Kruševac, a town of rich tradition and several centuries long history, once a Serbian capital, is situated in the central part of Serbia, at the crossroads of ancient communications intersecting the Balkans and joining its distant parts.
The Kruševac valley which comprises the complex West Morava valley, lies surrounded by: Levca and Temnic in the north, Župa, Kopaonik and Jastrebac in the south, the ravine of Kraljevo and the Ibar valley in the west.
With a population of 65 000 in the town itself and over 145 000 in the municipality, with 101 village, with its economic resources, well – developed social services and cultural life, Kruševac today represents an economic, administrative, cultural, educational, informative, health and sports center significant for this county, the Republic of Serbia and Serbia and Montenegro.
The municipality of Kruševac has today nearly 600 km of roads, almost 2 000km of water – supply system, 15 km of heating system, about 49 000 housing units and, apart from firms in public property,also about 1 300 enterprises in private property and 2 500 registered independent shops and services covering different areas. The twin towns of Kruševac are: Pistoja ( Italy ) , Corfu ( Greece ) , Saint – Andrew ( Hungary ) , Kirijat Gat ( Israel ) , Stara Zagora ( Bulgaria ) , Rmniku Volcea ( Romania ) and Volgograd ( Russia ) .
In all probability, king Lazar started building his capital city somewhere around 1374. At that time, having become the most powerful lord of the region, he strengthened his position on all of the conquered territory.
Kruševac was first mentioned as a town in 1387, in a charter by which king Lazar confirmed earlier trading privileges to the tradesmen of Dubrovnik ( ” in Kruševac, the glorious city of my lordship ” ) .
There are two legends concerning the name of the town. According to one, it was named after the many pear trees ( ” kruška ” ) , that were abundant in these regions. According to the other, the name came from the kind of stone called ” krušac ” , which was taken out of the river and used for the building of the medieval town.
During the reign of the Turks ( 1389 -1833 ), Kruševac was саlled ” Alaja hisar ” – the multicoloured town, the multicoloured hill, because of the impression it made with the numerous vineyards on the shady hillsides, but also because of the typical multicoloured town walls made of alternate rows of brick and stone.
In the Panslavonic mythology and folklore, Saint Vid is the supreme, all – seeing deity. In Serbian folk tradition, Vidovdan is celebrated as the day of the Kosovo battle which took place in 1389. It was officially accepted and recognized by the Serbian church in 1892. as one of its holidays. Vidovdan is certainly the most important Christian festival for the town of Kruševac, because it has been deep inside the minds of the people for the centuries as the day when King Lazar died in battle, fighting for the survival of his country and people. It is celebrated with all the attributes of a town festival, just like the Trinity or The Holy Spirits. At Vidovdan, every year, a commemorative service is held in the church of Lazarica for the heroes who died in the Kosovo battle, hut also for all other Serbian warriors killed in liberation wars.
The monument to the Kosovo heroes is a symbol of Kruševac and a masterpiece of national sculpture of the beginning of the XX century. It is the work of a great Serbian sculptor, Djordje Jovanović. It was unveiled at Vidovdan 1904, during the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the First Serbian Uprising, in the presence of the king, Petar I Karadjordjević. In 1900, at the World Exhibition in Paris, where the sculptural elements of the monument had been created and exhibited, Jovanović won the Gold medal of the first order for this work.
Kruševac is a town of sport, with tradition that has been developing for almost a century. The development of sports was followed by the construction of numerous sports buildings and courts. As a result, today we have the following facilities: a football stadium with a seating capacity of three thousand; ” Partizan ” Sports Hall .. ; the covered swimming pools ( a complex of three pools, including one ” Olympic ” ) and a system of open – air swimming pools ( also including one Olympic ) , which are used for emits such as top – ranking water polo matches, international matches for the Cup; seven tennis courts, as well as two football pitches. In a word, a sports zone or a real Olympic milage atthe bottom of the Bagdala hill.
Beaches and arranged river banks in the immediate vicinity of the town are important facilities the town can offer. This includes the complex of swimming pools in town, two lakes – the Ćelije lake and the lake on Jastrebac, and the possibilities offered by the two rivers, the Rasina and the Zapadna Morava…
Another facility that should be mentioned is a sports airport just outside of the town.