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The Seal and Armorial Bearings of Bihać town from XIV century
Novi trg i fontana ("The New square and the fountain")
Bihać is a city and municipality on the river Unamarker in the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker, center of the Una-Sana Cantonmarker of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


The town was first mentioned as early as 1260 as property of a church in Topuskomarker, Croatiamarker in a document by the Hungarian-Croatian king Bela IV, and became a free city in 1262. Bihać was the temporary capital of the Croatian Kingdom. It lost its civic status in the 14th century following dynastic struggles in the kingdom, and became a property of the Frankopan nobles. In the 16th century it passed under direct royal rule, when battles with the Ottoman Empire had begun. The town of Bihać, in the region of the same name, withstood the Ottoman attacks until it fell with the Bosnia sanjak (in 1592).

The Bihać fort would become the westernmost fort taken by the Ottoman army over a hundred years later, in 1592 under the Bosnian vizier Hasan-pasha Predojević, previous orthodox Serbs - Valacchi (Vlah in Serbian). The city was initially made the center of the Bihać sanjak, part of the Bosnian pashaluk. It was demoted in 1699 to become part of the sanjak of Bosnia, during the period of intense border wars between the Habsburg monarchy and the Ottoman Empire. In 1865 it became the center of its own sanjak, but this lasted only until 1878, when all of Bosnia was occupied by Austria-Hungary.

A period of peace followed, marked by the 1888 bringing down of the fortress walls that separated the inner city from the outskirts. The new government had several schools and civic facilities built, which boosted the city's growth. It remained prosperous after the establishment of Yugoslavia, the center of the western Bosnian region, though its growth was impaired by the Great Depression in the 1930s.

During World War II it served as headquarters for the Communist army of Josip Broz Tito, the seat of the first AVNOJ session in 1942 and the center of the anti-fascist resistance. As such, it became a target of the occupying powers and the Germans retook it in 1943 and held it until 1945 and their final defeat.

Bihać suffered the destruction of many buildings during the recent Bosnian War, when the area around the city was under siege by the Bosnian Serb forces for over three years, until the summer of 1995 when the siege was broken in the beginning of the Croats' Operation Storm conjoined with Bosnian forces under General Atif Dudaković.


Population of Bihać municipality
year of census 1991. 1981. 1971.

Bosniaks 46,737 (66.07%) 40,041 (61.09%) 37,325 (64.14%)
Serbs 12,689 (17.93%) 11,093 (16.92%) 12,096 (20.78%)
Croats 5,580 (7.88%) 5,855 (8.93%) 6,824 (11.72%)
Yugoslavs 4,356 (6.15%) 7,364 (11.23%) 1,133 (1.94%)
others and unknown 1,370 (1.93%) 1,191 (1.81%) 807 (1.38%)
total 70,732 65,544 58,185



Total: 45,553


Total: 2,574


Total: 1,833


Total: 1,724


The city and the region are now becoming a viable tourist destination for its natural beauty. The Una river valley where Bihać is situated provides the best route from Zagrebmarker to Dalmatia so the traffic position is also favorable.

There's also a yearly regatta held on the Una, as well as the Bihać Summer theatrical event.

Border crossings

Border crossings with Croatiamarker are located nearby at Izačić to the west of the city (with the Croatian border post at Licko Petrovo Selo), and Ripac to the south of Bihać (with the Croatian border post at Uzljebic). Bihać is located on the shortest route between Zagreb and the southern part of Croatia's Dalmatian coast.


The University of Bihać was opened in 1997 and it has seven faculties: technical, economics, law school, biotechnical, pedagogical, medical college, Islamic pedagogical academy.


The local football club is NK Jedinstvo.


Bihać is home to a beer brewery which makes the award winning Preminger.

Bihać is currently going through a reconstruction of its main buildings and streets. In 1981 Bihac's GDP per capita was 69% of the Yugoslav average.


Image:Bihac_tvrdi_grad_AD_1590.jpg|Bihać fortified place of Croatia KingdomImage:Latin_was_official_language_in_Bihać.jpg|Latin was official language in BihaćImage:Bihac-kula-2001.jpg|Tower of BihaćImage:Djevojka sa Une, Bihac, 2006.jpg|Statue "djevojka sa Une"Image:Una,Bihac 2004.JPG|River Una near BihaćImage:Una,Bihac.jpg|River Una in Bihać


  • Official results from the book: Ethnic composition of Bosnia-Herzegovina population, by municipalities and settlements, 1991. census, Zavod za statistiku Bosne i Hercegovine - Bilten no.234, Sarajevo 1991.

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