Topola with Oplenac at its hilltop
Location of the municipality of Topola within Serbia
|Region||Šumadija and Western Serbia|
|• Mayor||Dragan Živanović (NS)|
|• Town||5.91 km2 (2.28 sq mi)|
|• Municipality||356 km2 (137 sq mi)|
|Elevation||272 m (892 ft)|
|• Town density||770/km2 (2,000/sq mi)|
|• Municipality density||62/km2 (160/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Topola (Serbian Cyrillic : Топола, pronounced [tɔpɔ̌la] ) is a town and municipality located in the Šumadija District of central Serbia. It was the place where Karađorđe, a Serbian revolutionary, was chosen as the leader of the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1804. The local St. George Church is the burial place of the Ducal and Royal Family of Serbia and Yugoslavia (the Karađorđevićes).
The name Topola means poplar. Topola is famous for its yearly Oplenac vintage festival, attended by several thousand visitors each year.
Aside from the town of Topola (5,422), the municipality includes the following settlements, according to 2002 census (population in brackets):
The region was heavily settled after the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, seen in the many medieval cemeteries in villages of Topola. Despot Stefan Lazarević died and was buried in the nearby Crkvine hamlet. On June 20, 1459, the city of Rudnik fell to the Ottomans, situated south of Topola. A hamlet was named Despotovica in memory of the fallen Serbian Despotate. The region was further settled with the great migration of Serbs in the 17th century.
The town was established in 1781, by Vožd Karageorge, on the right of the Kamenica River. The town was destroyed during the First Serbian Uprising, when Kučuk-Alija ravaged the Šumadija region in 1804, also burning down Karageorge's house. The renovation began in 1805, when the town was renewed as a fortified city; Karageorge built a new mansion on the ruins of his previous house, and several buildings surrounding, they were all protected with palisades and peep holes, making Topola a strategic settlement. With the successful revolts, Topola gains a political importance. The Vožd further expanded the town, from 1808 to 1813 he built large walls, towers, konaks, a school, a church and many other buildings. Topola became the centre of Revolutionary Serbia, where Karageorge was seated.
In 1814, just when the city was finished, the Ottomans tackle the Uprising and Topola was seriously damaged, only ruins were left. Aleksandar Karađorđević, the son of Karageorge, renewed the city and settled people in a higher degree, streets were built with nicer buildings and shops. With the comeback of the House of Obrenović in 1858, Topola saw further development.
Topola is an agricultural area and farmers are producing fruit, vegetables and breeding cattle.
The following table gives a preview of total number of registered people employed in legal entities per their core activity (as of 2018):
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing||84|
|Mining and quarrying||35|
|Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply||51|
|Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities||98|
|Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles||664|
|Transportation and storage||174|
|Accommodation and food services||163|
|Information and communication||31|
|Financial and insurance activities||47|
|Real estate activities||2|
|Professional, scientific and technical activities||93|
|Administrative and support service activities||44|
|Public administration and defense; compulsory social security||223|
|Human health and social work activities||142|
|Arts, entertainment and recreation||53|
|Other service activities||89|
|Individual agricultural workers||1,611|
Topola has the preconditions necessary for development of a tourism industry. Historical and cultural monuments (Cultural Heritage of Serbia) exist: revolutionary and royal (Karageorge's town), ecclesiastical (St. George's church, Nikolje monasteries). It is a wine region (Oplenac), and a large hunting ground Kamenica.
Đorđe Petrović, better known by the sobriquet Karađorđe, was a Serbian revolutionary who led the struggle for his country's independence from the Ottoman Empire during the First Serbian Uprising of 1804–1813.
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Donja Šatornja is a village located in Serbia. It has approximately 890 inhabitants and is located at 98 km from the capital of Serbia, Belgrade, in the municipality of Topola.
The St. George's Church in Oplenac, also known as Oplenac (Опленац), is the mausoleum of the Serbian and Yugoslav royal house of Karađorđević located on top of the Oplenac Hill in the town of Topola, Serbia. The church of Oplenac was founded by King Peter I of Yugoslavia. Many members of the royal house are buried in the church, in the crypt beneath the church, or in the church yard.
Krćevac is a village in the Topola municipality of the Šumadija District in Central Serbia, located 3.9 km from Zagorica and 5.2 km from Topola.
Naum Krnar was the secretary of Karađorđe, the leader of the First Serbian Uprising. Krnar was an ethnic Greek, hailing from Thessaly. He spoke several languages and worked as a merchant in Belgrade. With the outbreak of the uprising, Krnar, who had enriched himself through the trade of leather and fur, immediately joined Karađorđe in the organization, and became his personal secretary and chairman in the Serbian Ruling Council. It is unknown whether he fled Serbia with Karađorđe after the suppression by the Ottomans in 1813. As many of the Serbian commanders, he found refuge in the Russian Empire. He was a founding member of the Filiki Eteria (1814). On 12 July 1817, on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, he and Karađorđe secretly crossed the Danube into Serbia, in order to continue the Serbian Revolution, however, the leader of the Second Serbian Uprising, Miloš Obrenović, learnt of this and had them both beheaded, their heads sent to the Sultan in Constantinople. Karađorđe and Krnar stayed in a cottage in the village of Radovanj in the Smederevo nahija. Nikola Novaković, a henchman of Vujica Vulićević, first killed the sleeping Karađorđe with an axe blow to the head, then shot Krnar, who was washing himself and getting water for Karađorđe in the river downwards from the cottage, with a rifle, on 13 July. Novaković beheaded both with his yatagan, and took them with him on horse to Kolare, and then to Belgrade, where he gave them to Miloš Obrenović. Obrenović in turn gave them to Marashli Ali Pasha who took them to Constantinople. The heads were on public display for seven days. They were then held at the Museum of Sciences in Istanbul. They say that Greeks later stole the heads, and took them to Athens to be held in a museum. The bodies of Karađorđe and Krnar were buried in a tomb in Radovanj by priest Jovan and Dragić Vojkić. The body of Karađorđe was transferred to Oplenac in 1919, while Krnar's body is still buried in the tomb.
Nikolje Rudničko is the Serbian Orthodox monastery located in Donja Šatornja, 12 km away from Topola, Serbia.
Petar Jokić also known as Topolac, was one of the important participants in the First Serbian Uprising, also credited for collecting material for the history of the turbulent time in which he lived. As an insurgent, he is known mainly to historians, while with the interesting data he provided to historiography, he became known to a wider readership. It was historian Milan Milićević who recorded Petar Jokić's experiences during the First Serbian Uprising on behalf of the Serbian Royal Academy of Sciences before he died. According to the decision of the censor, his testimony could not appear in print during the reign of Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević, but much later, only in 1891. There were two other revolutionaries, Janićije Đurić and Anta Protić, who also wrote their eyewitness accounts about the war of independence.
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