Vranje

Vranje is a city and municipality located in southern Serbia. In 2002 the city had total population of 55,052, while population of municipality was 87,288. It is the administrative center of the Pčinja District of Serbia. Municipality of Vranje is located between municipalities of Bujanovac, Trgovište, Bosilegrad, Surdulica, Vladičin Han, Leskovac, and Kosovska Kamenica (which is in Kosovo).

Vranje is an agricultural centre and was historically an important Ottoman trading site. The White bridge (hamamm) is a symbol of the city and is called most ljubavi (Lovers bridge) after the tale about the forbidden love between the Muslim girl Ajša and Christian Stojan that resulted in the father shooting at the couple, killing her daughter instead of the boy, he built the bridge where he had shot her and had the story in-scripted in Ottoman Arabic. The 11th century Markova kula fortress is in the north of the city. The city has traditional Balkan architecture as well as Ottoman. The well-known theater play “Kostana” by Bora Stankovic is placed in Vranje.

Vranje is famous for its popular, old music, lively and melancholic at the same time. The best known music is from the theater piece with music “Kostana”, by Bora Stankovic. This original music style has been renewed recently by taking quite different and quite specific, and more oriental form, with rich brass instruments contribution. It is played particularly by the Vranje Roma, who are often referred to as Gypsies (a derogatory term which wrongly implies their Egyptian origin).

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