>> There are three legends about the origin of the name Zlatibor >> Development of tourism >> Cultural heritage
Material culture monuments say that on Zlatibor rare ancient settlements from the neolit used to be, settled in dense forests or by mountain streams and rivers.The remains of this culture, that ornamental cheramics witnesses about, were found in homes of those people in the caves on steep peaks that today are called "gradine" (ruins).
The first known inhabitants of Zlatibor were the Illirs, or better one of their tribes, the Partinies, who used to inhabit broader surroundings of Užice. All over this region, except for the central part, they left numerous burial mounds (prehistoric tombs), which, according to tradition are thought to be Greek cemetries. From older people you can hear a story like this: ”Greeks used to live here, but one year when snow fell on Saint Ilija’s Day, they left Zlatibor and their dead in these small cemetries”. The remainders of their culture – decorated cheramics can be found in the caves and on steep peaks where they used to live. On Zlatibor there are three such places – "gradine" of Čajetina, of Kriva reka, of Šljivovica. In the library museum collection we can see some fragments of pottery with characteristic ornaments engraved into clay by a nail. Archeologic researches in western Serbia haven’t revealed Illirian settlements of any other character than these "gradinas".Therefor their culture and life have been studied exclusivelly on material found in "tumulus" (tombs), which are quite numerous on Zlatibor at different locations: Krivorečka gradina, Biševina, Kremna, wider ground from Ljubiš to Mušvet, Vraneško Polje. / Đenić 1983 /
In the Roman time Zlatibor used to be a part of Dalmacija province, there were marks left about it known all over Europe. For exploitation reasons and for military needs they built a net of known roads leading towards the surrounding provinces (Mačkat – Čajetinska Gradina – the river Uvac).The Romans left a considerable number of tombstones dating mostly from the second and the third century. Most of them are in Kremna, there are reliefs inspired by motives from nature or sometimes by god Atis – in a figure of a nice young man. There are significant localities in Kriva reka and Gostilje where there are necropolis with tombstones.
When the Slovenes arrived in the Middle Ages they left an indelible trail here.They built fortreses and restored ‘gradine’– ruins. On Gradac in Dobroselica there is a fortress where some remains of the walls can be seen. Remains of a stone pedestal have been preserved. It was probably used as a watchtower.In the base animal bones were found (sprobably built in for religious reasons). A lot of other material was found on this locality (a top of a spear, a copper ring…)
Before Serbian state was formed, Zlatibor and town Užice belonged to the head chief of the tribal state Stracimir, and only about the year 1180 Stevan Nemanja connected them to his state.At the time of his reign, these mountaineus cattle – breeding areas, together with whole Užice neighbourhood, were a component part of a region known under the name Stari Vlah. A little later uzice region was divided into four regions by administrative division: Rujno, Moravica, Lužnica and Crna Gora. The region Rujno stretched at the place of today’s Zlatibor and its name most probably came from the plant ‘ruj ‘that today can be found in Semegnjevo and Uvac. The monastery Rujno (unfortunatelly not preserved) used to be cultural and educational centre of the region Rujno and one of the first Serbian printing shops used to work there. In the mixture of well known circumstances that were happening in the medieval state after the death of the Emperor Dusan, Zlatibor used to change its masters from Vojislav Vojinović to Nikola Altomanović, whose rule over this region is confirmed by the data that he presented Zlatibor village Sjenište to monastery Hilandar as a gift. The Duke Lazar Hrebeljanović and Bosnian ban Tvrtko gathered together this aggressive master and they defeated him in Užice in 1373. After the victory the reclaimed territories were divided and the greatest part of Zlatibor belonged to Serbian Duke, while the rest parts belonged to the Bosnian state. / Djenic 1983 /
By conquering the Serbian state the Turks established their power here dividing Zlatibor to bey estates, farm estates, qadi estates and principalities in which Serbian dukes ruled. During Turks’ rule Zlatibor suffered same as the rest of Serbian areas and was often devastated. The Turks built fortresses for their own military needs, inns and mosques at all strategic places and so they indirectly gave names to the area where they were: Vlaovina in Gostilje (the name comes from the word Vlah which the Turks used for all Christians and also for Serbs), Begluci in Vranešci, Turica in Užice. The flame of The first Serbian Rebellion, which was spreading all over Šumadija in spring 1804, caught also Zlatibor.A great number of Zlatibor men took out their hidden weapons from Mustafa Pasha’s time and joined Mihailo Radović who organized the rebellion in this region. The whole 1st Rebellion was carried and supported by the wish for freedom for Serbian people. During 2 nd Serbian Rebellion there weren`t any great battles on Zlatibor, but Zlatibor people under the leadership of Mihailo Radović and the famous Rujan serdar Jovan Mićić took part in the battle at Ljubić and in the attack on Užice. General amnesty for Belgrade pashadom after negotiations with Porta included parts of Zlatibor because of the fact that there was the border between the Belgrade and the Novi Pazar pashadom. Very soon the principality Rujno with the seat in Čajetina was formed under commander in chief serdar Jovan Mićić from Rožanstvo. His monument stands in front of Čajetina Municipality building. With this amnesty first hints of possibility of getting free from Turkish bondage and the start of economic development of Zlatibor region were made. Till the May Revolution in Serbia Zlatibor region favoured the Obrenović dinasty. King Aleksandar 1st Obrenović often used to visit Zlatibor while in August 20th 1893 he built a waterspring at the outspring of the Kulaševac.Today it is called King`s Water. /Đenić, 1983 /.
In 1st and 2nd Balcan war Zlatibor people fought in the famous 4th infantry regiment Stevan Nemanja that belonged to Drinska division which was the winner in the battles at Kumanovo and Bitolj.When Bulgarians attacked Serbia, 4th regiment Stefan Nemanja was involved in the battle at the Bregalnica. The whirlwind of 1st World War and Austria Hungarian occupation also didn`t avoid Zlatibor. The war brought devastation, suffering of people, contagious diseases and years of hunger. After the victory at The Solun front and freedom, Zlatibor, as well as the whole Serbia was included into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croatians, and Slovenes, and later to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. With the attack of German occupational forces on the Kingdom Yugoslavia on April 6th 1941, Zlatibor came under German occupation, but very soon the flame of national liberation war brought short – lasting freedom.From September to November 1941 Zlatibor was included in ‘Užička republic’, the only free territory in occupied Europe. After the fall of ‘Užička republic ‘, Zlatibor region found itself again under German and later also Bulgarian occupation, accompanied by material devastation, robbery and shooting of civillians.
After the liberation there came people’s government in all Zlatibor municipalities, and Zlatibor became part of Titovo Uzžce region. After falling apart of the SFRY and all social and political happenings the greatest part of Zlatibor region belongs to Čajetina Municipality. / Đenić, 1983 /