"Belgrade is Europe but if you want to visit a real Serbian town - go to Kragujevac."
Konstantin Jiricek in 1874
Kragujevac is the fourth largest city in Serbia, the main city of the Šumadija region and the administrative centre of Šumadija District. It is situated on the banks of the Lepenica River. According to official results of the 2011 census, the city has a population of 147,281 inhabitants, while municipality has a population of 177,468.
Kragujevac experienced a lot of historical turbulence, not always without severe casualties. Over 200 archaeological sites in Šumadija confirm that the region's first human settlements occurred 40,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic era. 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 Turkish Tapu-Defter in 1476.
Kragujevac was the first capital of modern Serbia (1818–1839), and the first constitution in the Balkans was proclaimed in this city in 1835. Apart from contemporary political influence, Kragujevac became the cultural and educational center of Serbia. Important institutions built during that time include Serbia's first secondary school (Gimnazija), first pharmacy, and first printing press. Kragujevac gave rise to many international scholars, professors, academics, scientists, artists and statesmen.
The circle of Prince Miloš
Cultural-historic complex “The circle of Prince Miloš” includes buildings that, with their architecture and function, maintain a historic image of the city, from the period when Kragujevac was the capital until the beginning of 20th century (Amidža’s Lodgings, The Old Church, The Old Assembly Building, The Prince Mihailo’s Palace…)
The National Museum
The origin of the museum in Kragujevac can be related to many information dating from the first half of XIX century. Prince Milos began to create his collection of paintings in June of 1823, when he received his first painting as a gift. Today’s National museum was found in 1949.
“The Old foundry” museum
The Old Foundry museum is situated in facility of the former Cannon foundry from 1882 The building is a historic monument and it is under the protection of state as a cultural property. It owns a weapons collection and kit, machines and tools, archive material, photos, paintings and collection of medals, seals and cups; 5800 objects in total. The permanent exhibition of the museum presents the history of Kragujevac’s military factory - from its formation in 1853 to 1973. The exhibition of modern weapons is also included.
Memorial park "Kragujevac October" in Šumarice are dedicated to the victims of tragic event from October 1941 when the Germans shot thousands of inhabitants, men, women and children. In this area there are 30 mass graves, ten of which shaped the artistic monuments. Three tombs are located in the surrounding villages. In this memorial park are also placed the memorial complex “Slovak cemetery”, dedicated to the victims of the I World War. At the entrance to the memorial park, the imposing building of the Museum "21st October" is built, whose architecture emphasizes the symbolism of Kragujevac’s tragedy. The documents related to 21st October are kept, including the messages of the murdered citizens written in the last moments of life, items and photos that were found at them.
Aquarium “Kragujevac” is the first public freshwater aquarium in Serbia. In 400 square meters over 350 aquarium units is exhibited containing over 60 000 l of water. In the aquarium you can see the living beings from the Balkans, but also from the tropical areas of Africa, South America, Asia and Australia. Besides many species of fish from the domestic freshwater ecosystems, there can bee also seen exotic tropical fish (scalars, oscars, neon fish, diskuses, trichogasters, piranhas…), amphibians (frogs and newts), reptiles (turtles and snakes) and different species of invertebrates (sponges, worms, leeches, snails, crabs, shells…)