Čapljina

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Čapljina
Чапљина
Municipality and town
Flag of ČapljinaЧапљина
Flag
Official seal of ČapljinaЧапљина
Seal
Location of Čapljina within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Location of Čapljina within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
ČapljinaЧапљина is located in Bosnia and Herzegovina
ČapljinaЧапљина
Čapljina
Чапљина
Location of Čapljina
Coordinates: 43°06′N 17°42′E / 43.100°N 17.700°E / 43.100; 17.700
Country  Bosnia and Herzegovina
subdivisions 27 Mjesnih Zajednica
Government
 • Municipality president Smiljan Vidić (HDZ BiH)
Area
 • Total 256 km2 (99 sq mi)
Population (2013 census)
 • Total 28,122
 • Density 110/km2 (300/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area code(s) +387 036
Website Official Website

Čapljina is a town and municipality of the same name in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Čapljina is located on the border with Croatia a mere 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the Adriatic Sea.

The river Neretva flows through the municipality and flows into the Adriatic just over the border. The town's landmark is a statue of King Tomislav. The Church of Saint Francis Assisi is also a prominent facet of the town. The municipal coat of arms contains the Croatian chequy, the nearby tower in Počitelj, and Saint Francis Assisi.

The municipality has a rich archaeological history and untouched wilderness and is starting to develop agricultural tourism. It is also home to Hutovo Blato Park, which contains one of the most diverse bird populations in all Europe. The Croatian town of Metković is located just over the border and there are significant commercial and other links between the two towns new Čapljina International Speedway.

History[edit]

Not much is known about this city but it was founded by Romans in 5 BC. However, ancient Greek, and later Roman maps clearly show that the area was populated by several native Illyrian peoples, including the Ardiaei, whom the ancient geographer Strabo lists as one of the three strongest Illyrian peoples – the other two being the Autariatae and the Dardani.[1]

Čapljina is situated in the wider Neretva valley region (the original homeland of ancient Illyrian people of Ardiaei), and its name derives from čaplja, which in former Serbo-Croatian language (nowadays divided into Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin and Serbian) means 'heron'. The Latin word for heron is ardea, a word that bears striking similarity with the name of Ardiaei, and it might possibly be its cognate. This theory opens up many possibilities for the interpretation of the original homeland of the Ardiaei and the etymology of their name. For example, heron might have had totemic pagan value among local Illyrians, due to its presence in this area, and it is not implausible to conclude that one of those Illyrian peoples named itself after a heron, the Ardiaei. The Latin word ardea might be a Latin translation of some original Illyrian word for 'heron' that Romans found when they settled in this area, or the 'ardea' itself, could have been an Illyrian word taken by Romans, who might have slightly altered it and integrated it into their language, the Latin. Indeed the word Ardiaei is found in ancient Greek sources predating the arrival of Romans and their language to the Illyrian lands. It is also possible that ancient Illyrians or Romans named this place 'the place of heron(s), and the Slavic settlers, who settled in the former Illyrian lands around 6th century A.D. translated the name of this place into their language(s), which in turn gave 'Čapljina', "tha place of heron(s)".[2]

In World War II, Ustaše committed some of the most heinous atrocities in Čapljina and nearby villages. The town and the atrocities were celebrated in songs such as "Jasenovac i Gradiška Stara", where Čapljina was especially highly praised for its role in the genocide against the Serbs. The Prebilovci massacre, in which around 4000 people were killed total, including 600 villagers from the Prebilovci thrown into a pit, is one of the most significant atrocities in this area. Out of about 1000 villagers from Prebilovci, less than 200 survived, 57 families were completely extinguished (including numerous children). After the war, the first conscript from Prebilovci that reached the army age was not until 1962 (Jovan Djurasovic).

Since World War II it has been an important road and rail transportation link, connecting the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the port of Ploče in Croatia. During the 1992–1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina the city was taken over by the Croatian Defence Council who expelled the non-Croat population and set up concentration camps for Bosniaks in the Gabela camp.[3]

During the Summer of 2007 wildfires caused extensive damage throughout the rural part of the municipality.

Settlements[edit]

BajovciBivolje BrdoCrnići • Čapljina • Čeljevo • Doljani • Domanovići • Dračevo • DreteljDubravicaGabelaGabela PoljeGnjilištaGoricaGrabovinaHotanjJasenicaKlepciLokveOpličićiPočiteljPrćavciPrebilovciSjekoseStanojevićiStrugeSvitavaŠevaš NjiveŠurmanciTasovčićiTrebižatVišićiZvirovići

Demographics[edit]

Population of Čapljina municipality
year of census 1991 1981 1971
Croats 14,969 (53.68%) 13,931 (53.51%) 12,603 (53.72%)
Bosniaks 7,672 (27.51%) 6,830 (26.23%) 6,781 (28.90%)
Serbs 3,753 (13.46%) 3,467 (13.31%) 3,672 (15.65%)
Yugoslavs 1,047 (3.75%) 1,566 (6.01%) 193 (0.82%)
others and unknown 441 (1.58%) 238 (0.91%) 210 (0.89%)
total 27,882 26,032 23,459

Ethnic structure by settlements[edit]

Absolute ethnic majority

  Bosniaks
  Croats
  Serbs

Relative ethnic majority

  Bosniaks
  Croats
  Serbs
Ethnic structure of population of Čapljina municipality, by settlements, 1991 census
Settlement total Croats Bosniaks Serbs Yugoslavs others
Bajovci 181 176 5 0 0 0
Bivolje Brdo 841 256 562 4 6 13
Crnići 50 50 0 0 0 0
Čapljina 7,461 3,067 2,191 1,267 707 229
Čeljevo 1,058 827 194 1 8 28
Doljani 365 357 0 5 0 3
Domanovići 1,270 326 727 186 21 10
Dračevo 630 582 0 41 0 7
Dretelj 576 508 53 3 11 1
Dubravica 7 1 3 3 0 0
Gabela 2,440 2,046 32 324 24 14
Gnjilišta 345 338 1 0 0 6
Gorica 456 380 65 1 4 6
Grabovina 947 817 29 57 29 15
Hotanj 275 178 93 0 4 0
Jasenica 165 1 157 0 0 7
Klepci 417 14 0 383 13 7
Lokve 587 0 395 192 0 0
Opličići 1,386 108 916 357 0 5
Počitelj 905 172 660 20 36 17
Prćavci 260 260 0 0 0 0
Prebilovci 174 1 0 171 0 2
Sjekose 169 146 10 12 0 1
Stanojevići 194 31 163 0 0 0
Struge 437 284 130 2 16 5
Svitava 319 317 0 0 0 2
Ševaš Njive 262 69 191 0 2 0
Šurmanci 403 354 47 0 2 0
Tasovčići 1,675 294 511 698 138 34
Trebižat 1,399 1,371 9 1 11 7
Višići 1,788 1,207 528 23 15 15
Zvirovići 440 431 0 2 0 7
total 27,882 14,969 7,672 3,753 1,047 441

Current[edit]

See also: Gabela camp

The Bosniak and Serb populations were expelled during the war in the early 1990s and today the majority of the population are Croats. No reliable estimates on the population exist since a census has not been conducted since 1991.

Culture[edit]

In the Čapljina area, there are lots of cultural associations such as the following:

  • HKUD Čapljina
  • HKUD Sveti Ante (Dretelj)
  • HKUD Seljačka Sloga (Trebižat)
  • HKUD "Zora" Struge-Gorica

Famous People[edit]

Sport[edit]

References[edit]

  • Official results from the book: Ethnic composition of Bosnia-Herzegovina population, by municipalities and settlements, 1991. census, Zavod za statistiku Bosne i Hercegovine - Bilten no.234, Sarajevo 1991.

Coordinates: 43°06′36″N 17°42′00″E / 43.11000°N 17.70000°E / 43.11000; 17.70000