Sisak (Croatian: [sǐːsak]; Hungarian: Sziszek [ˈsisɛk]; also known by other alternative names) is a city in central Croatia, spanning the confluence of the Kupa, Sava and Odra rivers, 57 km (35 mi) southeast of the Croatian capital Zagreb, and is usually considered to be where the Posavina (Sava basin) begins, with an elevation of 99 m. The city's total population in 2011 was 47,768 of which 33,322 live in the urban settlement (naselje).[3]

Grad Sisak
City of Sisak
Old bridge - Sisak.jpg
Sisak Matos monument.JPG
Sisak fortress.jpg
Sisak old storahouse.JPG
Roman ruins in Sisak.jpg
Top: Old bridge over the Kupa river; Center left: Antun Gustav Matoš monument; Center right: Sisak Fortress; Bottom left: Holland Storehouse; Bottom right: Roman ruins of Siscia
Flag of Sisak
Sisak is located in Croatia
Location of Sisak within Croatia
Coordinates: 45°29′14″N 16°22′34″E / 45.48722°N 16.37611°E / 45.48722; 16.37611Coordinates: 45°29′14″N 16°22′34″E / 45.48722°N 16.37611°E / 45.48722; 16.37611
Country Croatia
CountyFlag of Sisak-Moslavina County.png Sisak-Moslavina
 • MayorKristina Ikić Baniček[1] (SDP)
 • City Council
25 members
 • City422.75 km2 (163.22 sq mi)
 • Metro
989.50 km2 (382.05 sq mi)
98 m (321.52 ft)
 • City47,768
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
HR-44 000, HR-44 010
Area code+385 44
Vehicle registrationSK
Patron saintsQuirinus of Sescia

Sisak is the administrative centre of the Sisak-Moslavina County, Croatia's biggest river port and a centre of river shipping industry (Dunavski Lloyd). It lies on the D36 state road and the Zagreb-Sisak-Novska railway. Sisak is a regional economic, cultural and historical center. The largest oil refinery in Croatia is here.[4]


Prior to belonging to the Roman Empire, which gave it the Latin name Siscia, the region was Celtic and Illyrian and the city there was named Segestica[5] or Segesta.[6] Writers in Greek referred to the city as Ancient Greek: Σισκία, romanizedSiskía, Σεγέστα Segésta, and Σεγεστική Segestikḗ.[6]

In German the town is known as Sissek, in Hungarian as Sziszek, Latin as Siscia and in Kajkavian and Slovene as Sisek.


Roman empireEdit

Vetranio coin struck at Siscia mint in 350.

Siscia is described by Roman writers as a great town in the south of Upper Pannonia, on the southern bank of the Savus, on an island formed by that river and two others, the Colapis and Odra, a canal dug by Tiberius completing the island.[6] It was on the great road from Aemona to Sirmium.[7] According to Pliny the name Segestica belonged only to the island, and the town was called Siscia; while Strabo says that Siscia was a fort in the neighbourhood of Segestica;[8] but if this was so, it must be supposed that subsequently the fort and town became united as one place. Siscia was from the first a strongly fortified town; and after its capture by Tiberius, in the reign of Augustus,[9] it became one of the most important places of Pannonia; for being on two navigable rivers, it not only carried on considerable commerce,[10] but became the central point from which Augustus and Tiberius carried on their undertakings against the Pannonians and Illyrians. Tiberius did much to enlarge and embellish the town, which as early as that time seems to have been made a colonia, for Pliny mentions it as such: in the time of Septimius Severus it received fresh colonists, whence in inscriptions it is called Col. Septimia Siscia. The town contained an imperial mint, which produced coins under a series of emperors between 262 and 383 AD.[11]

The Christian martyr Quirinus of Sescia, presumed the first bishop of the Diocese of Sescia, was tortured and nearly killed during Diocletian's persecution of Christians. Legend has it that they tied him to a millstone and threw him into a river, but he freed himself from the weight, escaped and continued to preach his faith. Today he is the patron saint of Sisak. When Diocletian split Pannonia into four provinces, Siscia became the capital of Pannonia Savia, the southwestern one, for which Siscia contained the treasury; at the same time it was the station of the small fleet kept on the Savus. Siscia maintained its importance until Sirmium began to rise, for in proportion as Sirmium rose, Siscia sank and declined.[6]

Middle AgesEdit

Braslav of Lower Pannonia reigned from Sisak until he was killed in the Hungarian invasion ca. 898.[12] According to Historia Salonitana, Duke Tomislav reclaimed it soon after.[13][14]

Early modernEdit

Veliki Kaptol

The 16th-century triangular fortress of the Old Town, well-preserved and turned into the Native Museum, is the main destination of every tourist. The fortress is famous for the victory of the joint forces of Croats, Austrians and Carniolans (Slovenes) over the Ottomans in 1593, known as the Battle of Sisak. It was one of the early significant defeats of the up-to-then invincible Ottoman army on European territory. The Croatian Ban Thomas Erdődy who led the defense in this battle became famous throughout Europe. However, this victory didn't prevent Sisak from being ruled by the Ottomans for a brief period between 30 August 1593 and 10 August 1594.

The Baroque palace of Mali Kaptol, the classicist Veliki Kaptol, the brick Stari most ("Old Bridge") over the Kupa, and the ethnological park are the most frequently visited landmarks.


In the late 19th and early 20th century, Sisak was a district capital in the Zagreb County of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia.

Modern historyEdit

From 1929 to 1939, Sisak was part of the Sava Banovina, and from 1939 to 1941, of the Banovina of Croatia within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During World War II, the Sisak children's concentration camp was set up by the Croatian Axis Ustaše government for Serbian, Jewish and Romani children. It is estimated that 1,160–1,600 children lost their lives at the camp.[15][16]

On 22 June 1941, the day Germany invaded the Soviet Union, the Sisak People's Liberation Partisan Detachment, also known as the 1st Sisak Partisan Detachment, was formed by the outlawed Croatian Communist Party in the Brezovica Forest, near Sisak. It was the first Partisan armed anti-fascist resistance unit formed in occupied Yugoslavia following the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers in April 1941.[17] It had 79 members, mainly Croats with the exception of one notable Serb woman, Nada Dimić,[17] and was commanded by a Croat, Vladimir Janjić-Capo.

With the outbreak of the Croatian War of Independence in 1991, Sisak remained in Government hands while the territory to the south was controlled by rebelling Serbs. During the war, the Serb forces often shelled the city, causing dozens of civilian casualties and extensive damage to the city's industry.[18] According to Amnesty International, Serb civilians in Sisak and surrounding areas were subjected to abductions, killings, assault and threats with at least 33 killed between 1991 and 1992,[19] while local human rights activists in Croatia claim that over 100 Serb residents of the Sisak region were killed during the entirety of the war.[20] The frontline dramatically moved eastwards as a result of Operation Storm (1995), effectively ending the war.

Sisak suffered much damage during the 2020 Petrinja earthquake.[21] The town, located roughly 20 km (12 mi) northeast of the epicenter, reported damage to the hospital as well as city hall and various churches.[22][23] Most of the damage was inflicted on old buildings in the center of the town. However, early figures estimate that 700 to 1,000 homes were damaged in Sisak and nearby villages.[24]


In the 2011 census, of the total population of 47,768 there were 40,590 Croats (84.97%), 3,071 Serbs (6.43%), 1,646 Bosniaks (3.45%), 648 Romani (1.36%), 179 Albanians (0.37%), 29 Montenegrins (0.06%), and the rest were other ethnicities.

In the 2011 census, the population by religion was 37,319 Roman Catholics (78.13%; since 2009 again served by their own Diocese of Sisak), 3,279 Orthodox Christians (6.86%), 2,442 Muslims (5.11%) and others.

Municipal makeupEdit

The city's administrative area is composed of the following settlements:[2]


Steam locomotive in front of the Sisak railway station

Chief occupations are farming, ferrous metallurgy (iron works), chemicals, leather (footwear), textiles and food processing plants (dairy products, alcoholic beverages), building material, crude oil refinery and thermal power.

Sisak features the largest metallurgic factory and the largest oil refinery in Croatia. Sisak has many rich mineral springs (spas) with healing properties in the temperature range from 42 to 54 °C (108 to 129 °F).

The city hosts University of Zagreb's Faculty of Metallurgy.

Sports and recreation facilities in the town and the surroundings include mainly the waters and alluvial plains a public beach on the Kupa. All rivers (Kupa, Odra, Sava) with their backwaters offer fishing opportunities. There are hunting grounds in the regions of Turopolje and Posavina. Sisak is the starting point for sightseeing tours into Lonjsko Polje (Field of Lonja river) nature park. The local football club is HNK Segesta. Sisak features the oldest ice hockey club in Croatia, KHL Sisak est. 1934.[citation needed]



Climate data for Sisak (1971–2000, extremes 1949–2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.4
Average high °C (°F) 3.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.5
Average low °C (°F) −3.1
Record low °C (°F) −41.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 49.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 11.7 10.9 11.6 13.8 13.0 13.8 10.9 10.1 11.5 12.3 12.0 12.4 143.9
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm) 11.8 8.4 2.5 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.5 8.3 34.8
Average relative humidity (%) 85.0 78.7 71.3 68.5 69.8 71.1 71.1 74.9 79.9 82.8 85.8 87.3 77.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 52.7 93.2 142.6 174.0 235.6 246.0 285.2 257.3 186.0 114.7 54.0 43.4 1,884.7
Source: Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service[25][26]

International relationsEdit

Twin towns – Sister citiesEdit

Sisak is twinned with:

See alsoEdit



  • Cresswell, Peterjon; Atkins, Ismay; Dunn, Lily (10 July 2006). Time Out Croatia (First ed.). London, Berkeley & Toronto: Time Out Group Ltd & Ebury Publishing, Random House Ltd. 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SV1V 2SA. ISBN 978-1-904978-70-1. Retrieved 10 March 2010.


  1. ^ "2013 Lokalni". Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Population by Age and Sex, by Settlements, 2011 Census: Sisak". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012.
  3. ^ "Državni zavod za statistiku Republike Hrvatske". Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  4. ^ [1] Archived 1 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ John T. Koch (2006). Celtic Culture. p. 1662. ISBN 1-85109-440-7.
  6. ^ a b c d   Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Siscia". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
  7. ^ It. Ant. pp. 259, 260, 265, 266, 272, 274; Pliny. Naturalis Historia. 3.28.
  8. ^ Strabo. Geographica. vii. p.314. Page numbers refer to those of Isaac Casaubon's edition.
  9. ^ Appian, The Illyrian Wars, 16, 23.
  10. ^ Strabo. Geographica. v. pp. 207, 214. Page numbers refer to those of Isaac Casaubon's edition.
  11. ^ "Details for issuing mint located at Siscia (Sisak, Croatia)". 22 February 1999. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  12. ^ John Van Antwerp Fine; John V. A. Fine, Jr. (2006). When Ethnicity Did Not Matter in the Balkans. University of Michigan Press. p. 28. ISBN 0-472-11414-X.
  13. ^ John Van Antwerp Fine; John V. A. Fine, Jr. (2006). When Ethnicity Did Not Matter in the Balkans. University of Michigan Press. p. 178. ISBN 0-472-11414-X.
  14. ^ Stanko Guldescu (1964). History of Medieval Croatia. Mouton. p. 113.
  15. ^ White, Joseph Robert (2018). "Sisak I and II". In Megargee, Geoffrey P.; White, Joseph R. (eds.). Camps and Ghettos under European Regimes Aligned with Nazi Germany. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945. III. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-25302-386-5.
  16. ^ Bartrop, Paul R.; Grimm, Eve E. (2020). Children of the Holocaust. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-44086-853-5.
  17. ^ a b Pavličević, Dragutin (2007). Povijest Hrvatske. Naklada Pavičić. pp. 441–42. ISBN 978-953-6308-71-2.
  18. ^ "11 kaznenih prijava za razaranje Siska". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 27 January 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  19. ^ "A shadow on Croatia's future: Continuing impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity" (PDF). Amnesty International. 13 December 2004. p. 13. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  20. ^ Pavelic, Boris (4 July 2012). "Sisak: Witness Reported Ljubica Solar's Death". Balkan Insight. BIRN. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  21. ^ "Croatia earthquake: Seven dead as rescuers search rubble for survivors". BBC. 30 December 2020. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  22. ^ "Velike štete i u Sisku, bolnica je teško stradala, gradonačelnica se slomila: 'Potreseni smo'" [Great damage also in Sisak, hospital badly damaged, mayor breaks down: 'We are shaken']. Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 29 December 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  23. ^ "M6.4 Earthquake Hits Croatia - Dec. 29, 2020 potres u Petrinji - YouTube".
  24. ^ "U ponedjeljak navečer slabiji potres kod Velike Gorice, u Sisku i okolici oštećeno između 700 i 1000 kuća". (in Croatian). Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  25. ^ "Sisak Climate Normals" (PDF). Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  26. ^ "Mjesečne vrijednosti za Sisak u razdoblju1949−2014" (in Croatian). Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  27. ^ "Twin Towns". Archived from the original on 2 August 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014.

External linksEdit