The City on Three Rivers
|Country||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|• Total||813.9 km2 (314.2 sq mi)|
|• Municipality||City, est. 50,000 1|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|1 This figure is for the whole of the pre-war
municipality, which was
divided in the Bosnian War.
The other parts, Doboj East and Doboj South,
are today in the Federation of BiH.
Doboj (Cyrillic: Добој) is a city in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, situated in the northern part of the Republika Srpska entity on the river Bosna. Doboj is the largest national railway junction; as such, the seats of the Republika Srpska Railways, and the Railways Corporation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are located in Doboj. It is one of the oldest cities in the country and one of the most important urban centers in Northern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The first official mention of the settlement is from 1415, as it was written in the charter issued by Dubrovnik to Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, although there are numerous artefacts and objects that have been found (the National Museum of Bosnia/Herzegovina in Sarajevo and the Regional Museum in Doboj) and which confirm the fact that the area had been inhabited ever since the early Stone Age, and that the Roman Empire had an army camp (Castrum) and a settlement (Canabea) in the vicinity of the town dating from the 1st century AD. Following the arrival of the Slavs in the 6th century it became a part of the region/bannate Usora (in the medieval documents sometimes put together with the nearby province Soli, hence, Usora and Soli).
The Doboj fortress, a royal Kotromanic fortress, was first built in the early 13th century and then expanded in the early 15th century (1415). It was expanded again during the Ottoman Empire in 1490. This newer stone foundation of the fortress was built on previous layers of older foundation (dating to the 9th or 10th centuries) made of wood, mud and clay (Motte and Bailey type). It was a very important obstacle for invaders coming from the north, Hungarians, and later on, Austrians and Germans. It was built in the Gotho-Roman style with Gothic towers and Romanesque windows. The area saw numerous battles in medieval times and the fortress often changed hands between Bosnian and Hungarian armies. Doboj was the site of a particularly major battle between the Hungarians and a Bosnian/Turkish coalition in early August 1415 in which the Hungarians were heavily defeated on the field where the modern city of Doboj lies today (especially around the Makljenovac and Usora areas). As an important border fortress (between the Bosnian Kingdom and Hungary), it was also frequently attacked (officially recorded as 18 times) in the Austro-Ottoman Wars, and finally fell to the Habsburgs in 1878.
World War I and World War II
During World War I, Doboj was the site of the largest Austro-Hungarian concentration camp for Serbs. According to its official figures, it held, between 27 December 1915 and 5 July 1917:
- 16,673 men from Bosnia and Herzegovina
- 16,996 women and children from Bosnia and Herzegovina (mostly of Serb ethnicity)
- 9,172 soldiers and civilians (men, women, children) from the Kingdom of Serbia
- 2,950 soldiers and civilians from the Kingdom of Montenegro
In total, 45,791 persons.
Most of the interned from Bosnia were whole families from the border regions of eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is said that 5,000 families alone were uprooted from the Sarajevo district in eastern Bosnia along the border with the Kingdoms of Serbia & Montenegro.
During World War II, Doboj was an important site for the partisan resistance movement. From their initial uprising in August 1941 up until the end of the war, the Ozren partisan squad carried out numerous diversions against the occupation forces, among the first successful operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
During this time, the Ustaša fascist regime, a puppet state of Nazi Germany, purged many pro-Partizan civilians, including Serbs, Muslims, Jews and Roma to concentration and labor camps. Croat resistance members and political opponents were also sent to concentration camps and condemned to death. According to public records 291 civilians from Doboj, of various ethnic backgrounds, perished in the Jasenovac concentration camp. In 2010, the remains of 23 people killed by Yugoslav Partisans were found in two pits near the Doboj settlement of Majevac. The non-governmental organization which discovered the remains alleges that nearby pits contain the remains of hundreds more also killed by the Partisans.
The town was liberated on 17 April 1945.
Doboj was strategically important during the Bosnian War. In May 1992, the control of Doboj by laid with Serbian forces. The Serbian Democratic Party took over the governing of the city. What followed was a mass disarming and subsequently mass arrests of all non-Serb civilians (namely Bosniaks and Croats). Many instances of war crimes and ethnic cleansing were committed by Serb forces.
In an effort to take over the city, Doboj was shelled by Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (over 5,500 mortar and tank rounds had hit the city itself and immediate surrounding area during the period of May 1992 - October 1995). As a result, 99 citizens of Doboj have been killed due to mortar and tank fire in the aerial attacks on downtown, and about 400 of Doboj's residents were wounded and maimed in the process..
Biljana Plavšić acting individually or in concert with Radovan Karadžić, Momčilo Krajišnik and others planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted the planning, preparation or execution of the destruction, in whole or in part, of the Bosniak and Bosnian Croat national, ethnical, racial or religious groups, as such, in several municipalities, including but not limited to Doboj.
Ethnic cleansing and mass killings
Serb forces were implicated in the systematic looting and destruction of Bosniak and Croatian homes and villages during the Bosnian War. Women were raped and civilians tortured and killed. Widespread looting and destruction of Bosniak homes and property took place daily and the Bosnian Muslim mosques in town were destroyed. Many of the non-Serbs who were not immediately killed were detained at various locations in the town, subjected to inhumane conditions, including regular beatings, torture and strenuous forced labour. A school in Grabska and the factory used by the Bosanka company that produced jams and juices in Doboj was used as a rape camp. Four different types of soldiers were present at the rape camps including the local Serbian militia, the Yugoslav army (JNA), police forces based in the Serbian-occupied town of Knin (or "Marticevci" as their commander was Milan Martić) and members of the "White Eagles" (Beli Orlovi) paramilitary group who wore an insignia bearing three eagles and a "kokarda" on their hats. The man who oversaw the women's detention in the school was Nikola Jorgić, a former police officer in Doboj, who has been convicted of genocide in Germany and is currently serving a life sentence.
Biljana Plavšić was charged with crimes against humanity that include but are not limited to the killings in Doboj. Plavšić's indictment related to genocide charges in Doboj specifically includes but is not limited to the following killings:
- the killing on or about 10 May 1992 of thirty-four Bosnian Muslim /Bosniak and/or Bosnian Croat civilians of the village of Gornja Grapska - Doboj municipality.
- many of the Bosnian Muslims /Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats who survived the attacks and forced marches were taken to these camps and detention facilities, including but not limited to: Bare ammunition warehouse from 1 May 1992, Spreča prison from 1 May 1992, the SUP station from 1 May to 31 July 1992, Percin’s Disco from 1 May 1992, Sevarlije JNA barracks from 1 May to 30 June 1992, and the JNA hangars near the Bosanska plantation from May 1992, all in the Doboj municipality.
Other incidents currently under investigation include:
- the execution of 15 civilians from the Spreča Central Prison in Doboj in May 1992;
- a series of mass executions of non-Serbs on the banks of the river Bosna on June 17–19, 1992;
- a series of mass executions in the "July 4th" military barracks in the village of Miljkovac on July 12, 1992; and
- the use of civilians as human shields against a Bosnian Army advance the same month.
Although Jorgić's, Plavšić's, Karadžić's and Krajišnik's cases were tried in foreign jurisdictions, the court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has processed or is currently processing the following cases for war crimes in Doboj:
- Milovan Stanković, the former Bosnian Serb military commander for the town and surrounding region.
- Milan "Mićo" Ninković, formerly chairman of the local branch of the Serb Democratic Party, SDS, as well as being a former Bosnian Serb defence minister.
- Andrija Bjelošević, the one-time head of the Doboj Security Centre.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (June 2009)|
The non-Serb population of Doboj municipality numbered approximately 55,000, including about 41,000 Bosniaks, 13,000 Croats and 1,000 others, at the outbreak of the Bosnian War in 1992, during which almost all left or were ethnically cleansed. With the city's post-war incorporation into Republika Srpska, very few non-Serbs have returned. As a result, Doboj's current Bosniak and Croat population is generally assumed to be near negligible, despite the fact that the last census was conducted in 1991.
It has been announced in 2007 that a country-wide census will likely take place in 2011. Currently, the only official census numbers are those from 1971 and 1991, but they do not reflect the current demographics as ethnic cleansing of the last decade has caused permanent population changes.
|Bosniaks||11.154 (40,56%)||8.822 (37,44%)||8.976 (49,14%)|
|Serbs||8.011 (29,13%)||6.091 (25,85%)||5.044 (27,61%)|
|Croats||2.714 (9,86%)||2.852 (12,10%)||2.889 (15,81%)|
|Yugoslavs||4.365 (15,87%)||5.211 (22,11%)||919 (5,03%)|
|Others and unknown||1.254 (4,56%)||582 (2,47%)||436 (2,38%)|
Population by settlements composing the town of Doboj:
- Bare: 732 (62%) Serbs, 153 (13%) Yugoslavs, 135 (11%) Croats, 112 (9%) Bosniaks, 53 (4%) others, 1,185 total
- Centar: 3,720 (35%) Serbs, 3,365 (31%) Bosniaks, 1,982 (18%) Yugoslavs, 1,236 (12%) Croats, 432 (4%) others, 10,735 total
- Čaršija: 3,561 (72%) Bosniaks, 594 (12%) Yugoslavs, 303 (6%) Serbs, 195 (4%) Croats, 273 (6%) others, 4,926 total
- Doboj Novi: 358 (48%) Bosniaks, 237 (32%) Serbs, 39 (5%) Yugoslavs, 7 (1%) Croats, 108 (14%) others, 749 total
- Donji Grad: 1,879 (37%) Serbs, 1,547 (31%) Bosniaks, 844 (17%) Yugoslavs, 569 (11%) Croats, 196 (4%) others, 5,035 total
- Orašje: 1,411 (66%) Bosniaks, 293 (14%) Serbs, 231 (11%) Yugoslavs, 111 (5%) Croats, 90 (4%) others, 2,136 total
- Usora: 924 (33%) Serbs, 779 (28%) Bosniaks, 502 (18%) Croats, 491 (17%) Yugoslavs, 117 (4%) others, 2,813 total
The four squares represent the four mountains which mark the outer borders of Doboj valley in which the City of Doboj lies in: Ozren, Trebava, Vučjak, and Krnjin. The fleur-de-lis represent the medieval origins of the city in the royal fortress Gradina built by the kings from the medieval Bosnian dynasty of Kotromanić.
Before the war in Bosnia the municipality of the same name had a bigger area surface. A larger part of the pre-war municipality is part of the Republika Srpska, including the city itself, (the Doboj Region). The southern rural areas are part of the Zenica-Doboj Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the eastern rural part of the municipality is part of the Tuzla Canton, also in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The parts of the pre-war Doboj Municipality that are in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are the municipalities of Doboj South (Doboj Jug) and Doboj East (Doboj Istok) and the Municipality of Usora. The northern suburbs of Doboj are extending into the peri-Pannonian plains, and effectively mark the southern tip of this great Central European plain. The southern (Doboj-South)and eastern suburbs (Doboj-East) are spread on the gentle hills which extend to larger Central Bosnian mountain areas (Mt. Ozren in south-east, Mt. Krnjin in the west).
• Alibegovci • Božinci Donji • Brestovo • Brijesnica Mala • Brijesnica Velika • Bukovac • Bukovica Mala • Bukovica Velika • Bušletić • Cerovica • Čaršija • Čajre • Čivčije Bukovičke • Čivčije Osječanske • Doboj • Dragalovci • Foča • Glogovica • Grabovica • Grapska Donja • Grapska Gornja • Jelanjska • Johovac • Kladari • Klokotnica • Komarica • Kostajnica • Kotorsko • Kožuhe • Lipac • Lukavica Rijeka • Ljeb • Ljeskove Vode • Majevac • Makljenovac • Matuzići • Miljkovac • Mitrovići • Mravići • Opsine • Osječani Donji • Osječani Gornji • Osredak • Ostružnja Donja • Ostružnja Gornja • Paklenica Donja • Paklenica Gornja • Paležnica Donja • Paležnica Gornja • Pločnik • Podnovlje • Porječje • Potočani • Pranjkovci • Pridjel Donji • Pridjel Gornji • Prisade • Prnjavor Mali • Prnjavor Veliki • Radnja Donja • Raškovci • Ritešić • Sjenina • Sjenina Rijeka • Stanari • Stanić Rijeka • Stanovi • Suho Polje • Svjetliča • Ševarlije • Tekućica • Tisovac • Trbuk • Trnjani • Ularice • Vranduk i Zarječa.
As a rail hub, before the Bosnian War, Doboj focused much of its industrial activities around it. Moreover, as a regional center, it was home to several factories, now mostly bankrupt from mismanagement or privatized, including "Bosanka Doboj", a fruit and vegetable product factory; "Trudbenik", a maker of air compressors and equipment, etc. Nowadays, most of the economy, similar to the rest of the country and typical of poorly executed transition from state-controlled to a market economy, based around the service industry. High unemployment warrants a vibrant coffee shop and bar scene, crowded throughout most of the day and night (it is commonly believed that Doboj is one of the top three cities having the largest number of coffee bars/pubs within city limits in Bosnia & Herzegovina).
In 1981, Doboj's GDP per capita was 53% of the Yugoslav average.
On the positive side, an approximately $800 million investment, due for groundbreaking during 2008 in the Stanari suburb, will start with the building of an electrical power plant. Additionally, the $1 billion investments in the northern Modriča Oil Refinery are likely to increase railroad traffic.
Nightlife and Tourism
The City of Doboj is very colorful and contrasted to the extremes with a variety of urban cafés and bars mixed between older, traditional pubs and restaurants. Zanatski Centar is the central entertainment district located in Naselje Stadion (Stadium Village) in downtown Doboj. Within this relatively small urban oasis, there are numerous café bars, clubs, restaurants, arcade saloons, and sports-betting joints. Mixed Mediterranean and European continental food, hard rock, metal concerts, turbo-folk and various rising stars are somewhat common. Oriental dishes, ćevapčići, many varieties of beer and other liquors are all available in this area. Magic Caffe, Orange Bar, Corner Cafe, Time Out, City, Irish Pub, La Linea are notable bars in the area.
The famous bar/club "The Hole" by the recently renovated Doboj City Park is located in a stylish underground location (a former city amateur theater) overlooking the park and surrounding neighbourhood. The largest club in Doboj is "Džungla" (The Jungle). Only open for Concerts, it is located by the river Bosna. The most visited area of the city is the freshly renovated medieval city castle, Doboj Fortress built in the early 13th century. It now houses restaurants, shops and medieval exhibitions of preserved weaponry with children's playgrounds open during the day.
The city is the region's commanding railroad knot, going south to Ploče on the Adriatic Sea, west to Banja Luka and Zagreb, north to Vinkovci, Croatia, and east to Tuzla, Bijeljina and Zvornik. The route of the future E-75 highway is supposed to pass through the Doboj area, and a separate highway toward western Banja Luka is in the planning stage.
Doboj hosts the private Slobomir P University branch, with several colleges. Doboj also seats the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technical School, as well as several specialized High Schools.
The local football club, Sloga Doboj, plays in the First League of the Republika Srpska. The town's favourite sports activity, however, is team handball. It is being played by the local Sloga Doboj team. Sloga Doboj ranks among the country's top teams and consistently qualifies for international competitions. Very importantly, Doboj traditionally hosts "The Annual Doboj International Champions' Handball Tournament" every year during the last days of August. The year 2013 will see its 45th tournament and once again, the best European handball teams will fight for the title of the Tournament's Winner. The prestige of this EHF-listed tournament was consistently strong enough to attract the most important names in the European team handball over the past five decades such as: Barcelona, Grasshopper, Gummersbach, Ademar León, CSKA, Steaua, Dinamo Bucureşti, Atlético Madrid, Red Star, Metaloplastika, Partizan, Pelister, Nordhorn, Pick Szeged, Veszprém, Göppingen, Montpellier, d'Ivry and Chekhovski Medvedi.
Notable places/events in Doboj
- The Doboj Fortress from the early 13th century, looking over the town.
- A Roman military camp (Castrum) from the 1st century AD (right above the confluence of the Usora and the Bosna rivers)
- Josip Mikić,teacher
- Silvana Armenulić, singer
- Indira Radić, singer
- Mirsada Bajraktarević, singer
- Dina Bajraktarević, singer
- Aleksandar Đurić, footballer
- Dino Đulbić, footballer
- Drago Ljubičić,politics
- Enis Bešlagić, actor
- Slađana Bukejlović, actor
- Fahrudin Omerović, footballer
- Boro Bjelošević,businessman
- Igor Vukojević, singer
- Izet Sarajlić, historian
- Drago Handanović
- Spomenko Gostić
- Boris Jerinić,politics
- Nenad Marković, basketball player
- Vedran Ćorluka, footballer
- Branislav Garić,politics
- Mladen Ploskić,karate
- Boško Sušić,karate
- dr.Nikola Gavrić,politics
- Bojan Blagojević,karate
- Danijel Pranjić, footballer
- Danijel Šarić, handball player
- Sejad Halilović, former footballer
- Milan Ninković,politics
- Slobodan Karagić,
- dr.Predrag Lazić
- Avdija Deraković, former footballer
- dr.Ibrahim Mrehić,
- Zlatan Prešić,basketball coach
- Bogdan Nikolić,former politics
- Vlastimir Jovanović, footballer
- Željko Milovanović
- Bojan Šarčević, basketball player
- Mirko Stojčinović,politics
- Ognjen Kuzmić, basketball player
- Novo Panić,former football referee
- Uroš Krulj
- Predrag Brestovac,Ultra Marathon and kick boxing.
- Goran Alagić
- Jasmin Hrnjić
- Vladimir Tica, basketball player
- Enes Suljkanović
- Uroš Gostić,politics
- Dragan Mikerević
- Borislav Paravac
- Zoran Kvržić, footballer
- Pero Bukejlović
- Milanka Janković
- Jozef Atijas,President of the Jewish municipality of Doboj
- Osman Kikić,photographer
- Dragan Ikonić,photographer
- Krešimir Zubak,politics
- Pejo Krnjić,politics
- Mladen Kršić,politics
- Kod Doboja otkopali kosture žrtava iz 1945.
- "Prosecutor v. Biljana Plavsic judgement.".
- "Prosecutor v. Momcilo Krajisnik judgement". "Sentenced to 27 years’ imprisonment"
- European Court of Human Rights - Jorgic v. Germany Judgment, July 12, 2007.
- Helsinki Watch (1993). War crimes in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Human Rights Watch. ISBN 1-56432-097-9.
- Bosnian War Crimes Investigation Stalls
- Radovinović, Radovan; Bertić, Ivan, eds. (1984). Atlas svijeta: Novi pogled na Zemlju (in Croatian) (3rd ed.). Zagreb: Sveučilišna naklada Liber.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Doboj|
- http://www.esiweb.org/index.php?lang=en&id=156&document_ID=100 - ESI report: A Bosnian Fortress. Return, energy and the future of Republika Srpska (19 December 2007)
- http://www.dobojcaffe.com - Sve o Doboju
- http://www.doboj.net - Prvi ISP na području Dobojske regije