Prnjavor, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prnjavor (Serbian Cyrillic: Прњавор, pronounced [prɲǎːʋɔr]) is a town and municipality located in Republika Srpska, an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, between cities of Banja Luka and Doboj. According to the 2013 census, the town has a population of 8,120 inhabitants, with 35,956 inhabitants in the municipality.[1]

Prnjavor center
Prnjavor center
Coat of arms of Prnjavor
Location of Prnjavor within Republika Srpska
Location of Prnjavor within Republika Srpska
Location of Prnjavor
Coordinates: 44°52′N 17°39′E / 44.867°N 17.650°E / 44.867; 17.650Coordinates: 44°52′N 17°39′E / 44.867°N 17.650°E / 44.867; 17.650
CountryBosnia and Herzegovina
EntityRepublika Srpska
 • Municipal mayorDarko Tomaš (SNSD)
 • Municipality629.99 km2 (243.24 sq mi)
 • Municipality35,956
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code(s)51
Stupje monastery


Physical geographyEdit

The municipality is located in the basin of the Ukrina river and is characterized by a mostly lowland hilly terrain configuration with the highest peak of 594m (mountain Ljubić). The Municipality of Prnjavor is shielded on all sides by low mountains such as Ljubić (south) and Motajica (north). The town of Prnjavor is located at an altitude of 185m. Other thant the river Ukrina which forms in the Municipality of Prnjavor by murging of the Big and Small Ukrina near the village of Kulaši, there are also the rivers of Vijaka and Lišnja and various other streams. On the river Vijaka in the foothills of Ljubić there is a man made lake Drenova and further downstream there are Ribnjak fishing grounds.

Political geographyEdit

The municipality is located in the northern part of Republika Srpska and borders the municipalities of Derventa, Stanari, Teslić, Čelinac, Laktaši and Srbac. It has an area of 629.99 km2 and makes up 2,568% of the total territory of the Republika Srpska.


The area of the municipality belongs to the zone of temperate continental climate with moderately cold winters (average temperature in January 1 °C) and moderately warm summers (average temperature in July 31 °C). The average number of total hours of sunshine in the municipality of Prnjavor is 1,600 hours. The average annual rainfall is about 950 mm, and is evenly distributed throughout the year.


Wooden church Palačkovci
Smoke pipe made out of Sepiolite from Prnjavor displayed at National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo.

Middle AgesEdit

Even over 700 years ago people recognized the economic potential of the area of the present-day Municipality of Prnjavor. Although there had been some settlements from the Roman period here, significant colonization and settlement (including the construction of monasteries, such as the one of at Stuplje) took place only in the Middle Ages. According to historical sources, medieval monasteries had their landed properties called Prnjavori, and the locals living there were called Prnjavorci. This is believed to be the origin of the name Prnjavor.

Ottoman eraEdit

During the Ottoman period the region suffered from border conflicts with the Austrian Empire. A significant number of Bosnians converted to Islam after the conquest by the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the 15th century, giving it a unique character within the Balkan region. This conversion appears to have been not sudden but a gradual process based on various rules imposed by the Ottomans — it took more than a hundred years for the number of Muslims to become the majority religion. The general view among scholars is that the Islamization of the Bosnian population was not the result of violent methods of conversions but was, for the most part, peaceful and voluntary.

The first time Prnjavor was mentioned in recorded history was in 1829. The current settlement itself is believed to be of a more recent date. In the mid-19th century and according to the records of the travel writer Jukić, Prnjavor had about a hundred houses and around a thousand inhabitants.


In 1878 Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia and the authorities decided the Prnjavor area was under-populated. Efforts were undertaken to attract settlers from other parts of the empire and consequently the municipal area was settled by Italians, Ukrainians, Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and German-speaking folk from Austria, Germany, Bohemia, Hungary and Russia. Although over half the population remained Orthodox Serbs, the multi-ethnic character of the population led the municipality of Prnjavor to be nicknamed "Little Europe".


In 1918 Bosnia became part of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and all immigration stopped. During the interwar period between 1918 and 1941 Prnjavor underwent more significant economic development through the opening of craftsman workshops, hotels, more shops and a few manufacturing plants. From 1929 to 1941 Prnjavor was part of the Vrbas Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

Following the collapse of internal security during World War II the Nazis decided to evacuate the Volksdeutsche (ethnic German) population from Bosnia and a treaty to this effect was signed with the Croatian Ustaše regime on 30 September 1942. After 1945 the Communist regime of Josip Broz Tito repopulated the Volksdeutsche villages with Serbs and destroyed or obscured all evidence of German history and heritage in the region.

During the Socialist period of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Prnjavor was not a highly developed municipality within Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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

After the war that erupted after the collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), Prnjavor became part of the North-Eastern entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republika Srpska, as per the Dayton Agreement. The warring that took place in the very proximity of Prnjavor e.g. in Derventa, changed the demography in Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to the ICRC, a total of 2,2 million people had to flee their homes from different parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many people never returned, changing the ethnic composition in all parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.



Population of settlements – Prnjavor municipality
Settlement 1961. 1971. 1981. 1991. 2013.
Total 46,734 48,956 47,055 35,956
1 Babanovci 398 188
2 Brezik 304 125
3 Velika Ilova 1,041 699
4 Vršani 722 372
5 Gajevi 191 148
6 Galjipovci 400 186
7 Gornja Ilova 1,391 754
8 Gornja Mravica 782 578
9 Gornji Vijačani 1,074 621
10 Gornji Galjipovci 339 250
11 Gornji Palačkovci 1,235 821
12 Gornji Smrtići 1,443 1,084
13 Gornji Štrpci 1,356 1,157
14 Grabik Ilova 839 530
15 Gusak 237 179
16 Doline 193 167
17 Donja Ilova 817 511
18 Donja Mravica 448 386
19 Donji Vijačani 1,700 1,195
20 Donji Galjipovci 426 433
21 Donji Palačkovci 568 359
22 Donji Smrtići 672 452
23 Donji Štrpci 1,516 1,061
24 Drenova 864 446
25 Jadovica 93 63
26 Jasik 227 282
27 Karać 96 111
28 Kokori 606 358
29 Kojuhovci 1,451 1,029
30 Kremna 1,155 847
31 Kulaši 1,234 477
32 Lišnja 1,847 891
33 Lužani 179 209
34 Maćino Brdo 170 231
35 Mravica 548 288
36 Mračaj 219 135
37 Mujinci 260 181
38 Naseobina Babanovci 506 673
39 Naseobina Lišnja 477 277
40 Naseobina Hrvaćani 140 73
41 Novo Selo 168 88
42 Okolica 529 824
43 Orašje 363 169
44 Otpočivaljka 229 124
45 Paramije 289 175
46 Pečeneg Ilova 1,287 841
47 Popovići 951 548
48 Potočani 597 842
49 Prnjavor 2,939 4,055 6,187 8,104 8,120
50 Prosjek 476 302
51 Puraći 426 269
52 Ralutinac 94 48
53 Ratkovac 349 598
54 Skakavci 365 227
55 Srpovci 305 161
56 Hrvaćani 670 405
57 Crkvena 721 468
58 Čivčije 374 228
59 Čorle 632 395
60 Šarinci 862 510
61 Šereg Ilova 449 306
62 Šibovska 249 232
63 Štivor 402 119

Ethnic compositionEdit

Municipal assembly building

In the end of the 19th century, during Austria-Hungary, then sparsely populated area of the Municipality of Prnjavor was colonized by settlers from Eastern and Central Europe (Ukraine, Italy (South Tirol), Hungary, Poland, Germany, Austria, Bohemia, Slovakia, etc.). At the time of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and due to numerous national minorities (about 20) Prnjavor was called "Little Europe". Except the Ukrainian, Italian and Czech national minorities the others were mainly small communities. But, even today, besides the constitutive nations of Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks, a small number of Hungarians, Slovaks, Germans, Polish, Slovenes, Bulgarians, Romanians, Macedonians, Jews, and Russians live in Prnjavor.

According to the census of 1991 there were still 732 Italians in Bosnia and Herzegovina, thereof around 2/3 lived in municipality of Prnjavor, while at the end of the second world war most of the Italians had returned to Italy to today's Trento province. The Italians populated mainly the village of Štivor in Prnjavor, where in 1991 73.13%[2] of the population spoke Italian as their mother tongue.

The village school "Šibovska" teaches in Italian language "lingua d'insegnamento italiana". In 1986, it had 91 pupils and eight teachers.[3]

The Polish population that arrived during the Austro-Hungarian empire, mostly left after the second world war in the population exchanges where German population left from the Western Poland to Germany after redrawing of borders, and Polish population from different parts of Europe, including Prnjavor, returned to the empty areas in Western Poland, mainly Boleslawiec.[4]

Ethnic composition – Prnjavor town
2013. 1991. 1981. 1971.
Total 8,120 (100,0%) 8,104 (100,0%) 6,187 (100,0%) 4,055 (100,0%)
Serbs 6,572 (80,94%) 3,891 (48,01%) 2,577 (41,65%) 1,545 (38,10%)
Bosniaks 811 (9,987%) 2,345 (28,94%) 1,915 (30,95%) 1,737 (42,84%)
Ukrainians 242 (2,980%)
Croats 141 (1,736%) 219 (2,702%) 261 (4,219%) 275 (6,782%)
Unaffiliated 112 (1,379%)
Others 103 (1,268%) 723 (8,922%) 474 (7,661%) 423 (10,43%)
Macedonians 78 (0,961%) 1 (0,025%)
Yugoslavs 28 (0,345%) 926 (11,43%) 907 (14,66%) 48 (1,184%)
Roma 13 (0,160%) 17 (0,275%)
Montenegrins 9 (0,111%) 25 (0,404%) 10 (0,247%)
Slovenes 6 (0,074%) 6 (0,097%) 10 (0,247%)
Unknown 5 (0,062%)
Albanians 5 (0,081%) 6 (0,148%)
Ethnic composition – Prnjavor municipality
2013. 1991. 1981. 1971.
Total 35,956 (100,0%) 47,055 (100,0%) 48,956 (100,0%) 46,734 (100,0%)
Serbs 30,685 (85,34%) 33,508 (71,21%) 34,699 (70,88%) 35,177 (75,27%)
Bosniaks 3,085 (8,580%) 7,143 (15,18%) 6,618 (13,52%) 6,143 (13,14%)
Ukrainians 858 (2,386%)
Croats 451 (1,254%) 1,721 (3,657%) 2,060 (4,208%) 2,148 (4,596%)
Others 385 (1,071%) 2,926 (6,218%) 3,045 (6,220%) 3,032 (6,488%)
Unaffiliated 239 (0,665%)
Macedonians 94 (0,261%) 2 (0,004%) 6 (0,013%)
Yugoslavs 41 (0,114%) 1,757 (3,734%) 2,400 (4,902%) 96 (0,205%)
Roma 40 (0,111%) 42 (0,086%) 53 (0,113%)
Unknown 33 (0,092%)
Slovenes 25 (0,070%) 31 (0,063%) 31 (0,066%)
Montenegrins 20 (0,056%) 52 (0,106%) 38 (0,081%)
Albanians 7 (0,014%) 10 (0,021%)


Old mill on Ukrina
Fishing Ground Ribnjak

The municipality of Prnjavor has the following land resources: farmlands (437.79 km2 (169 sq mi)/68.8%), cultivable land (382.64 km2 (147.74 sq mi)), forest resources (173.39 km2 (66.95 sq mi)) and water resources (Ukrina River, Drenova Lake).

Considering that almost four-fifths of the population live in rural areas and reckoning with great areas of cultivable land, with all reason agriculture has been recognized as the key branch of the economy considering the Municipality development. In the area of Prnjavor more than 200 km2 (49,000 acres) of land are cultivated while 6.1 km2 (1,510 acres) is planted with fruit crops.

Out of the total area of the cultivated farmlands, the cereal crops share is 77%, vegetable crops 10% while the rest has been sown with industrial crops, berries and fruit crops. New greenhouses are being constructed, health food production (organic agriculture) projects have been started to which the Municipality of Prnjavor has great predispositions due to the lack of significant industrial capacities as well as the preserved nature.

Economic preview

The following table gives a preview of total number of registered employed people per their core activity (as of 2016):[5]

Activity Total
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 128
Mining and quarrying 14
Manufacturing 1,976
Distribution of power, gas, steam and air-conditioning 91
Distribution of water and water waste management 130
Construction 105
Wholesale and retail, repair 1,330
Transportation and storage 266
Hotels and restaurants 317
Information and communication 65
Finance and insurance 64
Real estate activities 19
Professional, scientific and technical activities 167
Administrative and support services 31
Public administration and defence 314
Education 688
Healthcare and social work 253
Art, entertainment and recreation 16
Other service activities 106
Total 6,070

Tourism and leisureEdit

Ribers and streams, the great areas of timber-lands as well as the Ukrina's banks covered with greenery and the old mills make this river specially attractive for all the nature and fishing lovers. The Drenova lake and fishing ground Ribnjak both have a very good foundation for hunting and fishing development. In 2003 a record catch (a 91 kg heavy catfish) was registered at this lake, otherwise being a fishing ground.

Hunting grounds, the hunting grounds on Mt. Motajica, in the forest lands of Čavka and Mt. Ljubić as well as the fishing ground of Ribnjak have again become destinations for hunters from Germany, Austria and especially Italy.

SRC "Borik", Borik is a sports recreation center located north of the town Prnjavor, which consists of a forest park along which there are various camping spots, a very well known and popular restaurant among the locals "Lovački dom", as well as a volleyball court, outdoor gym and a children's playground.

Kulaši Spa, 14 km (9 mi) from the town of Prnjavor, has been known as a sanatorium ever since Austria-Hungarian rule in this area. Therapeutic factors: water is hyperalkalescent (pH 12.75) and includes hydrogen sulphide (H2S, HS+). The water is hyperthermal and its temperature is 28 °C (82 °F). Basic water characteristics: curative, oligomineral, thermomineral, hyperalkalic, chloride and sulphide water with the presence of calcium and sodium. Indications: degenerative skin disease (psoriasis, eczema, hair root sebreae, acne etc.) postoperative conditions, inflammatory diseases of the bone-joint-and-muscle system, liver, stomach, kidney and urinary tract diseases etc.

Lipizzaner stables "Vučijak", founded in 1946, belongs to the group of the most famous horse farms from the time of ex-Yugoslavia. There are about fifty Lipizzaner head on it with significant presence of several breeding lines and stocks. It is located in the village of Lužanit. It currently offers horse riding classes and is going through a reconstruction to be able to offer services in the field of education, tourism and leisure as well as recreational and medical activities.

Stuplje and Liplje monasteries, two twins and in books they are always mentioned together as the victims of burning during Ottoman reign. After having been burnt by the Ottomans during Austrian-Ottoman war they were neglected. The foundations of Stuplje were found in Gornji Vijačani (village not far from Prnjavor) only in mid-1994. The reconstruction and building of this medieval monastery has been going on ever since.

The Roman Catholic church of Saint Anthony of Padua, located in the town of Prnjavor was built in 1909 during the Austro-Hungarian empire.[6]

The Prnjavor town mosque, located in the town of Prnjavor has been entered into the list of national heritage sites of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while it was destroyed during the war in 1992 but later rebuilt.[7]

The log-built church in Palačkovci, located in the village of Gornji Palaćkovci is one of the most important cultural monuments in the municipality. It is devoted to apostles St Peter and St Paul and was built in 1843 in the period of Ottoman rule. In terms of its construction and engineering as well as aesthetically it is a real small master-piece of popular architecture. Even at the time of Yugoslavia it was declared a worldwide cultural heritage monument and was put under the protection of the state. It is currently, among other monuments, on the list under consideration to be mentioned as a cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[8][9]


Cultural societiesEdit


The club was founded in 1946 and until 1991 it had little importance in the football world of the SFRY. With the disintegration of Yugoslavia, this club finally managed to reach the public. It started in 1992 in the Second League of Republika Srpska, then in 1993 it moved to the First League of Republika Srpska. It left the First League in 1996, but returned the following season. It is currently in the Second League of Republika Srpska. It plays at the "Borik" stadium in Prnjavor which has a capacity of about 2500 people.

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Prnjavor is twinned with:[10]

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "2013 census in B&H, Prnjavor". Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  2. ^ Mazzucchelli, Francesco (2017-06-25). "Semiotiche dei confini e narrative spaziali della memoria in Bosnia Erzegovina: monumenti, musei, città". Storicamente. 13. doi:10.12977/stor660. ISSN 1825-411X.
  3. ^ Klemencic, Matjaz; Zupancic, Jernej (December 2004). "The effects of the dissolution of Yugoslavia on the minority rights of Hungarian and Italian minorities in the post-Yugoslav states". Nationalities Papers. 32 (4): 853–896. doi:10.1080/0090599042000296186. ISSN 0090-5992.
  4. ^ "Stowarzyszenie Reemigrantów z Bośni, ich Potomków oraz Przyjaciół w Bolesławcu | reemigranci z Jugosławii, przesiedlenia i migracje ludności Polskiej, Polacy w Bośni, Polacy w Jugosławii, mieszkańcy Bolesławca". (in Polish). Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  5. ^ "Cities and Municipalities of Republika Srpska 2017" (PDF). (in Serbian). December 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Župa PRNJAVOR – BANJOLUČKA BISKUPIJA". (in Croatian). Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  7. ^ "Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika". Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  8. ^ "Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika". Archived from the original on 2016-09-20. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  10. ^ "Sister Cities". Prnjavor. Retrieved 2020-12-29.

External linksEdit