HISTORY

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 the Turks (1878), the area of the 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 that they had during the rule of the 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.

Residents of 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 Mount 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 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. The Municipality of Blace had prominent participants at National Liberation War: Radoš Jovanović – Selja from Grgure war secretary of the Local Committee of Communist Party of Yugoslavia for Toplica district; Obrad Lazović – Živko, national hero; Slavoljub Vuksanović – Jajko from Blace, national hero; Trajko Jovanović – Josif from Trbunje, commissar of the 45th war division.

Ratko Vukićević – Spanish fighter and Mija Stanimirović – national hero came from this area.

Immediately after the liberation, Blace becomes the center 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.