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Coordinates: 44°32′17″N 18°40′34″E / 44.53806°N 18.67611°E / 44.53806; 18.67611
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Grad Tuzla
Град Тузла
City of Tuzla
Clockwise from top: Tuzla panorama, Pannonian Lakes in winter time, Trg Slobode, Salines Soli Building, Residential Zone Stupine and Tuzla Thermal Power Plant.
Flag of Tuzla
Coat of arms of Tuzla
Location of Tuzla within Bosnia and Herzegovina (dark blue)
Location of Tuzla within Bosnia and Herzegovina (dark blue)
Coordinates: 44°32′17″N 18°40′34″E / 44.53806°N 18.67611°E / 44.53806; 18.67611
CountryBosnia and Herzegovina
EntityFederation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
 • MayorZijad Lugavić (SDP BiH)
 • City294 km2 (114 sq mi)
245 m (804 ft)
 • City110,979
 • Density377.5/km2 (978/sq mi)
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code+387 35

Tuzla (Serbo-Croatian Cyrillic: Тузла, Serbo-Croatian pronunciation: [tûzla] ) is the third-largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the administrative center of Tuzla Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As of 2013, it has a population of 110,979 inhabitants.[1]

Tuzla is the economic, cultural, educational, health and tourist centre of northeast Bosnia.[2] It is an educational center and is home to two universities. It is also the main industrial machine and one of the leading economic strongholds of the country with a wide and varied industrial sector including an expanding service sector thanks to its salt lake tourism.

The city of Tuzla is home to Europe's only salt lake as part of its central park and has more than 350,000 people visiting its shores every year.[3][4] The history of the city goes back to the 9th century; modern Tuzla dates back to 1510 when it became an important garrison town in the Ottoman Empire.[5]

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tuzla is also regarded as one of the most multicultural cities in the country and has managed to keep the pluralist character of the city throughout the Bosnian War and after, with Bosniaks, Serbs, Croats and a small minority of Bosnian Jews residing in Tuzla.[6]


The name Tuzla is the Ottoman Turkish word for salt mine, tuzla, and refers to the extensive salt deposits found underneath the city, mined for export as a large source of Ottoman tax revenue. Leveraging on their shared name, the city is twinned with Tuzla, a suburb of Istanbul, Turkey.


Early history[edit]

Archaeological evidence suggests that Tuzla was a rich Neolithic settlement. Being inhabited continuously for more than 6,000 years, Tuzla is one of the oldest European sustained settlements. During the period of the Roman Republic (before the area was conquered by Rome), Tuzla (or Salines as it was called at the time) was ruled by the Illyrian tribe Breuci.[7]

Middle Ages to 20th century[edit]

Tuzla town, 1897

The city was first mentioned in 950 by Constantine Porphyrogenitus in his De Administrando Imperio as a fort named Salines (Greek: Σαλήνες). The name Soli was used in the Middle Ages. It means "salts" in Bosnian and the city's present name means "place of salt" in Ottoman Turkish.[8] During the Middle Ages it belonged mostly to the medieval Kingdom of Bosnia.

After the fall of the kingdom to the Ottoman Empire in 1463, the region was controlled by the House of Berislavić before the Ottomans occupied the villages of "Gornje Soli" and "Donje Soli" around 1512, and took control of the entire Usora in the 1530s.

It remained under Ottoman rule for nearly 400 years, where it was administered as part of the Sanjak of Zvornik. In 1878 it was occupied by Austria-Hungary. After the dissolution of the monarchy it became the part of the newly formed Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The Husino uprising took place in 1920.

During the Second World War, Tuzla was included in the puppet Independent State of Croatia and controlled by the mainly Muslim Hadžiefendić Legion of the Croatian Home Guard.[9] Tuzla was among the first areas in Europe to be liberated, when Tito's Yugoslav Partisans freed it from the German occupiers on 2 October 1943.[10] Many members of the Legion deserted to the Partisans at this time.[9] In December 1944, the city was unsuccessfully attacked by Chetnik forces of Draža Mihailović along with the Serbian State Guard.[11][12]

After the war it developed into a major industrial and cultural centre during the Communist period in the former Yugoslavia.

Bosnian War[edit]

The Tuzla massacre memorial

In the 1990 elections the Reformists won control of the municipality being the only municipality in Bosnia where non-nationalists won. During the Bosnian War of Independence between 1992 and 1995 the town was the only municipality not governed by the SDA party-led authorities. After Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence and was recognized by the United Nations the city was besieged by Serbian forces. A few days later Serbian forces attacked Tuzla. The town was not spared the atrocities of the Bosnian War.

Early in the war, troops of the 92nd Motorised Brigade of the Yugoslav People's Army were ambushed by units of Bosnia's Territorial Defence Force, while attempting to withdraw from the city. During the incident, an estimated 92–200 Yugoslav troops were killed, and 33 wounded. It was regarded as a war crime.[by whom?][citation needed]

On 25 May 1995, an attack on Tuzla killed 71 people and injured 200 persons in what is referred to as the Tuzla massacre, when a shell fired from Serb's positions on the Ozren mountain (130 mm towed field gun M-46) hit the central street and its promenade. The youngest civilian who died in that massacre was only two years old.

Following the Dayton Peace Accords, Tuzla was the headquarters of the U.S. forces for the Multinational Division (MND) during Operation Joint Endeavour IFOR and subsequent SFOR.

Post-war independence[edit]

Tuzla Canton Government Building in flames during the 2014 unrest in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In February 2014, the city was the scene of the beginning of the 2014 unrest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which quickly spread to dozens of cities and towns throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. After a couple of days of calm protests, people lost patience and started burning cars in front of the canton government building, and later the building itself.[13]

Recent years have seen economic growth as well as increases in tourism.[2]


Tuzla valley (coal mines, lakes, airport)

Tuzla is located in the northeastern part of Bosnia, settled just underneath the Majevica mountain range, on the Jala River. The central zone lies in an east–west oriented plain, with residential areas in the north and south of the city located on the Ilinčica, Kicelj and Gradina Hills. It is 237 metres (778 feet) above sea level. The climate is moderate continental. There are abundant coal deposits in the region around Tuzla. 6 coal mines continue to operate around the city. Much of the coal mined in the area is used to power the Tuzla Thermal Power Plant, which is the largest power plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Salt deposits[edit]

Extractions of the city's salt deposits, particularly in the 20th century, have caused sections of the city center to sink. Structures in the "sinking area" either collapsed or were demolished, and there are few structures in the city that predate the 20th century, despite the fact that the city was founded over 1000 years ago. In the northeastern part of the town is an area known as Solina, named after the salt deposits.

Pannonian Lakes[edit]

Pannonian Lakes.

Tuzla is the only city in Europe that has a salt lake in its centre. The ancient Pannonian Sea dried up around 10 million years ago, but work by researchers and scientists has now enabled a level of saline water to be kept stable at the surface, and in 2003 the Pannonian Lake was opened.

A second lake that includes artificial waterfalls was inaugurated in 2008. An archaeological park and replica Neolithic lake dwellings were also incorporated into the scheme, providing information about the different cultures which left their material and spiritual mark here. The site has become an international tourist destination.[14]

A third lake was completed in August 2012. Construction expenses for this were nearly 2 million Bosnian marks (ca. 1 million euros). This third lake also contains 2 water slides which are an attraction for the younger population.

The summer season of 2013 recorded approximately 5,000 visitors per day (c. 450,000 for 3 months).[citation needed]


Tuzla has a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) with warm summers which have 100.6 days annually with maximum temperature above 25 °C (77 °F) 36.3 days above 30 °C (86 °F). Tuzla has cold and chilly winters, with 85.8 days having minimum temperature below 0 °C (32 °F), as well as 14.9 days in which the maximum temperature is also below freezing.[15]

There are 38.7 days per year with thunder and 2.1 days with hail, both of them being more common in spring and summer than other seasons.[15]

The highest recorded temperature is 40.7 °C (105.3 °F) on 22 July 2007.[15]

Climate data for Tuzla (1991-2020, extremes 1961-2020)[i]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.0
Mean maximum °C (°F) 12.7
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 5.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.5
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −3.0
Mean minimum °C (°F) −9.8
Record low °C (°F) −25.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 58.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 9.4 9.3 8.6 9.8 11.1 11.1 8.9 6.8 7.9 8.5 8.3 9.8 109.5
Average relative humidity (%) 80.9 75.9 68.6 67.9 71.6 71.9 70.7 70.9 75.6 78 79.3 82.8 74.5
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 73 65 54 56 56 57 56 55 58 63 68 76 61
Mean monthly sunshine hours 71.9 96.3 147.3 176.1 215.9 231 261.9 258.3 182 148.4 88.9 62.7 1,940.7
Source 1: NOAA NCEI[15]
Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes 1961–2015, afternoon humidity at 14:00, 1973–1993)[16][17][a]
  1. ^ Afternoon humidity measured at 14:00 local time


Mellain Center, the third tallest building in Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in Tuzla.

Tuzla is the seat of the Tuzla Canton, which is a canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as of Tuzla Municipality, which is one of the 13 municipalities that together constitute the Tuzla Canton. Administratively, Tuzla is divided into 39 mjesne zajednice (local districts).

Apart from Tuzla, the municipality incorporates several other adjacent settlements, including the town of Gornja Tuzla (Upper Tuzla), as well as the villages of Husino, Par Selo, Simin Han, Obodnica, Kamenjaši, Plane, Šići and others.

The current mayor of Tuzla is Zijad Lugavić, of the Social Democratic Party (SDP BiH). He succeeded long-time mayor Jasmin Imamović in 2022.[18]

The City council of Tuzla has 30 members, of the following parties:


Demographics in Tuzla municipality:

1971 census[edit]

Total: 107,293

  • 53,271 (49.65%) – Bosniaks
  • 27,735 (25.84%) – Croats
  • 21,089 (19.65%) – Serbs
  • 2,540 (2.36%) – Yugoslavs
  • 2,658 (2.47%) – others and unknown

1981 census[edit]

Total: 121,717

  • 52,400 (43.05%) – Bosniaks
  • 24,811 (20.38%) – Croats
  • 20,261 (16.64%) – Serbs
  • 19,059 (15.65%) – Yugoslavs
  • 5,186 (4.26%) – others and unknown

1991 census[edit]

Total: 131,618

  • 62,669 (47.61%) – Bosniaks
  • 21,995 (16.71%) – Yugoslavs
  • 20,398 (15.49%) – Croats
  • 20,271 (15.40%) – Serbs
  • 6,285 (4.77%) – others and unknown

2013 census[edit]

Total: 110,979

  • 80,774 (72.78%) – Bosniaks
  • 15,396 (13.87%) – Croats
  • 3,378 (3.04%) – Serbs
  • 11,431 (10.30%) – others and unknown




Statue of Meša Selimović

One of the most influential writers in the Balkans, Meša Selimović hails from Tuzla,[20] and Tuzla hosts an annual book festival in July, where the "Meša Selimović award" for the best novel written in the languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro is presented.[21]

The first professional theatre in Tuzla, the Tuzla National Theatre, was founded by the brothers Mihajlo and Živko Crnogorčević in 1898 during Austro-Hungarian rule, and is the oldest theatre in the country. The theatre is working continuously since 1944.

The Portrait Gallery has continuous exhibitions of work by local and international artists. The Ismet Mujezinović Gallery is mainly dedicated to Ismet Mujezinović, a painter from Tuzla. The Eastern Bosnia Museum exhibits archaeological, ethnological, historical and artistic pieces and artifacts from the whole region. An open-air museum at Solni Trg, opened in 2004, tells the story of salt production in Tuzla.


Apart from Tuzla's many mosques, there is also an Orthodox church that went untouched throughout the war.[22] The Franciscan monastery of “St. Peter and Paul” in town is still very active as there is a sizable Catholic community in Tuzla. The church of St.Francis (sv. Franjo) which had been demolished after being hit by a landslide in 1987 is being rebuilt since 2011 and should open by 2019.[23] Just outside the town, in the nearby village of Breska, is a 200-year-old Catholic church.[22] Tuzla is also home to an old Jewish cemetery which recently underwent renovations, organized by the OPEN Organization of Tuzla and the Jewish Municipality of Tuzla.[24]

According to the 2013 census, most of the citizens living in Tuzla are Muslims, to be precise 75.4%, with Catholics accounting for 13.7%, while 3.3% of the population being Orthodox, 3.6% of people belong to other religions, and 3.9% of people are not religious.


Bosnian roots music came from Middle Bosnia, Posavina, the Drina valley and Kalesija. It is usually performed by singers with two violinists and a šargija player. These bands first appeared around World War I and became popular in the 1960s. This is the third oldest music following after the sevdalinka and ilahija. Self-taught people, mostly in two or three members of the different choices of old instruments, mostly in the violin, sacking, saz, drums, flutes (zurle) or wooden flute, as others have already called, the original performers of Bosnian music that can not be written notes, transmitted by ear from generation to generation, family is usually hereditary. It is thought to be brought from Persia-Kalesi tribe that settled in the area of present Sprecanski valleys and hence probably the name Kalesija. In this part of Bosnia it is the most common. Again, it became the leader of First World War onwards, as well as 60 years in the field Sprecanski doline. This kind of music was enjoyed by all three peoples in Bosnia, Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs, and it contributed a lot to reconcile people socializing, entertainment and other organizations through festivala. In Kalesija it's maintained each year with the Bosnian Festival Original music.

Studio Kemix firm Dzemal Dzihanovic from Živinice together with his artists brought this kind of music to perfection at the end 20th century. With its entirely new form of modernity, it is most common in the Tuzla Canton and the cradle of this music city Živinice was named Bosnian town of original music. Songs are performed preferably in a diphthong, the first and second voice which is a special secret performance of this music and some performers sing in troglasju as they do Kalesijski triple that was recorded in 1968, as the first written record of the tone on the album, along with Higurashi no naku.


Panoramic view of the Tušanj City Stadium

Founded in 1927, the Workers Sports Society Sloboda[25] became the first sporting organization in Tuzla. It has 14 member clubs. The city is home to two football clubs, FK Sloboda and FK Tuzla City. Both teams play their home games at the Tušanj City Stadium.

OKK Sloboda basketball club and RK Sloboda handball club play their home games in the Mejdan Sports Arena which has a seating capacity of 4,900.

Jedinstvo Tuzla is the female counterpart to Sloboda. The women's basketball team Jedinstvo Aida won the FIBA Women's European Champions Cup, with the most famous sportswoman from Tuzla, Razija Mujanović. She was inducted to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017.[26]


On 1 September 2007, 6,980 couples kissed for 10 seconds in Tuzla, erasing the previous Guinness World kissing Records of the Philippines and Hungary (for synchronised osculation in 2004 with 5,327 Filipino couples, overtaken by Hungary in 2005 with 5,875 couples; Filipinos came back in February 2010 with 6,124 couples but the Hungarians responded in June 2010 with 6,613 couples). The record now awaits official certification.[27]

On 26 September 2008, Tuzla began offering free wireless internet access in the city center.[28]

On 7 May 2010, Tuzla tried to break the World Record for the world's largest mass waltz dance. It is estimated that over 1,521 couples danced together on the main city square.[29]


Tuzla International Airport

Tuzla has an international airport located at Dubrave (IATA code: TZL), and an effective and well-developed public bus network. There are plans to introduce a trolleybus network in the city soon.

The airport was opened and obtained ICAO certificate for civilian Air traffic in 2008. The airport had comprised a portion of "Eagle Base", an American military base that has been home to NATO troops serving in SFOR, Bosnia's stabilization force. Nowadays former Eagle Base become home of Bosnian Military Forces. In 2013. the airport became a base for Wizz Air. Tuzla International Airport nowadays has connection to 17+ European cities and expanding. More than 300000 passengers have been traveled via Tuzla International Airport in 2016.In 2017 Tuzla International Airport broke its own record for most passengers in one year with 535.596 passengers. While in 2018 that number again rose up to 584.471.[3][30]

Tuzla has a railway station that has passenger services to Doboj,[31] from where trains run to Sarajevo, Zagreb, and Belgrade. The services to Brčko were discontinued in 2012.[32]

Tuzla is well connected with other major cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and even with some European cities via its bus connections. Bus and taxi traffic is very well organised in Tuzla and is affordable to its citizens. Bus stations were built in 1970 and completely renovated and modernized in 2017.[33]


The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Tuzla

Tuzla is home to the University of Tuzla, with 16,500 students,[34] and also the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina, FINra University,[35] Kallos University, IPI Academy and Empirica faculty.



Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Tuzla is twinned with:[36]

Partner cities[edit]



  1. ^ Station ID for Tuzla is 14557 Use this station ID to locate the sunshine duration


  1. ^ "Preliminary Results Of the 2013 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in Bosnia and Herzegovina" (PDF). Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 5 November 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b "BH Tourism – Tuzla". Bhtourism.ba. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  3. ^ PORTAL, Oslobođenje (24 August 2017). "Oslobođenje – Panonska jezera posjetilo više od 350.000 gostiju". Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Tuzla Culture | Tuzla History". World66.com. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – Encyclopædia Britannica". Britannica.com. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Tolerance: Additional Resources". Beyond Intractability. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  7. ^ Mesihovic, Salmedin. Rimski vuk i ilirska zmija. Posljednja borba. Salmedin Mesihovic. p. 361. ISBN 9789958625213. Retrieved 30 December 2015. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  8. ^ "The Journal of the Anthropological institute". Books.google.com. 1879. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  9. ^ a b Redžić, Enver (2005). Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Second World War. Abingdon: Frank Cass. ISBN 978-0-7146-5625-0, p. 223
  10. ^ Sarajevo Times
  11. ^ Dimitrije Ljotić and his ZBOR at the Wayback Machine (archive index)
  12. ^ "Tuzlarije". Bhstring.net. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Anti-government protests turn violent in Bosnia". France 24. 7 February 2014. Archived from the original on 7 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  14. ^ "Tuzla – INFIORE Project". Adriaticoinfiore.eu. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991-2020: Tuzla-14557" (XLS). ncei.noaa.gov (Excel). National Oceanic and Atmosoheric Administration. Retrieved 12 March 2024.
  16. ^ "Klimatafel von Tuzla / Bosnien und Herzegowina" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961–1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  17. ^ "Station 14557 Tuzla". Global station data 1961–1990—Sunshine Duration. Deutscher Wetterdienst. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  18. ^ A.K. (5 February 2023). "SDP proglasio pobjedu: Zijad Lugavić je novi gradonačelnik Tuzle" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 5 February 2023.
  19. ^ "CENZUS OF POPULATION, HOUSEHOLDS AND DWELLINGS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, 2013" (PDF). Popis2013.ba. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  20. ^ Čuvalo, Ante (2010). The A to Z of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 211–212. ISBN 9780810876477.
  21. ^ Kontić, Jelena (24 September 2017). "Andrej Nikolaidis, winner of the "Meša Selimović" award". vijesti.me.
  22. ^ a b "BH Tourism – What to see and do". Bhtourism.ba. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  23. ^ Sarajevo Times
  24. ^ Akcija uređenja jevrejskog groblja u Tuzli [Renovation of the Jewish Cemetery in Tuzla] (YouTube) (in Bosnian). Tuzlarije.net. 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  25. ^ "O nama – RSD Sloboda".
  26. ^ Dream Team, Shaq and Kukoc headline 2017 Class of FIBA Hall of Fame Inductees.
  27. ^ "The Sydney Morning Herald Blogs: Stay in Touch". Blogs.smh.com.au. 4 September 2007. Archived from the original on 1 February 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  28. ^ [1] Archived March 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Bosnia: Tuzla May Have World Record for Waltz". Balkan Insight. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  30. ^ More about flights, statistics and other information can be found on Tuzla International Airport official Website
  31. ^ ZFBH. "Bosnian Railway Timetables". Archived from the original on 1 January 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  32. ^ "Voz na relaciji Tuzla – Brčko ukida se od 1. decembra". Nezavisne Novine. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  33. ^ More information can be found on official websites such as Tuzla Bus Station website Town of Tuzla official website Tuzla City Services
  34. ^ [2] Archived June 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ finconsult (28 July 2023). "SEDAM GODINA USPJEŠNOG RADA VISOKE ŠKOLE I POČETAK RADA UNIVERZITETA FINRA TUZLA". FINconsult d.o.o. Retrieved 31 July 2023.
  36. ^ "Međunarodna saradnja". grad.tuzla.ba (in Bosnian). Tuzla. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  37. ^ "Kardeş Belediyeler". besiktas.bel.tr (in Turkish). Beşiktaş. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  38. ^ "Tuzla (Bosnien-Herzegowina)". linz.at (in German). Linz. Retrieved 29 December 2020.

External links[edit]