Village During History

The period of Roman Empire

The oldest traces of life in the village originate from Roman era, even though there is some evidence of life in Potpecka Cave originating from Neolithic period. There is a proof that today’s highest village point, Gradina, with a view of 360 degrees, used to be a sort of Roman fortification, which was observatory at the same time. This proof is supported by the existence of the old Turkish (Roman) bridge over the river Derventa nearby Zlakusa. There are Roman necropoleis in the adjoining village of Uzici, whereas the village Visibaba, near Pozega, used to be the biggest Roman settlement in this area.

Byzantine period and the first Serbian state

This area was populated by Slavs at the same time as the other parts of Serbia were. It became part of the first Serbian state founded by Prince Chaslav in the first half of the 10th century and at the beginning of the 12th century, when Stefan Nemanja established Serbian state. When Sveti Sava established Moravicka Eparchy in 1220, with its center in Arilje, it also included this area. When King Dragutin handed the throne to his brother Milutin, King Dragutin kept Uzice’s area for himself. He founded church in Arilje and monastery Raca in that period and between these two endowments was Zlakusa. The greatest prosperity in this area was achieved during Tsar Dusan.

The period of Turkish reign

The development of this area was stopped by Turkish conquest, starting from 1459. Since then Serbian people moved or accepted Islam, whereas Muslim people immigrated. In the 17th century, this area prospered again, while the wars between Austira and Turkey caused great destruction and havoc. This consequently led the First Serbian Uprising in 1804, which was caused by suffering of Serbian people at the beginning of 19th century. So this area constantly passed from hand to hand between Serbian rebels and Turkish authority up to Second Serbian Uprising (1815). After that, the city of Uzice was recovering from war destruction and during the 19th century it became the center of Nahiyah and the second biggest city in Serbia, after Belgrade. Since 1862, after new riots, the Turks started to move from Uzice. The first written traces about the village residents were noted in the second half of 19th century. The name of the village originates from the period of Turkish reign.

The First World War

Only a year after Balkan wars, still exhausted Serbia was forced to take part in new war- The First World War against powerful Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. A great number of Zlakusa’s residents entered Uzice’s army, which participated in the greatest and most famous battles. Numerous residents died in these battles, as well as during the retreat over Albania. The ones who survived later participated in decisive battles on Salonika Front and Kajmakchalan. A few of the village residents, surviving the cruel war, were awarded the Commemorative Medal for the withdrawal of Serbian army through Albania, or Albanian Retreat medal.

The Second World War

This war brought devastation to village residents, as well as the first one. On 18th of August (the day of Local Community Zlakusa) 1941, the first warfare between  Germans and Albanians on one side and Partisans on the other,  took place on Gradina peak. After the battle, Germans went through the village, capturing male residents along the way.  Among the rest, they entered Terzica Avlija, where the first school was placed (1939-1946). The school teacher at the time was National Hero Petar Radovanovic after whom pupil’s dormitory was named. Searching his room, Germans found forbidden communist literature. This led to capturing of Gvozden Terzic and his nephew, who participated in Albanian Retreat in the WWI and in both Balkan wars. They shot and hanged them at village entrance, together with 16 residents. Today there are gallows erected as a monument to remind us of that tragic event.

Postwar period of communism and socialism 

The postwar period marked revival of this area, especially by growth of commercial buildings such as Aluminium and Copper Mills in Sevojno and Prvi Partizan company in Uzice. Great number of residents were employed in these companies. The bridge over Djetinja was built and soon the railway Belgrade- Bar passed by the village.

The period after breakup of Yugoslavia

Agriculture became more and more popular (growing of raspberries, blackberries, plums, flowers), as well as pottery. The village received a status of Local Community. Many tourists were attracted by pottery and potentials of the village. The flourishing of rural tourism started-restaurants and groceries were opened, new tourist households in the village were formed, fishponds were built. Zlakusa gained status as a location significant for the development of city of Uzice and represents eastern tourist point of the city.