Prnjavor, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Town center panorama
Town center panorama
Location of Prnjavor within Republika Srpska
Location of Prnjavor within Republika Srpska
Coordinates: 44°52′N 17°39′E / 44.867°N 17.650°E / 44.867; 17.650Coordinates: 44°52′N 17°39′E / 44.867°N 17.650°E / 44.867; 17.650
CountryBosnia and Herzegovina
EntityRepublika Srpska
 • MayorDarko Tomaš (SNSD)
 • Municipality629.95 km2 (243.23 sq mi)
 (2013 census)
 • Town
 • Municipality
 • Municipality density57/km2 (150/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code(s)51

Prnjavor (Serbian Cyrillic: Прњавор; pronounced [prɲǎːʋɔr]) is a city and municipality located in Republika Srpska, an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As of 2013, it has a population of 35,956 inhabitants.


Smoke pipe made out of Sepiolite from Prnjavor displayed at National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo.

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.

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 collaps 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 as total while according to the ICRC, 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. A census was held in 2013 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.

According to the 2013 census results, the municipality has 35,956 inhabitants. The census information below is divided into information on municipal and town level.

Ethnic groups[edit]

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, ethnic 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%[1] of the population spoke Italian as their mother tongue.

The village school "Šibovska" teaches in Italian language "lingua d'insegnamento italiana". It had in 1986 91 pupils and eight teachers.[2]

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.[3]

Ethnic composition in the town Prnjavor[edit]

The ethnic composition traditionally differs in Prnjavor town and Prnjavor municipality as may be seen from the two tables with data from the town level and from the municipality level.

Ethnic composition – Prnjavor town
2013. 1991. 1981. 1971.
Total 8 484 (100,0%) 8 104 (100,0%) 6 187 (100,0%) 4 055 (100,0%)
Bosniaks 1 2 345 (28,94%) 1 1 915 (30,95%) 1 1 737 (42,84%)
Serbs 3 891 (48,01%) 2 577 (41,65%) 1 545 (38,10%)
Yugoslavs 926 (11,43%) 907 (14,66%) 48 (1,184%)
Others 723 (8,922%) 474 (7,661%) 423 (10,43%)
Croats 219 (2,702%) 261 (4,219%) 275 (6,782%)
Montenegrins 25 (0,404%) 10 (0,247%)
Roma 17 (0,275%)
Slovenes 6 (0,097%) 10 (0,247%)
Albanians 5 (0,081%) 6 (0,148%)
Macedonians 1 (0,025%)

1 For denomination Muslims is today used the denomination Bosniaks.

Ethnic composition in the municipality Prnjavor

The ethnic composition of the municipality:

Ethnic composition – Prnjavor municipality
2013. 1991. 1981. 1971.
Total 35 956 (100,0%) 47 055 (100,0%) 48 956 (100,0%) 46 734 (100,0%)
Serbs 30 673 (85,31%) 33 508 (71,21%) 34 699 (70,88%) 35 177 (75,27%)
Bosniaks 2 979 (8,285%) 1 7 143 (15,18%) 1 6 618 (13,52%) 1 6 143 (13,14%)
Others 1 853 (5,154%) 2 926 (6,218%) 3 045 (6,220%) 3 032 (6,488%)
Croats 451 (1,254%) 1 721 (3,657%) 2 060 (4,208%) 2 148 (4,596%)
Yugoslavs 1 757 (3,734%) 2 400 (4,902%) 96 (0,205%)
Montenegrins 52 (0,106%) 38 (0,081%)
Roma 42 (0,086%) 53 (0,113%)
Slovenes 31 (0,063%) 31 (0,066%)
Albanians 7 (0,014%) 10 (0,021%)
Macedonians 2 (0,004%) 6 (0,013%)

1 For denomination Muslims is today used the denomination Bosniaks.


Old mill on Ukrina
Fishing Ground Ribnjak

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 preview

The following table gives a preview of total number of registred employed people per their core activity (as of 2016):[4]

Activity Total
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 128
Mining and quarrying 14
Manufacturing 1,976
Distribution of power, gas,steam and air-conditioning 91
Distribution of water and water waste management 130
Construction 105
Wholesale and retail, repair 1,330
Transportation and storage 266
Hotels and restaurants 317
Information and communication 65
Finance and insurance 64
Real estate activities 19
Professional, scientific and technical activities 167
Administrative and support services 31
Public administration and defence 314
Education 688
Healthcare and social work 253
Art, entertainment and recreation 16
Other service activities 106
Total 6,070

Tourism and leisure[edit]

The great areas of timber-lands as well as the Ukrina river and Drenova lake are 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. The rich fish stocks, the Ukrina's banks covered with greenery and the old mills make this river specially attractive for all the nature and fishing lovers.

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.

"Vučijak" Lipizzaner Horse Farm, 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 lins and stocks.

Kulaši Spa, 14 km (9 mi) from Prnjavor town, 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: degeneratve 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.

Stuplje and Liplje monasteries are 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 Prnjavor was built in 1909 during the Austro-Hungarian empire.[5]

The city mosque 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.[6]

The log-built church in Palačkovci 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.[7]



The local football club, FK Ljubić Prnjavor, plays in the First League of the Republika Srpska.

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Prnjavor twinned with the following cities:[9]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mazzucchelli, Francesco (2017-06-25). "Semiotiche dei confini e narrative spaziali della memoria in Bosnia Erzegovina: monumenti, musei, città". Storicamente. 13. doi:10.12977/stor660. ISSN 1825-411X.
  2. ^ Klemencic, Matjaz; Zupancic, Jernej (December 2004). "The effects of the dissolution of Yugoslavia on the minority rights of Hungarian and Italian minorities in the post-Yugoslav states". Nationalities Papers. 32 (4): 853–896. doi:10.1080/0090599042000296186. ISSN 0090-5992.
  3. ^ "Stowarzyszenie Reemigrantów z Bośni, ich Potomków oraz Przyjaciół w Bolesławcu | reemigranci z Jugosławii, przesiedlenia i migracje ludności Polskiej, Polacy w Bośni, Polacy w Jugosławii, mieszkańcy Bolesławca". (in Polish). Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  4. ^ "Cities and Municipalities of Republika Srpska 2017" (PDF). (in Serbian). December 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Župa PRNJAVOR – BANJOLUČKA BISKUPIJA". (in Croatian). Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  6. ^ "Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika". Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  7. ^ "Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika". Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  9. ^ "SISTER CITIES | Opština Prnjavor". Retrieved 2018-06-21.

External links[edit]