Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct,.mw-parser-output .geo-inline-hidden{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}43°53′N 20°21′E / 43.883°N 20.350°E / 43.883; 20.350

City in Šumadija and Western Serbia, Serbia

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Чачак (Serbian)
City of Čačak
From top: Panorama at night, Bridges on West Morava, Church of Ascension of Jesus, Hotel “Belgrade”, Čačak’s Library, Čačak’s gymnasium, National Museum
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Coat of arms of Čačak

Etymology: frozen (or dried) mud (archaic)
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Čačak is located in Serbia

Location within Serbia
Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct,.mw-parser-output .geo-inline-hidden{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}43°53′N 20°21′E / 43.883°N 20.350°E / 43.883; 20.350
Country  Serbia
Region Šumadija and Western Serbia
District Moravica
Settlements 58

 • Mayor Milun Todorović (SNS)

 • Rank 43rd in Serbia
 • Urban 36.77 km2 (14.20 sq mi)
 • Administrative 636 km2 (246 sq mi)

242 m (794 ft)
Highest elevation

985 m (3,232 ft)
Lowest elevation

204 m (669 ft)

 (2022 census)[3]
 • Rank 12th in Serbia
 • Urban

 • Urban density 1,900/km2 (4,900/sq mi)
 • Administrative

 • Administrative density 170/km2 (430/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code +381(0)32
ISO 3166 code SRB
Car plates ČA
Climate Cfb
Website www.cacak.org.rs

Čačak (Serbian Cyrillic: Чачак, .mw-parser-output .IPA-label-small{font-size:85%}.mw-parser-output .references .IPA-label-small,.mw-parser-output .infobox .IPA-label-small,.mw-parser-output .navbox .IPA-label-small{font-size:100%}pronounced [tʃǎːtʃak]) is a city and the administrative center of the Moravica District in central Serbia. It is located in the West Morava Valley. As of the 2022 census, the city within administrative borders has a population of 105,612 inhabitants.[3]

The city lies about 144 km south of the Serbian capital, Belgrade. It is also located near the Ovčar-Kablar Gorge (“Serbian Mount Athos“), with over 30 monasteries built in the gorge since the 14th century.[4][5]


Located for the most part in western Morava Valley, the city of Čačak forms a link between the undulating hills of Šumadija in the north and the hilly and mountainous areas of the inner Dinaric Alps in the south. The central part of the city is the Čačak basin, located between the mountains of Jelica in the south, Ovčar and Kablar in the west and Vujan in the north, while in the east it is open to the Kraljevo basin. These mountains gently and undulatingly descend towards the Čačak basin, the town of Čačak and the West Morava river.

The city administrative area covers 636 square kilometres (246 sq mi) and contains:

  • the Čačak valley, with an altitude between 204 and 300 m (669 and 984 ft)
  • hills between 300 and 500 m (980 and 1,640 ft) high
  • the mountains Jelica to the south, Vujan to the northeast, and Ovčar and Kablar to the west


Čačak has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfb). The average temperature of the city and its vicinity is 10.47 °C (50.85 °F) with 74.1% humidity, and it is characterized by warm summers and cold winters. Winds blow from the north and northeast and rarely from the west because of the mountains that block them. The average temperature in August is 20.6 °C (69.1 °F), while in January it is 0.5 °C (32.9 °F). There are on average 38 days with snow during the year. The average wind speed is 2.3 metres per second (5.1 mph). The usual number of foggy days is 54. The average yearly precipitation is 802 mm (31.6 in).[6]

There are a few recorded instances of sandstorms originating in the Sahara arriving to the town.

Climate data for Čačak
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 4.0
Daily mean °C (°F) −0.5
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −4.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 55
Average relative humidity (%) 82 78 72 69 72 71 66 64 71 78 80 83 74
Source: Climate-Data.org[7]



The original name of the town was Gradac (meaning “little town”), which developed around the Moravski Gradac monastery, built in the late 12th century. First mention of the name Čačak was in a document issued by the Republic of Ragusa. Dated on 3 January 1409, it refers to the events from 18 December 1408, and this date is today the official Čačak Town Day.[8][9][10]

The origin of the name is obscured today. However, several dictionaries from the 19th and even from the 20th century, including works of major linguists Vuk Stefanović Karadžić and Đuro Daničić, mention words čačak and the corresponding adjective čačkovit, meaning (lumps of) frozen or dried mud, or lumps of stone protruding from the ground. The widening along the West Morava where Čačak is located, was indeed regularly flooded until the 20th century. Daničić suggested that the origin of the word is the root skak (skakati means jumping in Serbian). The word and its variants completely disappeared from Serbian language today, but some other toponymy of the same origin were preserved, like in the name of the Čakor [sr] mountain.[8]

In time, erroneous but widespread theory developed, claiming that the name indeed means “mud”, but that it is of Turkish origin. At the time of the name’s first mention this region wasn’t occupied by the Ottoman Empire yet, mud is called differently in Turkish language, nor there is a Turkish word corresponding vocally to čačak.[8]


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The region has several archaeological sites, dating from prehistory to the present, the oldest from the 15th century BC.[11]

Princely tombs of an Illyrian type (Glasinac culture) were found in two mounds of Atenica with Ionian glass, glass-paste, an amber bead depicting a swan, and an Attic plaque of a wild boar, all dating to the late 6th century BC.[12] More ornithomorphic fibulae of bronze swans were found in Mojsinje.[13][14]

Prehistoric tumuli have been unearthed in Mrčajevci.[15] The Triballi and Scordisci tribes lived in this area by the time of Roman conquest.

Roman era[edit]

The Roman thermae in Čačak

The town was inhabited in Roman times, with traces of the Roman settlement still visible today, like Roman Thermae built in the 2nd to 4th century period. These still stand behind a secondary school in the center of Čačak.

Nearby, in the village of Gradina at the foot of the Jelica mountain, a Roman compound (fort) with a martyrium and necropolis has been excavated, with three churches, one of which produced a
pentanummion for the late Roman Emperor Justinian in the 526–537 period. Justinian is also believed to have founded the fort in the 530s. The presence of burnt layers on the sight could be evidence that the settlement was destroyed in the conflict that characterized the region following the barbarian invasions of the late Roman Empire. In the same region, in the 6th century, four other forts were built.[16]

Middle Ages[edit]

Slavs settled the area during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (610–641). From 1168 to 1189, after incorporation into the First Bulgarian Empire and then various Serbian states, Stefan Nemanja‘s brother Stracimir Zavidović controlled the West Morava region, including the city, then known as Gradac. Stracimir, a Serbian župan, raised the Church of Our Lady of Moravian Gradac at the highest point of the town.

In 1459, the Turks completed their conquest of the area, incorporating it into the Sanjak of Smederevo and converting Stracimir’s church into a mosque. The town’s name was changed from Gradac to the current Čačak.

16th century–present[edit]

Evliya Çelebi, an Ottoman explorer of the 16th and 17th centuries, described Čačak as the main place in the local kadiluk. In 1717, Čačak became a part of the Habsburg Empire after the Austrians defeated Ottomans, signing the Treaty of Passarowitz. Austrian rule was short-lived, and 21 years later Čačak would again become a part of the Ottoman Empire. Most of Čačak’s Serb residents at the time of reconquest had deserted the town, migrating north safety in the Habsburg Empire. In their stead were settlers from Montenegro, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Vlachs from the countryside nearby.

Čačak at the beginning of 20th century

Čačak has two years on its coat of arms. The first is 1408, in which Ragusan archives first name the town. The second is 1815, the year the Second Serbian Uprising began and the year the Battle of Ljubić was fought in the hills near Čačak. This battle is famous for one of the greatest Serbian rebel victories. Then a small group, the rebels defeated a much stronger Ottoman army numbering 5,000–12,000 men.[citation needed] Soon after, the Principality of Serbia, one of the first nations liberated from Ottoman rule, secured its independence.

In 1837, one of the first Serbian grammar schools was completed. In the 1837–1941 period Čačak gradually modernized, with its town center modeled in a Vienna Secession style popular at the time and standing to this day. During World War II, Čačak was part of the short-lived Republic of Užice, which, while the first liberated territory in Europe, was cut off by German forces shortly after it was founded. On 4 December 1944 Čačak was finally liberated by the Yugoslav Partisans. It has since evolved into a large town and a regional center, later being given the official status of a city within today’s Republic of Serbia.


Aside from the urban area of the city, the administrative area includes the following 58 settlements:

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Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1948 70,032 —    
1953 75,485 +1.51%
1961 85,439 +1.56%
1971 97,924 +1.37%
1981 110,801 +1.24%
1991 116,808 +0.53%
2002 117,072 +0.02%
2011 115,337 −0.17%
2022 106,453 −0.73%
Source: [17][3]

As of 2011 census, the city’s administrative area or municipality has 115,337 inhabitants, with 73,331 living in Čačak proper. As of 2022 census, the city within administrative borders has a population of 106,453 inhabitants.[3]

The city of Čačak has 38,590 households with 2.99 members on average. The number of homes is 51,482.[18]

The city’s religious structure is predominantly Serbian Orthodox (110,281), with minorities including atheists (577), Catholics (168), Muslims (73), Protestants (21) and others.[19] Virtually the entire population speaks the Serbian language (112,505).[19]

The composition of population by gender and average age:[19]

  • Male – 55,995 (41.42 years) and
  • Female – 59,342 (43.95 years).

A total of 53,543 citizens older than 15 have a secondary education (54.01%), while 14,823 citizens have some sort of tertiary education (14.95%). Of those with a tertiary education, 9,386 (9.47%) have university education.[20]

Ethnic groups[edit]

The city is mostly inhabited by Serbs (95.3%), followed by minorities of Roma, Montenegrins and other ethnic groups.

Being located on a crossroads between the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary during the 19th century, Čačak was home even to people of ethnicities that were not common in Čačak’s region. One such example was a small Armenian community which began to settle from 1885, fleeing the forcible draft into the Ottoman army and the general oppression against the Armenians in the empire.[21] Most members of this community worked in the coffee business. By the 1950s most of them had emigrated as the new Communist authorities, in the massive process of nationalization after World War II, confiscated Armenian businesses.[21]

The ethnic composition of the city is given in the following table (as of 2011 census):[22]

Ethnic group Population %
Serbs 110,886 96.14%
Roma 530 0.46%
Montenegrins 328 0.28%
Croats 105 0.09%
Yugoslavs 117 0.10%
Macedonians 112 0.10%
Russians 34 0.03%
Others 3,225 2.80%
Total 115,337

Society and culture[edit]

View on Dom kulture Čačak

This city traversed a long and thorny road from an anonymous settlement to a modern city in the 21st century. The very face of the city, as seen in the facades, monuments, and cultural establishments, is the reflection of the artistic spirit of its inhabitants.[citation needed]

During the theatrical season there are numerous theatrical ensembles on tour from all of Serbia at cultural centre Dom kulture Čačak. Centre is home to “Drama Studio” and schools of ballet, fine art and sculpture. The exhibitions and performances, cultural and literary evenings are held at numerous places such as: “City Library Čačak”, “Nadežda Petrović” and “Risim” galleries, “National Museum” in Čačak, “Salon of Photography” and “Inter-Municipal Archive” among many others. The current artwork production in the city can be followed through the auspices of groups and associations, private galleries, colonies and numerous enthusiasts.[23]

Fine art and sculpture colonies are most often held at the Ovčar Banja spa resort. There are numerous cultural, musical, entertainment and tourist manifestations within the city and close surroundings, which attract multitudes of followers of ethno-culture, original folk music, like the “Dis spring”,[24] Memorial to Nadežda Petrović and the “Flute festival” in the nearby village of Prislonica.[25] Also, newly established festivals “DUK Festival” and rock festival “Priča” attract younger population from the city and its region.[26][27][28] Čačak is also home to events such as “Pitijada”, “Kupusijada”, “Fijakerijada” and other festivals that celebrate old traditions belonging to Serbs.[29]

In Guča, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south from Čačak, every year the Guča trumpet festival is held, one of the most popular festivals in the Balkans, alongside the Exit festival in (Novi Sad).


There are two faculties located in Čačak, which are a part of the University of Kragujevac:

There are seven secondary schools:

  • Čačak’s Grammar School (one of the oldest grammar schools in Serbia, 1837)
  • High School of Economics
  • Technical High School
  • Medicine High School
  • Machine High School
  • Musical High School
  • F&C School

There are many primary schools and childcare centers.


Borac Hall, February 2019
Čačak Stadium, February 2019

The “Mladost Sports Center” which is located on the coast of West Morava River, next to the Čačak Stadium, two faculties and numerous other important buildings, offers many sports venues for locals.[30] The whole area where the Sports Center is located is the town’s most important entertainment area.[30]

Čačak is nationally famous for its clubs in various team sports; the most popular ones are basketball, football and handball. The basketball club Borac Čačak and football club Borac Čačak have been participating in the top-tier leagues of Serbia for many consecutive years with much success. Women’s handball is also very successful and popular.


In the vicinity of Čačak there are more than 20 churches and monasteries, the largest number found on such a small area in Serbia. They represent cultural and historic monuments of great significance. The most important ones are the Church of the Ascension of Jesus, a church on Ljubić hill dedicated to Saint Tsar Lazar, as well as the Vujan Monastery located on a nearby mountain of the same name. Special value is attributed to the monasteries of the Ovčar-Kablar Gorge, which as a cultural and historic whole date back to the Middle Ages and represent the particularity of the region’s cultural and artistic heritage created over the centuries. There are 12 monasteries and churches in the gorge:

  • Uspenje
  • Vavedenje
  • Jovanje
  • Nikolje
  • Blagoveštenje
  • Vaznesenje
  • Preobraženje
  • Sretenje
  • Sveta Trojica
  • Ilinje
  • Savinje
  • Kadjenica

Thermal and mineral springs with medicinal properties provide the basis for the development of recreational tourism. There are three spa resorts within the territory of the city of Čačak: Gornja Trepča, Ovčar Banja and Slatinska Banja. There are also picnic sites: Gradina and the “Battle and victory” park (also called “Spomen” (remembrance) park) on the Jelica mountain, the Memorial complex on Ljubić hill, Grujine fields, rafts on West Morava river in Beljina, Parmenac, Međuvršje and Ovčar Banja, and picnic sites on the tiny rivers called Dičina, Kamenica, Čemernica and Banja.

Image gallery[edit]


Fruit Research Institute in Čačak

The structure of the economy of the city of Čačak is composed of services and trade, industry and agriculture. The main processing industries are paper production, electric home appliances, blade tools for the processing of metal, non-metals, chemical industry products, thermal technical appliances, metal and combined carpentry, parts and kits for the pharmaceutical industry and products for medical needs. Also, well developed are wood, lumber industry and agriculture.

Many companies with more than 250 employees have deteriorated due to the sanctions in the 1990s. Since 2000, more than 40 government-owned companies have gone through the privatization process.[31]

Private enterprise, which has its tradition from back in the 19th century, is the primary characteristic of the economy of the city. As of January 2017, 98.65% of all business enterprises are small and micro companies.[32] A large number of private companies grew into middle-size companies with 80 to 270 employees offering a wide variety of products.[33] Today, on the territory of the city of Čačak, among the largest employers are Sloboda, Technical Overhaul Military Institute (Remont), Hospital Čačak, Fabrika reznog alata and P.S. Fashion. Čačak also has the prestigious and country’s unique Fruit Research Institute located in city center zone.

For the 2017 calendar year, business enterprises in Čačak imported the goods in value of 269 million euros, and exported goods in value of 171 million euros.[34] The coverage of imports by exports was 64%.[34]

Economic preview

The following table gives a preview of total number of registered people employed in legal entities per their core activity (as of 2019):[35]

Activity Total
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 190
Mining and quarrying 107
Manufacturing 10,470
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 370
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 423
Construction 1,251
Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 7,179
Transportation and storage 3,029
Accommodation and food services 1,595
Information and communication 639
Financial and insurance activities 570
Real estate activities 101
Professional, scientific and technical activities 985
Administrative and support service activities 1,089
Public administration and defense; compulsory social security 1,414
Education 2,180
Human health and social work activities 2,188
Arts, entertainment and recreation 506
Other service activities 511
Individual agricultural workers 664
Total 35,461


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Railways in Čačak
to Požega
Ovčar Banja
Bridge over West Morava
Bridge over West Morava
Bridge over Kamenica
Bridge over West Morava
Sloboda Čačak
to Kraljevo

Due to its geographical position, Čačak is the main road transportation center in Western Serbia. As of August 2019, Miloš the Great motorway, which is projected to run from Belgrade to border with Montenegro, is in service from Belgrade bypass to Čačak with several other sections currently under construction.[36] Also, the A5 motorway is planned and it will run from Čačak to Pojate, thus connecting two main motorways in Serbia. Čačak also lies on State Road 22 and State Road 23, two main highways in Western Serbia.

A railway from Kraljevo to Požega passes through Čačak, thus connecting the city with Belgrade–Bar railway (one of country’s main railways). The Morava Airport, one of country’s three international airports, was opened in 2019 for civil airplanes and is located between Čačak and Kraljevo.

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Čačak is twinned with:

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]

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