A župa (or zhupa, županija) is a historical type of administrative division in Central Europe and the Balkans, that originated in medieval Slavic culture, often translated into "county" or "district".[1] It was mentioned for the first time in the 8th century. It was initially used by the South and West Slavs, denoting various territorial units of which the leader was the župan. In modern Croatian and Slovenian, the term župa also means an ecclesiastical parish.[2]


The word "župa" (Bulgarian and Serbian Жупа; adopted into Hungarian: ispán and rendered in Greek as ζουπανία (zoupania, "land ruled by a župan") is derived from Slavic. Its medieval Latin equivalent was comitatus. It is mostly translated into "county" or "district".[3] According to Kmietowicz, it seems that the territorial organization had been created in Polish territories before the Slav Migrations.[4] Some Slavic nations changed its name into "opole", "okolina" and "vierw", but it has survived in župan.[4] Some scholars consider the word's older meaning was "open area in the valley".[2] This interpretation is confirmed by the Bulgarian župa (tomb), Polish zupa and Ukrainian župa (salt mine), and Old Slavonic župište (tomb).[2] As such, the Proto-Slavic *župa wouldn't derive from *gheu-p- (with *gheu- meaning "bend, distort"),[2] yet from Indo-European *g(h)eup-/*gheub- meaning "cavity, pit",[5] which derives from Nostratic *gopa meaning "hollow, empty".[6] However, Albert Bruckner suggested the opposite evolution; župa as a back formation from title župan (for the etymology see corresponding article),[7] which is a borrowing from Iranian languages (*fsu-pāna, "shepherd").[8]

Usage of the division

The division had a widespread distribution, and did not always had a concrete institutional definition.[9] The term župa signified the territorial and administrative unit of a tribe, and later only an administrative unit without tribal feature.[10][2] The South Slavs that settled in Roman lands to a certain degree adopted Roman state organization, but retained their own tribal organization.[11] Slavic tribes were divided into fraternities, each including a certain number of families.[11] The territory inhabited by a tribe was a župa, and its leader was the župan.[11]

The zhupa (plural zhupi) was an administrative unit in the First Bulgarian Empire, a subdivision of a larger unit called comitatus. In these countries, the equivalent of "county" is "judet" (from Latin judicium). The Croats and the Slovaks used the terms županija and župa for the counties in the Kingdom of Croatia and Kingdom of Hungary. German language translation of the word for those counties was komitat (from Latin comitatus, "countship") during the Middle Ages, but later it was gespanschaft (picking up the span root that previously came from župan).


The Croatian word župa signifies both a secular unit (county) and a religious unit (parish), ruled over by a "župan" (count) and "župnik" (parish priest).[12]

Croatian medieval state was divided into eleven ζουπανίας (zoupanias; župas), and the ban ruled over additional three župas Krbava, Lika, and Gacka).[13]

Today the term županija is the name for the Croatian regional government, the counties of Croatia. Mayors of counties hold the title of župan (pl. župani), which is usually translated as "county prefect". In the 19th century, the counties of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia were called županija. The Croats preserved the term župa until the modern times as the name for local clerical units, parishes of the Catholic Church and of the Protestant churches. The parish priest is called župnik.


In c. 1074, the župa is mentioned in Hungary as -spán, also as határispánságok (march, frontier county). The derivative titles were ispán, nominated by the king for not defined time, and gradually replaced by főispán in the 18-19th century; megyésispán, also nominated by the king but could be expelled anytime; alispán was the leader of the jurisdiction in the county if the 'megyésispán' was not available; várispán was more linked to the "vár" (fortress) in Hungary in the times of Árpád.


The Serbs in the Early Middle Ages were organized into župe, a confederation of village communities (roughly the equivalent of a county),[14] headed by a local župan (a magistrate or governor).[15] Thus the title of Grand Župan in Raška in 11th-12th century meant "supreme župan" of župans who ruled over župas.[10]

Dušan's Code (1349) named the administrative hierarchy as following: "lands, cities, župas and krajištes", the župas and krajištes were one and the same, with the župas on the borders were called krajištes (frontier).[16] The župa consisted of villages, and their status, rights and obligations were regulated in the constitution. The ruling nobility possessed hereditary allodial estates, which were worked by dependent sebri, the equivalent of Greek paroikoi; peasants owing labour services, formally bound by decree.[17]

Though the territorial unit today is unused, there are a number of traditional župe in Kosovo, around Prizren: Sredačka Župa, Sirinićka Župa, Gora, Opolje and Prizrenski Podgor. The Serbian language maintains the word in toponyms, the best known being that of the Župa Aleksandrovačka.


The term župa was popularized in Slovak professional literature in the 19th century as a synonym to contemporary Slovak term stolica (county).[18] After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, it was used as the official name of administrative units of Slovakia within Czechoslovakia in 1919 - 1928 and then again in the Slovak Republic during WWII in 1940-1945.[19] Nowadays, the term is used semi-officially as a short alternative name for the self-governing regions of Slovakia.[20] President of the self-governing region is semi-officially called župan.


During World War II, when Slovenia was partitioned between Italy, Hungary, and Germany on 17 April 1941, in the Italian portion, named province of Ljubljana, the new administration was led by an Italian High Commissioner, but there also were Presidents of the Council of Zhupans of Ljubljana: Marko Natlačen (1941), Leon Rupnik (1942-1943).

See also



  1. ^ Gluhak 1990, p. 225, 227.
  2. ^ a b c d e Gluhak 1993, p. 713.
  3. ^ Fine 1991, p. 304.
  4. ^ a b Frank A. Kmietowicz (1976). Ancient Slavs. Worzalla Pub. Co. p. 185, footnote.
  5. ^ Gluhak 1993, p. 713-714.
  6. ^ Gluhak 1993, p. 714.
  7. ^ Alemany 2009, p. 7.
  8. ^ Gluhak 1990, p. 228.
  9. ^ Biliarsky, Ivan (2011). Word and Power in Mediaeval Bulgaria. Brill. p. 368. ISBN 9789004191457.
  10. ^ a b Gluhak 1990, p. 227.
  11. ^ a b c Zagreb. Universitet. Institut za ekonomiku poljoprivrede i sociologiju sela. SOUR za sociologiju sela (1972). The Yugoslav village. Dept. of Rural Sociology. p. 39.
  12. ^ Arturo Carlo Quintavalle, Università di Parma. Centro di studi medioevali, Fondazione Cariparma (2007). Arturo Carlo Quintavalle (ed.). Medioevo: la chiesa e il palazzo : atti del convegno internazionale di studi, Parma, 20-24 settembre 2005 (illustrated ed.). Electa. p. 140.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Živković 2012, p. 144.
  14. ^ Fine 1991, p. 304
  15. ^ Evans 2007, p. xxi
  16. ^ Radovanović 2002, p. 5
  17. ^ p. 290
  18. ^ "Terminológia verejnej správy na Slovensku" (PDF). Komunálne výskumné a poradenské centrum. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  19. ^ Univerzita Karlova (2005). Acta Universitatis Carolinae: Geographica, Volume 38, Issue 1. Universita Karlova. p. 146.
  20. ^ "Slovo župa je praslovanského pôvodu, aj tak ho nechceme". Sme. 3 October 2009. Retrieved 1 March 2016.


Centar Župa

Centar Župa (Macedonian: Центар Жупа ; Turkish: Merkez Jupa) is a village and seat in the municipality of Centar Župa, Republic of Macedonia. The town inhabited mainly by Turks.

Centar Župa Municipality

Centar Župa (Macedonian: Центар Жупа ; Turkish: Merkez Jupa) is a municipality in western part of North Macedonia. Centar Župa is also the name of the village where the municipal seat is found. Centar Župa Municipality is part of the Southwestern Statistical Region.

Dolno Melničani

Dolno Melničani (Macedonian: Долно Мелничани) is a village in the municipality of Centar Župa, Republic of Macedonia.

Evla, Centar Župa

Evla, also Dolno Elevci (Macedonian: Евла, Turkish: Elessa) is a village in the municipality of Centar Župa, Republic of Macedonia.


Glavatičevo is a small village in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The village lies 30 km southeast of Konjic, within the wide Župa Valley (also Komska Župa and Konjička Župa) (English: Parish = Bosnian: Župa) straddling the Neretva river, in Konjic Municipality, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Gorenci, Centar Župa

Gorenci (Macedonian: Горенци) is a village in the municipality of Centar Župa, Republic of Macedonia.

Grand Župan

Grand, Great or Chief Župan (transl. Grand Prince, Latin: magnus iupanus, Greek: ζουπανος μεγας, zoupanos megas) is the English rendering of a South Slavic title which relate etymologically to Župan (originally a pater familias, later the tribal chief of a unit called župa) like a Russian Grand Prince to a Knyaz (rendered as Prince or Duke depending on administration).


Kodžadžik (Macedonian: Коџаџик, Turkish: Kocacık) is a village in the municipality of Centar Župa, North Macedonia.


Kumanovo (Macedonian: Куманово [kuˈmanɔvɔ] (listen) Albanian: Kumanovë); also known by other alternative names) is a city in North Macedonia and is the seat of Kumanovo Municipality, the largest municipality in the country. Municipal institutions include a city council, mayor, and other administrative bodies.

Nyitra County

Nyitra County (Hungarian: Nyitra vármegye; German: Neutraer Gespanschaft/Komitat Neutra; Latin: Comitatus Nitriensis; Slovak: Nitriansky komitát / Nitrianska stolica / Nitrianska župa) was an administrative county (comitatus) of the Kingdom of Hungary. Its territory lay in what is now western Slovakia.

Pozsony County

Pozsony county was an administrative county (comitatus) of the Kingdom of Hungary. Its territory lies in present-day western Slovakia.

Its name changed along with that of the city of Pressburg (Hungarian: Pozsony, today's Bratislava). Its names around 1900 were Pozsony vármegye in Hungarian, Prešpurská župa in Slovak and Preßburger Gespanschaft in German.


Preševo (Serbian Cyrillic: Прешево, pronounced [prêʃeʋo], Albanian: Preshevë), is a town and municipality located in the Pčinja District of southern Serbia. It is the southernmost town in Serbia (excluding Kosovo) and largest in the geographical region of Preševo Valley.

Preševo is the cultural center of Albanians in Serbia. According to the 2002 census, the town of Preševo had a population of 13,426 people, while the municipality had 34,904 inhabitants. Albanians form the ethnic majority of the municipality, followed by Serbs, Roma and other ethnic groups.

Prizrenski Podgor

Prizrenski Podgor (Serbian Cyrillic: Призренски Подгор) is a geographical region in Kosovo, stretching from the branches of the Šar Mountains, from Prizren to the village of Dulje on the Crnoljeva mountain. It includes the eastern and northeastern part of the Prizren basin (Prizrenska kotlina) and presents its border region towards the Šar župe of Sirinićka župa and Sredačka župa. It is a sub-region of Metohija. It includes the villages of Skorobišta, Dojnica, Grnčare, Novo Selo, Vrbičane, and the urban settlements of Kurilo and Baždarana, and suburb Ljubižda, of Prizren. It is inhabited by Albanians, Slavic Muslims, and Serbs.

Sirinićka župa

Sirinić or Sirinićka Župa (Serbian: Сиринић/Сиринићка Жупа) was a župa (community of villages, a county) of Medieval Serbia. Today it exists as a historical term for a region that covers 247 km2 (95 sq mi), including all of the Štrpce municipality in Kosovo, which borders it mostly overlaps, hence the article also comprises the History of Štrpce. The region is inhabited by mostly ethnic Serbs, who, as a result of isolation, have maintained archaic folk customs, folklore and language.

Southwestern Statistical Region

The Southwestern Statistical Region (Macedonian: Југозападен регион, Albanian: Rajoni jugperëndimor) is one of eight statistical regions of North Macedonia. Southwestern, located in the west and southwestern part of the country, borders Albania to the west. Internally, it borders the Pelagonia, Polog, Skopje, and Vardar statistical regions.

Sredačka župa

Sredačka Župa (Serbian Cyrillic: Средачка Жупа; "county of Sredska") is a remote geographical region, a valley, in southeastern Kosovo, below the Šar Mountains at the source of the Prizrenska Bistrica.

Trencsén County

Trencsén county (Latin: comitatus Trentsiniensis / Trenchiniensis; Hungarian: Trencsén (vár)megye; Slovak: Trenčiansky komitát / Trenčianska stolica / Trenčianska župa; German: Trentschiner Gespanschaft / Komitat) was an administrative county (comitatus) of the Kingdom of Hungary. Its territory is now in western Slovakia.

Župa, Trbovlje

Župa (pronounced [ˈʒuːpa]) is a settlement in the Municipality of Trbovlje in central Slovenia. It lies in the hills above the right bank of the Sava River east of Dobovec. Traditionally the area was part of the Lower Carniola region. It is now included with the rest of the municipality in the Central Sava Statistical Region.

Župa dubrovačka

Župa dubrovačka is a valley, a group of towns and a municipality of Dubrovnik-Neretva County in south-eastern Croatia. It has 8,331 inhabitants, 93% of which are Croats.

Župa dubrovačka stretches between Dubrovnik, the old Ragusa in the west and Cavtat, the ancient Epidaurus in the east, between the settlements of Dubac and Plat. The three islands Supetar, Mrkan and Bobara anchored right in front of the bay protect it from the open sea and from the north the hilly slopes of the Upper Župa. Tourist resorts are clustered along the coast. Župa dubrovačka is underdeveloped municipality which is statistically classified as the First Category Area of Special State Concern by the Government of Croatia.


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