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Syrmia ( ; ; German: Syrmien; ) is a fertile region of the Pannonian Plain in Europe, between the Danube and Sava rivers. It is divided between Serbiamarker in the east and Croatiamarker in the west.

Most of Syrmia is located in the Srem and South Bačka districts of Serbia's Autonomous Province of Vojvodinamarker. Smaller part of the region around Novi Beogradmarker, Zemunmarker, and Surčinmarker belongs to the City of Belgrademarker. The westernmost part lies in eastern Croatia, in Vukovar-Srijem Countymarker.


Today, the name Srem is usually used in Serbian to designate the region, whereas the name Srijem is used in Croatian.

Other names for the region include:


Throughout its history, Syrmia has been a part of the Roman Empire, the Hun Empire, Avar Khaganate, the Gepid Kingdom, the Byzantine Empire, the Frankish Empire, the Bulgarian Empire, the Pannonian Croatia, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empiremarker, Austria-Hungary, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenesmarker, the Kingdom of Yugoslaviamarker, and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslaviamarker which, upon advice from the "Ðilas Commission", attributed in 1945 the eastern part of the region to the Federated Republic of Serbia and the western part to the Federated Republic of Croatia. After the recognition Croatian independence in January 1992 and the creation of the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" in April 1992, such a divide became an international border. In 2003, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was transformed into state union of Serbia and Montenegro, which was abolished in 2006, making the eastern part of Syrmia part of an independent Serbiamarker.

The name Syrmia derives from the name of the ancient city of Sirmiummarker, today Sremska Mitrovicamarker. Sirmium was originally an Celtic town founded in 3rd century BC and conquered by Romans in the 1st century BC. Opposing Roman rule, Illyrian tribes from the region started an uprising in AD 6 lead by Baton and Pines.

Sirmiummarker was an important city in the Roman Empire. It was the economic capital of Roman Pannonia and one of four capital cities of the Empire. Ten Roman Emperors were born in this city or in its surroundings: Herennius Etruscus (227-251), Hostilian (230?-251), Decius Traian (249-251), Claudius II (268-270), Quintillus (270), Aurelian (270-275), Probus (276-282), Maximianus Herculius (285-310), Constantius II (337-361) and Gratian (367-383). These emperors were mostly Romanised Illyrians by origin. The Roman province Pannonia Secunda, which included Syrmia and parts of present day Slavoniamarker and Bosnia was administered from Sirmium.

In the 6th century, Syrmia was part of Pannonia, a province of the Byzantine Empire. In the 7th century, the ruler of Syrmia was Kuber, a Bulgar leader, who ruled over the region as Avar vassal. In the beginning of the 9th century, Syrmia was for the short time part of state of Savia-Pannonia, ruled by Prince Ljudevit Posavski, since the local Slavs joined his rebellion. After the Franks defeated his rebellion, they secured the vassalage of the Slavs in the region (a mixture of Serbs, Croats, Abordrites). The Bulgarians conquered it from the Franks in 827 after a diplomatic dispute over the territory - they saw the territory as rightfully theirs since prior to Liutevid's rebellion, the Slavs of the region were Bulgar clients. After a preace treaty in 845 AD, the Bulgarians still controlled Srem. The mountain Fruška Goramarker got its name after the old Serbo-Croatian name for Frankish people - Fruzi (Frug=Frank, Fruzi=Franks, fruški=Frankish).

In the 11th century, the ruler of Syrmia was duke Sermon, vassal of Bulgarian emperor Samuil. Sermon produced his own golden coins in present day Sremska Mitrovica. After Bulgarians were defeated by Byzantine Empire, Sermon was captured and killed, because he refused to comply with new authorities.

After the defeat of Sermon, the area was included into the Byzantine Empire, and the new duke who ruled over the region was Diogenes. The Thema of Sirmiummarker was a province of the Byzantine Empire in the 11th century. This province included both, the region of Syrmia and the present day region of Mačva, thus the name of Syrmia became designation for the both regions. The region was captured by the Kingdom of Hungary in the 12th century. It is recorded that in 1231, a duke of Syrmia was Giletus. During the 13th century, the territory of Syrmia was divided into two counties: Syrmia in the east and Vukovar in the west.

Between 1282 and 1316 the Serb King Stefan Dragutin ruled a Kingdom of Serbia, colloquially called Syrmian Kingdom, which consisted of the parts of northern Serbia, Mačva, Usoramarker, Solimarker and east Syrmia . His capital city was Debrcmarker (between Belgrademarker and Šabacmarker). Before that time he was King of Serbia. In that time the name "Syrmia" was designation for two territories: Upper Syrmia (present day Syrmia) and Lower Syrmia (present day Mačva). In Ilokmarker in western Syrmia was the seat of a Hungarian nobleman by the name of Ugrin Csák until his death in 1311.

At first, Stefan Dragutin was a vassal of the Hungarian king, but since the central power in the Kingdom of Hungary collapsed, both, Stefan Dragutin and Ugrin Čak were de facto independent rulers. Stefan Dragutin died in 1316, and was succeeded by his son, King Stefan Vladislav II (1316-1325), while Ugrin Čak died in 1311. Stefan Vladislav II was defeated by the king of Serbia, Stefan Uroš III Dečanski, in 1324, and after this, Lower Syrmia became a subject of dispute between the Kingdom of Serbia and the Kingdom of Hungary. The Upper Syrmia was, after 1311, included into the possession of the Hungarian king, while its western part (the Vukovar county) was later included into Banate of Slavoniamarker.

File:Indo Europeans Vojvodina map.png|Ancient Indo-European peoples in SyrmiaFile:Roman cities Vojvodina.png|Ancient Roman cities in SyrmiaFile:Ahtum sermon01.png|Territory ruled by Sermon, a duke of Syrmia, 11th centuryFile:Srem04.png|Realms of Stefan Dragutin and Ugrin Csák, 14th century

In 1404 Hungarian King Sigismund lend parts Syrmia to Serbian Despot Stefan Lazarević for governing, later succeeded by Đurađ Branković. After the Ottoman Empire conquered Serbiamarker in 1459, the Hungarians renewed the legacy of Despots to the House of Branković in exile, later to the Berislavić family, who continued to govern most of Syrmia until the Ottoman conquest but territory has been de facto and de jure part of Hungarian kingdom. The residence of the despots was Kupinikmarker (modern Kupinovo). The Despots were: Vuk Grgurević (1471-1485), Đorđe Branković (1486-1496), Jovan Branković (1496-1502), Ivaniš Berislavić (1504-1514), and Stjepan Berislavić (1520-1535). The last of the titular Serbian despots in Syrmia, Stevan Berislav, moved in 1522 to Slavonia, since Kupinik was seized by the Ottoman forces. Another important local governor has been Újlaki Miklós, a Duke of Syrmia (1477-1524), who reigned over large parts of the region from Ilokmarker.

Parts of the region were captured by the Ottomans in 1521, and by 1538, the entire region was included into the Ottoman Empire. Between 1527 and 1530, a duke of Syrmia was Radoslav Čelnik, who ruled over this region as Ottoman vassal. During the Ottoman rule, an administrative unit known as the Sanjak of Syrmia existed in this region.

The Habsburg Monarchy took Syrmia from Ottomans between 1699 and 1718, and incorporated entire region into its Military Frontier. The County of Syrmia was established in Syrmia in 1745 as part of the Kingdom of Slavonia, a Habsburg land, mainly inhabited by Serbs and Croats. According to 1790 data, population of the Kingdom of Slavonia was composed of: Serbs (46.8%), Croats (45.7%), Hungarians (6.8%), and Germans (0.7%). The southern parts of Syrmia remained part of the Military Frontier.

File:Radoslav celnik01.png|Duchy of Syrmia of Radoslav Čelnik in 1527-1530File:Ottoman vojvodina01.png|Ottoman Sanjak of Syrmia in 1568-1571File:Eyalet of temesvar1699.png|Habsburg-Ottoman frontier in Syrmia in 1699

In 1807, a large rebellion of the Syrmian peasants known as the Tican's Rebellion started in the estate of Rumamarker and the estate of Ilokmarker with center in the village of Voganjmarker. In 1848 and 1849, most of Syrmia was part of the Serbian Voivodship, a Serb autonomous region within the Austrian Empire, while between 1849 and 1860, its northern part (municipalities of Ilokmarker and Rumamarker) was part of the Voivodship of Serbia and Tamiš Banat, a separate Austrianmarker crown land.

After 1860 the County of Syrmia was established again, and it was again incorporated into the Kingdom of Slavonia, which was a separate Austrian crown land in that time. The Kingdom of Slavonia was incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary in 1868, and it became part of Croatia-Slavonia, an autonomous region within the Kingdom of Hungary.

On October 29, 1918, Syrmia became a part of the newly independent State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbsmarker, while on November 24, the Assembly of Syrmia proclaimed the union of Syrmia with the Kingdom of Serbiamarker. From December 1, 1918, it was a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenesmarker.

The region was first a county of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes between 1918 and 1922, then a province (oblast) of the Kingdom between 1922 and 1929. In 1929, after a new territorial division, the region was divided between Danube Banovina and Drina Banovina, which were provinces of the Kingdom of Yugoslaviamarker, and in 1931 it was divided between Danube Banovina and Sava Banovina. In 1939, the western part of Syrmia was included into the newly formed Banovina of Croatia.

In 1941 Syrmia was occupied by the World War II Axis powers and its entire territory was attached to the Independent State of Croatiamarker. In 1945 there had been created new borders in this area between federal states of Democratic Federal Yugoslaviamarker and, since then, Eastern Syrmia (formerly part of Danube Banovina), together with Bačkamarker and Banat, has been part of the Serbianmarker Autonomous Province of Vojvodinamarker, while Western Syrmia (formerly part of Sava Banovina) has been part of Croatiamarker.

When Croatia declared its independence in 1991, Serbs who lived in the Croatian part of Syrmia proclaimed their autonomous region over portions of western Syrmia. The region was known as the Serbian Autonomous Region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Syrmia. This region was one of the two Serbian autonomous regions that formed the Republic of Serbian Krajina in 1991. The creation of Krajina was triggered by the fact that new Croatian government changed constitual status of Serbs in Croatia from nation to national minority. Although change was made by more than 2/3 majority, and there was given guarantees for civil rights for every Croatian citizen, from the point of view of the Serbs this revoking of their nation status was illegal, thus the creation of Krajina (internationally unrecognized entity) was seen by them as legal way to protect their rights. After in 1995 Croatian forces regained control over western part of Krajina, the eastern part was turned over to the UNTAES, and was peacefully reintegrated into Croatia by January 1998 (These events were part of war in Croatia).

File:Vojvodina03.png|Proclaimed borders of the Serbian Voivodship in 1848, including most of Syrmia.File:KoH-CS-Szerem.svg|The County of Syrmia within Croatia-Slavonia in 1881.File:Partizanski srem01.png|Liberated partisan territory in Syrmia in the end of 1942File:Vojvodina 1944 1945 01.png|Syrmian frontline before April 1945



In 1437, the largest part of Syrmia was populated by Serbs.


According to the census from 1857, 59.4% of population of the part of Syrmia under civil administration and 63.2% of population of the part of Syrmia under military administration (Petrovaradinmarker regiment) were ethnic Serbs. The second largest ethnic group were Croats, while other ethnic groups were Germans, Hungarians, etc.


According to the census from 1910, the population of the Syrmia region (Syrmia county) numbered 414,234 inhabitants, including:


In 1931, the population of Syrmia included:


In 1971, the population of the Serbian part of Syrmia (excluding area that belong to Belgrademarker) numbered 313,926 inhabitants, including:


According to the 2002 census in Serbiamarker, the population of the Serbian part of Syrmia (in geographical borders) numbering 790,697 people and is composed of:

According to the 2001 census in Croatiamarker, the population of the Croatian Vukovar-Srijem county, numbering 204,768, is composed of:



The present international border was drawn in 1945 by the Đilas commission, as the divide between the Yugoslav constituent republic of Croatiamarker and the Autonomous Province of Vojvodinamarker, itself part of Serbiamarker, within Yugoslaviamarker. Milovan Đilas, a Montenegrin and then a confidante of Tito, drew the border according to demographic criteria, which explains why the Croatian town of Ilokmarker on the Danube, with a Croat majority, lies east of Šidmarker in Serbia, with a Serb majority. Nonetheless, the border drawn in 1945 was very similar to internal Kingdom of Yugoslaviamarker border of 1929-1939 between the Danube Banovina and the Sava Banovina.

There are two particularly isolated chunks of territory along the border - one is the Croatian territory of Ilokmarker, which is mostly surrounded by Serbian territory from land, while the other is the Serbian territory of Jamenamarker, which is mostly surrounded by Croatian territory from land.

Bordering regions

  • Bačkamarker to the north, across Danube
  • Banat to the east, also across Danube
  • Šumadija the south-east, across Sava
  • Mačva to the south, across Sava
  • Semberijamarker to the south-west, across Sava
  • Slavoniamarker to the west. The border between Syrmia and Slavonia is unclear. According to one interpretation, it runs roughly along a line through Vukovarmarker, Vinkovcimarker, and Županjamarker. According to another interpretation, the border follows the Bosut, Barica and Vukamarker rivers.


Map showing cities and towns in Serbian part of Syrmia.
List of cities in Syrmia (with population figures):

Petrovaradin, Sremska Kamenica, Sremski Karlovci and Beočin are geographically located in Syrmia, but they are part of South Bačka District.


Municipalities in the Serbian part of Syrmia:

Note: Syrmian villages of Neštinmarker and Vizićmarker are part of the municipality of Bačka Palankamarker (main part of this municipality is not located in Syrmia but in Bačkamarker), while several settlements that are part of the municipality of Sremska Mitrovica are not located in Syrmia but in Mačva.

Municipalities and villages in the Croatian part of Syrmia:


The region's principal mountain is Fruška Goramarker with its highest peak of Crveni Čot at 539 m.


File:BG NoviBeograd.jpg|Novi BeogradmarkerFile:Citadel Petrovaradin.jpg|Petrovaradin fortressmarkerFile:Jezero01.jpg|Lake of LedincimarkerFile:Main street, Vukovar.jpg|VukovarmarkerFile:Belgrade Arena south-east.jpg|Belgrade Arenamarker, Novi BeogradmarkerFile:Fruska Gora Smith.jpg|Fruška GoramarkerFile:Ledinci01.jpg|Orthodox Church in LedincimarkerFile:Sv Nikola.jpg|Orthodox Church in Stari Slankamenmarker

See also


  1. R. Veselinović, Istorija Srpske pravoslavne crkve sa narodnom istorijom I, Beograd 1969., page 18
  2. R. Grujić, Pravoslavna Srpska crkva, Kragujevac 1989., page 22
  3. Sve o Slankamenu
  4. Dr. Aleksa Ivić, Istorija Srba u Vojvodini, Novi Sad, 1929.
  5. Vasilije Đ. Krestić, Iz prošlosti Srema, Bačke i Banata, Beograd, 2003.
  6. Szerém (Srijem) County
  7. Jovan Pejin, Kolonizacija Hrvata na srpskoj zemlji u Sremu, Slavoniji i Baranji, Sremska Mitrovica, 1992.
  8. Dr. Branislav Bukurov, Bačka, Banat i Srem, Novi Sad, 1978.
  9. Popis stanovništva, domaćinstava i stanova 2002. Knjiga 1: Nacionalna ili etnička pripadnost po naseljima. Republika Srbija, Republički zavod za statistiku Beograd 2003. ISBN 86-84443-00-09

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