Pomoravlje (region)
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Pomoravlje Region

The Morava Valley[1][2][3] (Serbian: / Pomoravlje, pronounced [p?mra:v?e?]), is a general term which in its widest sense marks valleys of any of three Morava rivers in Serbia: the West Morava (West Morava Valley), the South Morava (South Morava Valley) and the Great Morava (Great Morava Valley). In the narrow sense, the term is applied only to the Great Morava Valley (Serbian: / Veliko Pomoravlje). The Serbian term follows the general manner of coining river valley names in Serbian using the prefix po- and suffix -je, meaning literally "(land) along the Morava". Morava valley lies in the central Balkans, at the crossroads which lead eastwards, towards the Black sea and Asia Minor, and further south, down the Vardar river into the Aegean sea.

Great Morava flow
Morava river.PNG
Location
?a?ak
Kraljevo
Kru?evac

The West Morava Valley

Watershed of the West Morava
Morava river.PNG
Location

Location

The West Morava Valley (Serbian: ? / Zapadno Pomoravlje) is the valley of the West Morava. It is the southernmost Peripannonic region of Serbia. It is parallel, latitudinally elongated, in the west-to-east direction, opposed to the meridian, south-to-north direction of South Morava Valley and Great Morava Valley. It occupies and area of 5,220 square kilometers and generally corresponds to the valley of the West Morava River and sections of its watershed around the rivers of Skrape?, ?etinja (headwaters of West Morava) and Rasina (a tributary, near the confluence with South Morava). It is generally bounded by the mountains of Tara, Zlatibor, Jelica, Go?, Suvobor, Maljen, Kotlenik and Gledi?, that is, by the large geographical regions of ?umadija and Stari Vlah

Geography

The West Morava Valley is a composite valley, which means it consists of a sequence of valleys (depressions) and gorges. Sections include:

  • The Po?ega Depression (Po?e?ka kotlina) - starting point of the West Morava Valley. Ta?ti field is a place where rivers of Skrape?, ?etinja and Golijska Moravica meet to create West Morava. Depression is located between the mountains of Krstac on the east, Blagaja on the south, Crna Kosa on the north-west and Loret on the north-east. Depression is known for frequent fogs, due to the abundance in water sources (tributaries of Bjelica, Kravari?ka reka, Lu?nica). Central settlement is the town of Po?ega and smaller settlements are Lu?ani and Gorobilje.
  • The Ov?ar-Kablar Gorge (Ov?arsko-kablarska klisura) - a narrow of the West Morava valley, between the mountains of Ov?ar (985 meters) on the south and Kablar (885 meters) on the north. The gorge is a meandering and 15 kilometers long. Epigynous in nature, it is a crucial for the genesis of the entire West Morava Valley. The gorge is a location of Ov?ar Spa and 10 Serbian Orthodox monasteries, which is why the gorge has been nicknamed Serbian Mount Athos. There are two hydro electrical power plants with artificial lakes: Ov?ar and Me?uvr?je.
  • The ?a?ak-Kraljevo Depression (?a?ansko-kraljeva?ka kotlina) - the largest tectonic-erosive depression of all in the valley. It covers an area of 270 square kilometers and is elongated for 40 kilometers. Despite being this long, it is located between only three mountains: Kotlenik on the north and Jelica and Stolovi on the south. West Morava receives many tributaries in this area. Apart from Ibar river, the longest tributary to West Morava, and Gru?a, most of them are short and include Di?ina, La?eva?ka reka, Ribnica, etc. Main settlements are the towns of ?a?ak, the most populous settlement in the entire West Morava Valley, and Kraljevo. Other smaller settlements include Preljina, Mr?ajevci, Ribnica, Adrani, Konarevo, ?i?a, etc., most of them suburbs of either ?a?ak or Kraljevo.
  • The Vrnjci Depression (Vrnja?ka kotlina) - widening at the confluence of the small Vrnja?ka and Lipova?ka rivers. Area, located between the mountains of Gledi? on the north and Go? on the south, is rich in mineral springs. The most popular Serbian mineral spa, Vrnja?ka Banja is located in the depression. Other settlements include Vrnjci, Gra?ac and Novo Selo.
  • The Trstenik Depression (Trsteni?ka kotlina) - depression centered around the town of Trstenik, direct extension of Vrnjci depression. Agricultural area, other settlements include larger villages of Medve?a and Velika Drenova.
  • The Kru?evac Depression (Kru?eva?ka kotlina) - final section of the West Morava Valley, a large widening at the confluence with South Morava which directly extends into the Great Morava Valley on the north. Itself, extends into the south in the valley of the Rasina River and it is bounded by the Jastrebac mountain on the south. The largest settlement is the town of Kru?evac and its suburbs of Parunovac, Pepeljevac, Jasika, etc. Artificial lake of ?elije is created on the Rasina.

Sub-regions

The West Morava Valley comprises several historical and geographical regions of Serbia, which are its own geographical sub-regions. From west to east, they are:

Population

The West Morava Valley had a population of 531,978 inhabitants by the 2002 census of population, which gives an average population density of 102 inhabitants per square kilometer. The largest is in the area of ?a?ak (184 per km2) and the smallest in the neighboring area of Lu?ani (54 per km2). Despite large urban centers, population has been depopulating for almost two decades. The population of the Morava Valley by the official censuses of population:

  • 1948 - 375,798
  • 1953 - 417,667
  • 1961 - 448,393
  • 1971 - 493,905
  • 1981 - 541,428
  • 1991 - 551,871
  • 2002 - 531,978

Largest settlements of the West Morava Valley in 2002 were:

Economy

The West Morava Valley is economically the most developed of all three Morava river valleys. Being a large floodplain, frequently flooded by the West Morava due to the extreme fluctuation of its discharge, The West Morava Valley was always an agricultural area, but in the second half of 20th century industry also developed in all major towns along the river.

Agriculture

Fertile land in the valley is best for grains and orchards. Corn is being cultivated in the ?a?ak-Kraljevo depression, while wheat is being grown in the Kru?evac depression. Draga?evo region is known for the potato production. ?a?ak area is known for the plum growing, Po?ega is known for the apples ("budimka" brand) and ?upa region around Aleksandrovac is famous for the grapes and wine production. Artificial lake Parmenac near ?a?ak is created for the purpose of irrigation and further fertilization of the land. Also, out of all three sections of the Morava Valley, the West Morava Valley is the most forested one.

Mining and industry

The West Morava Valley is rich in ores. It includes the mining of brown coal ("West Morava's coal basin"), hard coal, asbestos, magnesite, chromium, etc. As a result, the industry is very developed with a string of heavily industrialized towns: Po?ega, ?a?ak, Kraljevo, Trstenik and Kru?evac. With the valley of the Ibar, the West Morava has a huge potential in electricity production. Hydroelectric power plants Ov?ar (6 MW) and Me?uvr?je (7 MW) with artificial lakes are built near ?a?ak, in the Ov?ar-Kablar gorge, so as the lakes Parmenac (also on Morava) and ?elije (on Rasina).

Transportation and tourism

The entire river valley is a natural route for both roads and railways connecting eastern, central and western Serbia, so traffic is also important for the economy of the region. Tourism is almost entirely based on mineral spas, as the West Morava Valley is dubbed "First spa region of Serbia". Best known spas include Vrnja?ka Banja, Mataru?ka Banja, Bogutova?ka Banja, Ov?ar Banja, Vi?ka Banja, Gornja Trep?a, etc. Additional interests are the Go? mountain and medieval Serbian Orthodox monasteries of ?i?a, Kaleni?, Lazarica, Ljubostinja, Naupara, etc. One of top mountain resorts of Serbia, Tara and Zlatibor, are marking the eastern border of the region.

The South Morava Valley

Watershed of the South Morava
Morava river.PNG
Location

Location

The South Morava Valley (Serbian: / Ju?no Pomoravlje) is the valley of the South Morava. It is the southernmost region of Serbia, bordering Republic of Macedonia. It is meridionally elongated, in the south-to-north direction. In the narrower sense, as a valley of the South Morava, it occupies an area of 4,800 km2, of which 1,660 km2 on Kosovo and the rest in Central Serbia. In wider sense, the South Morava Valley is identified with southern Serbia in general and covers the entire watershed of the South Morava (15,469 km2).

Geography

  • Kon?ulj Gorge (Kon?uljska klisura) - gorge in the original section of South Morava, while it is still being called Bina?ka Morava. It connects sub-regions of Izmornik on Kosovo and Bujanovac section of the Vranje depression. Gorge is 11 kilometers long, cut by Morava in the gneiss-granite rocks of the northernmost extension of the Skopska Crna Gora mountain. It was named after the village of Kon?ulj and forms a natural route for the Vranje-Bujanovac-Gnjilane road.
  • Vranje Depression (Vranjska kotlina) - larger widening of the valley mainly bordered by the mountains of Skopska Crna Gora on the south-west, Rujen on the south, Sveti Ilija on the west, Kukavica on the north and Besna Kobila on the east. Center of the depression is the town of Vranje and other settlements include Vranjska Banja, Veliki Trnovac, Bujanovac and Pre?evo. Sometimes called Vranje-Pre?evo depression, with northern section mostly corresponds to the sub-region of Inogo?te, while southern, through the Pre?evska povija ridge extends to the south into the region of ?egligovo and P?inja valley in the Republic of Macedonia.
  • Grdelica Gorge (Grdeli?ka klisura) - one of the most famous gorges in Serbia, a valley narrow which is 33 kilometers long (48 by the river course) and up to 550 meters deep. Gorge is carved between the mountains of Kukavica on the west and ?emernik on the east. The highest point above the gorge is orographic (geomorphological) water divide of the Pannonian and Aegean basins, which doesn't correspond with hydrological divide of the South Morava watershed (which spread south of it, too). Due to the deforestation, Grdelica gorge is an area of excessive erosion, which is the main reason for the elevation of the river bed of the Great Morava downstream and flooding in the Great Morava Valley. In the gorge area, erosion as a result has floods, torrents, inundations, trenching, etc. Largest settlement, Vladi?in Han is at the entrance, while Grdelica, after which the gorge is named, at the exit. Other settlements in the gorge include D?ep and Predejane.
  • Leskovac Depression (Leskova?ka kotlina) is a main section of the larger Leskovac field (Leskova?ko polje), the largest fluvial-tectonic depression in the valley. A 50 kilometers in diameter, it was completed flooded by the lake in Neogene. Today it is a place where many important South Morava's tributaries flow in it: Jablanica, Veternica, Vlasina, etc. The area is one of the best known vegetable growing regions in Serbia, especially for tomatoes and bell peppers. It encompasses several sub-regions (Jablanica, Vlasina) and due to its size, it is bordered by almost a dozen of mountains. It roughly corresponds to the region of Dubo?ica. Largest settlement is the town of Leskovac, fourth largest town in Central Serbia. Other settlements include Vlasotince and Vu?je.
  • Pe?enjevce Defile (Pe?enjeva?ka sutjeska) - small gorge which connects Leskovac field and Brestovac micro-depression, carved through the western slopes of the Babi?ka Gora mountain.
  • Brestovac Micro-depression (Brestova?ka kotlinica) - actually, the northernmost extension of the Leskovac field. It is located between the mountains of Babi?ka Gora and Seli?evica on the east, and Pasja?a on the west. In the west it extends into the regions of Toplica and Pusta reka. Remains of the medieval town ruins of "Kurvin Grad" are located above the depression.
Ni?
  • Ni?-Aleksinac Depression (Ni?ko-aleksina?ka kotlina) - most populous section of the valley, thanks to the city Ni?, second largest town in Central Serbia, or popularly styled "metropolis of southern Serbia". Depression roughly begins at the village of Malo?i?te and ends at historical settlement of ?unis. Long and elongated, its borders are marked by the mountains of Seli?evica on the south-east, Ozren on the east, Bukovik on the north-east, Veliki Jastrebac and Mali Jastrebac on the west and Pasja?a on the south-west. Apart from Ni?, other important settlements in the depression include the string of Ni?' suburbs and the town of Aleksinac. Sometimes considered a two separate depressions, Ni? and Aleksinac.
  • Stala? Gorge (Stala?ka klisura) - the final narrow of the South Morava Valley before it meets the West Morava to form the Great Morava. The gorge is 20 kilometers long and 350 meters deep, carved in the form of the typical base epigyny (cut through the middle of the massif's base), with "pitched" meanders among the Stala? Hills (Poslonjska and Mojsinjska mountains), part of the extreme north-west section of the Rhodope Mountains. Named after the small town of Stala? at the exit of the gorge.

Sub-regions

Sub-regions which partially make up the South Morava Valley include:

Population

The South Morava Valley had a population of 719,151 inhabitants by the 2002 census of population, with an average population density of 150 inhabitants per square kilometer, but the area's density is in general smaller, average density being enlarged by the large centers like the city of Ni? (420 per km2). The South Morava Valley has been known for rural depopulation almost for the last six decades while the cities grew larger, but in the last 30 years the entire area is depopulating. The population of the Morava Valley by the official censuses of population:

  • 1948 - 544,652
  • 1953 - 568,429
  • 1961 - 611,163
  • 1971 - 673,618
  • 1981 - 730,832
  • 1991 - 721,853
  • 2002 - 719,151

The largest settlements of the South Morava Valley (in the narrower sense) in 2002 were:

Economy

Agriculture

The South Morava Valley is the major vegetable growing area in Serbia, especially the areas of Leskovac and Vranje, which are specialized in the production of tomatoes and bell peppers, but other early vegetables as well. Vranje is also known for floriculture. The area is also producing grains (corn in Leskovac and Vranje, wheat in Vranje and Aleksinac- Ni? region), fruits (plums in Vranje, grapes in Leskovac) and industrial plants (sugar beet in Aleksinac- Ni?, tobacco in Aleksinac- Ni? and Vranje). Leskovac is also known for the poultry. Water from South Morava is also used for the irrigation.

Mining and industry

The mountains surrounding the region are rich in minerals and ores. The mountain of Besna Kobila has findings of zinc and silver. Other findings include chromium, antimony, graphite, molybdenum and tungsten. Oil shales are found near Vranje and Aleksinac. Aleksinac is also part of a large Aleksinac coal basin. Though South Morava has a significant potential for electricity production, it has not been dammed, though some parts of its watershed on the east (Vlasina, Vrla) have a series of hydro electrical plants (Vrla I, II, III and IV). Area is rich in mineral springs with many spas: Vranjska Banja, Bujanov?aka Banja, Ribarska Banja, Kulinska Banja, Klokot Banja, etc. There are several large industrial centers in the region, some of them among the largest in Serbia (Ni?, Leskovac, Vranje). Secondary centers are Aleksinac and Vlasotince.

Transportation

Along with the Great Morava Valley, its natural continuation, the South Morava Valley is an important European transportation route and Ni? is a major crossroads. It makes a section of the Belgrade-Skopje-Thessaloniki route, that is, of the European route E75 (which connects Norway and Greece), with a branch splitting at Ni? for Sofia, Bulgaria, which is actually a crossroads of the routes E75 and E80 which connects Portugal and Turkey. Except for the Leskovac-Macedonian border section, route has been turned into a highway. The South Morava Valley is also a railway crossroads: railway Belgrade-Ni?-Skopje, trans-Balkan railway Pe?-Prahovo, etc.

The Great Morava Valley

Watershed of the Great Morava
Morava river.PNG
Location

Location

The Great Morava Valley (Serbian: / Veliko Pomoravlje) is the valley of the Great Morava. It is often referred to only as the Morava Valley (Serbian: / Pomoravlje; Pomoravlje District is located in the southern area of the Great Morava Valley). It the beginning, it is bounded by the mountains of Juhor on the west and Ku?aj on the east. In the later section, the Morava Valley gets much wider, with only smaller hills bounding it and opens widely to the Danube and Banat region, across the river. It covers an area of 4,360 square milometers, which is over 70% of the entire Great Morava watershed.

Geography

Po?arevac
Smederevo

The Great Morava Valley is a valley region of the middle, Peripannonic Serbia. In the Neogene, it was a deep bay ("Morava Bay") of the inner Pannonian Sea, which flowed off through the ?erdap gorge 600,000 years ago. As the sea withdrew, the Great Morava cut in its flow through the drained bay, almost for 500 meters. The region is 120 kilometers long and up to 40 kilometers wide. Altitudes vary from 75 meters on the north to 130 meters on the south. It has a tempered continental climate with not much rainfall but frequend floods. Composite valley of the Great Morava has three main sections.

  • The Upper Great Morava or ?uprija Depression (Gornjovelikomoravska or ?uprijska kotlina) - southern half of the Great Morava Valley, located between the mountains of Juhor (east) and Ku?aj (west). After the Neogene phase, in which the depression was the southernmost extension of the Pannonian Sea, the Great Morava cut through from the relative elevation of 350 meters ("Five Morava Plateaus"). It has three larger (Para?in, ?uprija and Jagodina) and two towns (Varvarin, ?i?evac), so as several large villages. In this section, the Great Morava receives the tributaries of Kaleni?ka Reka, Lugomir, Belica (from the left), Crnica and Ravanica (from the right).
  • The Bagrdan Gorge (Bagrdanska klisura) - wide gorge, epigynously cut in the nearby hills. It is 17 kilometers long and it is the final gorge of the entire Morava course. It was named after the village of Bagrdan. River Osanica flows into the Great Morava from the left in the gorge. In the 1980s, the gorge was planned for the hydro electrical dam construction and creation of a reservoire.
  • The Lower Great Morava or Po?arevac Depression (Donjovelikomoravska or Po?areva?ka kotlina) - northern half, ending section of the entire Morava river system, where it finally empties into the Danube. Very wide and open to the north (Pannonian Plain), with two larger cities, Smederevo and Po?arevac.

Sub-regions

Regions, which partially or completely make the Great Morava Valley, include Jasenica, Lepenica, Resava and Temni?. Because the Great Morava and West Morava are considered the eastern and southern borders, respectively, of the super-region of ?umadija, they largely overlap with it in these areas.

Population

The South Morava Valley had a population of 545,517 inhabitants by the 2002 census of population, with an average population density of 125 inhabitants per square kilometer. Extremes include Smederevo, with 230 per km2, and Despotovac, with 41 per km2. Despite being developed as an agricultural and industrial region, it has been depopulating for the last few decades. The population of the Morava Valley by the official censuses of population:

  • 1948 - 495,903
  • 1953 - 530,335
  • 1961 - 565,584
  • 1971 - 594,934
  • 1981 - 632,984
  • 1991 - 586,033
  • 2002 - 545,517

In the 1980s plans were made to join towns of Jagodina, Para?in and ?uprija into the first planned conurbation in Yugoslavia, including inter-city tramway lines, etc., but the idea was dropped later. The largest settlements of the Great Morava Valley in 2002 were:

Economy

Agriculture

With the most fertile arable land, almost endless gardens, orchards and vineyards and its intensive agriculture, the Great Morava Valley is the granary of Central Serbia. The Great Morava agricultural region covers much larger area than the Great Morava Valley or even the watershed of the Great Morava: regions of Mlava and Pek on the east (Brani?evo District) and almost half of ?umadija, on the west. Main products in the valley are corn, wheat, sugar beet and sunflower. Hilly areas surrounding the valley are producing fruits, grapes (Smederevo), fodder plants and livestock. Brani?evo region has the largest production of beans in Serbia. Horse stud farm Ljubi?evo is located near Po?arevac. In the past centuries the Great Morava Valley was famous for its vast forest, but today it is almost entirely turned into an arable land.

Mining and industry

Unlike the West Morava Valley and South Morava Valley, the Great Morava Valley has almost no ores or minerals, except for the cement marl near Para?in. But the area has vast finding of coal, near Kostolac (Kostolac-Podunavlje Basin; brown coal), in the valley of Resavica (Despotovac Basin; brown coal at Makvi?te and Resavica, lignite at Despotovac) and near ?uprija (Senje Basin; brown coal). Also, the Great Morava Valley has only a few mineral springs (Lu?i?ka Banja, Stragarska Banja, etc.). Major industrial centers are Jagodina, Smederevo, Smederevska Palanka and ?uprija, followed by Para?in, Po?arevac and Velika Plana. Thermal power plant "Morava" (125 MW) is located near Svilajnac. One of three Serbian cement plants is located in Popovac (formerly "Novi Popovac", in 2002 bought by one of the Swiss cement company Holcim).

Transportation

The Great Morava Valley was always an important traffic route. In Roman times, it was the location of Via Militaris, while in the medieval period Constantinople road ran through. Today, it makes a section of the European route E75 (Belgrade-Ni? highway) which continues into the South Morava Valley. It also a route for the Belgrade-Ni? railway. In past times, the Great Morava used to be navigable, but due to the huge amounts of materials which are brought by the South Morava, as a result of extreme erosion in its watershed, the river bed of the Great Morava is literally being covered up so the river is not navigable today. Only some 3 kilometers near its mouth into the Danube can be used for navigation.

See also

References

  1. ^ Hall, Richard C. 2002. The Balkan Wars 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War. New York: Routledge, p. 45.
  2. ^ Kantowicz, Edward R. 1999. The Rage of Nations. Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans, p. 84.
  3. ^ Mitchell, Laurence. 2013. Serbia. Bucks, UK: Brant Travel Guides, p. 3.

Sources

  • Mala Prosvetina Enciklopedija, Third edition (1986); Prosveta; ISBN 86-07-00001-2
  • Jovan ?. Markovi? (1990): Enciklopedijski geografski leksikon Jugoslavije; Svjetlost-Sarajevo; ISBN 86-01-02651-6
  • Enciklopedija Britanika - sa?eto izdanje, Vol. 7 (2005); Narodna knjiga; ISBN 86-331-2118-2
  • Republi?ki zavod za statistiku, Uporedni pregled broja stanovnika 1948, 1953, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991 i 2002 - podaci po naseljima, Beograd 2004, ISBN 86-84433-14-9
  • Atlas Srbije (2007); MONDE NEUF; ISBN 978-86-86809-05-6
  • Auto atlas Srbije (2006); Intersistem kartografija; ISBN 86-7722-205-7
  • Auto atlas Jugoslavije, Eleventh edition (1979); Jugoslavenski leksikografski zavod


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Pomoravlje_(region)
 



 



 
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