City of Bjelovar
Top: Preradović Street; Center left: Bjelovar Town Hall; Center right: Cathedral and city park; Bottom left: Stjepan Radić Square; Bottom right: Borik memorial park
Coat of arms
Location of Bjelovar in Croatia
|• Mayor||Dario Hrebak (HSLS)|
|• City Council|
|• Total||191.9 km2 (74.1 sq mi)|
|Elevation||135 m (443 ft)|
|• Density||210/km2 (540/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Climate||Humid continental climate Dfa|
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.
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). 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.
After the drop of the Ottoman Empire domination, Bjelovar (named Bellowar before 1850 ) 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:
|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%)|
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 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).
|Climate data for Bjelovar (1949–2017)|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−0.3
|Record low °C (°F)||−26.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||48.5
|Average rainy days||7||7||9||12||13||12||11||9||10||10||11||9||120|
|Average snowy days||6||5||4||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||5||23|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||59.8||89.8||147.6||183.2||233.7||248.8||274.8||259.5||188.0||135.8||70.9||46.5||1,938.4|
|Source: Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service|
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.
The building of a former synagogue in now used as a cultural center, the Bjelovar Synagogue.
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.
Bjelovar is twinned with:
For a complete list of people from Bjelovar and Bjelovar-Bilogora County see List of people from Bjelovar-Bilogora County.