About Blace

Identity card of the Municipality

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION
According to the area, Blace is smaller municipality of Kopaonik (306 km²), where there are 40 settlements. It is located in Toplica basin, on the eastern slopes of Kopaonik and south- western slopes of Jastrebac, encompassing the north-western part of the Toplica basin which is connected with the Rasina valley or the Kruševac basin by the Janko’s valley. Although it has peripheral infrastructure character in relation to the main highway routes, Blace presents the intersection of roads towards Kosovo and Metohija, Kopaonik, Krusevac and Prokuplje, which represents a favourable transit position. Blace itself is located along the river Blatašnica to approximately 12 km upstream from its flows into Rasina. At altitudes of 380-430 m above sea level (mean height of 395 m above sea level), Blace lies on the watershed limits of basins of rivers Rasina and Toplica. The territory of the municipality of Blace borders Krusevac to the north, Prokuplje municipality to the east, Kuršumlija to the south and municipality of Brus to the west.


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HISTORY
Based on tradition, but above all the material evidence, it can be assumed that this region had a significant role in the past, and certainly a rich and turbulent history. On his way to the Battle of Kosovo, Prince Lazar had to go through Janko’s gorge, and then through the territory of Blace towards Kuršumlija and Podujevo. Janko’s gorge is named after John Hunyadi (in Serbian - Sibinjanin Janko), glorified in our folk songs. Along with the liberation of Toplice from the Turks (1878) the current area of the municipality of Blace was liberated as well. All the villages that exist today in the municipality of Blace were founded and inhabited between 1880 and 1885. Many of them have retained the names that had during the reign of the Turks (Alabana, Međuhana, Šiljomana, Pretežana, Draguša etc.), and some places were named, probably, by the old settlers’ settlements. The largest number of inhabitants emigrated from Kopaonik (municipalities of Brus, Aleksandrovac and Kuršumlija), from the vicinity of Kosovska Mitrovica (Ibar valley), from Sandžak, Sjenica and partly from the environment of today's Vlasina Lake and other parts of Serbia.

The inhabitants of Blace fought bravely in the Serbian-Turkish War of 1912 and the Serbian-Bulgarian War in 1913. A large number of soldiers from this area distinguished themselves for curage in the battles of Cer and Drina, and later backed off through Albania to take part in the Salonika front. In the wars for the liberation of Serbia (1876-1918), this area has made a great contribution. The pride of Serbia and the supreme commander of the Serbian army, King Petar I Karađorđević, was the famous "Iron Regiment" which consisted of young men from this area." In 1917. this place was the  meeting place of so-called the Toplica Uprising, only in the occupied territory. "(Andrej Mitrovic " Uprising struggle in Serbia 1916-1918") led by the legendary hero Kosta Vojinović and during which Blace was liberated. The uprising was crushed with very tragic consequences for the rebels. Entire villages were burned and about 20,000 inhabitants of Toplica (including a large number from the Blace ares) were killed in the most brutal manner. Kosta Vojinović was killed in December 1917 in Cerovačka River above the village of Grgure. On this river, there is a mill in which Vojinović spent the last hours of his life, and in the churchyard in Grgure there is a memorial bust as a sign of gratitude of the Toplica citizens to this fearless fighter. During the liberation war from 1941 to 1945 the citizens of the municipality of Blace took a prominent part in the fight against the invaders. At the end of 1941 and the first half of 1942, several hundred of them were found in Toplica’s partisan detachment, local tens and national liberation committees, and thousands of residents provided assistance to the National  

Liberation Movement.
Blace with its environment was finally liberated on August 28th 1944. During the National Liberation War Blace municipality had prominent figures, such as: Radoš Jovanović-Selja from Grgure, the war secretary of the District Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia for Toplica, Obrad Lazović-Živko from Blace, a national hero: Slavoljub-Jajko Vuksanović from Blace, a national hero; Trajko Jovanović-Josif from Trbunje, the Commander of the 45th Division. From this area are also: Ratko Vukićević - Spanish soldier and Mija Stanimirović - a national hero. Immediately after the liberation, Blace became the seat of the Jastrebac District. In 1947 the district was annexed to the Toplica District, and after three years, in 1950,  the district was re-formed, so in 1955 it was joined with the Prokuplje District. The whole area of the former Jastrebac District was divided into two municipalities: Barbatovac and Blace, which in September 1957 joined into a single municipality seated in Blace. 

POPULATION
According to the results of the 2011 census in the municipality of Blace live 11.686 inhabitants, 5.261 live in Blace, and 6.607 in the surrounding villages. Compared to the 2002 census, there is 2,073 inhabitants less, and compared to 1991, the population decreased for 3,463 inhabitants. A total of 1,852 unemployed persons are registered. The average salary of employees in the municipality of Blace amounts 41752.00 RSD.

 Displaced persons - Red Cross 027 / 371-314

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