Prijedor main street
Location of Prijedor within Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Country||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|- Sheriff||Marko Pavić (DNS) |
|- Total||833 km2 (321.6 sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|- Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||+387 (052)|
Prijedor (Cyrillic: Приједор, pronounced [priːˈjɛːdor]) is a town and municipality in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in northern part of the Republika Srpska entity and the Bosanska Krajina region. Prijedor is the second largest municipality in the Republika Srpska entity and the sixth largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The town of Prijedor, within the municipality of Prijedor, is located in the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the banks of the Sana and Gomjenica rivers, and at the south-western hills of the Kozara mountain. The area of the municipality is 833 km2 (322 sq mi). The town is situated at 44°58'39" N and 16°42'29" E, at an altitude of 133 m (436 feet).
The terrain ascends to the north-east of Prijedor in waves and gradually becomes the mountain range of the Kozara mountain, which is famous from the peoples' uprisings in the previous centuries and battles against fascism during the Second World War. The very town lies on the alluvial terrain created by the Sana river and its tributaries on the south-western hillsides of the Kozara mountain.
|Krupa na Uni (60 km),
Zagreb (173 km),
Vienna (547 km)
|Bos./Koz. Dubica (33 km)||Gradiška (90 km),
Budapest (474 km)
|Novi Grad (32 km)||Kozarac (13 km),
Omarska (20 km),
Beograd (336 km)
|Ljubija (8 km),
Trieste (412 km)
|Sanski Most (33 km)||Banja Luka (48 km),
Sarajevo (250 km)
As a fortified and populated place it is of relatively earlier date and we can trace its history back to the end of the 17th century, according to known sources. However, the very region, belonging to the administrative center of Prijedor, is much older concerning the colonization and cultural happenings, and it has continuity until the emergence of the town. Numerous prehistoric, ancient and mediaeval sites speak in their archeological language about specific cultural expressions of humans in different periods of time. During the prehistoric period, dating from 2100 B.C., the traces of life are evident in numerous settlements in the region of the present-day town, with necropolises subjacent to the settlements, as a rule. In the pre-Roman and Roman period this area was settled by a large Illyrian tribe Maezaei, a sub-tribe of Pannonians, with a talent for the mining. In Ljubija near Prijedor, many monuments were found from the Roman age as an evidence of the iron production. In Zecovi there is an Illyrian necropolis from the Iron Age. A legend says that the river Sana was named by the Romans.
These regions will be under the Ottoman Empire dominion until 1878. About 200 years ago in this part of Bosnia a large number of fortifications develop which served to protect restless borders with Austria. That was happening during the Austro-Ottoman War and great Ottoman defeats when the borders moved towards the east in favor of Austria. The first mention of the town, which refers to it as “Palanka Praedor” in a Latin written report of an Austrian field marshal about burnt fortified settlements, occurs between 1693 and 1696. The term “Palanka” indicates a wooden fortification built on an artificially created island on the river Sana.
At the same place in the middle of the 18th century, a new fortress will appear, this time built with the stone walls with three towers and two clay causeways for the cannons. An archived information from Istanbul dated 1745 tells about two town guards crossing over to the newly built Palanka Pridorska Ada (island). It is the first mention of the fortress on the river Sana where the town will develop later.
With the emergence of the fortification, the settlement outside of the walls began to develop at the same time. The settlers are probably Christian population who lived in the vicinity and who will rapidly merge with the town which was expanding to the north. There is a testimony of an Austrian secret agent about the existence of the town for the purposes of the Austrian army, where he described the town in detail and especially emphasized the suburb in the vicinity.
The town was developing rapidly thanks to the navigable river Sana, the development of commerce and craft, and later construction of the first railway through Prijedor. The first railroad in Bosnia and Herzegovina was build in 1873 next to Prijedor and went from Dobrljina to Banja Luka. The fortress existed as a military spot until 1851 when the army left and the walls are demolished by local population for purpose of using the walls to build their own houses. A huge fire in 1882 destroyed 119 houses, 56 big commercial stores, schools, an orthodox church, and 140 families lost roofs over their heads. The next year the Austrian authorities opened a large sawmill at the foot of the mountain Kozara, which is the first industrial object in the history of Prijedor.
The years after the fire brought an intensive development of the town, private and state-owned structures. The wood was replaced with modern building materials, the streets were designed at a right angle and the first town plan was created. New buildings were built – the Serbian elementary school, the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, and a hotel. First cultural associations appeared in the town as well as the libraries, reading rooms and a printing house. The end of the First World War will bring a new state – the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, with Bosnia-Herzegovina as a part of it. Prijedor will have an important place as the trade and craft center of the whole region. The opening of the iron ore mine in Ljubija near Prijedor in 1916, which employed about 4000 workers, will strengthen the economy of the town. During that period, the mine was one of the biggest and most modern iron ore mines in Europe.
Prijedor and its environs have been also known for its recent bloody past. During the Second World War, numerous civilians and children, mostly Serbs, were murdered by the Croat's Ustashas and the Wehrmacht.  The memorial center at Kozara, the work of the academic artist Dušan Džamonja, is dedicated to this region's Yugoslav partisans resistance victims during the Second World War. During the Bosnian war (1992-1995), the area near Prijedor housed the infamous Omarska camp, Keraterm camp, and Trnopolje camp established in 1992 by Radovan Karadzic's Serb authorities for Bosniak and Croat population.
Prijedor was also a place of the mass war rape and executions of Muslims, Bosniaks, Bosnian Croats and non-cooperative Bosnian Serbs by the Karadzic's Bosnian Serb army. A high-ranking Bosnian Serb politician, Milomir Stakić, was found guilty by the ICTY and sentenced to 40 years for war crimes conducted by Serb authorities in Prijedor in 1992.
The fighting in western Bosnia intensified as the cease-fire approached. (...) Facing the end of the fighting, the Croats and the Bosnians finally buried their differences, if only momentarily, and took Sanski Most and several other smaller towns. But Prijedor still eluded them. For reasons we never fully undestood, they did not capture this important town, a famous symbol of ethnic cleansing.* (*In March 1997, I attended a showing at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York of a powerful documentary film, Calling the ghosts, that recounted the brual treatmen two Bosnian women from Prijedor had suffered during their incarceration at the notorious Omarska prison camp. Following the film, the two women angrily asked me why they were still unable to return to their hometown. I told them we'd repeatedly encouraged an assault on Prijedor. They were stonished; they said General Dudakovic, the Bosnian commander, had told them personally that "Holbrooke would not let us capture Prijedor and Bosanski Novi". I subsequently learned that this story was widely believed in the region. This revisionism was not surprising; it absolved Dudakovic and his associates of responsibility for the failure to take Prijedor. I suspect the truth is that after the disaster at the Una River the Croatians did not want to fight for a town the would have to turn over to the Muslims - and the Bosnians could not capture it unaided).
According to data from the census, the municipality of Prijedor had:
|Year||total||Serbs||Bosnian Muslims||Bosnian Croats||Yugoslavs||others|
|~1971~||97.921||46.487 (47,47%)||39.190 (40,02%)||8.845 (9,03%)||1.458 (1,48%)||1.941 (2,00%)|
|~1981~||108.868||45.279 (41,59%)||42.129 (38,69%)||7.297 (6,70%)||10.556 (9,69%)||3.607 (3,33%)|
|~1991~||112.543||47.581 (42,27%)||49.351 (43,85%)||6.316 (5,61%)||6.459 (5,73%)||2.836 (2,54%)|
The town of Prijedor itself in 1991 had a population of 34,635, including:
Note: Muslims by nationality are today mostly called Bosniaks.
In 2006, the majority of inhabitants of municipality were Orthodox Serbs. According to the latest data, there are over 94,096 inhabitants of which 48% belong to the urban population while 52% to the rural population. The population of Prijedor in 2006 was composed of Serbs (estimated at 84%) and Bosniaks (16%).
The first forms of organized education can be tracked back in the first half of the 19th century. In 1834 Prijedor had the "Serbian elementary school" that later with so-called "Communal school" was transformed into "State school" in 1919. One of the first most important school institutions was the Prijedor Gymnasium founded in 1923.
Elementary and High schools
Nowadays, there are 11 elementary schools with circa 8,000 students and 6 high schools attended by 4,000 students. A music school and a special school for mentally dysfunctioned persons are also part of the municipal educational system.
Colleges and Universities
Over the last several years, important steps were taken, aimed at establishing colleges. As a result, Prijedor now has a medical college, a business college, and a Mining Geology branch department of the University of Banja Luka.
Among the oldest sporting clubs in Prijedor is the Tennis club founded in 1914 and the Football club OFK Prijedor founded in 1919.
Prijedor has a various number of galleries, religious sights, libraries, statues, fountains, national monuments, cinemas and a city theater.
Prijedor is home of the Museum of Kozara founded in 1953, which has a regional status.
It is also home of the local national hero, Dr. Mladen Stojanovic. His house is today converted into the Stojanovic Memorial House.
At Kozara National Park in the vicinity of Prijedor, there is the Mrakovica war museum. It includes the Second World War history photographs, guns and artillery used during the Battle of Kozara.
The day of honey. Localy called "Dani meda". Trade-toursit event where local honey producers from the Prijedor area and farer away gather at the square in the main street to sell and demonstrate their products.
Prijedor summer and river festival. "Ljeto na sani". Includes a wide music program, sport activities and other happenings along the city river beach.
Writers gathering. Each year in September, cultural gathering "Writers gathering in Kozara", where works of literal art by local authors are being presented is taking place.
Days of the winter. This tourist event is held at the beginning of February in the mountain Kozara. It lasts three days and its main aim is to promote tourist potentials of the Kozara mountain. Sporting and gastro competitions followed by a rich entertaining programme are an integral part of this event.
International Chorus Festival "Zlatna Vila". This cultural event is held in Prijedor People's Theathre every May and it represents a competition in choral singing. Participants to the festival are choruses from different countries both from ex Yugoslavia and abroad.
St Peter’s Day Parachuting Cup. Each year, in the month of July, a sporting event, St Peter’s Day Parachuting Cup is held. Parachutists from different countries take part in this event, and competitions are organised in various categories, women, men, juniors and teams.
Prijedor is known for being a multi religious society including a catholic cathedral, orthodox churches and mosques. Due to this Prijedor has a large number of mosques in the city center, one of the oldest dating back to the 16'th and 17'th century. The most known is the City mosque "Carsijska dzamija" build in 1750 located the main street. The mosque includes a library and a school. Mostly all of Prijedor municipality's 33 mosques and the catholic cathedral that were damaged and destroyed are now rebuilt and renovated. Other sights is the orthodox church "Crkva Svete Trojice" build in 1891 witch is surrounded with a wall including a small church park. The catholic cathedral "Sv. Josip" build in 1898 is located in the northern part of the city center close to the city theater.
Prijedor is twinned with:
Partner cities :
Prijedor main street
Fountain in Prijedor city centre