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Врање (Serbian)
City of Vranje
Kralj Stefan Prvovencani street, Vranje, Srbija (3).jpg
Palata pravde, Vranje, Srbija (1).JPG
Nacelstvo okruga Vranjskog (1).jpg
Pashini konatsi 001.JPG
Pogled kon zajdisontseto od manastirskiot kompleks.JPG
Beli most.JPG
Eastern wall of fortress Markovo Kale, Vranje, Srbija (1).jpg
From top: Main pedestrian zone, Courthouse in Vranje, County Building, National Museum, Prohor of Pčinja Monastery, White Bridge, Markovo Kale fortress
Veliki grb-vranja.png
Coat of arms
Municipalities of Serbia Vranje.png
Location of the city of Vranje within Serbia
Coordinates: 42°33′N21°54′E / 42.550°N 21.900°E / 42.550; 21.900 Coordinates: 42°33′N21°54′E / 42.550°N 21.900°E / 42.550; 21.900
Country Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia
Region Southern and Eastern Serbia
District Pčinja
Municipalities 2
  MayorSlobodan Milenković (SNS)
  Urban36.96 km2 (14.27 sq mi)
  Administrative860 km2 (330 sq mi)
487 m (1,598 ft)
 (2011 census) [2]
  Rank 17th in Serbia
  Urban density1,600/km2 (4,200/sq mi)
  Administrative density97/km2 (250/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code +381(0)17
ISO 3166 code SRB
Car plates VR
Website www.vranje.org.rs

Vranje (Serbian Cyrillic : Врање, pronounced  [ʋrâɲɛ] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a city and the administrative center of the Pčinja District in southern Serbia. The city has a population of 83,524 inhabitants, while the urban area of the city has 60,485 inhabitants.


Vranje is the economical, political, and cultural centre of the Pčinja District in Southern Serbia. It is the first city from the Balkans to be declared UNESCO city of Music. [3] [4] It is located on the Pan-European Corridor X, close to the borders with North Macedonia and Bulgaria. The Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Vranje is seated in the city and the 4th Land Force Brigade of the Serbian army is stationed here.


The Romans conquered the region in the 2nd or 1st centuries BC. Vranje was part of Moesia Superior and Dardania during Roman rule. The Roman fortresses in the Vranje region were abandoned during the Hun attacks in 539–544 AD; these include the localities of Kale at Vranjska Banja, Gradište in Korbevac and Gradište in Prvonek. [5]

During the Middle Ages, in the 9th-11th centuries, the territory of modern-day Vranje was a part of Bulgaria. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

The first written mention of Vranje comes from Byzantine chronicle Alexiad by Anna Comnena (1083–1153), in which it is mentioned how Serbian ruler Vukan in 1093, as part of his conquests, reached Vranje and conquered it, however only shortly, as he was forced to retreat from the powerful Byzantines. [11] The city name stems from the Old Serbian word vran ("black"). The second mention is from 1193, when Vranje was temporarily taken by Serbian Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja from the Byzantines. [11] Vranje definitely entered the Serbian state in 1207 when it was conquered by Grand Prince Stefan Nemanjić. [11]

Some time before 1306, tepčija Kuzma was given the governorship of Vranje (a župa , "county", including the town and neighbouring villages), serving King Stefan Milutin. [12] At the same time, kaznac Miroslav held the surroundings of Vranje. [13] Next, kaznac Baldovin (fl. 1325–45) received the province around Vranje, serving King Stefan Dečanski. [14] Next, župan Maljušat, Baldovin's son, held the župa of Vranje. [15] By the time of the proclamation of the Serbian Empire, holders with the title kefalija are present in Vranje, among other cities. [16] During the fall of the Serbian Empire, Vranje was part of Uglješa Vlatković's possessions, which also included Preševo and Kumanovo. Uglješa became a vassal of Serbian Despot Stefan Lazarević after the Battle of Tripolje (1403); Vranje became part of Serbian Despotate.

Markovo Kale, ruins of a medieval fortress. Markovo Kale interior view.JPG
Markovo Kale , ruins of a medieval fortress.

The medieval župa was a small landscape unit, whose territory expanded with creation of new settlements and independence of hamlets and neighbourhoods from župa villages and shepherd cottages. [11] Good mercantile relations with developing mine city Novo Brdo led to creation of numerous settlements. [11] In 1455, Vranje was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, amid the fall of the medieval Serbian state. [11] It was organized as the seat of a kaza (county), named Vranje, after the city and the medieval župa. [11] In the mid-19th century Austrian diplomat Johann Georg von Hahn stated that the population of Vranje kaza was 6/7 Bulgarian and 1/7 Albanian, while the city population consisted of 1000 Christian-Bulgarian families, 600 Albanian-Turkish and 50 Romani. [17] [18] The urban Muslim population of Vranje consisted of Albanians and Turks, of which a part were themselves of Albanian origin. [19]

Vranje was part of the Ottoman Empire until 1878, when the town was captured by the Serbian army commanded by Jovan Belimarković. [11] During the Serbian–Ottoman War (1876–1878) most of the Muslim population of Vranje fled to the Ottoman vilayet of Kosovo while a smaller number left after the conflict. [19] The city entered the Principality of Serbia, with little more than 8,000 inhabitants at that time. [11] The only Muslim population permitted to remain after the war in the town were Serbian speaking Muslim Romani of whom in 1910 numbered 6,089 in Vranje. [20] Up until the end of the Balkan Wars Vranje had a special position and role, as the transmissive station of Serbian state political and cultural influence on Macedonia. [21]

In the early 20th century, Vranje had around 12,000 inhabitants. As a border town of the Kingdom of Serbia, it was used as the starting point for Serbian guerrilla (Chetniks) who crossed into Ottoman territory and fought in Kosovo and Macedonia. In World War I, the main headquarters of the Serbian army was in the town. King Peter I Karađorđević, Prime Minister Nikola Pašić and the chief of staff General Radomir Putnik stayed in Vranje. Vranje was occupied by the Kingdom of Bulgaria on 16–17 October 1915, after which war crimes and Bulgarisation was committed on the city and wider region. [22]

World War II memorial. Monument in Vranje.JPG
World War II memorial.

After the war, Vranje was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in one of the 33 oblasts; in 1929, it became part of the Vardar Banovina. During World War II, Nazi German troops entered the town on 9 April 1941 and transferred it to Bulgarian administration on 22 April 1941. During Bulgarian occupation, 400 Serbs were shot and around 4,000 interned.[ citation needed ] Vranje was liberated by the Yugoslav Partisans on 7 September 1944.

During Socialist Yugoslavia, Vranje was organized into the Pčinja District. In the 1960s and 1970s it was industrialized. During the 1990s, the economy of Vranje was heavily affected by the sanctions against Serbia and the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.


Vranje is situated in the northwestern part of the Vranje basin, on the left waterside of the South Morava. [11]

Vranje is at base of the mountains Pljačkovica (1,231 metres (4,039 feet)), Krstilovice (1,154 metres (3,786 feet)) and Pržar (731 metres (2,398 feet)). The Vranje river and the city are divided by the main road and railway line, which leads to the north Leskovac (70 km), Niš (110 kilometres (68 miles)) and Belgrade (347 kilometres (216 miles)), and, to the south Kumanovo (56 kilometres (35 miles)), Skopje (91 kilometres (57 miles)) and Thessalonica (354 kilometres (220 miles)). It is 70 km (43 mi) from the border with Bulgaria, 40 km (25 mi) from the border with North Macedonia.

Vranje is the economical, political, and cultural centre of the Pčinja District in South Serbia. [11] The Pčinja District also includes the municipalities of Bosilegrad, Bujanovac, Vladičin Han, Preševo, Surdulica, and Trgovište. [11] It is located on the Pan-European Corridor X.


Climate data for Vranje (1981–2010, extremes 1961–2010)
Record high °C (°F)17.9
Average high °C (°F)4.2
Daily mean °C (°F)−0.1
Average low °C (°F)−3.6
Record low °C (°F)−25.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)35.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)12121212131087991214131
Average snowy days109610000004939
Average relative humidity (%)81756764656561606773798370
Mean monthly sunshine hours 73.8100.7151.3176.2230.5274.3316.1294.8209.8153.487.555.52,123.9
Source: Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia [23]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
There is no citation available for pre-1948 population.
Source: [24]

The city population has been expanded by Yugoslav-era settlers and urbanization from its surroundings. Serb refugees of the Yugoslav Wars (1991–95) and the Kosovo War (1998–99), especially during and following the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, as well as emigrants from Kosovo in the aftermath of the latter conflict have further increased the population.

According to the 2011 census results, there are 83,524 inhabitants in the city of Vranje.

Ethnic groups

The ethnic composition of the city administrative area (2011 census): [25]

Ethnic groupPopulation%
Serbs 76,56991.67%
Roma 4,6545.57%
Bulgarians 5890.71%
Macedonians 2550.31%
Montenegrins 480.06%
Gorani 430.05%
Croats 330.04%
Yugoslavs 220.03%
Muslims 170.02%
Albanians 130.02%
Russians 100.01%

Municipalities and settlements

City of Vranje in Pcinja District Municipality of Vranje in District Pcinja en.svg
City of Vranje in Pčinja District

The city of Vranje consists of two city municipalities: Vranje and Vranjska Banja. [2] Their municipal areas include the following settlements:

Municipality of Vranje
Municipality of Vranjska Banja

Society and culture


White Bridge, a landmark of Vranje. Beli most.JPG
White Bridge, a landmark of Vranje.
Local traditional costume. Narodnja nosnja Vranje.jpg
Local traditional costume.

Vranje was an important Ottoman trading site. The White Bridge is a symbol of the city and is called "most ljubavi" (lovers' bridge) after the tale of the forbidden love between the Muslim girl Ajša and Christian Stojan that resulted in the father killing the couple. After that, he built the bridge where he had killed her and had the story inscribed in Ottoman Arabic. The 11th-century Markovo Kale fortress is in the north of the city. The city has traditional Balkan and Ottoman architecture.

The well-known theater play Koštana by Bora Stanković is set in Vranje.

Vranje is famous for its popular, old music, lively and melancholic at the same time. The best known music is from the theater piece with music, Koštana, by Bora Stanković. This original music style has been renewed recently by taking different, specific, and more oriental form, with the contribution of rich brass instruments. It is played particularly by the Vranje Romani people.

Vranje is the seat of Pčinja District and, as such, is a major center for cultural events in the district. Most notable annual events are Borina nedelja, Stari dani, Dani karanfila (in Vranjska Banja), etc.

Vranje lies close to Besna Kobila mountain and Vranjska Banja, locations with high potential that are underdeveloped. Other locations in and around Vranje with some tourist potential include Prohor Pčinjski monastery, Kale-Krševica, Markovo kale, Pržar, birth-house museum of Bora Stankovic.

Largest hotels are Hotel Vranje, near the center and Hotel Pržar overlooking the city and the valley. The city has traditional Serbian cuisine as well as international cuisine restaurants and many cafes and bars.

Culture institutions

The Museum of Vranje Vranje Museum.jpg
The Museum of Vranje


The city has one top-flight association football team, Dinamo Vranje.


Pumpkins in the suburb village of Vlase. Bundeve na njivi.JPG
Pumpkins in the suburb village of Vlase.

Vranje is located in southern Serbia, on Corridor X near the border with North Macedonia and Bulgaria. The distance from Thessalonica international harbor is 285 km (177 mi); distance from the international airports of Skopje and Niš are 90 km (56 mi). Vranje has a long tradition of industrial production, trade, and tourism and is rich in natural resources, such as forests and geothermal resources. [26]

Until the second half of the 20th century Vranje was a craftsman town. The crafts included weaving, water-milling, and carriages craft. With the beginning of industrialization in the 1960s, many of these crafts disappeared. In those years, many factories were opened, such as the Tobacco Industry of Vranje (Serbian : Дуванска индустрија Врање), Simpo, Koštana (shoe factory), Yumco (cotton plant), Alfa Plam (technical goods), SZP Zavarivač Vranje and others.

The most common industries in the city of Vranje are timber industry, clothing, footwear and furniture, food and beverages, agricultural, textile industry, chemical industry, construction industry, machinery and equipment, and business services. There are more than 2,500 small- and medium-size companies. To potential investors there are industrial sites, with plan documents and furnished infrastructure. Among the companies with business locations in the city are British American Tobacco, Simpo, Sanch, Mladenovic D.O.O, Kenda Farben, Danny style, OMV and Hellenic Petroleum. [26]

As of September 2017, Vranje has one of 14 free economic zones established in Serbia. [27]

Historical statistics

As of 1961, there were 1,525 employees; in 1971, there were 4,374 employees; and in 1998, there were 32,758 employees.[ citation needed ] Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, and due to sanctions imposed on FR Yugoslavia during the rule of Slobodan Milošević, the number of employees began to drop; factories which employed a large number of people closed, among whom are Yumco and Koštana. As of 2010, there were only 18,958 employed inhabitants and 7,559 unemployed.[ citation needed ] As of 2010, the city of Vranje has 59,278 available workers.[ citation needed ] In 2010, the City Council passed the "Strategy of sustainable development of the city of Vranje from 2010 to 2019," for the achievement of objectives through a transparent and responsible business partnership with industry and the public. [26]

Economic preview

The following table gives a preview of total number of registered people employed in legal entities per their core activity (as of 2018): [28]

Agriculture, forestry and fishing185
Mining and quarrying312
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply190
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities424
Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles3,037
Transportation and storage987
Accommodation and food services658
Information and communication206
Financial and insurance activities289
Real estate activities4
Professional, scientific and technical activities618
Administrative and support service activities353
Public administration and defense; compulsory social security1,529
Human health and social work activities2,016
Arts, entertainment and recreation255
Other service activities347
Individual agricultural workers103

Notable people

Borisav "Bora" Stankovic statue in his hometown Vranje. Bora Stankovic.jpg
Borisav "Bora" Stanković statue in his hometown Vranje.
A bust of Justin Popovic Monument to Justin Popovic in Vranje.jpg
A bust of Justin Popović

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

The city of Vranje is twinned with:

See also


^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia . The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory . The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement . Kosovo is currently (this note self-updates) recognized as an independent state by 98 out of the 193 United Nations member states . In total, 113 UN member states recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.

Related Research Articles

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Pčinja District District of Serbia

The Pčinja District is one of nine administrative districts of Southern and Eastern Serbia. It covers the southern part of Serbia, bordering the disputed territory of Kosovo, along with Bulgaria and North Macedonia. Its administrative center is the city of Vranje.

The history of Kosovo is intertwined with the histories of its neighbouring regions. The name "Kosovo" is derived from the Serbian word "Kos". Black birds were full on Kosovo Plain, where the Battle of Kosovo was fought between a coalition of Balkan states and the Ottoman Empire. Kosovo's modern history can be traced to the Ottoman Sanjak of Prizren, of which parts were organised into Kosovo Vilayet in 1877. In antiquity, Dardania covered the area, which formed part of the larger Roman province of Moesia in the 1st century AD. In the Middle Ages, the region became part of the Bulgarian Empire, the Byzantine Empire and the Serbian medieval states. It was then conquered by the Ottoman Empire, an exact 70 years after the Battle of Kosovo. In 1913 the Kosovo Vilayet was incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbia, which in 1918 formed Yugoslavia. Kosovo gained autonomy in 1963 under Josip Broz Tito's direction. This autonomy was significantly extended by Yugoslavia's 1974 Constitution, but was lost in 1990. In 1999 UNMIK stepped in.

Preševo Town and municipality in Southern and Eastern Serbia, Serbia

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Bujanovac Town and municipality in Southern and Eastern Serbia, Serbia

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Vranjska Banja Town and city municipality in Southern and Eastern Serbia, Serbia

The City municipality of Vranjska Banja is a town and one of two city municipalities which constitute the City of Vranje. It is also one of the spa resorts in Serbia. Located 12 km (7 mi) northeast from the city of Vranje, it is surrounded by forests and rolling hills which offer nice scenery, and a good restaurant by the old clinic is situated at the end of the town.

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Stojan Koruba

Stojan Simonović, known by his nom de guerreKoruba (Коруба), was a Serbian Chetnik

Mladen Stojanović, known as Čakr-paša (Чакр-паша), was a Serb hajduk leader mostly active in the Ottoman territories of the Pčinja region and in the Kumanovo district, one of the most notable hajduks in the second half of the 19th century. A brigand since his teens, Čakr-paša deserted his guard service at the Serbian–Ottoman border in 1878 and became infamous in the following years for killing Ottoman officials, and also exploiting locals. Having survived the Serbian–Ottoman War (1876–78), Kumanovo Uprising (1878) and Brsjak Revolt (1880–81), his end came in 1885, after years on the run from both Ottoman soldiers and gendarmerie, and Serbian border guards, when his comrade slit his throat. After his death there were local stories of him as a fearless, stone-cold and raw individual, and also epic poems holding him a brave and sly hero.

Battle of Vranje

The Battle of Vranje, or the Liberation of Vranje, represented one of the final stages of the second phase of the Serbian–Ottoman War (1876–78). At the beginning of the war, the Serbian army began the offensive in what is today South Serbia. After the Battle of Grdelica, the Serbian army managed to break into the Masurica Valley leaving the road to Vranje open and unguarded. At the same time, many rebellions broke out in the Serbian-Ottoman border areas, including in the Vranje region, against Ottoman authority. To help the rebels, the Serbian command decided to send Lieutenant Stepa Stepanović to form a special rebel battalion.

Slaviša Bulatović is a politician in Serbia. He has served in the National Assembly of Serbia since 2016 as a member of the Serbian Progressive Party.


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Further reading