Petrovac na Mlavi
Petrovac na Mlavi
About the name of Petrovac
Petrovac na Mlavi has never been a big place, but there has been continuity in the settlement of it’s area since the time when the first records of settlements and population appeared.
The history of Petrovac can be divided into the period up to 1860. and the period after this year. The reason for setting this time limit is simple. On 04. june 1860. the village of Svinje was named Petrovac. According to the Braničevo notebook from 1467. the village of Svinje (Karye-i Insvinye) belonged to Ždrelo, the carpenter of Hamza, son of Dogan. After this mention, the name of the place is stated differently: Svine, Svilne, Svinje and Svinja. It seems that there was a dilemma among the scribes, and sometimes at the same time various scribes wrote this name as Svine and Svinje. The literal interpretation of this word is clearly related to the name of the pig animal. It can be debated whether the name comes from the multitude of wild boars that inhabited the area of this settlement that was rich in oak forests, or perhaps from the custom of the population to raise domestic pigs.
Unlike today, when settlements are located next to overland or river roads, during the Turkish rule, Christian settlements were mostly away from roads in hills or dense forests. The inhabitants were sheltered from the frequent harassment of Turks or other bandits and robbers. It was the same with the village of Svine, which at the beginning of the 19th century was located on the left side of the river Mlava on the slope of the hill, where today is the cemetery with the same name.In the Mlava principality to which Svine belonged, it was one of the larger settlements. However, the seat of the principality was in Bistrica after the Second Serbian uprising. However, due to the strategic position of Svina at the crossroads of important roads, at some point it is the seat of the Mlava principality or county, moved from Bistrica to Svine. The Svine also moved, the locals slowly came down from the hill, crossed the bridge and built their homes on the right side of the Mlava river, next to the crossroads and next to the county house.
The importance of Svine gradually grew, as did the number of homes: in 1820. there were 89 houses in Svine, and in 1859. as many as 188 homes.
The following year, in 1860. a decision was made to change the name of this now important county town. The request to change the name of the village of Svine was made at the very end of the second government of Prince Miloš.
The request sent to Prince Miloš is dated April 27. 1860., according to the old then valid calendar in Serbia. The approval of Prince Miloš to change the name of the village was given on may 27. 1860. and forwarded to the Ministry of the Interior on the same day.
The petition to Prince Miloš was signed by the most prominent citizens of the village, the municipality of Petrovac-Leskovac and the Mlava district. At the head of the signatories were the deputy of Mlava district Milorad Popović, the teacher Stefan Gagić and the parish priest Ranko Popović. They suggested that their village be named after the prince - Veliki Milosevac. That part of their request was not fulfilled. Instead of the proposed one, the village was given the name Petrovac, in honor of Miloš's advisor Milutin Petrović Era, the younger brother of Haiduk - Veljko Petrović. He was born in 1791. in Lenovac in the crnorečka nahija. During the First serbian uprising, around 1807., he joined Haiduk-Veljko as a bimbaš and fought with him until Veljko's death in 1813.
After the uprising, Petrović received the principality of Homolje on the merits. Already aged, Prince Miloš Obrenović traveling around Serbia, after visiting Požarevac, set off on the road to Svilajnac. Based on the available data, there are serious indications that a delegation from the Mlava district also arrived in Oreovica and asked the prince to pass a decree on changing the name of the center of the district. It was very inconvenient to represent the dignitaries of this place: Svinjski nacelnik ( Pig Chief ) , Svinjski prota ( Pig Proto ), Svinjski ucitelj ( Pig Teacher ) and similarly.
Prince Miloš granted their request in the official newspaper of the principality of Serbia, number 66 of june 4. 1860., was published on the front page:
At the request of the inhabitants of the village of Svinje in the Požarevac district, His Light blessed the decision on the 27th of this month, B.N ° 1449. , that the same village of Svinja be called "Petrovac" from now on. The Guardianship of Internal Affairs draws the attention of all authorities and everyone to this highest solution, so that everyone can be governed by it in similar circumstances.
On the occasion of the Day of the municipality on June 04. 2002. , a bust of Milutin Petrović was placed in front of the entrance to the Municipal Assembly building.
The new name of the village, which grew into a small town in 1873. - Petrovac - has remained with a later addition to the Mlava until today.
Historical development of Petrovac
The configuration of the terrain and the abundance of water have been crucial for the settlement of this area since the earliest times. According to the Aracha notebook from 1820. , the Požarevac nahija then had seven principalities in it’s composition: Moravian, Mlav, Golubac, the principality of Omolje (Homolje), Zvižd, Pek, and the principality of Ram. The town of Požarevac belonged to the Moravian principality, and the village of Svine, in whose land area later would become a place Petrovac , belonged to the principality of Mlava.
The village of Svine was inhabited by Serbs, natives and immigrants. In 1827. , there were 67 households in the village that were engaged in agriculture and livestock, and it was located on a hill on the left side of the Mlava river, and according to the number of homes, it stood out in the group of five largest villages in the Mlava principality.
Land and economic areas stretched on both sides of the river Mlava. Because of that, a bridge was built under the village on the Mlava river, over which the inhabitants of Svine crossed and cultivated the land on the right side of the river. In that area, on the right side of the Mlava, opposite Svine, the village of Petrovac became in 1860. , primarily due to the need of the administration of the principality of Serbia: to create an administrative seat of government for the entire area around the Mlava river.
The inhabitants of Svine left the old village and settled on the right bank of the Mlava river, where they formed the new village of Petrovac.
With the efforts of the locals and the church community, the Ascension church was built and consecrated in 1869. , because that was one of the conditions for Petrovac to be declared a town.
With a request from 19. 01. 1871. , 128 citizens of Petrovac asked the Ministry of Internal Affairs to declare Petrovac a town. The decree on the proclamation of Petrovac as a town was signed by Prince Milan Obrenović on 14. 05. 1873.
Developed craft and trade activities played an important role in the formation and development of Petrovac. The most numerous craftsmen of that time are: abadžije ( a master craftsman who sows folk customs ) , ćurčije ( engaged in production of leather garments ) , terzije ( tailor of civic folk costumes ), shoemakers, bakers. Balkan wars and the 1st World War affected the further development of Petrovac. However, crafts and trade are still developing, and this period is characterized by a rich cultural - entertainment life in the place. A large number of parties and events were organized, in the realization of which the famous Petrovac-singing society "Zora" and the amateur theater Mlava (founded in 1908) took a prominent place, which gave notable performances. The primary school was one of the pillars of the cultural life of the town, teachers and citizens of Petrovac were members of the singing society "Zora", the Gymnastics society "Soko", the Theater amateur society "Mlava". With the construction of the national railway in 1912. , Petrovac progressed even faster and became an important market for grain, livestock and poultry. Apart from those from Požarevac, foreign traders also come to his market. Before World War II there were 57 trade and 72 craft shops.
According to the letters of the population, it can be seen that in 1863. Petrovac had 1227 inhabitants, of which 646 were men and 381 women in 274 households, of which 238 were agricultural. At that time, there was one teacher, one artist, one scribe, two priests and 28 different craftsmen and merchants in Petrovac. Later, at the crossroads and natural living conditions, Petrovac grew steadily, reaching 7.851 inhabitants in 2002. and having the lowest migration in the entire region.
The area of Homolje which lies in the upper course of the Mlava river, in the vicinity of Ždrelo, can be said to have been a military area. In 20 settlements out of 28 that were recorded, lived exclusively or partially military families, a total of 128.
Like all towns in Serbia, Petrovac experienced it’s existence in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
Orthodox church of Saint Ascension was built in 1866-1869. , the primary school in 1901. , the railway station in 1911. , which was closed in 1969. , the district government was established in 1842. , the status of a town was granted in 1873. , the right to hold fairs in 1874. , Mlava savings bank in 1887.
Today in the field of schooling, education and culture, Petrovac has a high school "Mladost", a primary school "Bata Bulić" founded in 1834. , the National library, the Homeland museum, the Cultural - educational center with a theater, local radio and TV stations "Mlava" and "Braničevo".