Šumadija is a geographical region of Serbia, covering the area between the Danube and the Sava in the north, the Morava in the east, the Zapadna (West) Morava in the south and the Kolubara river in the west. Although its name comes from the word šuma [shu-ma] (forest), the first thing that comes to mind is its pleasant, undulated land – broad fields, small hills and shallow valleys, all criss-crossed with regular, almost as if drawn, cultivated fields and groves. The fact is that the area used to be covered with woods, mostly beech and oak trees, even the meadows were forested and interlaced with shrubbery and climbers – like the magic forest from the Sleeping Beauty. The forests were later cleared for the land to be cultivated. And truly, anything would grow in Šumadija – grain, fruit, vegetables, vineyards. Šumadija is also cross-crossed with numerous Morava and Kolubara tributaries, making mounds and hills, meadows and valleys. Also, there are many fresh water springs and spas: Bukovička, Mladenovac and Trepča spas. Rudnik is the highest Šumadija mountain (1132 m), but there are Ostrovica, Bukulja, Venčac, Juhor and Crni vrh mountains. in the vicinity of Aranđelovac there is the Risovac cave, where the fossil remains of a mammoth have been discovered. Venčac mountain is the place where the famous Venčac marble comes from, today covering parts of the White House and the Statue of Liberty, USA. The Kolubara coal mines are crucial for the Serbian power industry. The capital of Šumadija is Kragujevac, and also the centre of the Šumadija region (its borders being the same ones of the geographical area).
Šumadija is made up of several areas – Belica, Gruža, Jasenica, Kačer, Kosmaj, Levač, Lepenica, Rudničko Pomoravlje, Smederevska Jasenica, Smederevsko Podunavlje,Temnić i Šumadijska Kolubara. Gradovi u Šumadiji su Kragujevac, Čačak (its northern part), Smederevo, Smederevska Palanka, Lazarevac, Jagodina, Aranđelovac, Mladenovac, Velika Plana, Gornji Milanovac, and a greater part of Belgrade.
The name Šumadija was recorded in a writ dating from 1713. It came into regular use only after the First Serbian Uprising, denoting the liberated Serbia. Both uprisings sparked in Šumadija – the First in Orašac near Aranđelovaa, the Second in Takovo near Kragujevac. That was the reason King Peter chose Oplenac nearby Topola as the place for the Karađorđević Dynasty Mausoleum. Kragujevac was the capital of the Serbian Principality. In 1833 the first Serbian Grammar school was founded there, and in 1835, the first theatre – the Serbian Principality Theatre. In the Second World War, Kragujevac expreinced a horrible tragedy, when 7,000 people were shot in Šumarice, including the Kragujevac Grammar school students.