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Grad Bjelovar
City of Bjelovar
Bjelovar Preradoviceva.JPG
Bjelovar gradskavijecnica.jpg
Bjelovar zima.JPG
Bjelovar Rotor.JPG
Spomen park Borik01.jpg
Top: Preradović Street; Center left: Bjelovar Town Hall; Center right: Cathedral and city park; Bottom left: Stjepan Radić Square; Bottom right: Borik memorial park
Flag of Bjelovar
Coat of arms of Bjelovar
Coat of arms
Bjelovar is located in Croatia
Location of Bjelovar in Croatia
Coordinates: 45°54′N 16°50′E / 45.900°N 16.833°E / 45.900; 16.833Coordinates: 45°54′N 16°50′E / 45.900°N 16.833°E / 45.900; 16.833
Country Croatia
CountyZastava bjelovarsko bilogorske zupanije.gif Bjelovar-Bilogora
 • MayorDario Hrebak (HSLS)
 • City Council
 • Total191.9 km2 (74.1 sq mi)
135 m (443 ft)
 • Total40,276
 • Density210/km2 (540/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)043
Vehicle registrationBJ

Bjelovar (Hungarian: Belovár, German: Bellowar, Kajkavian: Belovar) is a city in central Croatia. It is the administrative centre of Bjelovar-Bilogora County. At the 2011 census, there were 40,276 inhabitants, of whom 91.25% were Croats.[1]

Bjelovar was first mentioned in 1413 and only gained importance when a new fort was built there in 1756, at the command of the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa. The initial role of the city was to defend central Croatia against the Ottoman invasions. The town had to wait until the end of these wars to be pronounced a free royal town by ban Ivan Mažuranić in 1874.


The oldest Neolithic location in this area is in Ždralovi, a suburb of Bjelovar, where, while building a basement for the house of Josip Horvatić, a dugout was found and identified as belonging to the Starčevo culture (5000 – 4300 BC).[2][3][4] Finds from Ždralovi belong to a regional subtype of a late variant of the Neolithic culture. It is designated the Ždralovi facies of the Starčevo culture, or the final-stage Starčevo. There are also relics of the Korenovo culture, Sopot culture, Lasinja culture, and the Vučedol culture.[5]

After the drop of the Ottoman Empire domination, Bjelovar (named Bellowar before 1850[6] ) was part of the Austrian monarchy (Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia after the compromise of 1867), in the Croatian Military Frontier, Warasdin-Kreutzer Regiment N°V until 1881.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, Bjelovar was the seat of the Bjelovar-Križevci County of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia.

From 1929 to 1939, Bjelovar was part of the Sava Banovina and from 1939 to 1941 of the Banovina of Croatia within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.


Population by settlement:[7]

Population by ethnicity[citation needed]
year total Croats Serbs Yugoslavs others
1991 66,039 53,113 (80.42%) 5,898 (8.93%) 2,631 (3.98%) 4,397 (6.65%)
1981 66,553 48,819 (73.35%) 5,897 (8.86%) 9,249 (13.89%) 2,588 (3.88%)
1971 65,824 52,580 (79.87%) 8,689 (13.20%) 1,726 (2.62%) 2,829 (4.29%)


Bjelovar agricultural fair
"Return of the Pannonian whales" fountain

The city of Bjelovar stands on a plateau in the southern part of Bilogora (north-west Croatia), 135 metres above sea level. It is the capital of the Bjelovar-Bilogora county, and the natural, cultural and political centre of the area.

Bjelovar is at an intersection of roads in this area: the D28 intersects with the D43, and it lies on the road between Zagreb and west Slavonia, Podravina and Osijek. Bjelovar is currently being connected by dual carriageway with Zagreb.

The city of Bjelovar has an area of 191.9 km2 (74.1 sq mi), and administratively it includes 31 other areas. North-east of Bjelovar there is a long, low elevation called Bilogora, with an average height of 150–200 m (highest point: Rajčevica, 309 m). The geology of the area consists of Pliocene sandy marl and sandstones with lesser layers of lignite. Older rocks do not appear on the surface in this area. In deep boreholes there are crystalline rocks.

Bjelovar has a temperate continental climate. Winters are moderately cold and summers are warm. Precipitation of about 900 mm (35 in) per year is normal. The prevailing wind during winter is northerly, with easterlies becoming stronger in spring, when it may be quite cold, often blowing for a several days consecutively. In summer the wind is southerly; it is warm and more humid. The mean yearly temperature in Bjelovar is about 12 °C (54 °F).


Bjelovar contains three war memorials. The Barutana memorial area is dedicated to those who died defending the city on September 29, 1991, during the Croatian War of Independence. The Lug memorial area is dedicated to Ustashi soldiers killed by Partisans in 1945, and the Borik memorial area is dedicated to Partisans killed during the Second World War.

Bjelovar hosts the yearly "BOK" (Bjelovarski odjeci kazališta or Bjelovar Echoes of Theatre) theatre festival. It was founded and is run by Bjelovar actor Goran Navojec, and it hosts a selection of the best plays performed in Croatia during previous year.


In the 1970s, Bjelovar was known as the handball capital of Europe, when its local squad RK Bjelovar (under the name Partizan) dominated Croatian, Yugoslav, and European handball. The team came solely from Bjelovar and its environs.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Bjelovar is twinned with:


See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Population by Ethnicity, by Towns/Municipalities, 2011 Census: County of Bjelovar-Bilogora". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012.
  2. ^ Jakovljević, G. Arheološka topografija Bilogore, Bjelovarski zbornik ‘89, Bjelovar, 1989, pp 108–119
  3. ^ Dimitrijević, S. Das Neolithikum in Syrmien, Slawonien und Nordwestkroatien — Einführung in den Stander Forschung, Archeologica Iugoslavica X, Belgrade, 1969, p 39-76 (45, 47)
  4. ^ Dimitrijević, S. Sjeverna zona — Neolitik u centralnom i zapadnom dijelu sjeverne Jugoslavije, Praistorija jugoslavenskih zemalja II, Sarajevo, 1979, pp 229–360 (252–253)
  5. ^ Jakovljević, G. Povijest naseljenosti bjelovarskog kraja do osnutka grada ; in: Slukan Altić, M. Povijesni atlasi gradova : I. vol. Bjelovar, Croatian State Archives and the State Archives in Bjelovar, 2003, pp 11–19
  6. ^ Handbook of Austria and Lombardy-Venetia Cancellations on the Postage Stamp Issues 1850-1864, by Edwin MUELLER, 1961.
  7. ^ "Population by Age and Sex, by Settlements, 2011 Census: Bjelovar". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012.


External links[edit]