Tuzla is an industrial city in the northeast of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located in a side valley of the Spreča on the Jala River. Tuzla is the capital of the canton named after her of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. With around 110,000 inhabitants, the city is the third largest in the country. The area of ​​the actual urban area is 15 km², that of the municipality 303 km². With around 445,000 inhabitants, the canton of Tuzla is the most populous canton in the country.

Tuzla is located in a hilly area southeast of the Majevica Mountains.

The Modračko jezero reservoir southwest of the city is the city's largest recreational area. It was created in 1964 and is used as a water reservoir for the surrounding industry. It has a water surface of approximately 900 hectares, a maximum depth of 20 meters and an average depth of 7 meters.

The climate in Tuzla is temperate, but more of a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers. The annual average temperature is 10 ° C; the average annual rainfall is 895 mm.

The lowest temperature ever recorded was −25.8 ° C on January 24, 1963, the highest at 39.5 ° C on July 6, 1988.



Early history
As archaeological excavations show, the history of Tuzla goes back to the Neolithic. The earliest evidence of settlement by Slavic tribes goes back to the 7th century AD. Due to the salty springs that are often found in the area, the settlement was initially called Soli (Slavic for salt).

In Gornja Tuzla, around 10 km from the center of Tuzla, excavations uncovered a settlement of the Starčevo culture, which is considered the oldest evidence of this culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina and dates back to 3000–2000 BC. Is dated. The restored remains of a pile dwelling settlement, the oldest of its kind in the area of ​​former Yugoslavia, can now be viewed on the site of the city's artificially created salt lake.

Middle age
In early feudalism, i.e. at the time of the medieval Bosnian state, the production of salt was insignificant and obviously only served the use of the local population. This can best be inferred from the document of the Ban Kulin (Povelja Kulina bana) from 1189, with whose signature the Ban effectively transferred the monopoly with salt to the Dubrovniks. In doing so, he allowed them free trade in the areas under his control. The Ban Kulin document is the oldest Bosnian-Herzegovinian state document.

Ottoman Empire
In 1463 the city was captured by the Ottomans and was given the name Tuzla, which is based on the Turkish word for salt (tuz). Until then, Tuzla was called Soli or Só.

With the arrival of the Turks, the production of salt takes an organized form in terms of trade. The oldest information about the annual production of salt in the upper and lower Tuzla (Gornja i Donja Tuzla) comes from 1478. At that time a total of 13 tons of salt were produced. The highest amount of annual production was recorded in 1991 at 205,005 tons.

The Turkish power granted individuals the right to operate the salt production. Part of this had to be given to the state. This was regulated in a specially prepared law from 1548. Manufacturing in the Turkish era progressed from 13 to 640 tons in 1875. This was just before the end of the Ottoman administration in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

With the beginning of the Austro-Hungarian administration in 1878, increased industrialization began. In 1880 the state monopoly on salt was proclaimed; four years later, construction of the first factory in Simin Han began. The Solana factory was opened in 1885, establishing the industrial production of salt in Tuzla, which continues to this day. How important the Solana was for the central power of that time is shown by the fact that the Solana was named in an imperial decree of February 16, 1885 by Emperor Franz Joseph I.

At the beginning, the industrial production of salt developed rapidly. The development of new salt deposits made a significant contribution to this. After the discovery of a warehouse on the Trnovac hill in the north of the city, a new plant was opened in Kreka in 1891. This happened at the site of the current factory. In 30 years of industrialization, annual production rose from 640 tons in the pre-industrial era to a good 20,000 tons of salt in 1905. In 1917, before the end of the Austro-Hungarian period, the volume produced was 43,841 tons.

Meyer's Großes Konversations-Lexikon from 1909 described Tuzla as a district town, which lies on both banks of the Jala and the Doboj-T.-Siminhan railway line. It was the seat of an Orthodox bishop, a mufti, a military squadron and a district court. The dictionary states that there were three bridges, numerous mosques (including the Behrambeg mosque), a nunnery and several barracks. At that time (1895) Tuzla had 11,034 inhabitants, 5984 of whom were Mohammedans (then the common name for Muslims). The trade was "brisk", especially in cattle and horses. There was also an elementary and trade school, a girls' school and a higher Islamic school, a hospital, the Elisabeth Park, and in addition to the salt springs mentioned, there were also rich coal stores. Tuzla's surroundings are said to have been rich in Bogumilen graves. Furthermore, Tuzla was the capital of the province of Soli in 1225. In 1693 the imperial general Perčinlija triumphed over the Turks. Austrian troops fought here 9-10. Aug. 1878 with the insurgents.


Franciscan monastery
In 1447 a monastery of St. Maria (Sv. Marije) mentioned in the upper Tuzla or upper Soli (Gornja Tuzla, Gornji Soli). The next mention comes from the Franciscan historian Luke Wadding, who lists monasteries in the upper and lower Tuzla (Gornjoj i Donjoj Tuzli) under the year 1506. Subsequently, the monastery in upper Tuzla is mentioned in 1514. A church in Lower Tuzla is mentioned in Turkish documents in 1533. In 1548 a monastery and a church dedicated to St. Peter was mentioned.

In the first decades of the 16th century, the Bosnian Franciscans were subjected to severe expulsions. In 1538 the Franciscan monastery in Zvornik was destroyed and the church was converted into a mosque. They had to leave this monastery in 1541 and settled Gradovrh together with the Franciscans from Gornja Tuzla. The monastery on Gradovrh was claimed by the rich aristocratic Maglašević family (this family is mentioned by several surnames: Sić, Soić, Suić, Pavičević i Pavešević). The monastery on Gradovrh was located near today's Tuzla.

First World War
After the Ottomans withdrew, Tuzla became part of Austria-Hungary in 1878. With the end of the First World War, Tuzla belonged to Yugoslavia.

The Croats in Tuzla founded the Organizacija radnika Hrvata (Organization of Croatian Workers) and the Hrvatsku narodnu zajednicu (Croatian People's Community) in 1907, and in 1913 the Hrvatski nogometni klub Zrinjski (Croatian Football Club Zrinjski) as well as many other associations with Croatian signs.

The Husino uprising broke out nearby in 1920.

Second World War
During the Second World War, the Ustaše marched into Tuzla on the night of April 14-15, 1941; the city fell to the so-called Independent State of Croatia. The Yugoslav partisan movement then had a support in the population of Tuzla. On October 2, 1943, the city was captured by partisans.

The communist regime of Yugoslavia took a large part of the property from the Catholic Church. The Franciscans lost the old monastery building from their property. The Josipovac monastery was wrested from the nuns; their expulsion followed. Afterwards, numerous Franciscans and civilians were captured or murdered.

After the Second World War, Tuzla developed into an important industrial city in socialist Yugoslavia. A strong chemical and power plant industry developed based on the salt and coal deposits in the area around the city. This also led to the influx of many people from different parts of Yugoslavia, thereby consolidating the city's pre-existing multi-ethnic population.

Bosnian War
During the Bosnian War from 1992 to 1995, Tuzla belonged to the part of Bosnia and Herzegovina dominated by the Bosnian government army. During and after the war the city became a refuge for many refugees.

After the founding of the Hrvatska zajednica Herceg Bosna, the Hrvatske zajednice Usora i HZ Soli (Croatian community Usora and HZ Soli) was founded, as in Sarajevo.

In the spring of 1992 the 115th Zrinski Brigade of the Croatian Defense Council (HVO) was established; this was the first military association in Tuzla. The brigade had 3,000 Croatian volunteers from Tuzla, Lukavac and Živinice.

On May 14, 1993 in the Husinska buna barracks in Tuzla, the commander of the HVO Brigade Zrinski, Zvonko Jurić and Jusuf Šećerbegović, the commander of the first Tuzla Brigade, signed a document in which fraternization, military and any other cooperation was agreed. Great importance is attached to this process, both in a political sense and for strengthening the city's defense.

In contrast to most other cities, Tuzla was never ruled by nationalist parties during this time and even during the war, Bosniak, Croat and Serbian residents continued to work together and defend the city together against attacks by Serbian units. In the winter of 1993/1994, the city was temporarily completely surrounded by Serbian troops, which led to a sometimes dramatic supply situation. There were also repeated grenade strikes and the associated destruction in the city.

The attack on the Tuzla column on May 15, 1992 and the Tuzla massacre on May 25, 1995 are particularly remembered. In these two attacks alone, at least 171 mostly young people died.


During the war, Selim Bešlagić gained some notoriety as mayor for the successful management and defense of the city. The current mayor, Jasmin Imamović, is heavily involved in the development of the city. After the war ended with the Dayton Agreement of December 1995, the city is only slowly recovering and is still dependent on international aid.

On July 24, 2014, Tuzla was officially awarded city status (degree) by the parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.