Kraljevo Travel Guide

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VIII century old church

VIII century old church


    Kraljevo is located in central part of Serbia, at the mouth of the Ibar to the Zapadna Morava. It is surrounded by mountain wreaks that causes moderate-continental climate conditions.
    The history of the town of Kraljevo can be easily seen through the change of the town s names. The settlement under the name Rudo Polje was mentioned for the first time in 1476. A little later, around 1540, a dual name was used: Rudopolje and Karanovac. During the visit of King Milan Obrenovic to Karanovac, and at the citizens s request, the name was changed to Kraljevo on 19 April, 1882. In a short period (1949-1955), the name Rankovicevo was in use and after that the name Kraljevo was re-given to the town.

    The area around the lower part of the Ibar and its confluence with the Zapadna Morava have been man s habitat since time immemorial. It is proved by archaeological sites in the villages of Ratina, Kovanluk and Konarevo as well as by numerous individual finds.

    The Old Rome and Byzantium also left their traces in this region. Janok, Rajanovac and Vrnjacka Banja in the vicinity date from that period. The oldest mention of a place in the Kraljevo region can be found in Byzantine sources from the X century, which mention the densely inhabited Janok probably located to the southwest of Kraljevo, on the territory of today s Konarevo.

    These areas have been within the Serbian state since its creation, playing an important role in the economic, social and political life but, before all, the spiritual centre of the young Serbian state was here. The monastery of Studenica was erected at the end of the XII century. It was founded by the Great Prince Stefan Nemanja, the founder of the independent Serbian state and father of the Nemanjic dynasty. The monastery of Zica was built at the beginning of the XIII century as the foundation of Stefan the First-Crowned. He was crowned in it in 1217 as the first crowned Serbian king. Since 1219 Zica was the seat of the autocephalous Serbian church and the seat of the first Srbian arcbishop Saint Sava. The fortified town of Maglic, built on an important strategic place, dates from the XIII century.

    In the middle of the XV century, the Turks occupied this region staying here for a long time, all until the beginning of the XIX century.

    It can be said that Karanovac became a more important settlement from 1718, after the Po`arevac peace treaty was signed and the Austrian-Turkish border along the Zapadna Morava established.

    The Turkish occupation finished at the beginning of the XIX century after the First and the Second Serbian Uprisings. Rapid development of Karanovac followed being caused, before all, by its geographical position, trade, handicrafts and newly attained administrative-governing role. During the XIX century it grew into an important, urban centre of Serbia. After the church had been built in 1824, a new direction and space for development of the town were determined – the space between Stara carsija and Pljakin sanac. The first town planning of Karanovac was done by Laza Zuban in 1832. Its realization began in 1836 when "three main sokaks (lanes)" were arranged in the town. By the end of the XIX century, a network of streets was created by building new lanes and its characteristic regular intersection of streets starting from the central circular square towards four directions has been kept so far.

    Development of the town was followed by the increase in population. In 1846 the town had 1,022 inhabitants, and in 1921 there were 3,570 of them.

    After the First World War, thanks to the investment of state and foreign capital, a new phase of development with remarkable industrialization began in Kraljevo. Building of the railway workshop started in 1922, and later it grew into the Waggon Factory. Construction of the Aeroplane Factory began in 1926 and finished in 1928 when the first aeroplanes were produced in cooperation with the French firm "Brege". The consequence of such an abrupt development was considerable increase in population so that in 1931 there were 7,022 of them.

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