Archeological finds from the Neolithic period were discovered at Megara cave at Stapari village, and Potpeć Cave. As it was confirmed by the Studenica monastery charter dating from 1196, the area became part of the medieval Serbian state ruled by Stefan Nemanja, founder of the Nemanjić dynasty, at the end of the 12th century.
The first reference to Užice was found in Dubrovnik archives dating back to October 9, 1329. The data show that the nobleman Vojislav Vojinović ruled the vast part of the area in the mid-14th century that was taken over by another nobleman Nikola Altomanović after his death. Still, his increasing power jeopardized the influence of Dubrovnik, Bosnian ruler Tvrtko, and Serbian prince Lazar who created the largest and most powerful state on the territory of the disintegrated Serbian Empire. Lazar and Tvrtko joined forces to capture Altomanović. He was blinded, while the area was added to the prince Lazar’s state.
Užice was later taken over by the Ottomans. It became the center of Turkish administration in the 16th century, while two centuries later the area evolved into an important craft and cultural hub.
According to the 19th-century-census, after the Ottomans left Užice, the population of the city was 3,163. The urban design plan was adopted in 1871 when another era begins for the city. It has been intensively built while the economy of the city began to thrive.
Serbian king Aleksandar Obrenović lied the foundation stone for building the first power-plant on Đetinja river according to the renowned scientist Nikola Tesla’s principles on May 3, 1899. This was another turning point for Užice that would further develop into a prosperous city.
Užice was also the place where important historical developments during WWII (1941-1945) took place. After the war, the city was restored into a commerce and cultural center of West Serbia. It now houses various high schools and faculties, the National Theater, the National Museum, the History Archive, the City Gallery, the National Library, etc.