|— Municipality and Town —|
|• Mayor||Vladan Vasić|
|• Municipality||1,232 km2 (476 sq mi)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code||+381 10|
Pirot (Serbian Cyrillic: Пирот) is a town and municipality located in south-eastern Serbia. According to 2011 census, the town has a total population of 38,785, while the population of the municipality is 57,928. The town is the administrative center of the Pirot District.
The municipality has rich geographical features, including the mountains of Stara Planina, Vlaška Planina, Belava, Suva Planina, and rivers which flow through the town, including Nišava, Jerma, Rasnička Reka, Temštica and the Visočica, and four lakes, the Zavoj Lake, Berovacko Lake, Krupac Lake; Sukovo Lake etc...
The town has a rich culture, with notable Orthodox church buildings, including the Church of St. Petka, and the monastery of St. Georges ans St. John the Theologian from the late 14th century, both of whom display a fine example of medieval Serbian architecture. Pirot is known for its traditional woven carpet, the Pirot Kilim (Pirotski ćilim).
The municipality has over 70 settlements, among Pirot itself. In 2011, the municipality has 57,911 inhabitants: 93.8% Serbs, 3.0% Roma and 0.8% Bulgarians.
Bazovik • Barje Čiflik • Basara • Bela • Berilovac • Berovica • Blato • Brlog • Velika Lukanja • Veliki Jovanovac • Veliki Suvodol • Veliko Selo • Visočka Ržana • Vlasi • Vojnegovac • Vranište • Gnjilan • Gornja Držina • Gostuša • Gradašnica • Gradište • Dobri Do • Dojkinci • Držina • Zaskovci • Izvor • Jalbotina • Jelovica • Kamik • Koprivštica • Kostur • Krupac • Kumanovo • Mali Jovanovac • Mali Suvodol • Milojkovac • Mirkovci • Nišor • Novi Zavoj • Obrenovac • Oreovica • Orlja • Osmakova • Pakleštica • Pasjač • Petrovac • Pirot • Planinica • Pokrevenik • Poljska Ržana • Ponor • Prisjan • Ragodeš • Rasnica • Rosomač • Rsovci • Rudinje • Sinja Glava • Slavinja • Sopot • Srećkovac • Staničenje • Sukovo • Temska • Topli Do • Trnjana • Cerev Del • Cerova • Crvenčevo • Crnoklište • Činiglavci • Šugrin
The municipality, which covers an area of 1,235 km2 (476.84 sq mi), has several mountains in the vicinity: Stara Planina, Vlaška Planina, Belava, Suva Planina, etc. The following rivers flow through Pirot: the Nišava, Jerma, Rasnička Reka, Temštica and the Visočica. Pirot also has four lakes: Zavoj Lake, Berovacko Lake, Krupac Lake and Sukov Lake.
Prehistoric and Roman times
Thracians ruled the region prior to the Roman conquest and Romanization of Serbia in the 1st century BC. Turres, the first settlement in the vicinity, date to the 2nd century AD. At the Maglić monastery of village Blato, an 2nd century AD stone depiction of the Thracian horseman was found in September 2008. An inscription dating to 211 AD, mentions the Thracian cult of Sebazianos (Sabazios), the theophoric name corresponds with the variations seen in Pautalia. The inscription was dedicated by a horion (cult society), headed by a leader (high priest), these were not Roman citizens. The first written account describing Turres was the 4th century Roman itinerary knowns as Tabula Peutingeriana. Its name was Latin for "towers". Firstly, it was set to enable control and defence of the main road in this part of the empire. Besides, travellers could sleep here over night, as well as get refreshments and new horses or vehicles. In time, the settling advanced because of the important road passing through. It was also disturbed very persistently by invasions of the Gothic tribes throughout the 4th century, as well as the Huns in the 5th century.
Eastern Roman (Byzantine) rule
According to the written accounts On the Constructions by Procopius of Caesarea, writing during the reigning of the emperor Justinian I (527 – 565), the reigning emperor ordered reconstruction of thirty fortresses in the area from Niš to Sofia, including the towers of Pirot. He also gave the detailed description of those construction works. In times when the Slavs and Avars were invading the Balkans, the settlement was named Quimedava, and was situated on the southern slope of the Sarlah Hill.
Corresponding to the archaeological investigations, the town back then, surrounded by forts and fortified walls, also included an early Christian basilica, termas (public bathrooms), a necropolis (graveyard), and other facilities. Beside the military fortress, a civil settlement existed on the site called Majilka. Although Byzantium successfully defended itself from the barbaric tribes’ raids, the Balkans were teeming with the Slavs in the second half of the 6th century and at the beginning of the 7th century. The Slavs soon became a crucial ethnical element on the peninsula.
The Slav subgroup of Sclaveni (eponymous) started raiding Byzantine towns in the 520s and are mentioned as having attacked Thrace in 549. In 577 some 100,000 Slavs poured into Thrace and Illyricum, pillaging cities and settling down.
High and Late Middle Ages
In the early 11th century it becomes part of the Theme of Sirmium, a main administrative unit of the Byzantine Empire, formed by Emperor Basil II (r. 976–1025). He also forms the Archbishopric of Ochrid, an autonomous church under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople (1018). The region was then part of the Archbishopric of Niš.
In 1214-1216 Serbian Grand Prince (later King) Stefan Nemanjić with the autocephaly of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1217, made Pirot's region as ecclesiastically part of the Serbian church.
Dušan the Mighty becomes the first Emperor of Serbia in 1346, and the town is part of this realm until the death of the second Emperor, Uroš the Weak, his son, in 1371. It is then part of Moravian Serbia, under Tsar Lazar, and the Serbian Despotate under Stefan Lazarević, his son.
There is disagreement between Serbian and Bulgarian sources whether area belonged to Serbian or Bulgarian states in the 14th century period. According to Serbian sources, in the 14th and 15th century, Pirot belonged to the several Serbian states - the Serbian Empire of Stefan Dušan, Moravian Serbia of Lazar Hrebeljanović, and Serbian Despotate of Stefan Lazarević, while according to Bulgarian historian Koledarov, the town was under Bulgarian rule in the 13th and 14th century and belonged to the Bulgarian state almost to the end of Second Bulgarian Empire. Still more, the Serbian archaeological excavations haven't found evidences for mass Serbian presence from 13th-15th century in the region, for example typical Serbian pottery from 14th-15th century. The town was later conquered by the Ottoman Empire. It was conquered by the Ottoman army the first time in 1386, but later the possession of this region was changed several times between Serbian and Ottoman rulers. It was finally conquered by Ottomans in the 15th century and remained under Ottoman rule until the 19th century (December 1877). It was known as Şehirköy during Ottoman rule.
It was administratively part of to the Sanjak of Niš. On April 7, 1831, it was the site of a battle in the Bosnian uprising. The Pirot Uprising was suppressed by the Ottomans in 1836. The Niš Uprising in 1841, was also suppressed by the Ottomans. It was administratively part of the Niš Eyalet 1846–1864. With the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate was the center of the Nishava diocese, which includes Tran and Pirot Municipality.
Modern history (after 1876)
During the Second Serbo-Ottoman War (Dec 1877-Sep 1878), the Serbian army took the territories of Niš, Babina glava, Bela Palanka and Pirot. With the Treaty of San Stefano (1878), Pirot was annexed to Bulgaria. With the Treaty of Berlin (1878), it was annexed to Serbia. The 1879 Serbian regional population census registered that Pirot had a population of 76,892 people, and 11,005 households. These newly liberated areas in the south of Serbia were called Old Serbia.
Notable brands of Pirot include the Pirot Kilim, Pirot opanak, Pirot cheese, and ironed sausage.
- "Municipalities of Serbia, 2006". Statistical Office of Serbia. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- "2011 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in The Republic of Serbia: Ethnicity - Data by municipalities and cities". Statistical Office of Republic Of Serbia, Belgrade. 2012. ISBN 978-86-6161-023-3. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- p. 829
- Eastern cults in Moesia Inferior and Thracia (5th century BC-4th century AD)[page needed]
- [page needed]
- p. 677
- Godišnjak grada Beograda. Museum of the Belgrade. 1977. p. 116. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
- Kanitz 1985, pp. 127-131: "Черњајев није освојио Белу Паланку и Пирот у рату 1876. Ове вароши ослобо- диће српска војска тек у другом ..."
- Василев, В.П. Темският ръкопис – български езиков паметник от 1764 г, Paleobulgarica, IX (1986), кн. 1, с. 49-72
- Българскиият език през 20-ти век. Василка Радева, Издател Pensoft Publishers, 2001, ISBN 954-642-113-8, стр. 280-281.
- Kanitz, Felix Philipp (1985). Srbija: zemlja i stanovništvo od rimskog doba do kraja XIX veka, Volume 2 (in Serbian) (3 ed.). Srpska književna zadruga.
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