Visit Doboj, the oldest town in Bosnia

Doboj is a city located in  Bosnia and Herzegovina, situated on the banks of Bosna river, in the northern region of the country. As of 2013, it has a population of 71,441 inhabitants.

Doboj is the largest national railway junction and the operational base of the Railways Corporation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in Doboj. More importantly, it is one of the oldest cities in the country and the most important urban center in northern enitity of Republika Srpska.

Doboj was continuously inhabited ever since Neolithic times. Fragments of pottery and decorative art were found on several localities, with the most known site in Makljenovac, south from the city proper, at the confluence of rivers Usora and Bosna. Archeological findings from the paleolithic era were found in the cave at the Vila suburb.

The Illyrian tribe of Daesitates settled in this region as early as the twelfth century BC.  Daesitates and Breuci started Great Illyrian Revolt, or in Roman sources, widespread rebellion known as Bellum Batonianum (6-9 AD). After the bloody rebellion was subdued, Roman legions settled in the area and built the large military camp (Castrum) and civilian settlement (Canabea) in Makljenovac. These structures were most likely built in the early Flavian dynasty era, during Vespasian’s rule.

The first official mention of the city itself is from 1415, as it was written in the charter issued by Dubrovnik to Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund.

The Doboj fortress, a royal Kotromanić fortress, was first built in the early thirteenth century and then expanded in the early fifteenth century (1415). It was expanded again during the Ottoman Empire in 1490. This newer stone foundation of the fortress was built on previous layers of older foundation (dating to the ninth or tenth centuries) made of wood, mud and clay (Motte and Bailey type). It was a very important obstacle for invaders coming from the north, Hungarians, and later on, Austrians and Germans. It was built in the Gotho-Roman style with Gothic towers and Romanesque windows. The area saw numerous battles in medieval times and the fortress often changed hands between Bosnian and Hungarian armies.

Doboj fortress lost its significance due to the Ottoman invasion direction Budapest and development of the destruction features of weapons, so historical events mostly passed around or by the fortification.

During the First World War Austrians created the camp at the fortification where prisoners were kept before the exile to the notorious camps. According to some documents, there were around 45000 prisoners detained there, and there is also an interesting fact that Ivo Andric was prisoner here for some time as well. The last Austrian garrison left the Doboj Fortress in 1851. There was important diversion carried out in Doboj during the Second World War, when 150 German wagon-loads with ammunition for the east Front was detonated. Doboj is liberated on 17 April 1945. Thanks to its good position, after the Second World War Doboj became important crossroad of road and railway traffic, which made it extended rapidly and became regional social and political center and the seat of the county and the region.

Nowadays at the Doboj fortress the rich cultural life of the town is performed, and many romantic couples use the fortification for the festive event of wedding. Within the Doboj fort there is the amphitheater where concerts and theatrical performances and poet evenings and other cultural events are held. From the old walls of the Doboj fortress visitors enjoy in marvelous panorama of the town and the beautiful surroundings.