Novi Pazar

For other places with the same name, see Novi Pazar (disambiguation).
Novi Pazar
Нови Пазар  (Serbian)

Coat of arms

Location of the municipality of Novi Pazar within Serbia
Coordinates: 43°09′N 20°31′E / 43.150°N 20.517°E / 43.150; 20.517Coordinates: 43°09′N 20°31′E / 43.150°N 20.517°E / 43.150; 20.517
Country Serbia
Settlements around 100
  Mayor Nihat Biševac (SDP)
  Municipality 742 km2 (286 sq mi)
Population (2011 census)[2]
  Town 66,527
  Municipality 100,410
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 36300
Area code +381 20
Car plates NP
Climate Cfb

Novi Pazar (Serbian Cyrillic: Нови Пазар, , lit. "New Bazaar" pronounced [nôʋiː pǎzaːr]) is a city located in southwest Serbia. Novi Pazar is the cultural center of the Bosniaks in Serbia and the historical region of Sandžak.[3] A multicultural area of Muslims and Orthodox Christians, many monuments of both religions, like the Altun-Alem Mosque and the Church of St. Apostles Peter and Paul, are found in the region. As of the 2011 census, the population of the municipal area of Novi Pazar was 100,410, while the city itself had a population of 66,527.[4]


During the 14th century under the old Serbian fortress of Stari Ras, an important marked-place named Trgovište started to develop. By the middle of the 15th century, in the time of the final Turkish conquest of Old Serbia, another market-place was developing some 11 km to the East. The older place became known as Staro Trgovište (Old Trgovište, in Turkish: Eski Pazar) and the younger as Novo Trgovište (Yeni Pazar). The latter developed into the modern city of Novi Pazar.

The name of Novi Pazar (meaning "new marketplace") was thus derived from Serbian placename Novo Trgovište, via Turkish Yeni Pazar, which is itself derived from bazaar (from Persian بازار (bāzār), meaning "market"; from Middle Persian بهاچار (bahā-chār), meaning "place of prices").[5] It is still known as Yeni Pazar in modern-day Turkey.


The Raška river flows through the city.

Novi Pazar is located in the valleys of the Jošanica, Raška, Deževska, and Ljudska rivers at the elevation of 496m, in southeast Sandžak region. The city is surrounded by Golija and Rogozna mountains; Pešter plateau lies west from the city. The total area of the municipality is 742 km². It contains around 100 settlements, mostly small and spread over hills and mountains surrounding the city. The largest surrounding village is Mur with over 3000 residents.


One of the oldest monuments of the area is the Church of the Apostles Peter and Paul first built in the Roman era. The capital city of the Principality of Serbia, Ras, which was ruled by the Vlastimirović dynasty from 768 to 980 is found near modern city and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the next centuries, the region of modern Novi Pazar served as the principal province of the Serbian realm. It was an administrative division under the direct rule of the monarch and sometimes as an appanage. It was the crownland, seat or appanage of various Serbian states throughout the Middle Ages, among the Serbian Kingdom (1217-1345) and the Serbian Empire (1345-1371). In 1427, the region and the remnant of Ras, as part of the Serbian Despotate was ruled by Serbian despot Đurađ Branković. One of the markets was called "despotov trg" (Despot's square).[6] In 1439, the region was captured by Ottoman Empire, but was reconquered by the Serbian Despotate in 1444. In the summer of 1455, the Ottomans conquered the region again, and named the settlement of Trgovište Eski Bazar (Old Market).

Novi Pazar was formally founded as a city in its own right in 1461 by Ottoman general Isa-Beg Isaković, the Bosnian governor of the district (sanjak) and founder of Sarajevo.[7] Isa-Beg Isaković decided to establish a new town on the area of Trgovište as an urban center between Raška and Jošanica, where at first he built a mosque, a public bath, a marketplace, a hostel, and a compound.

It was the chief town of the Ras province (vilayet) until its disestablishment in 1463, when it became part of the Jeleč Vilayet. The first written document which mentions Novi Pazar dates from the 15th century, and describes the decision of the Republic of Ragusa to appoint a consul there. The town had thus been already developed at that time, being at the intersection of important routes leading to Dubrovnik, Niš, Sofia, Constantinople, Salonica, Sarajevo, Belgrade and Budapest. The town also remained the capital of the Sanjak of Novi Pazar, which continued until the 20th century as a constitutive unit of Bosnia Eyalet. The sanjak was occupied and administered by Austria-Hungary from 1878. In 1908 it was returned to the Ottoman Empire as part of the Kosovo Vilayet, but taken over by Serbia in 1912 during the First Balkan War.

The former Sanjak of Novi Pazar was inhabited a large number of Albanians and Muslim Slavs with a differing culture from the Serbs.[8]

A report from a journalist active at the time stated that when the Serb forces entered the Sandjak of Novi Pazar, they "pacified" the Albanians.[9]

In 1913, Novi Pazar became part of the Kingdom of Serbia, and as such, became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1918. From 1929 to 1941, Novi Pazar was part of the Zeta Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

In the Battle for Novi Pazar fought at the end of 1941 during the Second World War the Chetniks, initially supported by the Partisans, tried to capture Novi Pazar but eventually failed.

Today, Novi Pazar is the main economic and cultural centre, as well as the largest city, of the Sandžak region.


Prvomajska Street in Novi Pazar.

From the 15th century to the Balkan Wars, Novi Pazar was the capital of the sanjak of Novi Pazar. Typically, like other centres of the wider area, its composition was multiethnic, with Albanians, Serbs and Slavic-speaking Muslims as the main communities.[10] The Ottoman travel writer Evliya Celebi noted that it was one of the most populated towns in the Balkans in the 17th century. Serbs also lived in the city until WWII[11] when the entire Serb population of Novi Pazar - 521 individuals, were imprisoned, sent to the concentration camp Staro Sajmište and killed during the rule of Balli Kombetar.[12]

According to the last official census done in 2011, the Municipality of Novi Pazar has 100,410 inhabitants, while the city itself has 68,749 inhabitants. Most of Novi Pazar's population are Bosniaks (77.13%) while 68.47% of the municipality's population is urban. Population density on the territory of the municipality is 135.32 inhabitants per square kilometer.[13]

As of the 2011 census the religious make up of the Municipality of Novi Pazar was 82.4% Muslims, and 16% Orthodox Christians.

Ethnic composition of the municipality:[14][15]

Ethnic group Population
Bosniaks - - - - - 65,593 77,443
Serbs 25,177 27,933 25,076 21,834 19,064 17,599 16,234
Muslims - 23,250 37,140 49,769 64,251 1,599 4,102
Roma - 37 210 444 334 69 566
Gorani - - - - - 15 246
Albanians 144 126 307 233 209 129 202
Montenegrins 174 543 359 295 232 109 44
Yugoslavs 13,564 1,261 183 931 700 136 67
Turks 11,009 - - - - - -
Others 263 5,627 1,057 494 459 747 1,506
Total 50,331 58,777 64,326 74,000 85,249 85,996 100,410

Ethnic composition of the city:

Ethnic group Population
Bosniaks - - - 46,339 55,428
Serbs 3,466 6,689 6,698 6,724 6,576
Muslims - 32,798 43,774 904 2,824
Gorani - - - - 240
Albanians 134 208 172 120 162
Yugoslavs 5,944 848 570 105 64
Turks 4,280 - - - -
Montenegrins 145 246 190 93 39
Others 135 310 345 1,541 3,410
Total 14,104 41,099 51,749 54,604 68,749


Aside from the town of Novi Pazar, the municipality includes the following settlements, with population from the 2002 census:


Novi Pazar is governed by a city assembly composed of 47 councillors, a mayor and vice-mayor. After the last legislative election held in 2012, the local assembly is composed of the following groups:[22]


Lying on crossroads between numerous old and new states, Novi Pazar has always been a strong trade center. Along with the trade, the city developed manufacturing tradition. During the 20th century, it became a center of textile industry.

Paradoxically, during the turbulent 1990s and, Novi Pazar prospered, even during the UN sanctions, boosted by the strong private initiative in textile industry. Jeans of Novi Pazar, first of forged trademarks, and later on its own labels, became famous throughout the region. However, during the relative economic prosperity in Serbia of the 2000s, the Novi Pazar economy collapsed, with demise of large textile combines in mismanaged privatization, and incoming competition from the import.


The old Serb Orthodox monastery of Sopoćani, the foundation of St. King Uroš I, built in the second half of the 13th century and located west of Novi Pazar, is a World Heritage Site since 1979 accompanying with Stari Ras (Old Ras), a medieval capital of the Serbian great župan Stefan Nemanja.

The city also houses an old church from the 9th-century Church of St. Peter.[23] On a hilltop overlooking Novi Pazar is the 12th century monastery of Đurđevi stupovi, long left in ruin, but recently restored and with a monastic community using it, with plate glass to keep out the weather and preserve the fine frescos. The main mosque of the city, the Altun-Alem Mosque, is the largest in this region of the Balkans and dates from 16th century. There are various other historic Ottoman buildings, such as the 17th-century Amir-agin Han, a 15th-century Hammam, and the 15th-century Turkish fortress (all gone but the walls, the site of which is now a walled park in the city centre).


Faculty for Islamic studies in Novi Pazar

Novi Pazar is home to two universities, the University of Novi Pazar and the State University of Novi Pazar.


The city's football club FK Novi Pazar was founded in 1928, under the name "FK Sandžak", which later changed to "FK Deževa". The club has played under its current name since 1962, when Deževa and another local football club, FK Ras, unified under this name. The club was a SFRJ amateur champion, and a member of the Yugoslav Second League. FK Novi Pazar qualified for a promotional play-off twice, but lost both times (to FK Sutjeska Nikšić in 1994, and to FK Sloboda Užice in 1995). FK Novi Pazar finally promoted to Serbian SuperLiga in 2011-12 season. FK Novi Pazar is the oldest second-league team in Serbia. Football is still extremely popular sport in Novi Pazar and city stadium is always full.

Volleyball clubs in the city are OK Novi Pazar (first league) and OK Koteks.

Handball club is in second league and used to have name "Ras" but it was changed in RK Novi Pazar in 2004.

Famous athletes from the city include Turkish basketball national team player Mirsad Jahović Türkcan, former football player of Besiktas Sead Halilagić, handball-player Mirsad Terzić (who represents Bosnia and Herzegovina) and young football players Adem Ljajić, Ediz Bahtiyaroğlu, and alpinist Basar Čarovac who climbed all seven continents' highest peaks.

Notable residents


  1. "Municipalities of Serbia, 2006". Statistical Office of Serbia. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  2. "2011 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in the Republic of Serbia: Comparative Overview of the Number of Population in 1948, 1953, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2002 and 2011, Data by settlements" (PDF). Statistical Office of Republic Of Serbia, Belgrade. 2014. ISBN 978-86-6161-109-4. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
  3. Ahrens, Geert-Hinrich (2007-03-06). Diplomacy on the Edge: Containment of Ethnic Conflict and the Minorities Working Group of the Conferences on Yugoslavia. Woodrow Wilson Center Press. pp. 223–. ISBN 9780801885570. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 "Попис становништва, домаћинстава и станова 2011. у Републици Србији" (PDF). Republički zavod za statistiku. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  5. "bazaar". Retrieved 2007-02-17.
  6. Više autora, Novi Pazar i okolina, Beograd 1969.
  7. Norris, H. T. (1993). Islam in the Balkans: Religion and Society Between Europe and the Arab World. Hurst. pp. 49–. ISBN 9781850651673. Retrieved 2 January 2013. Novi Pazar, on the border of Kosovo, was founded by Isa Beg, a governor of Bosnia
  8. Holger H., Richard F. Hamilton. The Origins of World War I. Cambridge University Press. p. 103. ISBN 9781107393868.
  9. C. HALL, RICHARD (2002). The Balkan Wars 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War Warfare and History. Routledge, 2002. ISBN 9781134583621.
  10. Hall, Richard C. (2002-01-04). The Balkan Wars 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War. Taylor & Francis. p. 5. ISBN 9780203138052. Retrieved 2 January 2013. The Sandjak of Novi Pazar was a finger of the Ottoman province of Kosovo, which separated Montenegro from Serbia. The Sandjak of Novi Pazar had a mixed population of Albanians, Serbs, and Slavic-speaking Muslims.
  11. Cohen, Philip J.; Riesman, David (1996). Serbia's Secret War: Propaganda and the Deceit of History. Texas A&M University Press. pp. 191–. ISBN 9780890967607. Retrieved 2 January 2013. Before World War II, about 10,500 Jews lived in Belgrade, about 350 in Nis, about 250 in Novi Pazar (Sandzak)
  12. Mušović, Ejup (1979), Etnički procesi i ethnička struktura stanovništva Novog Pazara, Etnografski Institut, 1979, p.48
  13. "STANOVNIŠTVO". (in Serbian). Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  14. "Comparative Overview of the number of population in 1948, 1953, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2002 and 2011" (PDF). Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  15. Stanković, Republika Srbija, Republički Zavod za Statistiku. (2004). Comparative survey of population 1948, 1953, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2002 : data by localities (in Serbian). Belgrade: Republički zavod za statistiku. ISBN 86-84433-14-9.
  16. 1 2 "UKUPNO STANOVNIŠTVO PO NARODNOSTI (1953)" (PDF). Republički zavod za statistiku. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  17. "Knjiga III: Nacionalni sastav stanovništva FNR Jugoslavije (1961)" (PDF). (in Serbian). Republički zavod za statistiku. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  18. "Knjiga III: Nacionalni sastav stanovništva FNR Jugoslavije (1971)" (PDF). (in Serbian). Republički zavod za statistiku. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  19. 1 2 "Nacionalni sastav stanovništva SFR Jugoslavije (1981)" (PDF). Republički zavod za statistiku. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  20. 1 2 "STANOVNIŠTVO PREMA NACIONALNOJ PRIPADNOSTI (1991)" (PDF). Republički zavod za statistiku. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  21. 1 2 "Popis stanovništva, domaćinstava i stanova u 2002." (PDF). (in Serbian). Republički zavod za statistiku. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  22. "Skupština grada". Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  23. "Oldest Orthodox church in Balkans (Serbian Orthodox Church) defaced | Serbian Orthodox Church [Official web site]". Retrieved 2014-08-08.
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