It is a place with bright future ahead (…) The surroundings of this place is wonderful.
Romance, picturesque – all these leave a nice impression, it doesn’t matter what time of year a man finds himself there at. There are mountains full of forests around, and further there are green valleys and young fruitful hills (…) The sudden success of this place is mainly due to the fact that citizens are active people, who, in addition to their personal affairs, create the opportunities for the people. In addition, such citizens are always useful and they should always be given greater attention…
This is how a famous poet and bohemian Rade Drainac wrote about Blace in 1923..
And Blace now …
… is recognizable by preserved environment, developed fruit growing and investment in youth.
The Municipality of Blace is, above all, the municipality of plum, famous for the largest number of plum trees in Serbia compared to the area it occupies. Nearly 3 million plum trees of Stenley sort are planted on the territory of this municipality, on over 5000 hectares of arable land. In honor of the plum, Blace organizes one of the most important economic and tourist events in Serbia, called “Dani šljive”.
In addition, the work on improving the quality of life of young people is a basic task and mission of this municipality, because young people and their stay in Blace are conditions for the survival and development of this region. Local government is trying to provide various artistic, sports, creative and other contents for children and young people to fulfill their free time by engaging in various activities so that the quality of life in this small community does not vary from life and opportunities in larger environments.
That is why The Municipality of Blace, with reason, is called THE MUNICIPALITY OF YOUTH AND PLUM!
In addition to agriculture, which is the most represented economic branch in the Municipality of Blace, tourism is the main development potential of this region. Rich historical heritage, cultural and historical monuments, natural goods, manifestations, food and traditional hospitality of people from this region are the basis for the accelerated development of tourism in this area.
Visitors of Blacе can experience an unforgettable pastime. They can also…
- attend some of 39 different manifestations which are held throughout the year on the territory of Blace municipality, of which the most important manifestation “Dani šljive” is dedicated to plums, according to which this area is well known and which is held the weekend before the last one in August;
- visit unique and one of the most important paleontological sites on the Balkan Peninsula and in the world, Prebreza, which contains fossil remains of mammal fauna aged 14-15 million years. In this area, remains of 12 species of large mammals have been discovered, among which there are several species found for the first time in Europe, and two fossil species (myocene hyena and forerunner of gazelle) are new to the science. This monument of nature is the only paleontological site in Serbia and as a natural good it has been protected by the Government Regulation Act of the Republic of Serbia as a good of exceptional scientific and educational significance, category I;
- feel the spirit of liberation of the “Iron Regiment” and Kosta Vojinović, the leader of the Toplica Uprising, the only armed resistance against the occupiers in the First World War, which was launched in the village of Grgure in Blace, and visit the monument and water mill where Kosta Vojinović was killed;
- visit the birth house of Rade Drainac, a great Serbian poet;
- visit the church in the village of Vrbovac, which keeps the secret of the character of “the saint” in the log and the place where Empress Milica learned of the calvary of Serbian army in Kosovo Polje, after which, according to the legend, she threw away all Lazar’s treasure into Blace Lake so that the Turks would not get it…
- drink the best plum brandy, feel the magic of wine tourism of “Doja” winery, ride horses of “Mamuza” horse club, fly by private airplane of “Blace” aeroclub and discover many more interesting and unique details, places and stories…
The Municipality of Blace is located in Toplica basin, on the eastern slopes of Kopaonik and the southwestern slopes of Jastrebac, capturing the northwestern part of Toplica basin, which is connected with Raška Valley by Janko’s Gorge, i.e. the Kruševac basin. Although it has a peripheral infrastructure compared to the main corridors, Blace makes the intersection of roads to Kosovo and Metohija, Kopaonik, Kruševac and Prokuplje, which is a favorable transit position. Blace municipality is only 12 kilometers away from the Toplica corridor.
The territory of Blace municipality is bordered with the territory of Kruševac city on the north, with the Municipality of Prokuplje on the east, with the Municipality of Kuršumlija on the south and the Municipality of Brus on the west. It is a small Kopaonik municipality by area (306 km²), where there are 40 settlements, and according to the 2011 census there are 11,686 inhabitants. Of this number, 5,261 live in Blace, and 6,425 inhabitants in rural settlements.
Blace settlement is located next to the Blatašnica River, about 12 kilometers upstream from its river mouth in the Rasina River.
At altitudes of 380-430 m above sea level (395 m above sea level medium height), Blace is located at the watershed of the rivers Rasina and Toplica drainage basins. The most eastern part of the settlement is in the Toplica drainage basin.
The territory of Blace municipality has a moderate continental climate with distinctive continental characteristics which takes on the character of the mountain climate with the increase of altitude. In addition to external factors, such climatic characteristics were influenced by the characteristics of the Toplica basin and the directions of mountain massifs of Kopaonik and Veliki Jastrepac sprawl.
The average annual air temperature on the territory of Blace municipality is 10.10 degrees Celsius. Based on the Blace weather station data, the following table shows the average monthly air temperature:
Table: Average air temperature for Blace by month
Data source: Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia
The climate of the Municipality of Blace is characterized by cold winters, slightly warmer autumns and springs and moderately warm summers so the length of the vegetation period is from 220 to 240 days. The snow cover stays longer in the higher parts of the municipality, so winters are harsher. Summers are much cooler here because of the higher altitude and forestation.
The Municipality of Blace is adorned by natural treasures and landmarks which are of great importance for its further development as a tourist area and for which a lot of support and assistance is needed, in order to implement the plans related to them.
According to the 2011 census, there are 11,686 inhabitants on the territory of the Municipality of Blace, of which 5,261 live in Blace and 6,607 in the surrounding villages. Compared to the 2002 census, there are 2.073 inhabitants less, and compared to 1991census, the number of inhabitants decreased by 3.463.
Based on the tales, but above all based on material evidence, it can be assumed that this region had an important role in the past, and certainly a rich and tumultuous history.
Leaving to the Battle of Kosovo, Knez Lazar had to pass through the Janko’s Gorge, and then across the Blace area towards Kuršumlija and Podujevo. Janko’s Gorge was named after Sibinjanin Janko, who is celebrated in our folk songs.
During the liberation of Toplica from Turks (1878), the area of current Municipality of Blace was also liberated. All the villages were established and settled from 1880 to 1885 in the Municipality of Blace and they exist until present day. Many of them retained the names they had during the rule of Turks (Alabana, Medjuhana, Šiljomana, Pretežana, Draguša, etc.), and some settlements were named, probably, by the old settlements of immigrants. The largest number of inhabitants were moved from Kopaonik (the area of the Municipalities of Brus, Aleksandrovac and Kuršumlija), from the area of Kosovska Mitrovica (Ibar Valley), from Sandžak, Sjenica, and partly from area of present Lake Vlasina and other parts of Serbia.
People from Blace fought bravely in the Serbo-Turkish War in 1912 and the Serbian-Bulgarian War in 1913. A large number of soldiers from this area expressed their courage in the battles on Cer Mountain and the Drina River, and later crossed Albania, to take part in Salonica Front.
In the wars for the liberation of Serbia (1876-1918) this region made a great contribution. The pride of all of Serbia and of the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Army King Peter I Karađorđević, was the famous “Iron Regiment” made by young men from this region. “This area was in 1917 the place where so-called Toplica Uprising occurred, the only one on the occupied territory” (Andrej Mitrović “Ustanička borba u Srbiji 1916-1918”),led by legendary hero Kosta Vojinović, during which Blace was liberated. The uprising was suppressed with very tragic consequences for the rebels. Whole villages were set on fire, and about 20,000 inhabitants of Toplica (among them a large number from Blace area) were killed in the most brutal way. Kosta Vojinović himself died on December 1917 in the Cerovačka River, upwards from the village of Grgure. There is a water mill on this river where Vojinović spent the last hours of his life, and there is a memorial-bust in the church port of Grgure, as a sign of gratitude of the Toplica district citizens to this fearless fighter.
In the liberation war of 1941-1945 citizens of Blace municipality took a prominent role in the fight against the occupiers. At the end of 1941 and in the first half of 1942, several hundreds joined the Toplica Partisans, dozens joined local Partisans and the National Liberation Committees, and thousands of residents provided assistance to the NLP.
Blace and the surrounding area were finally liberated on August 28, 1944. Immediately after the liberation, Blace becomes the seat of the Jastrebac County.
In 1947, this county was merged with Toplica County, and three years later, in 1950, the formation of the county restarted, which, at the beginning of 1955, was joined to the Prokuplje County. The whole region of the former Jastebac County was now divided into two municipalities: Barbatovac and Blace, which were merged into one municipality in September 1957 with headquarters in Blace.