Panorama of Zvečan
Panorama of Zvečan
Official logo of Zvečan
Location of the municipality of Zvečan within Kosovo
Location of the municipality of Zvečan within Kosovo
Coordinates: 42°54′N 20°50′E / 42.900°N 20.833°E / 42.900; 20.833Coordinates: 42°54′N 20°50′E / 42.900°N 20.833°E / 42.900; 20.833
Location Kosovo[a]
District District of Mitrovica
Settlements 36
 • Provisional president Dragiša Milović (SL)
 • Total 122 km2 (47 sq mi)
461 m (1,512 ft)
 • Total 16,650
 • Density 140/km2 (350/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code(s) +383(0)28
Car plates 02
Climate Cfb
Website www.opstinazvecan.rs

Zvečan (Serbian Cyrillic: Звечан) or Zveçan (definite Albanian form: Zveçani) is a town and municipality located in the Mitrovica District in Kosovo.[a] As of 2015, it has a population of 16,650 inhabitants.[1] It covers an area of 122 km2 (47 sq mi), and consists of a town and 35 villages.

Zvečan is a part of North Kosovo, a region with an ethnic Serb majority that functions largely autonomously from the remainder of ethnic Albanian-majority Kosovo. According to the 2013 Brussels Agreement, the municipality should become a part of the Community of Serb Municipalities once they are established.


The town of Zvečan is located near Mitrovica. It was mentioned for the first time in connection with the border clashes between the Serbs and Byzantines between 1091 and 1094. There is also an inscription that Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja, after the victory over the Byzantines in 1170, ordered that a prayer for the successful outcome of the battle be held in the church of St George at Zvečan.

In the 13th and 14th centuries Zvečan was one of the royal residences of the Serbian court. Queen Theodora died there in December 1322, and nine years later her husband, Stefan Uroš III was imprisoned and strangled there.[2]

First, the Musić, then the Vojinović noble family, held the fortified city and region during the Serbian Empire of Uroš V (r. 1355–1371). As imperial power collapsed Zvečan was in a disputed zone being held by nobleman Miloš Pović in 1370 but claimed by Nikola Altomanović.[3][4]

In 1389, after the Battle of Kosovo, it was integrated into the Ottoman Empire and later became part of the Sanjak of Novi Pazar.[5]

From 1878 to 1908 it, along with the rest of the Sanjak, was administered by the Austro-Hungarian Empire as a result of the Congress of Berlin. But in 1908 it was returned to Turkey.[citation needed]

On the highest spot, i.e., the Upper Town, there are remains of St George's church, cistern and the main octagonal tower. The ramparts of this part of the fort are reinforced by massive towers. The main entrance to the town was on the western side.[citation needed]


Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1981 8,675 —    
1991 10,030 +1.46%
2015 16,650 +2.13%

According to the 2011 estimations by the Government of Kosovo, Zvečan has 1,838 households and 7,481 inhabitants.[6] In 2015 report by OSCE, the population of Zvečan municipality stands at 16,650 inhabitants.[1]

Ethnic groups

The majority of Zvečan municipality is composed of Kosovo Serbs with around 16,000 inhabitants (95.1%). Also, there are 500 Kosovo Albanians and 300 inhabitants of other ethnicity.[1] About 3,750 Kosovo Serbs are located in the municipality as Internally displaced persons (IDPs) as well as 250 refugees from Croatia. Most of Kosovo Albanians live in the villages of Boletin (Boljetin), Lipë (Lipa) and Zhazhë (Žaža).

The ethnic composition of the municipality of Zvečan, including IDPs:[1]

Ethnic group 2015 est.
Serbs 15,850
Albanians 500
Bosniaks, Romani, Gorani 300
Others -
Total 16,650


The largest employer in Zvečan is the lead and zinc melting factory “Trepča”. Its large smokestack is with 306 meters the tallest structure in Kosovo. Due to the serious environmental pollution from the factory, however, UN and KFOR shut it down and the only ongoing operation is alloy production for batteries and battery recycling. Once employing up to 4,000, the very low operations of "Trepča" has had a devastating effect on the local economy. Today, in the municipality only about 500 people are working at 60 small private companies and 150 shops.[1]

Culture and education

The Faculty of Arts, part of the University of Priština at Mitrovica, is situated at Zvečan.

Zvečan has hosted annually two international music festivals: The North City, Jazz & Blues Festival,[1][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] and international rock festival Overdrive,[14] as well as international art colony Sokolica[15] and children song festival Cvrkuti sa Ibra (Chirrups from the Ibar River).

The Zvečan Fortress and Sokolica Monastery, both from the Middle Ages, have been located in the Zvečan area.[1]


See also