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Grocka [center]
Serbia

Grocka (Serbian Cyrillic: Гроцка, pronounced [grɔ̌t͡skaː]) is a suburban settlement and one of 17 municipalities which constitute the City of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.

The municipality is located east of Belgrade, 240km from Sokobanja, in the northern part of Šumadija region, with the northern section being part of the Podunavlje macro-region in the valley of the Danube, while the southern section is located around the valley of the Ralja river, which is a tributary to the Velika Morava's arm of Jezava. With an altitude of 71 meters above sea level, the town of Grocka is one of the lowest parts of Belgrade.[3] Other rivers in the municipality are Bolečica and Gročica.

The municipality of Grocka covers an area of 289 km² and includes 15 settlements, all of which are statistically classified as rural, except for the municipal seat of Grocka, which is classified as urban.

The municipality has a population of 75,466 (census 2002), with an estimated 78,825 inhabitants on 31 December 2005 (273 per km²). Thanks to the immigration and the natural increase of all of the city's municipalities, Grocka has been for decades one of the fast growing areas of Belgrade, with an average annual growth of 1.2% in the 2000s. The population boomed in the last 30 years, increasing the number of inhabitants (1971-2005 by 2.23 times; in 1971-81 the population grew by 4.5% annually). As in other similar areas surrounding Belgrade, the rapid population growth has not followed by the equal development of infrastructure (roads, waterworks, sewage system, and waste disposal).


With refugees from Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo and Metohija, it is estimated that the population has already crossed 100,000. Th ethnic structure is, as of the 2002 census: Serbs 94,7%, Montenegrins 0,8%, Roma 0,6%, Ethnic Macedonians 0,5%.
[edit] Economy

In both demographic and economic terms, the municipality is sharply divided into two opposing parts. The western part extends into one urban area with Belgrade, experiencing a boost of both population and economy, as hundreds of small companies are located there (Kaluđerica, Boleč, Leštane, Vinča, Ritopek are some), while the eastern part is agricultural, in particular a fruit growing area, and, apart from the town of Grocka itself, experiencing a net decline in population.

The Microclimate is perfect for the fruit growing and grapevines, so the area east of Boleč is one of the best known fruit growing area in Serbia. Conditions are especially good for growing peaches, apricots, plums, cherries and grapes. Of the other agricultural products, wheat is the most important. The experimental farm of Radmilovac is located near Vinča, as a section of the Agricultural Faculty of the Belgrade University. At the moment, Radmilovac is being expanded as a experimental ground for future agricultural production.

As a result of this, industrial processing of the fruit is developed in Grocka, Vinča and Boleč, where the large plantations and refrigiration plants of the agricultural company PKB Beograd are located. Also, several mills are located in Grocka and Vinča.

Apart from that, the textile industry is also important (Grocka, Dunav factory,aka:Partizanka), while hundreds of small family-owned factories and work shops are located in the settlements in the western part of the municipality.

Some major traffic routes, like the Smederevski put (Smederevo road) and both the railway and highway Belgrade-Niš, pass through the municipal territory. Also, there are several docks in the settlements on the Danube (Vinča, Grocka) with the prospect of a future marina to be built in Grocka in the next few years.

Other important facilities in the municipality are the Geomagnetic observatory in Brestovik, Nuclear Institute (with now defunct nuclear reactor) and Belgrade City dump in Vinča.

Tourism is the most developed part the municipal economy. Almost every village has its own summer festival (like Zlatni kotlić (Golden Cauldron) in Grocka or Dani trešnje (Days of cherry) in Ritopek) and three weekend-settlements (mostly by the inhabitants of Belgrade) are located in Grocka, on the bank of the Danube. The women's monastery of Rajinovac in Begaljica, the possible marina and aqua park in Grocka and the archeological find of Vinča culture are potential opportunities to boost the tourist economy.
[edit] History

The municipality of Grocka became part of the wider Belgrade City area in 1955. In 1957 with the dissolution of the Mali Mokri Lug municipality, the eastern section (the villages of Kaluđerica, Leštane and Vinča) were attached to Grocka. In the early 1960s, the municipalities of Umčari and Vrčin were disbanded and incorporated into the municipality of Grocka as well. Since the elections in 2000,Grocka became the most politically turbulent of all Belgrade municipalities.[citation needed]

Recent presidents of the municipal assembly:

    1992 - 1996 - Bogoljub Stevanić (1943)
    1996 - November 24, 2000 - Milan Janković (1954)
    November 24, 2000 - June 28, 2002 - Vesna R. Ivić (1962)
    June 28, 2002 - December 8, 2002 - Milan Tanasković
    December 8, 2002 - April 15, 2003 - Sava Starčević (1955)
    April 15, 2003 - December 15, 2004 - Vladan Zarić (1972)
    December 15, 2004 - June 23, 2005 - Blažo Stojanović
    June 23, 2005 - November 4, 2005 - Dragoljub Simonović (1959)
    November 4, 2005 - July 2008 Blažo Stojanović (second term)
    July 2008 - Zoran Jovanović

As a result of the economic and demographic discrepancy between the western and eastern parts of the municipality, there is a movement for splitting the municipality in two, or perhaps three parts. Primarily, it is about the division in two, with western half becoming new municipality of Vinča, while eastern remaining the municipality of Grocka. Also, there is a possibility of Vrčin splitting from Grocka and forming new municipality of Avalski Venac with other sub-Avalan settlements in the municipality of Voždovac (Beli Potok, Zuce, Pinosava.
[edit] Town
[edit] Location and population

Grocka is a small town, located on the right bank of the Danube, where the small river of the Gročica (Cyrillic: Грочица) empties into the Danube, 30 km east of Belgrade. Despite being seat of the municipality, in term of population, it is only the fourth largest settlement in the municipality, after Kaluđerica, Vrčin and Leštane. The population of Grocka:

Grocka is at the center of one of the best known fruit growing areas in Serbia. Conditions are especially favorable for growing peaches, apricots, plums, cherries and grapes. Industrial processing of the fruit has been developed. There are also several mills and a textile industry (Kluz factory).

Traffic is also important as Grocka is located on the road of Smederevski put. It also has a small harbor on the Danube, at the Gročica's mouth (which regularly floods Grocka).

Tourism is important for the town's economy, with several festivals during the year (most notably, the Zlatni kotlić). Large weekend-settlement (mostly by the inhabitants of Belgrade) is built on the eastern extension of the town.
[edit] Culture and history

Town has a historical main street with shops, green market and a small administrative center, which has been turned into a pedestrian zone.

The area on which modern town Grocka is located was once part of Limes, a border defense system of Ancient Rome. The remains of several watch-towers and small forts were found in near-by villages along the banks of the Danube river. The town was first time mentioned in 878[where?] under Slavic name Gradec, while present settlement of Grocka was esdtablished in 1550.
[edit] International cooperation

Grocka is twinned with following cities and municipalities[4]:

    Greece Agia Paraskevi, Greece

[edit] See also

    Subdivisions of Belgrade
    List of Belgrade neighborhoods and suburbs
    Battle of Grocka

[edit] References

    ^ "Municipalities of Serbia, 2006". Statistical Office of Serbia. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
    ^ (in Serbian) Popis stanovništva, domaćinstava i Stanova 2002. Knjiga 1: Nacionalna ili etnička pripadnost po naseljima. Statistical Office of Serbia. 2003. ISBN 86-84443-00-09. May be downloaded from: [1]
    ^ Politika, April 20, 2008, front page
    ^ [2] Stalna konferencija gradova i opština. Retrieved on 2007-06-18.

    Mala Prosvetina Enciklopedija, Third edition (1985); Prosveta; ISBN 86-07-00001-2
    Jovan Đ. Marković (1990): Enciklopedijski geografski leksikon Jugoslavije; Svjetlost-Sarajevo; ISBN 86-01-02651-6

Text: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grocka

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Copyright: Saša Stojanović
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Uploaded: 24/09/2011
Updated: 18/09/2014
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Tags: grocka; beograd; serbia; srbija; promenade; europe
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