Cuprija


Cuprija is located between the road and railway Beograd-Nis, 145km from Belgrade, and 90km from Nis. The town itself lies on the confluence of two rivers – Ravanica and Great Morava.



History


The Cuprija area was settled even in the Stone Age. This is evident from the prehistoric findings from Cuprija surroundings. Stublina is an archeological site in the Supska village, where a lot of findings belong to the Vinca culture. The objects that were found in the proximity of Ravanica monastery take us into the Stone Age. In the Cuprija area two Illyrian silver belts were dug out, together with some pieces of filigree jewelry with some rich ceramics from the Iron Age.

In the Iron Age, the area was settled by the Thracians. In the 4th century BC the Thracians retreated into the mountains and the area of the river Morava was settled by the Celts. Their rule did not last for long since in the west of the Balkans, the Romans appeared.

Around the year 15 BC, the Romans took over the Morava area. With them, they brought their culture and their civilization. Cuprija (Roman name: Horreum Margi) was at the time very populated and was the most important Roman settlement on the road Viminacium-Naissus (Kostolac-Nis) and represented an economic, trade, traffic and strategic center, as well as the center of weapons manufacturing and the largest wheat warehouse, for which it got its name The Granary of Morava. It was also the largest settlement of Upper Moesia, but it was the most important because it was the main crossing over Morava, where the Romans had a bridge built. During the time, through Cuprija, one the main Roman roads passed – Via Militaries. In the very center of the town, there an archeological Roman site Horreum Margi. The Huns destroyed the town in the 5th century AD and 100 years later, Justinian I rebuilt it.

Ravno is first mentioned in the middle of the 12th century. Arnold of Libek (who described the road of Henry the Lion). Going towards the Holy Land in 1172, mentions Ravno, under the name Rabnel-Rebenelle. Later it is mentioned in 1183, when Fredrick Barbarossa waited here for the delegates of Nemanja. In the second quarter of the 13th century, Ravno was run over by the Tatars.

During the Turkish rule, Cuprija was a palanka, a road stop on the Constantinople road and lodging for the rest of the travelers. During one of the military campaigns of Suleiman the Great (1521-66), with a temporary bridge on Morava, the settlement is called Morava. From the second half of the 17th century, Mehmed Cuprilic Pasha built a bridge Cuprija, when the town got its today’s name. In the 16th and 17th century, Cuprija is a dock on the Great Morava. There are evidences to suggest that people were sailing the Morava until the start of the 19th century.




Distict: Pomoravlje

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