The spiritual centre of young Serbian state
The first mention of the settlement called Rudo Polje dates from 1476. Some later, around 1540, there are two names in use: Rudo Polje and Karanovac. During the king Milan Obrenović’s visit to Kraljevo, at citizens’ demand, the name is changed into Kraljevo, on 19th April, 1882. In short after-war period (1949-1955) in use is the name Rankovićevo, and than, not a long time after, the name Kraljevo was established again.
The Old Rome and Byzantium left their trails in this area. Janok, Rajanovac and Vrnjačka Banja, in the neighborhood, date from that period. The oldest mention of one settlement of Kraljevo’s region we find in Byzantium sources from the 10th century. They mention densely settled Janok, which probably was placed southwestwards from Kraljevo, in the area of today’s Konarevo.
These areas are parts of the Serbian state from its beginning and play an important role in its economic, social and political life, but before all, here is the spiritual centre of young Serbian state. At the end of the 12th century, Studenica Monastery was built. It is an endowment of great “zhupan” Stefan Nemanja, the founder of independent Serbian state and the founder of the Nemanjic dynasty. At the beginning of the 13th century Žiča Monastery was built – the endowment of Stefan The First-Crowned, where he was crowned as the first Serbian king, in 1217. From 1219 Žiča Monastery is the seat of the autocephalous Serbian Church and of the first Serbian archbishop, St. Sava.
After this, came rapid development of Karanovac caused by geographical location, trade, handicrafts and new administrative position. During the 19th century it becomes an important city area in Serbia. With the construction of the church, in 1824, new direction and space for city development was defined – the area between Stara čaršija and Pljakin šanac. The first city plan was made by Laza Zuban in 1832. Realization of the plan began in 1836, when “three main streets” were arranged. Till the end of the 19th century, with making of new streets, streets’ network was made. It has up-to-now characteristic regular intersection of streets start from the main round square in four directions.
Today, Kraljevo is an important cultural centre where the Museum, Archive, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, Library, Theater, Associations of writers and fine artists act.
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