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Bijeljina

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Overview

Bijeljina
Бијељина
City
Location of Bijeljina within Republika Srpska
Location of Bijeljina within Republika Srpska
Coordinates: 44°45′N 19°13′E / 44.750°N 19.217°E / 44.750; 19.217
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
Entity Republika Srpska
Region Semberija
Government
 • Mayor Mićo Mićić (SDS) [2]
Area
 • City 733,85 km2 (28,334 sq mi)
Elevation 90 m (300 ft)
Population (2013 census)[1]
 • City 45,291
 • Density 156,3/km2 (4,050/sq mi)
 • Urban 114,663
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ZIP Code 76300
Area code(s) 55
Website Official website


Bijeljina City Center Main Pic - Bijeljina
Bijeljina City Center Main Pic

Bijeljina (Cyrillic: Бијељина; pronounced [bijêːʎina][2]) is a city and municipality in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city is the second largest in the Republika Srpska entity after Banja Luka and fifth largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina (after Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla and Zenica), and is situated on the plains of Semberija. Bijeljina is the unofficial center of eastern part of Republika Srpska, with 114,663[3] inhabitants. Bijeljina is located at 6 km (4 mi) from the border of Serbia and 40 km (25 mi) from Croatia.

Name

The official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina are Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. The Bosnian and Serbian languages use both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabet, while Croatian only uses Latin. The town's name in Cyrillic is Бијељина.

History

Prehistory and Antiquity

The earliest confirmed traces of human life in the area of today's City of Bijeljina date from the New Stone Age (5000-3000 BC). Also, the material remains from the Bronze and Iron Age have been found. Most of the findings from prehistoric periods were found in the villages Ostojićevo, Batković, Glavičice, Dvorovi, Kojčinovac, Patkovača and Triješnica. Characteristics of pottery, tools and weapons emphatically confirm cultural connections of aboriginal inhabitants of Semberija with Vinča Neolithic culture and the Bronze Age cultures - Vučedol, Kostolac and Baden culture.

Old Slavs and Middle Ages

The oldest archeological site of this period is located on both sides of channel Bistrik, between the villages Batković and Ostojićevo and it consists of four smaller sites which are dating from the period of the 7th to the 12th century. On localities Jazbina and Oraščić were found remains of a settlement with a 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 where iron tools were manufactured. At this time the village Bistrik probably was called Bistrica and with no doubt it was the center of the parish, which covered the entire territory of today’s City of Bijeljina, before settlement on today's urban part of City of Bijeljina was established.

Petar Karađorđević I monument. He was the King of Serbia from 1903–18. - Bijeljina
Petar Karađorđević I monument. He was the King of Serbia from 1903–18.

Although the name Bijeljina was first mentioned in 1446, this name was in use only after 1918. During Austro-Hungarian period, the town had the name Bjelina and, before that, Belina or Bílina.

Modern history

In 1838, the first confessional elementary school was opened. A modern school building was built in 1902. In this school worked Jovan Dučić between 1893–95.[4] Jovan Dučić was a famous Hercegovinian Serb poet, writer and diplomat. Today a street in central Bijeljina is named after him.

In front of the 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 troops 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.

In its emerging Bijeljina has experienced its boom after joining up in Yugoslavia and especially in the second half of the 20th century, when it received significant facilities for its economic and cultural development: new factories, schools, medical facilities and cultural organizations.

Bosnian War

In April 1992, Serbian forces (most likely those of Željko Ražnatović under direct order from the Milošević government in Belgrade) invaded Bijeljina. The practise of ethnic cleansing was enforced by the Serbian forces, with non-serbs being either killed or expelled and former Muslim property being acquired by the paramilitaries and local serbs.

The photographer Ron Haviv was given permission by Ražnatović to photograph the city during the siege. Although Ražnatović later took a quantity of film from Haviv to prevent him from publishing the images taken, a quantity made it back to the USA and were subsequently published. These published photos showed the brutality of the Serbian paramilitary force, and the destruction of the Bosnian Muslim population. After the publication of the photographs by Haviv, Ražnatović reportedly issued threats on the photographer's life.

During the war, Bijeljina saw a large influx of Serb refugees from other areas of the country.

Post-war period

New birth 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 you can see re-building of Bijeljina in the big city, with new settlements, roads, schools, universities, and cultural institutions.

Architecture

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

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

Church in Bijeljina - Bijeljina
Church in Bijeljina
Library in Bijeljina - Bijeljina
Library in Bijeljina

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, also located the Holy Temple, the Church of St. Petka and the old Catholic church.

The City Park (Gradski Park) was founded in 1892.

Museum of Semberija began working as a museum collection 1972. And later grew into a museum facility with over 10,000 exhibits and 3 of the permanent exhibition. Located in the heart of the city, and it takes place and various cultural events.

The Library "Filip Višnjić" 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 cronichles 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. On one of the gravestones it says "Zdravko Jovacnovic Killed 1943 by the Ustasa Blue Division protecting and defending the monastery". After World War Two Tavna was rebuilt.[5]

Education

Bijeljina University - Bijeljina
Bijeljina University

The first literate people in Semberija originally attended the monasteries. The first primary school in Bijeljina was opened in 1838. After the Second World War, 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 subsequently 1966. As of 1953, a basic music school has been operating in the city. Primary schools in Bijeljina include the following: OS Sveti Sava, OS Knez Ivo od Semberije, OS Vuk Karadžić, OS Jovan Dučić. There are several high schools operating in the city, such as Gymnasium Filip Višnjić, Music School Stevan Stojanovic Mokranjac, an agricultural high school, an economic and a technical school.

Within the University of Bijeljina, several faculties are operated, those of which include law, economics, education and business economics. The main private universities in the city are Slobomir P University and University Sinergija. With the construction of a large University building in Bijeljina, the city became one of the most important centers for education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a campus for many students around the region.

Transportation

Bypass in Bijeljina - Bijeljina
Bypass in Bijeljina

The basic street 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 fully 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 kilometres (1 mile).

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 nasalje Janja
7 Bijeljina Center-Amajlije
8 Bijeljina Center-Slobomir University
9 Bijeljina Center-Pučile

Distances

Geography

Semberija is a flat region which is bound by the rivers Sava, Drina and the Majevica mountains.The entire Semberija area is typically an agricultural region which has fertile land and suitable weather conditions.

Semberija has the most developed agricultural area in Republika Srpska. The focus of the production is on wheat and corns, vegetables, cabbage, paprika, tomato and water-melon. Also, cattle-breeding (fattening of cows and pigs) and growing fruits.

Tourism

Bijeljina by night - Bijeljina
Bijeljina by night

Bijeljina holds an international Folklore Festival known as Semberija folk fest, Rhythm of Europe. The festival is held each year in the period 04.08. The Mascot of the festival is a Hedgehog as a symbol of good fellowship. The aim of the Festival is to cherish and promote the folklore tradition of the people from all over the world. Ethno village Stanišić is a well known tourist location in the country. Ethno village Stanišic takes people back in time making people closer to nature and ancestors, and making people admire the simplicity of rural life of the past. Ethno village Stanišić contains the Serbian Orthodox Monastery Sveti Nikola (St Nicolas), Hotel Pirg, and ethno restaurant.

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.

SKUD Semberija at the Semberija folk fest in Bijeljina 2006 - Bijeljina
SKUD Semberija at the Semberija folk fest in Bijeljina 2006

Demographics

1991

At the 1991 census, Bijeljina municipality had 96,796 inhabitants, including:[6]

Sports

Bijeljina has one major stadium known as Bijeljina Gradski Stadion. The Stadium is home to FK Radnik Bijeljina, which competes in the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Basketball clubs include:

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ Prostorni plan Republike Srpske do 2015. Banja Luka, April 2008. p. 67 & 69
  2. ^ Pravopisna komisija (1960). Pravopis srpskohrvatskoga književnog jezika. Novi Sad, Zagreb: Matica srpska, Matica hrvatska. 
  3. ^ http://www.bhas.ba/obavjestenja/Preliminarni_rezultati_bos.pdf
  4. ^ Bijeljina na Internetu - skolstvo
  5. ^ Tavna monastery / english lang
  6. ^ [1] Bosnia and Herzegovina 1991 census. Retrieved on 3 May 2007.
  7. ^ "МЕЖДУНАРОДНО СЪТРУДНИЧЕСТВО НА ОБЩИНА РУСЕ - Побратимени градове". Община Русе [Municipality Ruse] (in Bulgarian). Archived from the original on 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
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