Kragujevac is the fourth largest city of Serbia and the administrative center of the Šumadija District in central Serbia. It is situated on the banks of the Lepenica River, according to the official results of the 2011 census, the city administrative area has a population of 179,417 inhabitants. Kragujevac was the first capital of modern Serbia, the first constitution in the Balkans was proclaimed in the city in 1835, Kragujevac was the site of a massacre by the Nazis, in which 2,778 Serb men and boys were murdered. Contemporary Kragujevac is known for its munitions and automobile industry, the University of Kragujevac includes twelve schools, six located in Kragujevac with others located in Čačak, Kraljevo, Jagodina, Užice and Vrnjačka Banja. The city has two research institutes, the Institute for Field Crops in Kragujevac and Fruit and Grape Research Institute in Čačak. The name of the derived from the archaic Serbian word kraguj. Kragujevac has experienced significant historical turbulence, often with severe casualties, over 200 archaeological sites in Šumadija confirm that the regions first human settlements occurred 40,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic era. Before the arrival of the Slavs, the territory of present city was inhabited by the Illyrians and Romans and this territory was captured from Byzantium by Stefan Nemanja, who consolidated the Serbian state in the twelfth century. In the Middle Ages, the area of modern Kragujevac was part of several Serbian states, Kragujevac was first mentioned in the medieval period as related to the public square built in a settlement, while the first written mention of the city was in the Ottoman Tapu-Defter in 1476. Ottoman documents from the 15th century refer to it as a village of Kragujevdza, the town itself gained prominence during the Ottoman period as the central point in the Belgrade Pashaluk. In 1718–39, the town was controlled by the Habsburg Monarchy and was part of the Habsburg Kingdom of Serbia, in 1788, it was part of Kočina Krajina, an area controlled by the Serb rebels, while in 1789–90 it was again controlled by the Habsburg Monarchy. The city has been devastated many times and has suffered losses of life in a number of wars throughout history. It began to prosper after Serbias liberation from Turkish rule in 1818, the first Serbian constitution was proclaimed here in 1835 and the first idea of independent electoral democracy. The first law on the press was passed in Kragujevac in 1870. Kragujevac, the capital, was developing and cherishing modern, progressive, free ideas, apart from contemporary political influence, Kragujevac became the cultural and educational center of Serbia. Important institutions built during that time include Serbias first secondary school, first pharmacy, the turning point in the overall development of Kragujevac was in 1851 when the Cannon Foundry began production, beginning a new era in the citys economic development. The main industry of the 19th and 20th century was military production, Kragujevac became one of Serbias largest exporters in 1886, when the main Belgrade–Niš railway connected through Kragujevac. During World War I, Kragujevac again became the capital of Serbia, during the war, Kragujevac lost 15% of its population
Image: Saborni Hram
The Kragujevac Cannon Foundry in its working days, originally built in 1856.