Zenica

From Academic Kids

Zenica is an industrial city (the fourth largest) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the capital of the Zenica-Doboj Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity. It is located about 70 km north of Sarajevo and is situated on the Bosna river, surrounded by mountains and hills.

The town's stara čaršija (old quarter) contains several attractions, including a synagogue, which is now the City Museum and Art Gallery. There is also a mosque (Ćaršijska mosque), an Austrian fountain and an old beg farm house (Hadžimaaziča House).

History

It is said people have lived in Zenica almost from the beginning of time. Ruins of an old Roman town can still be seen in city Bistum novum, and during the Middle Ages, the part of the city called Bilino Polje was very important. Here, the famous sabor of 1203 occurred, where Bosnian Ban Kulin (1163-1204), famous in Bosnian folk stories, accepted the Catholic religion. Bilino Polje was still important until the Ottoman invasion of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During the Ottoman period Zenica was merely a small kasaba (village). There was never an important mosque in Zenica, unlike the neighboring town Travnik, which was once a centre of Bosnian viziers. Zenica, continued in this way for over 400 years until Austria-Hungary conquered it in 1878.

A few years after the conquest, the Austrians started to build a steel factory in town. The town grew rapidly with the new steel factory and booming economy. By the end of Austrian rule it was a small town still, with just over 10,000 inhabitants, but never the less it began to develop into a major town.

The true boom of Zenica started after the partisans liberated the small town in 1945 and began to develop the steel industry. During those years new buildings were constructed there and the town grew rapdily, spreading to encompass Bilino Polje, Klopce, and Radakovo, all villages during the Ottoman period. Many apartment blocks were built to house the miners.

In 1948 the town had 12,000 people, but by 1961 the towns population had grown to over 30,000. In 1981 the town had over 63,000 people, and in the last census in 1991 Zenica was a city of some 96,027 people. The town's population grew almost sixth-fold in the last 50 years.

External links


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