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Pirot ( sr-cyr, Пирот) is a
city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be defined as a ...
and the administrative center of the
Pirot District The Pirot District ( sr, Пиротски Округ, Pirotski Okrug, ) is one of nine administrative districts of Southern and Eastern Serbia. It expands to the south-eastern parts of Serbia Serbia (, ; sr, Србија, Srbija, ),, * ...
in southeastern
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
. According to 2011 census, the urban area of the city has a population of 38,785, while the population of the city administrative area has 57,928 inhabitants. The city has a rich geographical features, including the mountains of
Stara Planina The Balkan mountain range (Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgar ...
, Vlaška Planina,
Belava Belava (Serbian Cyrillic The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet ( sr, / , ) is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script for the Serbian language, developed in 1818 by Serbian linguist Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, Vuk Karadžić. It is one of the two alphabe ...
,
Suva Planina Suva Planina (Serbian Cyrillic: Сува планина, meaning "The dry mountain") is a List of mountains of Serbia, mountain in southeastern Serbia. It lies between the towns of Niška Banja to the northwest and Babušnica to the southeast, wit ...
; rivers which flow through the town, including
Nišava The Nišava or Nishava (Bulgarian language, Bulgarian and sr-cyr, Нишава, ) is a river in Bulgaria and Serbia, a right tributary, and with a length of 218 km also the longest one, of the South Morava. Bulgaria The Nišava originate ...

Nišava
,
Jerma The Jerma ( sr-cyrl, Јерма) or Erma ( bg, Ерма) is a river in southeastern Serbia and western Bulgaria. It is notable for passing the Serbian-Bulgarian border twice. Course Serbia The Jerma originates in the undeveloped and sparse ...
, Rasnička Reka, Temštica and the Visočica; and four lakes, the Zavoj Lake, Berovacko Lake, Krupac Lake and Sukovo Lake. It also has a rich culture, with notable Orthodox church buildings, including the Church of St. Petka, and the monastery of St. Georges and
St. John the Theologian
St. John the Theologian
from the late 14th century, both of which display an example of medieval architecture. Pirot is known for its traditional woven carpet, the
Pirot carpet Pirot rug, Pirot carpet or Pirot kilim A kilim ( az, Kilim کیلیم; tr, Kilim; tm, Kilim; fa, گلیم ''gelīm'') is a flat tapestry Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven by hand on a loom. Tapestry is weft-face ...
(''Pirot ćilim'').


Geography

The municipality of Pirot covers an area of , with over seventy settlements, including the city of Pirot. According to the 2002 census report, in the municipality of Pirot lived 63791 residents. Around 45,000 people live in the city itself and about 22,000 people live in the villages around the city. The river
Nišava The Nišava or Nishava (Bulgarian language, Bulgarian and sr-cyr, Нишава, ) is a river in Bulgaria and Serbia, a right tributary, and with a length of 218 km also the longest one, of the South Morava. Bulgaria The Nišava originate ...

Nišava
divides the Pirot into two districts: Tijabara and Pazar. Pirot has several mountains in the vicinity, including
Stara Planina The Balkan mountain range (Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgar ...
, Vlaška planina,
Belava Belava (Serbian Cyrillic The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet ( sr, / , ) is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script for the Serbian language, developed in 1818 by Serbian linguist Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, Vuk Karadžić. It is one of the two alphabe ...
, and
Suva Planina Suva Planina (Serbian Cyrillic: Сува планина, meaning "The dry mountain") is a List of mountains of Serbia, mountain in southeastern Serbia. It lies between the towns of Niška Banja to the northwest and Babušnica to the southeast, wit ...
. The following rivers flow through Pirot: the
Nišava The Nišava or Nishava (Bulgarian language, Bulgarian and sr-cyr, Нишава, ) is a river in Bulgaria and Serbia, a right tributary, and with a length of 218 km also the longest one, of the South Morava. Bulgaria The Nišava originate ...

Nišava
,
Jerma The Jerma ( sr-cyrl, Јерма) or Erma ( bg, Ерма) is a river in southeastern Serbia and western Bulgaria. It is notable for passing the Serbian-Bulgarian border twice. Course Serbia The Jerma originates in the undeveloped and sparse ...
, Rasnička Reka, Temštica, and Visočica. Pirot also has four lakes: Lake Zavoj, Lake Berovacko, Lake Krupac, and Lake Sukov.


History


Roman era

During the rule of Roman Emperor Tiberius (14–37), Ponišavlje was part of Moesia, and during Vespasian (69–79) it was, as the rest of Serbia, organized into Upper Moesia (as opposed to most of Bulgaria, Lower Moesia). At the end of the 4th century the basin of the
Nišava The Nišava or Nishava (Bulgarian language, Bulgarian and sr-cyr, Нишава, ) is a river in Bulgaria and Serbia, a right tributary, and with a length of 218 km also the longest one, of the South Morava. Bulgaria The Nišava originate ...

Nišava
was organized into the province of Dacia Mediterranea. The Roman settlement of Turres (Latin for "towers"), which was a military residence, is mentioned in the first half of the 3rd century. Later, the Byzantine town of Quimedava is mentioned here, with remains that have survived. The town was set to enable control and defence of the main road in this part of the empire. Besides, travellers could sleep here overnight, as well as get refreshments and new horses or vehicles. In time, the settlement 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.


Early Byzantine era

According to the written accounts ''On Buildings'' by Procopius of Caesarea, writing during the reign of the emperor Justinian I (527 – 565), the emperor ordered the 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, thermae (public baths), a necropolis, and other facilities. Beside the military fortress, a civil settlement (vicus) existed on the site called Majilka. By the late 6th century and early 7th century, successive barbarian invasions had broken through the Byzantine Danube frontier, and Slavs settled in large numbers across the Balkans.


Middle Ages

By the mid-6th century Slavs had settled the area. In 679 the Bulgars crossed the Danube into Lower Moesia, and eventually expand to the west and south. Since the beginning of the 9th century the region of Pirot is part of the First Bulgarian State. The Byzantine emperor Basil II (r. 960–1025) reconquered the Balkans from the Bulgars. In 1153, Arab geographer Burizi crossed the country, and recorded the place of ''Atrubi'' at the site of old Turres, describing it as situated by a small river which arrives from the Serbian mountains and was a tributary of the Morava. In 1182–83 the Serbian army led by Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja conquered Byzantine territories from Niš to Sofia. The Serbians were expelled by the Byzantine emperor Isaac II Angelus in 1190 Pirot and Bela Palanka (Remesiana) were not mentioned as they were in ruin since the rebellions in the 940s. Since the end of the 12th century the region of Pirot was part of the Uprising of Asen and Peter, restored Bulgarian state. The region was for some time in the domains of Bulgarian noble Kaloyan (sebastocrator), sevastokrator Kaloyan. In 1331-1332 Church of St. Petka in Staničenje was built - at the time of Bulgarian Emperor Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria, Joan Asen (Ivan Alexander) and Vidin master Belaur. Some authors suggest that during the 1370s the region of Pirot was included in the Serbian state Pirot was part of Lazar of Serbia, Prince Lazar's Moravian Serbia, state, in which it was an important strategical point. The city was captured by the Ottomans in 1386. The name of the city, Pirot, dates to the 14th century and is derived from Greek ''pirgos'' ("tower").


Ottoman rule

At the beginning of the 15th century the region of Pirot was one of the centers of the Uprising of Konstantin and Fruzhin. A significant blow to the efforts of the Bulgarian princes for the restoration of the Bulgarian state is imposed by the Ottoman ruler Sulejman, who conquered the Bulgarian fortress Temsko, near the today's village of Temska, to the north of Pirot. Its Turkish name, ''Şehirköy'' (meaning "city, town village"), is first mentioned in 1443. It was organized into the Sanjak of Niš. In 1469, the body of Serbian king Stefan Milutin was transferred via Pirot. In 1561, hieromonk Isaija from Pirot visited Hilandar where he contributed a book. Hilandar had dependencies in Pirot up until the 19th century. Travel writer Stephen Gerlach (fl. 1578) recorded that Pirot Christians claimed that the town was the earlier estate of Miloš Obilić, the slayer of Sultan Murad at Kosovo. He also noted that Pirot was a significant place in Bulgaria. In 1659, Austrian deputy August von Mayern visited the town and described it as "''Schiarchici'', a town called by the Orthodox as Pirot, but is not surrounded by walls and inhabited by Turks and Rascians" (Rasciani according to the author were even the citizens of Sofia, Ihtiman etc.). In 1664, Austrian deputy Leslie and English nobleman John Burberry visited the town, the latter noting that there were three churches, one of which was earlier Dominican. In 1688 Ottoman renegade Yegen Pasha resided in the town. During the Great Turkish War, after taking Niš on 25 September 1689, Austrian general Piccolomini with his army of Serb volunteers and some Germans chased Turks towards Sofia. Arriving at Pirot, the town was empty of Turks, and he reported that the town was in flames and some parts in ash. In August 1690 the large Ottoman army took Pirot, defended only by 100 Germans, and then besieged Niš, taking it after three weeks. Hungarian detachments retreating via Temska ravaged the monastery and terrorized the surrounding population, as inscribed by a priest on the church walls. That year, many locals fled northwards with Patriarch Arsenije III. During the Austro-Turkish War (1737–39) the Austrian army took Pirot on 23 July 1737. In 1739, upon Ottoman return, the town was burnt down and its churches destroyed (one transformed into a mosque). 140 houses were burnt down which is evidence that hajduks of the region participated. Many locals from the region fled northwards with Patriarch Arsenije IV. The first known literary monument, influenced by Torlakian dialects is the Manuscript from Temštica#Temska, Temska Monastery from 1762, in which its author, the Monk Kiril Zhivkovich from Pirot, considered his language as "simple Bulgarian".Василев, В.П. Темският ръкопис – български езиков паметник от 1764 г, Paleobulgarica, IX (1986), кн. 1, с. 49-72 In 1768, the town is described as half in ruins. From 1761 to 1878, Pirot was the seat of the Metropolitan of Nišava. In 1806, during the First Serbian Uprising (1804–13), Hajduk-Veljko attacked Bela Palanka. Ibrahim Pasha, unable to enter Serbia cross Aleksinac and Deligrad, planned to attack from Pirot and Lom with the intent to clash with the Serbian army before Niš; the Serbian army went to stop this and defeated him in the mountains between Pirot, Knjaževac and Chiprovtsi. Rebel leaders from Pirot included Mita and Marinko, who were tasked to defend the border towards Pirot (in Ottoman hands). After the Serbian Revolution, some of the population in the area migrated to avoid Ottoman retribution. It was estimated in 1836 that there were 6–8,000 inhabitants. Carpetry was the main occupation, there were many shops and cafés in the centre, the population was mixed, and it was the domain of the sister of the Sultan. On 24 May 1836 a Pirot rebellion, rebellion broke out in the town, which was suppressed by early June, and then another one broke out in August, also unsuccessful. The rebels corresponded with Prince Miloš Obrenović. The Niš Uprising (1841), which included the Pirot area, was also suppressed by the Ottomans. In 1846–1864 Pirot was administratively part of the Niš Eyalet. With the establishment of the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870 Pirot was the part of the . Jérôme-Adolphe Blanqui, when traveling across Bulgaria in 1841, describes the population of the Sanjak of Niš as Bulgarians. In the 19th century Johann Georg von Hahn stated that the Christian population of Pirot is Bulgarian. Philipp Kanitz claimed that some inhabitants "Did not imagine that six years later the cursed Turkish rule in their city would end, and even less, because they always felt that they are Bulgarians, that they would belong to the Principality of Serbia".


Modern history

On 16 December 1877, during the Serbian-Ottoman War (1876–1877), the Serbian army entered Pirot. This raises a conflict between the Serbian authorities and the local Bulgarian citizens led by , the bishop of the Bulgarian Exarchate's Nishava eparchy.История на България, том седми - Възстановяване и утвърждаване на Българската държава. Национално-освободителни борби /1878-1903/, София, 1991, с. 421-423. Pirot and it's region was part of liberated Bulgaria according to Treaty of San Stefano. The Treaty of Berlin (1878) saw Pirot and Vranje ceded to Serbia. A part of the local Bulgarians left the town and settled in Bulgaria. The 1879 Serbian regional population census registered that Pirot had a population of 76,892 people, and 11,005 households. It was temporarily occupied by the Bulgarian army after the Serbo-Bulgarian War, between 15 November and 15 December 1885 [O.S.]. During World War I, Bulgaria during World War I, the Bulgarian army entered Pirot on 14 October 1915 and occupied the city as well as the whole Morava Valley, Pomoravlje region. In the Interwar period, the Western Outlands#Internal Western Outland Revolutionary Organization, Internal Western Outland Revolutionary Organization engaged in repeated attacks against the Yugoslav police and army. From 1929 to 1941, Pirot was part of the Morava Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During World War II Bulgaria during World War II, Bulgaria occupied the so-called Western Outlands, as well as Pirot and Vranje. After the World War II, Second World War, these regions were returned to Yugoslavia. After the Breakup of Yugoslavia, dissolution of Yugoslavia, these areas remained within the Serbian state. Pirot was granted city status in February 2016.


Settlements

Aside from the city of Pirot itself, the city territory covers over 70 settlements: *Bazovik *Barje Čiflik *Basara, Pirot, Basara *Bela (Pirot), Bela *Berilovac *Berovica *Blato (Pirot), Blato *Brlog *Velika Lukanja *Veliki Jovanovac *Veliki Suvodol *Veliko Selo (Pirot), Veliko Selo *Visočka Ržana *Vlasi *Vojnegovac *Vranište (Pirot), Vranište *Gnjilan *Gornja Držina *Gostuša, Pirot, Gostuša *Gradašnica (Pirot), Gradašnica *Gradište (Pirot), Gradište *Dobri Do (Pirot), Dobri Do *Dojkinci *Držina *Zaskovci *Izvor (Pirot), Izvor *Jalbotina *Jelovica *Kamik *Koprivštica *Kostur (Pirot), Kostur *Krupac (Pirot), Krupac *Kumanovo (Pirot), Kumanovo *Mali Jovanovac *Mali Suvodol *Milojkovac *Mirkovci *Nišor *Novi Zavoj *Obrenovac (Pirot), Obrenovac *Oreovica (Pirot), Oreovica *Orlja (Pirot), Orlja *Osmakova *Pakleštica *Pasjač *Petrovac (Pirot), Petrovac *Planinica (Pirot), Planinica *Pokrevenik *Poljska Ržana *Ponor (Pirot), Ponor *Prisjan *Ragodeš *Rasnica *Rosomač *Rsovci *Rudinje *Sinja Glava *Slavinja *Sopot (Pirot), Sopot *Srećkovac *Staničenje *Sukovo *Temska *Topli Do (Pirot), Topli Do *Trnjana *Cerev Del *Cerova (Pirot), Cerova *Crvenčevo *Crnoklište *Činiglavci *Šugrin


Demographics

According to the 2011 census results, the city of Pirot has a population of 57,928 inhabitants.


Ethnic groups

The ethnic composition of the municipality:


Culture

Notable brands of Pirot include the Pirot Kilim, Pirot opanak, Pirot cheese, and ironed sausage.


Tourist attractions

* Pirot Fortress, dating to the 14th-century Serbian Empire * Temska Monastery, 16th-century Orthodox monastery * Zavoj Lake * National Park Old Mountain * Mountain home


Economy

On the territory of the city of Pirot operates tire manufacturer Tigar Tyres which is one of top Serbian exporters in the period from 2013 to 2017. As of September 2017, Pirot has one of 14 free economic zones established in Serbia. The following table gives a preview of total number of registered people employed in legal entities per their core activity (as of 2018):


Gallery

File:Pirot Fortress - 3.jpg, ''Southeastern walls of Pirot Fortress'' File:1900 Pirot.jpg, ''Postcard from Pirot in 1900'' File:Pirot Town Hall.jpg, ''The District Hall'' File:Pirot central area.jpg, ''The central pedestrian area in the city'' File:Pirot Courthouse.jpg, ''The courthouse in Pirot'' File:Pirot Employment Service building.jpg, ''The National Employment Service building in Pirot'' File:NisavaPirot.JPG, ''Nišava River in Pirot'' File:Church of the Nativity of Christ - Pirot.jpg, ''Church of the Nativity of Christ, Pirot, Church of the Nativity of Christ''


Notable people

* Dragutin Gostuški, Serbian composer, musicologist and art historian * Dobrosav Živković, illustrator and caricaturist * Zoran Đorđević (football manager), Zoran Đorđević, football manager * Svetislav Pešić, basketball coach and former player * Nikola Đurđić, Serbian football player * Krastyo Krastev, writer and translator, notable as the first Bulgarian literary critic


References


Sources

* * * * * *


External links

* {{Authority control Pirot, Populated places in Pirot District Municipalities and cities of Southern and Eastern Serbia