About the town

About the town

SEGESTICA – fortified Celtic town
The oldest inhabitants from the prehistoric period did not leave even a name. Only some remains of tools and some small statues of idols witness their existence. The archaeological remains tell us about the native Illyrian tribes that were conquered by the Celts who came to this area in the 4th century BC. The Celts mixed with the Illyrians ethnically and culturally and they founded the settlement of Segestica. The Illyrian-Celtic peoples managed to resist the Roman pressure until 35 BC, when, after a 30-day siege, Octavian conquered and destroyed Segestica.

SISCIA – Roman town
In the Roman Empire Siscia changed its status from a military camp, then a fortified town to a town of full Roman law. In the middle of the 3rd century a famous mint was set up, and Siscia reached its peak in 297 when it became the centre of Pannonia Savia Province. During that period the town was an important intersection of the Roman roads and crafts centres, as well as the centre of the Imperial Office for tax collecting.

Christianity, which was expanding unstoppably throughout the Empire despite persecution, rooted in Siscia, too. The first well-known bishop was Quirinus of Siscia who was Bishop from 284 to his martyr death, probably in 303.

After declining of the Roman Empire, the significance of Sisak as a centre was lost. Moreover, the Great migration of peoples brought the Huns, the Gaels, the Avars and the Slavs, devastating and to a large extent destroying Antique Culture.

SISSEK – mediaeval Croatian settlement
Several centuries of Sisak history remained unclear all through the 9th century when it appeared in the history of Croats. At the beginning of the 9th century Croats recognized the rule of the Franks, who Duke of Pannonian Croatia Ljudevit Posavski came in conflict with. In 819, Ljudevit Posavski chose Sisak as the stronghold of resistance and fight for independence , which confirmed that even then the town had preconditions for life and defence. By establishing Diocese of Zagreb in 1094, Sisak and its surroundings became the property of the Bishop of Zagreb.

During the rule of Bela IV Sisak got the status of the town municipality with the town government and court, and by the beginning of the 16th century that town municipality was characterized by relatively peaceful period in which the inhabitants were occupied with agriculture and cattle breeding. Such peaceful life was disturbed by the invasion of the Turks, who were disastrously defeated on 22 June 1593. The victory of the Croatian Army in defending Sisak resounded throughout Europe so Sisak became part of the Antemurale Christianitatis.

During the 18th century a more peaceful life favoured development of trading and transport roads, which had an impact on development of Sisak. There could be found a church, a school, a doctor and a chemist, a grain warehouse and a grain fair.

SZISZEK – the biggest Croatian river port
The beginning of the 19th century caught a divided Sisak, the one on the left bank of the Kupa River which belonged to Kaptol, and the one on the right bank under direct government of the Military Frontier. In 1838 Sisak got the status of the free market town with the town hall and coat of arms, and during the Illyrian movement, Sisak Illirians on 2 October 1839 performed the play ′Juran and Sofija′ by Ivan Kukuljević , thereby marking the beginning of stokavian drama in Newer Croatian literature.

The role of Sisak in the industrial life of Croatia became more important by opening the waterway along the Sava and the Kupa in 1842, and especially by constructing the railway line in 1862. After the abatement of the Military Frontier, civil and military Sisak united in one town municipality, so in 1874 Sisak became a free royal town.

SISAK – Town of Croatian Victories
The twentieth century brought industrialization of Sisak which would particularly intensify after World War I, when the population increased and the demographic structure changed. Before the World War II, Sisak was an important centre of river traffic, and metallurgic, chemical, wood and food industry. A great number of industrial workers favoured strong development of workers′ and union movement. A logical sequence of that all was the organization of the Sisak Partisan Detachment. After World War II Sisak became one of industrially most developed towns of Croatia.

The inevitability of self defence from Serbian-Chetnik formations as well as from units of the so called JNA having been recognized, at the Police Directorate in Sisak a Special Police Unit was formed during March of 1991, as well as the first military unit of National Guard of The Republic of Croatia in April. In Sisak battlefield, as well as in battlefields throughout Croatia, the 2nd Guard Brigade ′Thunder′ and MUP formations had a significant role. From September 2nd 1991 to August 7th 1995 the town of Sisak lived under danger of the enemy′s bombshells. The town paid the price of the Homeland War and Croatian independence by over 250 dead and missing Croatian knights.