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For the town in Bulgaria see Novi Pazar, Bulgariamarker.

Novi Pazar
River Raška in Novi Pazar
Novi Pazar (Serbian: Нови Пазар, Novi Pazar; Turkish: Yeni Pazar) is a city and municipality located in the Raška District of Serbiamarker at 43.15° North, 20.52"° East, in the geographical region of Sandžak. According to the official census in 1991, the municipality of Novi Pazar had 85,249 inhabitants, while in 2002 census, number of inhabitants of municipality was 85,996. The city itself had a population of 54,604 in 2002.


Its name means "a new bazaar" in the local language (which is referred to as the Serbian language by the Serb Christian inhabitants of the area, and Bosnian language by most of the Bosniak Muslim inhabitants). The term is derived ultimately from Turkish word "pazar" ("bazar" in Persian and "bazaar" in English) and Serbian/Bosnian word "novi" ("new" in English) - Note that word "pazar" is also used in Serbian/Bosnian to this day, but with slightly different meaning. In Turkish the name is Yeni Pazar, while in Albanian it is Pazar i Ri or Treg i Ri.


Novi Pazar is the main economic and cultural centre of the Sandžak region (with Bijelo Poljemarker in Montenegromarker after it), located in the valleys of the Jošanica, Raška, Deževska, and Ljudska rivers at the elevation of 496m. It is surrounded by the high lands of Golijamarker and Rogozna mountains, as well as the Pešter Plateau. The total area of about 100 settlements of the municipality is 742 km².


A 5th century BC princely grave (with regalia, gold-silver jewelry, beads, Attic pottery) of Greco-Illyrian type was excavated in a mound near Novi Pazar.

The town probably began life as an informal trading enclave which had spilled out from the nearby medieval capital of the Serbian Kingdom, Rasmarker (now Stari Ras). Rasmarker was less ideally placed for catching onto the passing trade from the trade routes and major roads through the Balkans, and the establishment of a trading community a few miles away at Novi Pazar would have improved matters (and hence the name of the city).

Novi Pazar was formally founded as a city in its own right in 1459-1461 by Isa-beg Ishaković, who was also the founder of the city of Sarajevomarker. The first written document which mention Novi Pazar dates back to the 15th century, and describes the decision of Ragusan Council to appoint a consul in this town. That reinforces the idea that the town was already developed back then, thanks to its outstanding geographic position, as it was at the intersection of important roads leading to Dubrovnikmarker, Nišmarker, Sofiamarker, Constantinoplemarker, Salonica (Thessaloniki), Sarajevomarker, Belgrademarker, and Budapestmarker. Many authors wrote about Novi Pazar and Evliya Celebi noted that it was one of the biggest towns in the Balkans in the 17th century.

The city was the capital of the Ottoman Sanjak of Novibazar that existed between the 15th and the 20th century. The father of the famous Ragusan (Dubrovnik) scientist Ruđer Bošković from the 18th and 19th centuries, migrated from Dubrovnikmarker and came to Novi Pazar, where he spent the last years of his life.

The name Novi Pazar (then Novibazar) entered the world encyclopædias as a synonym for the Sandžak region in 1878, the year when the Congress of Berlin designated the entire region as "corpus separatum" named Sanjak of Novi Pazar. The Sanjak of Novi Pazar was occupied and administered by Austria-Hungary from 1878 to 1908. In 1908 it was returned to the Ottoman Empire, which ruled this territory until it was lost to Serbiamarker in 1912 during the First Balkan War. After World War I, the town of Novi Pazar rapidly lost its importance.


The municipality of Novi Pazar includes the following settlements:
  • Novi Pazar
Alulović, Bajevica, Banja, Bare, Batnjik, Bekova, Bele Vode, Boturovina, Brđani, Brestovo, Vever, Vidovo, Vitkoviće, Vojkoviće, Vojniće, Vranovina, Vučiniće, Vučja Lokva, Golice, Gornja Tušimlja, Goševo, Građanoviće, Gračane, Grubetiće, Deževa, Dojinoviće, Drum, Dolac, Doljani, Dragočevo, Dramiće, Žunjeviće, Zabrđe, Zlatare, Ivanča, Izbice, Jablanica, Javor, Janča, Jova, Kašalj, Kovačevo, Kožlje, Koprivnica, Kosuriće, Kruševo, Kuzmičevo, Leča, Lopužnje, Lukare, Lukarsko, Goševo, Lukocrevo, Miščiće, Mur, Muhovo, Negotinac, Odojeviće, Okose, Osaonica, Osoje, Oholje, Pavlje, Paralovo, Pasji Potok, Pilareta, Pobrđe, Požega, Požežina, Polokce, Pope, Postenje, Prćenova, Pusta Tušimlja, Pustovlah, Radaljica, Rajetiće, Rajkoviće, Rajčinoviće, Rajčinovićka Trnava, Rakovac, Rast, Sebečevo, Sitniče, Skukovo, Slatina, Smilov Laz, Srednja Tušimlja, Stradovo, Sudsko Selo, Tenkovo, Trnava, Tunovo, Hotkovo, Cokoviće,Čašić Dolac, Šavci, Šaronje, Štitare and Zaguljača.


Faculty for Islamic studies in Novi Pazar
Novi Pazar
Novi Pazar

Ethnic groups in the municipality

According to the 2002 census data, the population of the Novi Pazar municipality numbered 85,996 people, and it was composed of:

Ethnic groups in the city

According to the 2002 census data, the population of the Novi Pazar city numbered 54,604 people, and it was composed of:

According to the data of Red Cross and NGOs, the city hosts about 6,000 Serb refugees from Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia, and Croatia.

Note, in the year of 2005 the city had over 100.000 inhabitants. More likely figure is 125.000 for the urban city.

Settlements by ethnic majority

Settlements with Bosniak ethnic majority are: Casic Dolac, Hotkovo, Trnava, Slatina, Sitnice, Sebecevo ,Rajcinovicka Trnava, Rajcinovice, Pozega, Pobrdje, Paralovo, Oholje, Osoje, Novi Pazar, Muhovo, Mur, Zaguljača, Oholje, Lukarsko Gosevo, Lukare, Leca, Krusevo, Kozlje, Janca, Izbice, Ivanca, Vucja Lokva, Varevo, Brdjani, Bijele Vode, Banja, and Bajevica.

Demographic history

According to the 1953 census data, the population of the Novi Pazar municipality numbered 53,331 people, and it was composed of:

Note that present-day Bosniak population in 1953 had declared itself either as Serb, Turkish or Yugoslav.

According to the 1991 census data, the population of the Novi Pazar municipality numbered 85,249 people, and it was composed of:

Most of those who in 1991 census declared themselves as Muslims by nationality, in the next census in 2002 declared themselves as Bosniaks, while the smaller number of them still declare themselves as Muslims by nationality.


After the last municipal election held in May 2008 local assembly seats are delivered as following:

Sandžačka demokratska partija (23)

Stranka demokratske akcije (18)

Srpska lista (6)stranka republikanaca


The old Serb Orthodox monastery of Sopoćani, the foundation of St. King Uroš I, built in the second half of the 13th century and located west of Novi Pazar, is a World Heritage Site since 1979 accompanying with Stari Rasmarker (Old Ras), a medieval capital of the Serbian great župan Stefan Nemanja.

The city also houses an old church from the 9th century, the church of St. Peter, referred to as Petrova crkva, which suffered offensive graffiti by ethnic Bosniaks in April 2008. On a hilltop overlooking Novi Pazar is the 12th century monastery of Đurđevi stupovi, long left in ruin, but recently restored and with a monastic community using it, with plate glass to keep out the weather and preserve the fine frescos. The fine main mosque of the city, the Altun-Alem mosque, is the largest in this region of the Balkans and dates from 16th century. There are various other historic Ottoman buildings, such as the fine 17th century Amir-agin Han, a 15th century Hammam, and the 15th century Turkish fortress (all gone but the walls, the site of which is now a pleasant walled park in the city centre).


The city's football club FK Novi Pazar was founded in 1928, under the name "FK Sandžak", which later changed to "FK Deževa". The club has played under its current name since 1962, when FK Deževa and another local football club, FK Ras, unified under this name. The club was a SFRJmarker amateur champion, and a member of the Yugoslav Second League. FK Novi Pazar qualified for a promotion play-off spot twice, but lost both times. To FK Sutjeska Nikšić in 1994, and to FK Sloboda Užice in 1995.

Popular culture

To the English-speaking world, Novi Pazar is perhaps most familiar because it is the subject of a song in the Thomas Pynchon novel Gravity's Rainbow:

"Nobody knows where it is on the mapWho'd ever think it could start such a flap?Each Montenegrin and Serbian too,Waitin' for something, right outa the blue - oh honey!Pack up my Gladstone 'n' brush off my suit,And then light me up my big fat cigar -If ya want my address,It's that Orient ExpressTo the sanjak of Novi Pazar!"


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