NOVIBAZAR, NOVI-BAZAR, or Novipazar (ancient Rassia, Rascia, or Rashka, Turkish Yenipazar, i.e. " New Market"), a sanjak of European Turkey, in the vilayet of Kossovo. Pop. (1905) about 170,000. Novibazar is a mountainous region, watered by the Lim, which flows north into Bosnia, and by several small tributaries of the Servian Ibar. About threefourths of the inhabitants are Christian Serbs, and the remainder are chiefly Moslem Albanians, with a few gipsies, Turkish officials and about 3000 Austro-Hungarian soldiers. The local trade is mainly agricultural. The sanjak is of great strategic importance, for it is the N.W. part of the Turkish empire, on the direct route between Bosnia and Salonica, and forms a wedge of Turkish territory between Servia and Montenegro. The union of these powers, combined with the annexation of Novibazar, would have impeded the extension of Austrian influence towards Salonica. But by the treaty of Berlin (1878) Austria-Hungary was empowered to garrison the towns of Byelopolye, Priyepolye, Plevlye and other strategic points within the sanjak, although the entire civil administration remained in Turkish hands. This decision was enforced in 1879. The chief approaches from Servia and Montenegro have also been strongly fortified by the Turks.
Novibazar, the capital of the sanjak, is a town of about 12,000 inhabitants, on the site of the ancient Servian city of Rassia. Near it there are Roman baths, and the old church of St Peter and St. Paul, the metropolitan church of the bishopric of Rassia, in which Stephen Nemanya, king of Servia, passed from the Roman to the Greek Church in 1143.
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This page was last modified 29-SEP-18
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