Petar Kovačević

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Petar Kovačević
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Born19 August 1793
Mostar, Herzegovina
Died1 July 1864
  • Merchant
  • Educational philanthropist

Petar Kovačević (Serbian Cyrillic: Петар Ковачевић; Mostar, 19 August 1793 - Šibenik, 1 July 1864) was a Serbian merchant and educational philanthropist.[1]


He was born in Mostar, Herzegovina, his parents' names were Rosa and Mihailo, who was a goldsmith and merchant. Mihailo was a pious man, he went on [pilgrimages to the Jerusalem, and on one occasion he spent three years in Palestine. He became a monk at one of the monasteries at Mount Athos, and died in Mostar while visiting his hometown. [2][3]

Petar learned the craft of making leather goods, and at the same time started trading with his brothers in Dubrovnik during an epidemic. Later he dealt only in trade when he arrived in Kotor, and from there he went to Bessarabia, then to Ismail, and eventually to Odessa.[4]After some time spent in Odessa, he moved back home to Sarajevo, where he spent two years, after which he finally settled in Šibenik[5]in 1825, where he lived for the rest of his life. He continued to trade in Šibenik, where he had his own shop which eventually become enormously popular for its fine craftwork.

Petar Kovačević garnered a reputation as a humanitarian and philanthropist, and in 1861 he richly donated to many churches, schools, as well as poor individuals. The most important was his donation of ten thousand forints for the establishment of a Serbian girls' college in Šibenik.[6] The establishment of this school was very important, because, due to the general poverty of the population, very little was spent on education in Dalmatia, especially for women of the Serbian Orthodox Church. This school was opened in 1870 on the day of Saint Sava. Unfortunately, Petar died in 1864.[7]


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