The Krajina Museum
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The birth house of Stevan St. Mokranjac
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For nine decades, the Krajina Museum preserves evidence of the rich history and traditions of the Negotin region. One of the first complex museums south of Belgrade faithfully portrays complex historical events and personalities from the region – First Serbian Uprising hero Hajduk Veljko and the most important Serbian composer Stevan Mokranjac. In jurisdiction of the Museum are centuries-old spiritual and secular buildings and ancient sites that give an additional historical value to the Negotin region. The objects themselves – The central building of the Krajina Museum, Mokranjac House, and the Museum of Hajduk Veljko are located near the center of Negotin town and open to visitors every day of the week. About 20,000 people visit the Museum annually.

Archaeological site Vrelo-Šarkamen

Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac (1856–2014 )

Stevan Stojanovic Mokranjac is one of the most significant musical individuals in Serbia at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. He was a composer, a conductor, pedagogue, a chamber musician, melographer in the field of secular and religious music, writer of the studies on folklore and religious material and one of the founders of the first Music school in Serbia. He was born in Negotin on January 9th 1856.

He finished elementary school and semi-grammar school in Negotin. Upon completion of the semi-grammar school, in 1870, he moved to Belgrade with his mother, where he enrolled in the V Gymnasium class. In Belgrade he began to study music more seriously. During that period he composed his first works: a choir composition My silver ornamented pipe and a composition Evening bells. In 1873 he became a member of the First Belgrade Choral Society, where he distinguished himself both as a singer and as a substitute and assistant of the choir conductor Davorin Jenko.

The Belgrade Choral Society sent him to Munich Conservatory in 1879, where he studied harmony and composition with professor J. Reinberger. In 1883 he interrupted his studies in the third year, and went back to Belgrade to become the choir conductor of the Choral  Society Kornelije. His success, both as a choir conductor and as the composer of the First Garland and Requiem in B minor, won him another scholarship, so he went to Rome where he studied polyphony with A. Parisotti in 1884/85. He continued his studies in Leipzig, where he advanced in musical theory and conducting whith professors S. Jadassohn and K. Reinecke. For the second time, he loses his state scholarship and is forced to return. Upon his return to Belgrade in 1887, he became the conductor of the First Belgrade Choral Society.

Creative work of Stevan Mokranjac is based solely on the choral music of secular and religious contents, with few instrumental pieces (Five fugues for strings, theatre music for Ivkova slava) and several solo songs for voice and piano (ballades Led edim, Three heroes and Winter days). The most important part of his opus are “Rukoveti”, fifteen of them, written between 1883 and 1909.

He left Belgrade in 1914, and moved to Skopje to avoid World War I. At night between 28th and 29th September 1914, Stevan Mokranjac died in his fifty-ninth year. He was buried in the Skopje cemetery. The Belgrade Singing Society transferred the remains from Skopje to Belgrade in 1923. He was buried at the New Cemetery.

Memorial room of Momčilo St. Mokranjac

Hajduk Veljko Petrović (1780–1813)

Hajduk Veljko Petrović, the duke of Negotin nahia, was born in 1780 in Lenovac near Zaječar. He left his father’s home early and became a shepherd for a Turk in Vidin, and from 1803 he joined the hajduk company of Stanoje Glavaš. After that, he approached the chief of Smederevo nahia, duke Đuša Vulićević. When the duke died, Hajduk Veljko stayed with his brother Vujica. In 1807 the centre of the Uprising was transferred to Negotin Region. The war fame of Hajduk Veljko began the same year, when he became a  boluk-bashi ( an Ottoman officer rank equivalent to captain) and got permission from the Sovjet (Governing council) to start a rebellion in Krivi Vir and Crna Reka, and in 1809 he defended Banja from the Turks. However, a year later, on August 21st, 1811, after the sudden death of Miša Karapandžić, Karađorđe appointed Hajduk Veljko Petrović the duke of Negotin nahia.

In 1813, the Turks sent their scouting party to Negotin, but Hajduk Veljko met them at the village of Bukovče, and beat them severely. However, after that, the Turks gained reinforcements and began to occupy Negotin with 16,000 soldiers, while Negotin was defended by 3,000 Serbs. After fifteen days of siege, the army was exhausted, and the help Veljko sought did not arrive. The ammunition was at the end, so Veljko ordered that all metal objects should be collected, melted down and cast into bullets. At the time of the breakdown of the Serbian Uprising in 1813, the battle for Negotin was one of its more dramatic episodes. Negotin hero was killed on 11th August,  the nineteenth day of the defense, at Abraš trench, while looking in on his soldiers and encouraging them to carry on. The last word he pronounced, i.e. half of it, was: “Hold …”, and then he fell dead near the trench. The brigands took away the dead Veljko from the battlefield, so that the Turks would not find him. That same night he was buried in the port of the Old Negotin church.