Sisak is a town in Croatia and the center of Sisak-Moslavina County. It is one of the largest industrial cities in the history of Croatia thanks to the oil refinery, ironworks, river port and mill and bakery production. According to the 2011 census, Sisak has 47,768 inhabitants, while the narrower area has 33,322 inhabitants.



Sisak is one of the oldest settlements in central Croatia, because traces of its urban population can be traced back to the 4th century BC. However, even before the signs of the urban settlement, this area was inhabited by people, and during archaeological research, prehistoric remains of tools and statues of idols were found.

Illyrians, Celts and Romans
In the 4th century BC, the Celts from the Segestani tribe (Greek: Segestanoi) invaded this area and mixed with the Illyrian natives, giving the common settlement its name - Segestica. It seems that this city, located on the right bank of the Kupa, was then the largest city in the western part of the Pannonian Plain.

The Romans tried to conquer Segestica on several occasions, but they did not succeed until 35 BC. BC, when the young Octavian, who would later become Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus, after a month-long siege, with an army of 12,000 men, conquered the Celtic-Illyrian city, and from the left bank of the Kupa founded a Roman military camp - Siscia. This camp soon gained the status of a city, and its geographical position contributed to the strengthening of the military, traffic and administrative significance of this urban center, and especially to the development of trade and crafts. Roman Siscia had a port on the Kupa, and from the middle of the 3rd century a mint used throughout the vast Roman Empire (several specimens of coins minted in Siscia were even found in Palestine) because it was commonly used by military units. In addition, the thermal baths were located along the banks of the Kupa. Also in the area of ​​ancient Siscia, the existence of public buildings intended for the entertainment of the population, such as the theater and amphitheater, is assumed.

In the time of Emperor Diocletian, the Roman province of Pannonia was divided in 297 into four parts, and Siscia became the capital of the province of Pannonia Savia (Sava Pannonia).

In the 19th century, the builders of the station and the railway were without any archaeological awareness deliberately demolishing the thick ramparts and roads of Roman Siscia to obtain building materials. Archaeological excavations from the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century also brought to light parts of the city walls, especially their extreme northern and southern part. The ground plans of many buildings below the present-day city center are known from that period, and numerous coins, gems and "Roman bricks" can be found in the City Museum, as well as in the private collections of the people of Sisak, as well as parts of ceramic vessels. In November 2013, during the works at the Sisak station, important archeological remains of Roman Siscia were found, which confirmed that the Sisak station was built on the site of representative Roman public architecture. These are the remains of Roman residential architecture, but also movable finds, the most significant of which is the Roman capital, which has not been found in Sisak for a long time. In the last week of June 2014, archaeologists in Sisak discovered a site from the time of ancient Rome so valuable that the relocation of the station was considered, so that the valuable site would be preserved and permanently presented to the public. They discovered the main road of the city of Siscia, whose route goes in a north-south direction. It is five meters wide, paved with stone, equipped with curbs, drains and sewer pipes. It dates from the 4th century. Along the road, archaeologists have found a lot of coins that are mostly minted in the Siscian mint, a lot of pottery, tools, jewelry. At the site of today's station, along the road, they found the northern end of a large square from the 4th century paved with stone slabs. A 70-meter-long forum was discovered, with several stone pillars at its eastern end, which probably connect the neighboring upper part of the square. They have not yet determined how far the square extends to the south. They thought it stretched probably below the bus station and park. Remains of one meter wide stone walls of 1st and 2nd century buildings and a 1.45 meter thick wall were also excavated. The purpose of these buildings has not yet been determined, but they must have been public purposes in terms of wall thickness. On August 20, 2019, during the excavation of the foundations for a future residential building in the center of Sisak, a new rich archeological site from the time of Roman Siscia was found at a depth of less than a meter. This could have been expected because the borders of ancient Roman Siscia marked by the city wall coincide with the center of today's Sisak. They found the preserved foundations and walls of a luxury residential building, repeatedly rebuilt and rebuilt throughout history. Ancient Roman builders used Roman brick and stone and plaster for construction. Pieces of the mosaic were found. Because the finds were very shallow and thus accessible, in the Middle Ages they extracted building material from this location, which witnesses found tools that remained. There are also fragments of pottery, some metal objects and coins. The site up to two meters deep was processed.


Christianity and the Middle Ages
Christianity appears early in this area. The seat of the diocese was already in Siscia at the end of the 3rd century. The first bishop known to us was Quirinus, who was bishop from 284 to 303, and during Diocletian's persecution of Christians he was captured and tortured. It was eventually thrown into the Sibaris River (Hungarian: Gyöngyös) in present-day Hungary. Sv. Quirinus is the patron saint of the city of Sisak, and his feast day, June 4, is the City Day.

In the 4th century, the splendor of Siscia began to fade, and after the collapse of the Roman Empire, it was completely neglected. With the arrival of the Croats in the 7th century, the city woke up and grew again, and the Croatian prince Ljudevit Posavski sat here at the beginning of the 9th century, fortified the city, and from 819 to 822 fought against the Franks. With the fall of the Pannonian Croatian principality, Sisak and the interfluve of the Sava and Drava became the battlefield of the Hungarians and southern princes, and during Tomislav's rule Sisak became part of the newly formed Kingdom of Croatia, as confirmed by documents from the Split church council. After that, he shared his fate with the rest of Croatia, and after turbulent events from the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century and the establishment of a personal union, he came under the rule of Croatian-Hungarian kings.

There is no exact information about the time when the Sisak diocese ceased to exist (although it was never officially abolished), but it is assumed that this was during the 10th century, and in 1094, with the founding of the Zagreb diocese, Sisak became the feudal estate of the Zagreb bishop. 1215, donated to the Zagreb Chapter. During the time of the Croatian-Hungarian king Bela IV. Sisak gets the status of a city municipality with a city administration and a court. Sisak has since developed as a trading post and the seat of the county, whose prefect Kaptol was elected every year on Lovrijenčevo.

Sisak (Siscia) is marked on medieval maps of the world, Ebstoforska from 1235 and Hereforska from 1280.

Fighting the Turks
In 1591, the Turkish Sultan Murat III. appoints Hasan-pasha Predojević as a Bosnian beglerbeg, and the incursions of the Turks towards the west, as well as towards Sisak and Turopolje, are more frequent. After the fall of Bihać, Sisak came to an unenviable position. Soon the Turks, about 12,000 of them, began to gather near Petrinja, whose walls were burned by a decision of the Croatian Parliament, and the Christian army, consisting of about 5,000 Croats, Germans and Slovenes, led by Ban Toma Erdödy, Dukes Ruprecht Eggenberg, Andrija Auersperg. Paradeiser and Rodin.

In the Sisak fortress (today also called the Old Town), which was built earlier with the help of building materials from old Siscia, there were only 800 defenders led by canons Blaž Đurak and Matija Fintić. On June 22, 1593, a great battle took place in which Hasan-pasha Predojević himself was killed, as well as a large part of his army. This battle was a turning point that marked the cessation of Turkish penetration further into Europe, and it had a special psychological impact, because it established a balance on the Croatian-Turkish border for the first time after the Battle of Krbava. A printed leaflet showing the first great victory of the united Christian forces of Central Europe against the Turkish army soon toured Europe, and the commanders of the Christian army were praised by Pope Clement VIII, the German Emperor Rudolf II. and King Philip II of Spain.

Shortly after the victory, Christian forces moved on to attack the nearby Turkish fortress of Yenikale (today's Petrinja), but Hasan Pasha, the son of Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic, finally arrived on August 24 and crossed the Cup on the same day, and on August 30 the Turks conquered Sisak. . Sisak, now a Turkish city, is being rebuilt and, along with nearby Petrinja, is a base from which the Turks penetrate all the way to the surroundings of Zagreb, from where the canons flee in panic with the Zagreb County Treasury in Bologna. But Hasan-pasha received an urgent message to go to Hungary, where Sinan-pasha had already set out, and left the city poorly defended. Toma Erdödy took advantage of this and on July 21, 1594, built a pontoon bridge near Petrinja, where Archduke Maximilian soon arrived with 1,000 cavalry and besieged Petrinja for a month. In a hopeless situation, on August 10, the Turkish defenders of Petrinja and Sisak fled towards Kostajnica, setting fire to Sisak before withdrawing. The same day, Christian forces enter the empty city and begin repairs.

Urban development of the 18th and 19th centuries

With the withdrawal of the Turks from these parts, at the beginning of the 18th century, the long-lasting stagnation in the development of the city ended. Trade routes reopen, and the city becomes increasingly important as a river port. It is precisely river shipping that will become its symbol.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the town was divided by the river Kupa, and its life took place in two separate settlements, which did not have many connections with each other. From the left bank of the Kupa, Civil Sisak (later called Stari Sisak) continues to develop, which still belongs to Kaptol, and from the right bank of the river grows Vojni Sisak (also called Novi Sisak or Prečki Sisak), which was under the administration of Banska Krajina. This separation lasted until 1874.

At the beginning of this period, Sisak was a small settlement, and the population lived in wooden houses of typical Pokup style of construction, located along the coast of the Kupa, which is the first source of income, because of the port, but also because of rafting and fishing. The first masonry building, after the construction of the Old Town in the 16th century, is now the parish church of St. Cross, at the place where the southern walls of old Siscia once ended and where in Roman times there was a city forum.

On October 29, 1838, the Kaptol of Zagreb passed a charter by which Sisak became a free market with its statute, seal and coat of arms. Since 1828, Sisak has had its own urban systematization, which is based on the regulatory basis of the city, which was made by the architect Ivan Fistrović. This plan foresaw the continued growth of the city according to the raster of streets that basically rested on the layout of the streets of ancient Siscia. Therefore, the remains of Siscia will remain buried under the later city, and knowledge about them will be obtained gradually during later construction works. Fistrović's street plan envisages four longitudinal streets (north-south), which follow the Kupa coast. Regardless of their later names, which changed with political changes, the people of Sisak always call them simply First, Second, Third and Fourth Streets (counting from the Kupa). These four streets are interconnected with the help of several cross streets.

Along the coast of the Kupa, grain warehouses are starting to grow, as well as other commercial buildings, which will significantly determine the appearance of today's city. Traders competed with each other, not in the look of their houses, but in the look and quality of the warehouse construction, and it will become almost a status symbol. Only after that will the construction of city palaces be considered, and they will be built again by wealthy merchants who played a decisive role in the city in everything. The number of inns and inns in the city is also increasing. Thus, at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century there is an Old or Roman pub with a large cellar, then a small small inn on the floor - today's inn Lovački rog in Kranjčevićeva Street, and a wooden inn on Veliki Kaptol and inn Mali Kaptol. In 1832, the large brick inn Veliki Kaptol was opened. The hotel "Toplak" and the inn "Lloyd" next to the pier on the Kupa are opened near the railway station. In Vojno Sisak there was a hotel "K cara austrianskom."

Since the middle of the 19th century, it has been developing intensively, to which craft production, river trade and industrialization, as well as the development of railway transport, have contributed. Favorable traffic position, proximity to a large number of labor force, proximity to Zagreb as an economic and political center, and a number of local natural resources such as quality clay and wood mass have contributed to the rise of Sisak. Intensive development in such situations attracts people from various parts of the country, which is why Sisak became a melting pot in which residents came from various parts of the Austro - Hungarian Monarchy, which later continued in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and Yugoslavia.

The Dutch house was built in the middle of the 19th century and is one of the last large warehouses built in the city at that time. The house is located in the main city street of Sisak and its specific facade differs from other buildings. It was towards this façade that it was named the "Dutch House". The lower part of the house served as a commercial space, while the upper part served as a warehouse. It has a simple rectangular floor plan, a massive masonry basement and four floors with an open wooden mezzanine structure. The preserved beam construction gives the space a distinct ambient atmosphere.

The first wooden bridge on the river Kupa was built only in 1862, and when it was overloaded with traffic, it was replaced in 1934 by a masonry bridge, which will become one of the symbols of the city, and the people of Sisak will call it the Old Bridge. At a time when concrete was already in widespread use, this bridge was built of traditional Sisak materials, stone and brick, and stands out for its harmonious shapes.


In 1874, Civil and Military Sisak were finally united under a single administration, and the first mayor of a single and since then free royal city was the prominent merchant Franjo Lovrić. Through 25 years of his mayoralty, he became one of the most beloved people in the city, and Sisak managed to lead from a trade and craft center to a modern look and to the contours that are still recognizable in the city center today. At the end of this period, city parks began to develop, the oldest of which was Vladimir Nazor's Promenade from 1876, followed by the park on Ljudevit Posavski Square from 1885.

In 1862, the first railway in Croatia was built and put into operation on October 1 of the same year, connecting Sisak and Zidani Most, and the relationship between river and railway traffic became a precondition for the strong industrial development of the city.

Industrial development in the 20th century
At the beginning of the 20th century, Sisak can be called an industrial city. The way in which the Hungarian railways developed out of Hungarian interests, Sisak remained outside the main traffic flows, which weakened the position of trade, but also led to a significant development of the industry. The industrial plants, which emerged especially after the First World War, were built outside the old town, especially in Caprag, where the Shella plant is located, and the iron processing plant nearby. Suburban settlements soon grew up around them, which differed significantly in the way they were built from the previous image of Sisak. Therefore, only after the end of the First World War did the intensive development of heavy industries such as the Refinery and the Smelter follow.

The Second World War did not bypass Sisak either, where on June 22, 1941, the first partisan detachment in the former Yugoslavia was founded (see: Day of the Anti-Fascist Struggle). On the first night of April 1941, the monument to King Petar Karađorđević was demolished, and the Sisak Communists and the so-called "Franks" (later called the Ustashas) were suspected of this act, because they had the same intentions in relation to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. They were briefly together in prison and in the time of April-June there were no major problems between the Sisak Communists and the Ustashas because of the pact between Hitler and Stalin. Hitler's attack on the USSR created serious problems and the communists decided to withdraw into illegality. They decided that the place of hiding would be the Frog Forest, and they hid the weapon in the attic of the chapel of St. Fabian in the village of Vurotu. Two shelters were established there, Šikara, where Vlado Janić and Marijan Cvetković took refuge, and later Nada Dimić, and half a kilometer away Mali Kolićevac, a dozen insurgents led by Miko Špiljko. Ivan Rukavina also visited them briefly. The second hideout was discovered and on July 22 they were attacked by the NDH army.

There was a children's camp in Sisak during the war. These were mostly children from Kozara, who were gathered in that camp until they were transferred to other locations. Many of these children lost their lives in that camp due to inhumane living conditions, lack of food, water and medical care. Many Sisak residents, despite the danger posed by the Ustasha authorities, toured the camp bringing food, milk and water. Towards the end of the war, the city was bombed by the Allies, and especially its suburbs, railroad, and industrial facilities that were almost completely destroyed. During the retreat, the Germans intended to demolish the Old Bridge, but several Sisak people thwarted their intention.

After the Second World War, Sisak was a fully industrialized city, whose economy depended most on industrial production. After the war, the accelerated reconstruction and industrialization of the city began, and the main branches remain the metallurgical, oil, chemical, food and wood industries. The port of Sisak is still of great importance. During the Croatian Spring, political activity was extremely lively in Sisak, because there were powerful members of both sides in the city. In general, the "springers" were gathered around the Refinery and its management, and their opponents around the Ironworks, which reflected the national structure of employees in these companies.

In the Greater Serbia aggression on Croatia, industrial plants came under attack again, especially the Sisak Refinery, but also residential buildings and churches, and many Sisak people were killed. The "Thunder" unit had its headquarters in the city. Petrinja, which is just over 10 km away, was occupied, and Sisak was under almost constant general danger.

After the Homeland War, the city was deindustrialized and gradually transformed, which left negative consequences on its development and the position of the population.


On January 5, 2018, the Zagreb County State's Attorney's Office, due to rocketing of the wider area of ​​Sisak in 1993 (September 10, 1993) and 1995, in which eight civilians were killed and several civilian objects were hit, near which there were no legitimate military targets , launched an investigation against six high-ranking commanders, the so-called Serbian Army of Krajina: General Milan Celeketic, who is already on trial in absentia for rocketing Zagreb in 1995, Slobodan Tarbuk, war commander of the Petrinja garrison, previously convicted of crimes against Croatian civilians in the Petrinja area, Ilija Isak, commander of the 39th Banija Corps. Serbian Army of Krajina, Colonel Žarko Gačić (December 10, 1994) Celeketić sent a letter to the 40th Personnel Center of the VJ General Staff (General Momčilo Perišić) with a proposal to promote Colonel Gačić to the rank of VJ Major General), Milorad Janković, Commander of the 31st Petrinja Brigade and Jovan Pavlice, commander of the Mixed Artillery Division of the 31st Petrinja Brigade.

In the post-war period, through transformation, the presence of heavy industry in the city did not facilitate the transition, and many lost their jobs. This period is especially characterized by the case of the Ironworks and multiple attempts to save it.