,564 +82.1%
1878 15,875 +50.3%
1900 27,586 +73.8%
1905 34,110 +23.6%
1910 39,487 +15.8%
1921 48,817 +23.6%
1948 59,504 +21.9%
1953 62,659 +5.3%
1961 65,367 +4.3%
1971 72,208 +10.5%
1981 82,527 +14.3%
1991 86,518 +4.8%
2002 87,288 +0.9%
2011 83,524 −4.3%
There no citation available for pre-1948 population.
Source: [17]

The city population has been expanded by Yugoslav-era settlers and urbanization from its surroundings. Serb refugees of the Yugoslav Wars (1991–95) and the Kosovo War (1998–99), especially during and following the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, as well as emigrants from Kosovo in the aftermath of the latter conflict have further increased the population.

Ethnic groups[edit]

Ethnic composition of the city:

Ethnic group Urban City
Serbs 54,450 76,569
Romani 4,125 4,654
Bulgarians 487 589
Macedonians 223 255
Others 1,200 1,457
Total 60,485 83,524

Notable people[edit]

Borisav "Bora" Stanković statue in his hometown Vranje.
  • Borisav (Bora) Stanković (* 31 March 1875, Vranje; † 22 October 1927, Belgrade), a Serbian writer.
  • Miroslav-Cera Mihajlović, contemporary poet.
  • Jovan Hadži-Vasiljević, (1866–1946), historian.
  • Djordje Tasić, (1892–1943), one of the most notable Serbian jurists.
  • Justin Popović (1894–1979), theologian and philosopher.
  • Physicians: Dr. Franjo Kopsa († 1898); Dr. Dragoljub Mihajlović († 1980).
  • Scientists: Dejan Stojković (Ph.D. physics, professor in USA), Marjan Bosković (MD), anatomy professor; Dragan Pavlovć (MD), professor of pathophysiology and anesthesiology; Dragoslav Mitrinović, mathematician.
  • Painters: Jovica Dejanović, Miodrag Stanković-Dagi, Zoran Petrusijević-Zop, Suzana Stojanović.
  • Musicians: Bakija Bakić († 1989), Staniša Stošić († 2008), Čedomir Marković
  • Aleksandar Davinić: journalist, satirist.
  • Curators: Jelena Veljković, Marko Stamenković.
  • Architects: Milan Stamenković (Moscow Architectural Institute State Academy)

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

The city of Vranje is twinned with:

See also[edit]

External links[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" (PDF). Statistical Office of Republic Of Serbia, Belgrade. 2014. ISBN 978-86-6161-109-4. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bazić 2008, p. 254.
  4. ^ "Monthly and annual means, maximum and minimum values of meteorological elements for the period 1981–2010" (in Serbian). Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  5. ^ Janković, Đorđe. "The Slavs in the 6th century North Illyricum". Projekat Rastko (in Serbian). Belgrade. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Blagojević 2001, p. 26.
  7. ^ Синиша Мишић (2010). Лексикон градова и тргова средњовековних српских земаља: према писаним изворима. Завод за уџбенике. p. 76. ISBN 978-86-17-16604-3. 
  8. ^ Starinar 1936, p. 72: "... сродника и наследника кнеза Балдовина. Кнез Балдовин je из времена краља Стефана Уроша III Дечанског (1321 — 1331). Пре њега je, изгледа, био y Врањи тепчија Кузма, a пре овога казнац Мирослав (свакако онај исти који ce помиње y ..."
  9. ^ Blagojević 2001, pp. 41, 52.
  10. ^ Blagojević 2001, p. 252.
  11. ^ Reise von Belgrad nach Salonik. Von J. G. v. Hahn, K. K. Consul für östliche Griechenland. Wien 1861
  12. ^ von Hahn, Johann. Bulgarians in Southwest Morava,[1] Illuminated by A. Teodoroff-Balan
  13. ^ Bazić 2008, p. 255.
  14. ^ Mitrović 2007, pp. 222–223.
  15. ^ "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. 
  16. ^ a b c Агенција за страна улагања и промоцију извоза Републике Србије (СИЕПА) – Град Врање
  17. ^ "2011 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in the Republic of Serbia" (PDF). stat.gov.rs. Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  18. ^ "Miasta partnerskie i zaprzyjaźnione Nowego Sącza". Urząd Miasta Nowego Sącza (in Polish). Archived from the original on 23 May 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]