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Image of Petrinja municipality within Sisak-Moslavina County

Petrinja is a town in central Croatiamarker near Sisakmarker in the historic region of Banovinamarker. The city belongs to Sisak-Moslavina Countymarker (Sisačko-moslavačka županija).

West of Petrinja is Petrova goramarker (Peter's mountain), site of the Battle of Gvozd Mountain between King Petar Svačić of Croatia and Coloman of Hungary.


The population of Petrinja is 13,801, while the total municipality population is 23,413 (census 2001).

Year of census total Croats Serbs others
1961 27,517 14,942 (54.30%) 11,955 (43.45%) 620 (2.25%)
1981 33,570 14,621 (43.55%) 12,617(37.58%) 6,332 (18.86%)
1991 35,565 15,791 (44.40%) 15,969 (44.90%) 3,805 (10.70%)
2001 23,413 19,280 (82.35%) 2,809 (12.00%) 1,324 (5.65%)

History of Petrinja

The name of Petrinja has its roots in Latin petrus - stone. It is said that the town existed in Roman era in the area of Zrinska Gora, which is very rich in stone.

The first written trace of Petrinja as an inhabited settlement is the one about the benefits awarded to the inhabitants of Petrinja by the Slavonianmarker duke Kolomanmarker in the year of 1240. This old medieval Petrinja belongs to the time of warring with the Turks.In 1592, Petrinja was given a new location with the construction and building of a Turkish fortress at the confluence of the Petrinjčica and the Kupa rivers. The fortress was to serve the Turks in conquering Sisakmarker, Turopoljemarker and Zagrebmarker.In 1594, on St. Lawrence's Day (August 10), the fortress was first liberated by the Croatian army. Therefore, August 10 has become the day of gratitude towards God and St. Lawrence, and this saint has been chosen for the patron saint of the parish and the town of Petrinja.Over the time, Petrinja has increasingly become the place of the settlement for many craftsmen and merchants whose arrival marks the beginning of the town's development.

Petrinja was part of Napoleon's Illyria from 1809 till 1813 when the town became a significant trade and traffic center. In the same period, the Frenchmarker army planted the lindens that even today testify to the town's historical moment.

The first Catholic parish Church of St. Lawrence was first built in 1603, but due to the time and type of building, a new one was built in 1781, in late baroqueclassic style.During the Serb occupation of Petrinja during the Croatian war of Independence, which lasted from 1991 till 1995, the rebellious Serbs demolished the parish church to the ground, as well as all other sacral buildings and sights. After returning to their town, the inhabitants of Petrinja have reconstructed and rebuilt the church according to the sketches and blueprints of the old building, thus resuming the original function of this part of the town.

The foundations of the "Prva hrvatska tvornica salame, sušena mesa i masti" (first Croatian salami, dried meat and processed fat factory) were set in the year 1792, now developed into the "Gavrilović" factory, the principal factor of the area's economic development, well-known for the quality of its gastronomical products.

The influence of Croatian national revival in the 19th century was felt in Petrinja. That was the time of the founding of the Town Orchestra (1808), Music Department (1841), Library and reading-room (1842), Teachers' Training School (1862), Croatian Choir "Slavulj" (1864), Town fire-brigade (1880), First printing-house (1881).

Recent history has witnessed the Serb aggression on Croatia during which the people were exiled from their hometown of Petrinja in the period from September 1991 till May 1995. The town itself has been through a very grave destruction. On November 25, 1991 the Serb mayor of Petrinja Radovan Marković sent a message to Željko Ražnatović to have his troops enter the city as part of a "2. motorized battalion" of the 622. Motorized Brigade of the Yugoslav People's Army. Beholding Croatian identity, many monuments have been erected in memory of the Croatian war heroes and victims of the war.

In reconstructing and rebuilding their town, the inhabitants of Petrinja took great care of the town's urban tradition by keeping the old customs alive, celebrating Catholic holidays, and organizing numerous cultural, social and sports events.

There is a very lively tradition of the potting and ceramic crafts, which represent the main souvenir production of the items characteristic for this area, all made of high quality clay. The main souvenir is "stucka", an ornamented multi-use jar made of clay that has become a symbol of the town of Petrinja.


A statue of Croatian politician Stjepan Radić was made in Petrinja in 1929 by Mila Wood after his assassination the previous year. In 1936, the statue was placed in the city's central square, which was named after him. In 1963 the communist regime moved the statue to a city park. In 1991, the statue was damaged and thrown into an orchard in a nearby village. It was not found until 1998, when it was restored. In 1999, it was restored to Petrinja's central square, and was unveiled by Croatian minister of culture Božo Biškupić.

Notable people

Image:gavrilovic-petrinja.jpg|The Gavrilović houseImage:petrinja.jpg|Petrinja in 1592Image:petrinja-ilirija.jpg|Petrinja in 19th centuryImage:sv-lovro.jpg|The new Church of St. Lawrence (Croatian: Crkva Sv. Lovre)Image:petrinjski spomenik.jpg|A monument in PetrinjaImage:fontana2.jpg|A fountain in the town centreImage:moscenica.jpg|Mošćenica - a small village near PetrinjaImage:petrinja2.jpg|Petrinja at dawnImage:setnica2.jpg|A frozen footpathImage:setnica.jpg|A map of Petrinja's footpaths (Petrinjska šetnica)Image:petrinjcica.jpg|Petrinjčica, the river that runs through the town


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