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Novo Brdo:
The Largest City in Medieval Serbia
The medieval city of Novo Brdo is situated on the top of the Mala Planina north of Gnjilane. The fortified town
and the settlement date back to the early 14 century.
From the mid-14th century Novo Brdo (in Western sources often referred as Nuovo Monte) became the largest min- ing place in the whole of Serbia and her most important urban centre with roughly 7,000 inhabitants. in the im- mediate vicinity of Novo Brdo, in the suburb of Prilepac, Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović, the martyred hero of the bat- tle of Kosovo was born. Novo Brdo is also a birthplace of famous Serbian writer and poet Vladislav Gramatik, born in the early 15th century.
Silver that was exploited in the mines of Novo Brdo al- so had a small content of gold. apart from majority Serbi- an population, Novo Brdo had various working-related mi- norities, such as merchants from Ragusa (Dubrovnik), Sax- ons from Transylvania, mostly miners, as well as Greeks and albanians. During the reign of the emperor Stefan Dušan, there was a mint and coins with the name of the city started to be minted in 1349. Novo Brdo silver is known by its argentum glame (an alloy of silver with 1/6–1/3 gold). in 1450 the mines of Novo Brdo were producing about 6,000 kg of silver per year. The city remained to be pros- perous during the post-Kosovo period in the Despotate of Serbia, under Despot Stefan Lazarević and his nephew Djuradj Branković in the first half of the 15th century. Des- pot Stefan, son of Prince Lazar, issued a famous Mining
Code (Rudarski zakonik) in Novo Brdo in 1412, regulating economic and administrative rule in the city. The Otto- mans eventually conquered the city in 1455, enslaved its inhabitants, and transferred them to Constantinople. The conquest is described by Konstantin Mihailović from Os- trovica near Novo Brdo in his Memoirs of a Janissary. Kon- stantin Mihailović was taken by the Ottomans along with some 300 other Serbian boys to be converted to islam and trained at the janissary corps of the Ottoman army. The high ranking Serbian officials were immediately executed after the fortress fell in june 1455, while some 700 young

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