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Grad Bijeljina
Град Бијељина
City of Bijeljina
From top, left to right: The assembly building of Bijeljina, Pavlović bank, the inside of the Church of the Holy Great Martyr George, the outside of the Church of the Holy Great Martyr George, Residential buildings, the Atik mosque, Semberija Museum and the Five Lakes Monastery.
Flag of Bijeljina
Location of Bijeljina within Republika Srpska
Location of Bijeljina within Republika Srpska
Location of Bijeljina
Coordinates: 44°45′25″N 19°12′58″E / 44.75694°N 19.21611°E / 44.75694; 19.21611
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
Entity Republika Srpska
Geographical regionSemberija
City statusJuly 2012
 • MayorLjubiša Petrović (SDS)
 • City733.85 km2 (283.34 sq mi)
90 m (300 ft)
 (2013 census)[1]
 • City107,715
 • Density150/km2 (380/sq mi)
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ZIP Code
Area code+387 55

Bijeljina (Serbian Cyrillic: Бијељина) is a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the provincial center of Semberija, a geographic region in the country's northeast. Administratively, Bijeljina is part of the Republika Srpska entity. As of 2013, it has a population of 107,715 inhabitants.[2] Ljubiša Savić, the commander of the Garda Panteri was born and assassinated here.


Bijeljina is located in Bosnia and Herzegovina's northeast, bound by the Sava and Drina rivers, extending over the Majevica mountains and covering a land mass of 734 km2.[3] It is a part of the entity of Republika Srpska and is the center of the Semberija region. Semberija is a flat region with a fertile land ideal for agriculture.[4] Due to this, Bijeljina is a major place for food production and trade, particularly wheat and vegetables.[3]


Prehistory and Antiquity

The earliest established evidence of human life in the area of today's Bijeljina date from the New Stone Age (5000–3000BC). Characteristics of pottery, tools and weapons confirm cultural connections of indigenous inhabitants of Semberija with the eneolithic and Bronze Age cultures – Vučedol, Kostolac and Baden culture.[3][5][6]

Old Slavs and Middle Ages

Petar Karađorđević I monument

The oldest archeological site of this period is located on both sides of the Bistrik channel, between the villages of Batković and Ostojićevo and it consists of four smaller sites which date from the period of the 7th to the 12th century. At Jazbina and Oraščić, remains were found of a settlement with half-buried huts, but the most significant discovery was a complex of metallurgical workshop at the site Čelopek where iron was melted in the 8th century and iron tools were manufactured. The oldest religious building, the Tavna Monastery was built in the Middle Ages. The region was incorporated into the Bosnian banate during the reign of Stephen Kotromanić. At this time the village Bistrik was called Bistrica and it was the center of the parish, which covered the entire territory of present-day city of Bijeljina.[7]

The first documented mention of the name Bijeljina occurred in 1446. The city fully fell to the Ottomans in 1530. Following the Great Turkish War, it was incorporated into Austrian possession before being retaken by the Ottomans in 1739. Many of the settlements were decimated as a result of unsuccessful Serb rebellions against the occupation.[7]

Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina rule lasted from 1878 until 1918.[7] The name Bijeljina was only used after 1918 and World War I. During Austro-Hungarian rule, the town had the name Bjelina and, before that, Belina or Bilina.

Modern history

In 1838, the first confessional elementary school was opened. A modern school building was built in 1902. In this school Jovan Dučić, famous Herzegovinian Serb poet, writer and diplomat, worked between 1893 and 1895.[8]

In front of City Hall is a statue of King Peter I of Serbia, who ruled the Kingdom of Serbia between 1903 and 1918. During the Second World War, the Ustaša removed it. After World War II, the communist government refused to return the monument. The first non-communist local government returned the monument in the early 1990s.[citation needed]

Bosnian War

Main article: Bijeljina massacre

In September 1991, Bosnian Serbs proclaimed a Serbian Autonomous Oblast with Bijeljina as its capital. In March 1992, the Bosnian referendum on independence was passed with overwhelming support from Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats. Local Bosniak Patriotic League had been established in response to the Bosnian Serb proclamation and started the clashes. On 1–2 April, the SDG and the JNA overtook Bijeljina with little resistance; A massacre was carried out and involved the killing of between 48 and 78 civilians by Serb paramilitary groups. The majority of those killed were Bosniaks (or Bosnian Muslims). The dead included members of other ethnicities, such as Serbs deemed unloyal by the local authorities. The killing was committed by a local paramilitary group known as Mirko's Chetniks and by the Serb Volunteer Guard (SDG, also known as Arkan's Tigers), a Serbia-based paramilitary group under the command of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA).

The village of Batković in the municipality of Bijeljina was the site of the Batković camp, believed to be the first concentration camp in operation during the Bosnian War. It was run by Serbs from 1 April 1992 until late January 1996.[9] The prisoners were predominantly ethnic Bosniaks, who were tortured, sexually assaulted, and killed.[10][11] A "State Commission for the Free transfer of the Civilian Population" or "Commission for the Exchange of Population" was created and headed by Vojkan Đurković, a Major in the SDG.

Post-war period

Bijeljina municipality by population proportional to the settlement with the highest and lowest population

Post-war development of Bijeljina is experienced in the late 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century. After a population boom due to war events and population saturation and insufficient capacity of the city that was built in less need, today there is re-building of Bijeljina with new settlements, roads, schools, universities, and cultural institutions.

The Serb Democratic Party (SDS) governed Bijeljina for 28 years since 1992. Following the 2018 Bosnian general election, in March 2020 mayor Mićo Mićić (governing the city since 2004) left the party to found the Party of Democratic Srpska of Semberija (SDSS) and signed a coalition agreement with Milorad Dodik's SNSD. In June 2020, SDSS and SNSD put SDS in minority in the local council. At the 2020 Bosnian municipal elections, SDS's Ljubiša Petrović became the new mayor, succeeding Mićić.



Population of settlements – Bijeljina municipality
Settlement 1875 1885 1895 1910 1921 1931 1948 1953 1961 1971 1981 1991 2013
Total 34,479 38,455 47,468 58,002 58,142 78,602 63,877 86,826 78,890 86,826 92,808 96,988 107,715
1 Amajlije 1,110 1,112
2 Balatun 1,305 1,245
3 Banjica 406 265
4 Batar 382 225
5 Batković 3,483 2,515
6 Bijeljina 12,660 14,303 17,340 24,761 31,124 36,414 42,278
7 Bjeloševac 639 442
8 Brodac Donji 735 668
9 Brodac Gornji 866 767
10 Bukovica Donja 794 568
11 Bukovica Gornja 574 324
12 Čađavica Donja 1,524 577
13 Čađavica Gornja 973 676
14 Čađavica Srednja 693 533
15 Čardačine 370 471
16 Čengić 1,284 859
17 Ćipirovine 274 622
18 Crnjelovo Donje 2,963 2,011
19 Crnjelovo Gornje 1,840 1,279
20 Dazdarevo 435 522
21 Dijelovi 669
22 Donji Zagoni 305
23 Dragaljevac Donji 463 339
24 Dragaljevac Gornji 603 418
25 Dragaljevac Srednji 1,041 741
26 Dvorovi 1,814 4,716
27 Glavičice 1,293 1,070
28 Glogovac 436 402
29 Gojsovac 475 683
30 Golo Brdo 198 377
31 Gradac - Stupanj 509
32 Hase 341 938
33 Janja 10,458 10,542
34 Johovac 338 284
35 Kacevac 351 268
36 Kojčinovac 794
37 Kovačići 383
38 Kovanluk 158 508
39 Kriva Bara 255 345
40 Ljeljenča 967 913
41 Ljeskovac 483 969
42 Magnojević Donji 613 419
43 Magnojević Gornji 665 333
44 Magnojević Srednji 332 318
45 Mala Obarska 305
46 Međaši 896 858
47 Modran 1,411 963
48 Novo Naselje 1,290 832
49 Novo Selo 122 1,153
50 Ostojićevo 595 440
51 Patkovača 646 2,569
52 Popovi 1,134 1,238
53 Pučile 769 2,090
54 Ruhotina 446 276
55 Suho Polje 1,503 1,154
56 Triješnica 290 496
57 Trnjaci 639 1,074
58 Velika Obarska 3,549 3,902
59 Velino Selo 451 342
60 Vršani 1,249 614
61 Zagoni 1,766 619

Ethnic composition

Ethnic composition – Bijeljina city
2013 1991 1981 1971
Total 42,278 (100,0%) 36,414 (100,0%) 31,124 (100,0%) 24,761 (100,0%)
Serbs 35,798 (84.67%) 10,450 (28.70%) 7,866 (25.27%) 7,630 (30.81%)
Bosniaks 4,469 (10.57%) 19,024 (52.24%) 15,015 (48.24%) 14,929 (60.29%)
Others 632 (1.495%) 3,122 (8.574%) 521 (1.674%) 349 (1.409%)
Unaffiliated 502 (1.187%)
Roma 338 (0.799%) 976 (3.136%) 104 (0.420%)
Croats 315 (0.745%) 366 (1.005%) 409 (1.314%) 677 (2.734%)
Yugoslavs 127 (0.300%) 3,452 (9.480%) 6,028 (19.37%) 637 (2.573%)
Unknown 35 (0.083%)
Montenegrins 29 (0.069%) 60 (0.193%) 71 (0.287%)
Macedonians 14 (0.033%) 64 (0.206%) 63 (0.254%)
Slovenes 11 (0.026%) 17 (0.055%) 20 (0.081%)
Albanians 8 (0.019%) 144 (0.463%) 237 (0.957%)
Hungarians 24 (0.077%) 44 (0.178%)

Ethnic composition – Bijeljina municipality
2013 1991 1981 1971
Total 107,715 (100.0%) 96,988 (100.0%) 92,808 (100.0%) 86,826 (100.0%)
Serbs 91,784 (85.21%) 57,389 (59.17%) 56,029 (60.37%) 60,595 (69.79%)
Bosniaks 13,090 (12.15%) 30,229 (31.17%) 24,282 (26.16%) 23,343 (26.88%)
Others 793 (0.736%) 4,452 (4.590%) 1,155 (1.245%) 649 (0.747%)
Unaffiliated 674 (0.626%)
Croats 515 (0.478%) 492 (0.507%) 500 (0.539%) 806 (0.928%)
Roma 496 (0.460%) 1,359 (1.464%) 168 (0.193%)
Yugoslavs 151 (0.140%) 4 426 (4.563%) 9,090 (9.794%) 747 (0.860%)
Unknown 102 (0.095%)
Montenegrins 36 (0.033%) 80 (0.086%) 90 (0.104%)
Macedonians 33 (0.031%) 89 (0.096%) 81 (0.093%)
Slovenes 22 (0.020%) 25 (0.027%) 24 (0.028%)
Albanians 17 (0.016%) 164 (0.177%) 258 (0.297%)
Turks 1 (0.001%)
Ukrainians 1 (0,001%)
Hungarians 35 (0,038%) 65 (0,075%)


The assembly building of Bijeljina
The Atik mosque (demolished during the war and reconstructed since) by the town square

The Atik mosque was built between 1520 and 1566 during the period of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the mosque was completely destroyed on 13 March 1993 and rebuilt where it stood before.

Serbian Orthodox Church (Svetog Đorđa) Saint George which was built in 1872. The second oldest building is the Semberija. Museum which was built in 1876. It is noted that the oldest building in Bijeljina was Atik Mosque in the city centre, built in 1530 and demolished to the ground during the Bosnian War 1992–1995.

Basil of Ostrog Monastery in the center of Bijeljina is a newly built monastery (2001.) Dedicated to St Basil of Ostrog. The bell tower with a clock of over 30 meters dominates the surroundings and a symbol of the monastery. As part of the monastery is a museum, dining room, library, hermitages for monks. Inside the temple is painted magnificent frescoes. It is particularly valuable copy Trojeručica miraculous icons, the gift from Hilandar monastery. In Bijeljina is also located the Holy Temple, the Church of St. Petka, and the old Catholic church.

Church in Bijeljina

The Filip Višnjić Library is the oldest cultural institution in Bijeljina - founded in 1932 year, thanks to prominent people and intellectuals. Played a major role in raising the cultural level of the construction and opening of reading rooms in rural villages of Semberija. Now located in a modern building and has over 100,000 books.

The Tavna Monastery is located in the southern part of the Bijeljina municipality. The date of foundation is hidden somewhere in the shadows of the far past. The chronicles of monasteries Tronosha and Pech say it was built by Dragutin's sons Vladislav i Urosic. Stefan Dragutin was the King of Serbia from 1276 to 1282 and king of Srem from 1282 to 1316. The present church of monastery Tavna, is built in the same place as the original one. The Tavna Monastery is older than the other monasteries in the region such as Ozrena, Liplja, Vozuce and Gostovica. Tavna was damaged in the first years of Turkish rule, but was restored by the people. This was not the only time the monastery was damaged. It was damaged many times during the Turkish period and also during World War Two. Between 1941 and 1945, Tavna was bombed by the Ustase. One of the gravestones says "Zdravko Jovanovic Killed 1943 by the Ustasa Blue Division protecting and defending the monastery"; after WWII Tavna was rebuilt.[12]


Library in Bijeljina

The first primary school in Bijeljina was opened in 1938. After World War II, changes were made to the school system, and in 1951 the first elementary school was opened. In 1956, a second elementary school was opened. The third and fourth elementary schools opened in 1959 and 1966, respectively.[8]

Since 1953, a basic music school has been operating in the city.[8]

Primary schools in Bijeljina include the following: OŠ Sveti Sava, OŠ Kinez Ivo od Semberije, OŠ Vuk Karadžić, OŠ Jovan Dučić. There are several high schools operating in the city, such as Filip Višnjić Gymnasium, Stevan Stojanovic Mokranjac Music School, an agricultural high school, a medicine highschool, an economic and a technical school. The University of Bijeljina has several faculties: Law, Economics, Business Economics and Education. The main private universities in the city are Slobomir P University and University Sinergija.


Emporium Shopping Center in Bijeljina
Pavlović bank

The following table gives a preview of total number of registered people employed in legal entities per their core activity (as of 2018):[13]

Activity Total
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 336
Mining and quarrying 25
Manufacturing 3,706
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 454
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 450
Construction 1,129
Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 5,813
Transportation and storage 935
Accommodation and food services 1,096
Information and communication 551
Financial and insurance activities 514
Real estate activities 22
Professional, scientific and technical activities 809
Administrative and support service activities 312
Public administration and defense; compulsory social security 1,836
Education 1,774
Human health and social work activities 1,461
Arts, entertainment and recreation 330
Other service activities 482
Total 22,035


Bypass in Bijeljina

The road network is dependent on the main routes: the M-14.1 Brcko-Zvornik and the M-18 Raca-Ugljevik. The complete road network in contact with the city and the urban traffic network is extremely radial orientation. She had eleven major transportation routes, which link directly to the city. Around the city is located bypass, but isn't completed. The main bus station in Bijeljina is located in the central zone of the city. The main bus station in Bijeljina is owned by Semberija Transport. From Bijeljina passengers can travel to other cities in the region as well as some cities in Europe such as Ljubljana, Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Zürich, Stockholm. There is only one railway line in Bijeljina. That railway line stretches from Bijeljina to Šid in Serbia. From Šid it joins another line going east towards Belgrade or going west to Croatia.

Public transport

The main public transport system in Bijeljina is made up of bus routes that provide transportation from surrounding villages to the city center. Public passenger transport performed in Bijeljina 50 buses. There are 12 lines of public transport in the city. Price of one-way ticket is 1.5 convertible mark = 75 euro cents

Bus routes

Line Route
1 Bijeljina Center-Dvorovi
1G Bijeljina Center-Koviljuša
2 Bijeljina Center-Velika Obarska
2G Bijeljina Center-ATC
3 Bijeljina Center-Dijelovi
4 Bijeljina Center-Hase
5 Bijeljina Center-Popovi
6 Bijeljina Center-Janja
6A Bijeljina Center-Novo naselje Janja
7 Bijeljina Center-Amajlije
8 Bijeljina Center-Slobomir University
9 Bijeljina Center-Pučile



Etno village Stanišić

Bijeljina holds an international folklore festival known as Semberija folk fest

The Dvorovi Spa is one of the most famous spas in the Republika Srpska. The Dvorovi Spa was formed after the discovery of thermal water drilling for oil exploration 1957th in Semberija. The depth of the source is at 1435 meters, the water is oligomineral, and the thermal temperature is 75°S.[citation needed]


SKUD Semberija at the Semberija folk fest in Bijeljina 2006

Bijeljina has one major stadium known as Bijeljina City Stadium. The Stadium is home to FK Radnik Bijeljina, which competes in the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Radnik won the Bosnian Cup in 2016. Their president is Predrag Perković and their manager is Vlado Jagodić.

OFK Zenit Bijeljina is a young club from Bijeljina but their youth teams had earned a lot of medals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, Romania, Austria, Germany. Their stadium is ‘Zenit Arena’ in Novo Selo, 5 min from the city center. OFK Zenit competes in the leagues of Football Association of Republika Srpska (FSRS). They have the contract with Zvijezda 09 (team in Premier League BiH) to Zenit's youth teams play like Zvijezda 09's players.

Bijeljina was designated European city of sport in 2020.[14]

Basketball clubs include:

Volleyball clubs include:

Handball clubs include:

Twin towns – sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bijeljina is twinned with:[15]

Notable people


See also


  1. ^ Prostorni plan Republike Srpske do 2015. Banja Luka, April 2008. p. 67 & 69
  2. ^ "PRELIMINARY RESULTS of the 2013 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in Bosnia and Herzegovina" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Bijeljina" (PDF). Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  4. ^ Lommen, André (2000). Bosnia and Hercegovina: Unfinished Business : Return of Displaced Persons and Other Human Rights Issues in Bijeljina, Volume 12, Issue 7. Human Rights Watch. p. 11. The municipality of Bijeljina, consisting of the town of Bijeljina, the village of Janja, and around forty smaller settlements, is located in the northeast corner of Bosnia and Hercegovina, in the Republika Srpska.. Moreover, the Semberija region, of which Bijeljina is the center, is a flat, fertile area which is very suitable for agriculture.
  5. ^ Udruženje književnika BiH (1985). Information Bulletin of the Association of Writers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Yugoslav Author's Agency for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Issues 7-9.
  6. ^ Nikolova, Lolita; Manzura, I. V.; Schuster, Cristian, eds. (1999). The Balkans in Later Prehistory: Periodization, Chronology and Cultural Development in the Final Copper and Early Bronze Age (fourth and Third Millennia BC). J. and E. Hedges. p. 34. ISBN 9781841711089.
  7. ^ a b c "History of the City of Bijeljina". City of Bijeljina.
  8. ^ a b c Bijeljina na Internetu - skolstvo,; accessed 9 July 2015.(in Serbian)
  9. ^ "Preživjeli logoraš iz Batkovića: I danas sanjam da mi neko ulazi u kuću i stavlja pušku na čelo". Oslobođenje. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  10. ^ "FRIENDSHIPS FLOURISHED IN BATKOVIC PRISON CAMP". Sense Agency. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  11. ^ James Gow (2003). The Serbian Project and Its Adversaries: A Strategy of War Crimes. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-7735-2385-2.
  12. ^ Tavna monastery infosite Archived 12 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 9 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Cities and Municipalities of Republika Srpska" (PDF). Republika Srspka Institute of Statistics. 25 December 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  14. ^ "European Cities of Sport". Aces Europe. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  15. ^ "Градови побратими". (in Serbian). Bijeljina. Retrieved 29 December 2020.