Prnjavor, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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 Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Prnjavor (Serbian Cyrillic: Прњавор, pronounced [prɲǎːʋɔr]) is a town and municipality located in Republika Srpska, an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, between cities of Banja Luka and Doboj. According to the 2013 census, the town has a population of 8,120 inhabitants, with 35,956 inhabitants in the municipality.


Physical geography

The municipality is located in the basin of the Ukrina river and is characterized by a mostly lowland hilly terrain configuration with the highest peak of 594m (mountain Ljubić). The Municipality of Prnjavor is shielded on all sides by low mountains such as Ljubić (south) and Motajica (north). The town of Prnjavor is located at an altitude of 185m. Other thant the river Ukrina which forms in the Municipality of Prnjavor by murging of the Big and Small Ukrina near the village of Kulaši, there are also the rivers of Vijaka and Lišnja and various other streams. On the river Vijaka in the foothills of Ljubić there is a man made lake Drenova and further downstream there are Ribnjak fishing grounds.

Political geography

The municipality is located in the northern part of Republika Srpska and borders the municipalities of Derventa, Stanari, Teslić, Čelinac, Laktaši and Srbac. It has an area of 629.99 km2 and makes up 2,568% of the total territory of the Republika Srpska.


The area of the municipality belongs to the zone of temperate continental climate with moderately cold winters (average temperature in January 1 °C) and moderately warm summers (average temperature in July 31 °C). The average number of total hours of sunshine in the municipality of Prnjavor is 1,600 hours. The average annual rainfall is about 950 mm, and is evenly distributed throughout the year.


Middle Ages

Even over 700 years ago people recognized the economic potential of the area of the present-day Municipality of Prnjavor. Although there had been some settlements from the Roman period here, significant colonization and settlement (including the construction of monasteries, such as the one of at Stuplje) took place only in the Middle Ages. According to historical sources, medieval monasteries had their landed properties called Prnjavori, and the locals living there were called Prnjavorci. This is believed to be the origin of the name Prnjavor.

Ottoman era

During the Ottoman period the region suffered from border conflicts with the Austrian Empire. A significant number of Bosnians converted to Islam after the conquest by the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the 15th century, giving it a unique character within the Balkan region. This conversion appears to have been not sudden but a gradual process based on various rules imposed by the Ottomans — it took more than a hundred years for the number of Muslims to become the majority religion. The general view among scholars is that the Islamization of the Bosnian population was not the result of violent methods of conversions but was, for the most part, peaceful and voluntary. The first time Prnjavor was mentioned in recorded history was in 1829. The current settlement itself is believed to be of a more recent date. In the mid-19th century and according to the records of the travel writer Jukić, Prnjavor had about a hundred houses and around a thousand inhabitants.


In 1878 Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia and the authorities decided the Prnjavor area was under-populated. Efforts were undertaken to attract settlers from other parts of the empire and consequently the municipal area was settled by Italians, Ukrainians, Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and German-speaking folk from Austria, Germany, Bohemia, Hungary and Russia. Although over half the population remained Orthodox Serbs, the multi-ethnic character of the population led the municipality of Prnjavor to be nicknamed "Little Europe".


In 1918 Bosnia became part of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and all immigration stopped. During the interwar period between 1918 and 1941 Prnjavor underwent more significant economic development through the opening of craftsman workshops, hotels, more shops and a few manufacturing plants. From 1929 to 1941 Prnjavor was part of the Vrbas Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Following the collapse of internal security during World War II the Nazis decided to evacuate the Volksdeutsche (ethnic German) population from Bosnia and a treaty to this effect was signed with the Croatian Ustaše regime on 30 September 1942. After 1945 the Communist regime of Josip Broz Tito repopulated the Volksdeutsche villages with Serbs and destroyed or obscured all evidence of German history and heritage in the region. During the Socialist period of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Prnjavor was not a highly developed municipality within Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the war that erupted after the collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), Prnjavor became part of the North-Eastern entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republika Srpska, as per the Dayton Agreement. The warring that took place in the very proximity of Prnjavor e.g. in Derventa, changed the demography in Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to the ICRC, a total of 2,2 million people had to flee their homes from different parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many people never returned, changing the ethnic composition in all parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.



Ethnic composition

In the end of the 19th century, during Austria-Hungary, then sparsely populated area of the Municipality of Prnjavor was colonized by settlers from Eastern and Central Europe (Ukraine, Italy (South Tirol), Hungary, Poland, Germany, Austria, Bohemia, Slovakia, etc.). At the time of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and due to numerous national minorities (about 20) Prnjavor was called "Little Europe". Except the Ukrainian, Italian and Czech national minorities the others were mainly small communities. But, even today, besides the constitutive nations of Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks, a small number of Hungarians, Slovaks, Germans, Polish, Slovenes, Bulgarians, Romanians, Macedonians, Jews, and Russians live in Prnjavor. According to the census of 1991 there were still 732 Italians in Bosnia and Herzegovina, thereof around 2/3 lived in municipality of Prnjavor, while at the end of the second world war most of the Italians had returned to Italy to today's Trento province. The Italians populated mainly the village of Štivor in Prnjavor, where in 1991 73.13% of the population spoke Italian as their mother tongue. The village school "Šibovska" teaches in Italian language "lingua d'insegnamento italiana". In 1986, it had 91 pupils and eight teachers.The Polish population that arrived during the Austro-Hungarian empire, mostly left after the second world war in the population exchanges where German population left from the Western Poland to Germany after redrawing of borders, and Polish population from different parts of Europe, including Prnjavor, returned to the empty areas in Western Poland, mainly Boleslawiec.


The municipality of Prnjavor has the following land resources: farmlands (437.79 km2 (169 sq mi)/68.8%), cultivable land (382.64 km2 (147.74 sq mi)), forest resources (173.39 km2 (66.95 sq mi)) and water resources (Ukrina River, Drenova Lake). Considering that almost four-fifths of the population live in rural areas and reckoning with great areas of cultivable land, with all reason agriculture has been recognized as the key branch of the economy considering the Municipality development. In the area of Prnjavor more than 200 km2 (49,000 acres) of land are cultivated while 6.1 km2 (1,510 acres) is planted with fruit crops. Out of the total area of the cultivated farmlands, the cereal crops share is 77%, vegetable crops 10% while the rest has been sown with industrial crops, berries and fruit crops. New greenhouses are being constructed, health food production (organic agriculture) projects have been started to which the Municipality of Prnjavor has great predispositions due to the lack of significant industrial capacities as well as the preserved nature. Economic previewThe following table gives a preview of total number of registered employed people per their core activity (as of 2016):

Tourism and leisure

Ribers and streams, the great areas of timber-lands as well as the Ukrina's banks covered with greenery and the old mills make this river specially attractive for all the nature and fishing lovers. The Drenova lake and fishing ground Ribnjak both have a very good foundation for hunting and fishing development. In 2003 a record catch (a 91 kg heavy catfish) was registered at this lake, otherwise being a fishing ground. Hunting grounds, the hunting grounds on Mt. Motajica, in the forest lands of Čavka and Mt. Ljubić as well as the fishing ground of Ribnjak have again become destinations for hunters from Germany, Austria and especially Italy. SRC "Borik", Borik is a sports recreation center located north of the town Prnjavor, which consists of a forest park along which there are various camping spots, a very well known and popular restaurant among the locals "Lovački dom", as well as a volleyball court, outdoor gym and a children's playground. Kulaši Spa, 14 km (9 mi) from the town of Prnjavor, has been known as a sanatorium ever since Austria-Hungarian rule in this area. Therapeutic factors: water is hyperalkalescent (pH 12.75) and includes hydrogen sulphide (H2S, HS+). The water is hyperthermal and its temperature is 28 °C (82 °F). Basic water characteristics: curative, oligomineral, thermomineral, hyperalkalic, chloride and sulphide water with the presence of calcium and sodium. Indications: degenerative skin disease (psoriasis, eczema, hair root sebreae, acne etc.) postoperative conditions, inflammatory diseases of the bone-joint-and-muscle system, liver, stomach, kidney and urinary tract diseases etc. Lipizzaner stables "Vučijak", founded in 1946, belongs to the group of the most famous horse farms from the time of ex-Yugoslavia. There are about fifty Lipizzaner head on it with significant presence of several breeding lines and stocks. It is located in the village of Lužanit. It currently offers horse riding classes and is going through a reconstruction to be able to offer services in the field of education, tourism and leisure as well as recreational and medical activities. Stuplje and Liplje monasteries, two twins and in books they are always mentioned together as the victims of burning during Ottoman reign. After having been burnt by the Ottomans during Austrian-Ottoman war they were neglected. The foundations of Stuplje were found in Gornji Vijačani (village not far from Prnjavor) only in mid-1994. The reconstruction and building of this medieval monastery has been going on ever since. The Roman Catholic church of Saint Anthony of Padua, located in the town of Prnjavor was built in 1909 during the Austro-Hungarian empire.The Prnjavor town mosque, located in the town of Prnjavor has been entered into the list of national heritage sites of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while it was destroyed during the war in 1992 but later rebuilt.The log-built church in Palačkovci, located in the village of Gornji Palaćkovci is one of the most important cultural monuments in the municipality. It is devoted to apostles St Peter and St Paul and was built in 1843 in the period of Ottoman rule. In terms of its construction and engineering as well as aesthetically it is a real small master-piece of popular architecture. Even at the time of Yugoslavia it was declared a worldwide cultural heritage monument and was put under the protection of the state. It is currently, among other monuments, on the list under consideration to be mentioned as a cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Cultural societies

SPKD "Prosvjeta" Prnjavor GKUD "Pronija" Prnjavor Town choir Prnjavor


Football: FK "Ljubić" PrnjavorThe club was founded in 1946 and until 1991 it had little importance in the football world of the SFRY. With the disintegration of Yugoslavia, this club finally managed to reach the public. It started in 1992 in the Second League of Republika Srpska, then in 1993 it moved to the First League of Republika Srpska. It left the First League in 1996, but returned the following season. It is currently in the Second League of Republika Srpska. It plays at the "Borik" stadium in Prnjavor which has a capacity of about 2500 people. Basketball: KK "Mladost '76" and OKK "Prnjavor" Volleyball: OK "Ukrina" Tennis: TK "Bonito" Mountaineering: PD "Korak Više" Prnjavor Handball: RK "Sloga"

Twin towns – sister cities

Prnjavor is twinned with: Boleslawiec, Poland Boskovice, Czech Republic Zhydachiv, Ukraine

Notable people

Milan Bjegojević, former basketball player and coach Tarik Đođić, author and CEO of Al Jazeera Balkans Faruk Đođić, researcher Neven Subotić, football player Milan Marinković, former basketball player and coach Marko Todorović, actor Cvjetko Popović
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