View over Knin
|• Mayor||Josipa Rimac (HDZ)|
|• Total||355 km2 (137 sq mi)|
|Elevation||214 m (702 ft)|
|• Administrative area||15,407|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Knin (pronounced [knîːn]) is a town in the Šibenik-Knin County of Croatia, located in the Dalmatian hinterland near the source of the river Krka, an important traffic junction on the rail and road routes between Zagreb and Split. Knin rose to prominence twice in history, as a one-time capital of both the medieval Kingdom of Croatia and briefly of the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina at the end of the 20th century.
Knin is first mentioned in the 10th-century history of Constantine Porphyrogenitus as the centre of a parish. In the 11th century, at the request of King Peter Krešimir IV of Croatia, it became an episcopal see, whose bishop seems to have been attached to the royal court as preacher. A history of the successive bishops, from Mark in 1050 to Joseph in 1755 is given in Forlani's Illyricum sacrum, IV (Venice, 1775). The bishops who held the title no longer resided in Knin after it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1522. After Venice captured the district in 1768, the Bishop of Šibenik was appointed to administer the diocese, which was united in 1828 to Šibenik. The bishopric is today the titular see of Tinum.
Knin was also the capital of the Kingdom of Croatia around 1080 during the rule of King Dmitar Zvonimir. At the entrance of Knin, the town sign has an inscription stating "Welcome to Knin, town of King Dmitar Zvonimir". This heritage has led to Knin being known as the "City of Croatian Kings" or "Zvonimir's City" (Zvonimirov grad). Between the 10th and the 13th century, Knin was a notable military fort. The huge 10th century medieval Knin Fortress on Mt. Spas dominates the centre of town, and its present aspect dates back to the beginning of the 18th century. It is one of the largest fortification buildings in Dalmatia and is divided into the upper, middle and lower town, connected by drawbridges.
Its strategic position played an important role in many wars and power changes – beginning with the Croatian rulers in Kingdom of Croatia, then the Croatian bans of Croatia in the union with Hungary, the Venetians, the Turks, to the Austrians and the French. In 1430 Knin and the Church of St. Bartolomeo in Kapitul were the centre of the "Union and Brotherhood of the Croats" (Latin: unio et fraternitas Croatorum), a congregation of Croatian nobles formed by 12 counties of Croatia in order to "preserve the fame and old customs of the Croatian Kingdom".
On May 29, 1522, the fort of Knin fell to the Ottoman Empire, and Croats left the town in large numbers. The town was populated with Serb refugees by the Ottomans. A century and a half later, on September 11, 1688, it was captured by the Venetian Republic. Subsequently, the Croatian population partially returned and the Franciscans built a monastery and a church there in 1708.
Knin passed on to the Habsburgs together with Dalmatia in 1797 according to the Treaty of Campo Formio. After the Peace of Pressburg in 1805, the French Empire gained the city and incorporated it into the Illyrian Provinces in 1809. By 1813, the Austrians regained control over the town. By the end of the 19th century, as a part of the Habsburg domain of Dalmatia, Knin grew steadily, becoming an important commercial as well as road and railway center. In 1867, Knin became a part of Dalmatia – a territorial entity within Cisleithania. After the First World War Knin became a part of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs in 1918, which subsequently became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Kingdom of Yugoslavia after 1929).
Knin in the Croatian War for Independence
From October 1990, eight months before Croatia declared independence (June 25, 1991) from Yugoslavia, Knin became the main stronghold for the Serbs in the Knin region, eventually becoming the capital city of the internationally unrecognised Republic of Serbian Krajina in 1991. The leaders of Krajina were Knin locals: Milan Martić, a former police inspector later sentenced to 35 years imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for war crimes, and Milan Babić, a dentist who after pleading guilty to war crimes at the ICTY committed suicide. Serbs held the town until Croatian forces captured it during Operation Storm on August 5, 1995 (the date is today marked as a Victory Day in Croatia).
The majority of the population had already fled by the time the Croatian Army took control of Knin. There were, however, Serbian civilian deaths caused by the shelling of Knin by the Croatian Army during Operation Storm. Croatian army officers involved in Operation Storm (Ivan Čermak, Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač) have been prosecuted for war crimes during Operation Storm, but all three were ultimately acquitted.
Both leaders of the self-styled Republic of Serbian Krajina were indicted: Martić in 1995, several days before the operation, and Babić in 2004. Babić struck a plea bargain and pled guilty to numerous war crimes.
At the end of the war, Knin's demographic composition changed greatly with the influx of Croat refugees from Bosnia and former Croat militia members. They replaced, to a great extent, those Serbs who fled during Operation Storm.
The original Roman settlement developed on the foothills of the Dinaric Alps. It was on these foothills that the Knin Fortress was built. The source of the Krka river begins on the outskirts of the town.
Knin has a modified Mediterranean climate (Cfa, nearing the border with Csa) with hot dry summers and cool winters. Although the city is only some 50 km (31 mi) from the Adriatic Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean, the proximity of the Dinaric Alps to the north alters its climate. Knin is particularly known for its extremely hot summers: temperatures over 40 °C (104 °F) are common in July and August. The January average temperature is about 4°C and in August is about 24°C
|Climate data for Knin|
|Record high °C (°F)||20.5
|Average high °C (°F)||8.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.4
|Average low °C (°F)||−0.2
|Record low °C (°F)||−18.3
|Precipitation mm (inches)||75.9
|Avg. rainy days||10.7||9.2||9.6||11.8||11.4||10.8||6.4||7.1||8.8||10.5||11.0||11.0||118.3|
|Avg. snowy days||1.3||1.2||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.3||0.5||3.5|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||121.9||140.8||181.3||192.8||246.7||274.6||328.0||303.1||231.4||179.5||121.5||109.2||2,430.8|
|Source: National Meteorological and Hydrological Service (Croatia) |
Before the Croatian War of Independence 87% of the population of the municipality and 79% of the city were Serbs. During the war most of the non-Serb population left Knin, while in the last days of the war the Serbs fled the city before it was taken by the Croatian forces.
However, the situation was not always like this. Until before the first world war, the majority was the Croatian population. At the beginning of the 20th century Croats accounted for almost 90 percent of the city's population. Planned settlement of Serbs began at creation of the Yugoslavian kingdom. But despite this, the Croats constituted after the Second World War a majority of the urban population (about 52%). Then began the systematic colonization of Serbs in the city where they received job and housing security. Croats were deliberately neglected by the Yugoslav authorities by denying them basic rights which resulted in the exodus of many Croats from Knin.
In the 2001 census, the population of Knin was 11,128 in the city and 15,190 in the municipality, and the majority of its citizens were Croats with 76.45% and Serbs with 20.8%. In the 2011 census, the city has 10,493 citizens, while the Knin municipality has 15,388.
Knin's population is in more flux than that of other Croatian cities given that it has a major refugee problem: both with a large number of Croats who immigrated there and Serbs from Knin who are still refugees. By average resident age, Knin is the youngest city in Croatia. Immigrant Croats form the majority in the city with only a scattered Serb presence in the surrounding villages.
Demographic history of the Knin municipality:
According to the Austrian Census held in 1900., the town of Knin had 1,302 residents, with the area surrounding Knin it had 22,810 citizens. In 1910 the town had 1,270 citizens. The 1857 data shows that 75,55% of the population was Roman Catholic. The population of the town of Knin based on religion and language in 1857, 1900 and 1910:
Population of the town of Knin from 1830 to 2001:
|2001||11,128||1,269 (11.40%)||9,546 (85.78%)||0 (0%)||188 (1.68%)|
|1991||12,331||9,867 (80.01%)||1,660 (13.46%)||381 (3.08%)||423 (3.43%)|
|1981||10,933||6,516 (59.59%)||1,701 (15.55%)||2,421 (22.14%)||295 (2.69%)|
|1971||7,300||4,972 (68.10%)||1,686 (23.09%)||343 (4.69%)||299 (4.09%)|
|1961||5,116||3,064 (59.89%)||1,671 (32.66%)||81 (1.58%)||247 (4.82%)|
|1910||1,270||433 (34.09%)||675 (53.15%)||0 (0%)||162 (12.76%)|
|1900||1,302||467 (35.86%)||699 (53.68%)||0 (0%)||135 (10.36%)|
|1857||1,039||254 (24.44%)||785 (75.55%)||0 (0%)||69 (listed as foreigners)|
|1830||644||126 (19.57%)||518 (80.43%)||0 (0%)||N/A|
The recently discovered Roman town Burnum is 18 km away from Knin in direction of Kistanje. There are the remains of the biggest amphitheater in Dalmatia built in 77 AD, during the rule of Vespasian which could host 8000 people.
The nearby villages Biskupija and Kapitul are extremely interesting archeological sites from the 10th century where many remains of medieval Croatian culture are found including churches, graves, decorations, and epigraphs.
The main football club in Knin is NK Dinara, formed in 1913. NK Dinara's colours were black and white until 2005 when the club changed its colours to red, white and blue. NK Dinara plays in the 4th division in Croatia (1. Županijska liga Šibensko-kninska). The logo of NK Dinara is red, white, and blue (in that order) with the letter "D" in the middle of the logo.
Knin has a sports association which was formed in 1998. Basketball is also popular in Knin. The Croatian National basketball team has played a match in Knin. They played against Israel in 1999 where Croatia won the match 78:68. Other sports played in Knin are rugby, handball, volleyball, kickboxing, karate, tennis and taekwondo.
The most important intercity roadway in Knin is the Croatian state route D1. The route makes for easy access of Knin from the major coastal city of Split. The section of D1 from Knin to A1 highway will be upgraded to the expressway level in following years (with B1 expressway).
Knin is also an important railway junction as the railroads from the rest of Dalmatia and its cities of Zadar, Split and Šibenik pass through Knin, going north to the capital city of Croatia, Zagreb. There are four lines meeting in Knin station: to Perković (and then to Split or Šibenik), to Zadar, to Ogulin (and onwards to Karlovac, Zagreb) and to Martin Brod (and Bihać, Sisak, Zagreb). Only the former three lines offer passenger transport. The latter route, Knin-Bihać-Zagreb, passes through Bosnian territory, crossing the border many times, thus it is not used for passenger transport since the beginning of the war in 1991. However, it is the shortest route between Knin and Zagreb, and as such was electrified in 1987 (the catenary being subsequently destroyed by war operations in the early 1990s). Electrification had started from Yugoslav inland towards the coast and had only reached Knin, so today the Knin station is equipped with overhead catenary, but lines leaving the town are not.
Towns and villages in the municipality
- Kninsko Polje
Notable people from Knin
- King Dmitar Zvonimir
- King Petar Svačić
- Momčilo Đujić
- Vojin Jelić
- Mirko Marjanović
- Lovro Monti
- Ilija Petković
- Zdravko Ponoš
- Hrvoje Požar
- Milan Borjan
- Jovan Damjanović
- Milan Damjanović
- Jovan Rašković
- Janko Veselinović
- Nemanja Zelenović
- Simo Dubajić
- Ljubomir Travica
- "Population by Age and Sex, by Settlements, 2011 Census: Knin". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- Andrew MacErlean, "Tinin" in Catholic Encyclopedia (New York 1912)
- Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 991
- 2001 Info Adriatic
- Mladen Ančić: "Desetljeće od 1091. do 1102. u zrcalu vrela" (Summary: The decade between 1091 and 1102 according to the sources), Povijesni prilozi 17/1998, p. 253
- Damir Karbić: Hrvatski plemićki rod i običajno pravo, p. 109-111
- Oct 1990
- Knin-Domovinski Rat
- Tanner, Marcus (1997) Croatia: a nation forged in war
- "U akciji "Oluja" oslobođen Knin" (in Croatian). Croatian Radiotelevision. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Peter Galbraith
- Pečat Vremena, Vesna Kljajić, OTV 11.05.2007
- The New York Times, 11 August 1995, p A1
- "BBC News – Hague war court acquits Croat Generals Gotovina and Markac". Bbc.co.uk. November 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
- Martić Indictment
- Babić Crimes
- O Kninu; Povijest
- "Monthly Climate Values". Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
- 1991 Yugoslav census
- The New York Times, 6 August 1995, p A1
- 2001 Croatian census
- Martin Glamuzina, Željka Šiljković, Nikola Glamuzina (June 2005). "Demographic Development of the Town of Knin in 1991/2001 Intercensal Period". Geoadria 10 (1). Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- Gemeindelexikon der im Reichsrate vertretenen Königreiche und Länder, Bd. 14 Dalmatien, p. 30, 32
- Spezialortsrepertorium der österreichischen Länder I-XII, Wien, 1915–1919
- Mithad Kozličić, Ante Bralić, Stanovništvo Kraljevine Dalmacije prema službenim izračunima i popisima 1828.-1857., p. 252
- Statistica generale della Dalmazia / edita dalla Giunta provinciale ; [compilata da Luigi Serragli]. Divisione 4, Fasc. 1 : Statistica della popolazione della Dalmazia. - 1862
- Mithad Kozličić, Ante Bralić, Stanovništvo Kraljevine Dalmacije prema službenim izračunima i popisima 1828.-1857., p. 81
- 2001 Burnum
- Sv. Ante Knin
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Knin.|
- Knin city website (Croatian)
- Touristical information about Knin area
- National Tourist Board about Knin