Novi Pazar is situated in Western Serbia in the starshaped valley of the rivers Raška, Jošanica, Deževa and Ljudska, neastled underneath Mount Golija and Mount Rogozna. The city is the centre of the Raška region, rich in natural resources and cultural heritage.
Ever since the Roman times, the Raška region has been at a crossroads where routes connecting all four corners of the world meet: from Constantinople to Dubrovnik and Sarajevo, from Budapest through Belgrade to Thessaloniki.
This melting poot of intertwining influences, cultures and traditions has been a defining feature of local life and development. In case of most cities, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when and how they emerged from the mists of time. But Novi Pazar is not one of those cities.
Near the old Serbian mediaeval capital of Ras and the market of Trgovište, from which the first Serbian state ruled by the Nemanjić dynasty flourished in the 12th and 13th Centuries, a new city emerged in the mid-15th Century, named Novi Pazar by the Ottoman general Isa-Beg ishakovi.
The citiy's name, which has remained to this day, is an amalgamation of a European language and a Middle Eastern one: "Novi" means "new" in Serbian, while "Pazar", or bazaar, originates from Persian and denotes an area where goods and services are exchanged and sold.