tuzla fair

Welcome To Tuzla

Artifacts of the oldest material culture prove that Tuzla, with its surrounding areas, was the place of one of the oldest human settlements in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the area which was in continuity inhabited from the earliest time till today. All of the settlements in Tuzla region, starting with the Neolithic period, were associated with the rich salt deposits of this area. Even Aristotle and Strabo refer to them in their historic statements. Byzantium Czar Constantine Porphyrogenitus in his writings dating back to year 950 mentions the existence of salt wells in Tuzla and surrounding areas. Names of settlements, changeable just as their rules were, always referred to the word “salt”: Soli, Salines, Memlehaizir, Tuz, Tuzla.

For several centuries rulers of these areas changed from Roman Empire, Byzantium, Middle Ages Bosnia, Ottoman Empire, to Austrian Hungarian Monarchy and others. Tuzla came under the Ottoman Empire rule in year 1460. With the reform of Ottoman administration, freer development of urban economy and appearance of modern trades Tuzla develops into administrative center of the northeast Bosnia. Towards the end of Ottoman rule Tuzla had 5.000 inhabitants and was one of the biggest towns in Bosnia. Several buildings from the Ottoman era remain – heritage of great Ottoman rulers. Several mosques: Turalibegova or Poljska with its minaret made of stone and Ak-mosque in Gornja Tuzla date back to XV century, as well as many others.

First documented proof of exploitation of salt deposits dates back to year 1548. Salt was produced during the entire year, while salt wells were located at the Soni trg (today  Trg oslobođenja or Freedom square). First schools in the town opened in 1826, first hospital in 1874 and first pharmacy 6 years prior to then. With the arrival of Austrian Hungarian Monarchy to Bosnia and Herzegovina the economy of Tuzla became a component of wider economical activity of the Monarchy. With the establishment of Austrian-Hungarian rule begins the intense development of industrial production, primarily of salt and coal, and the development of the modern city infrastructure.

Tuzla, sitting on the foothills of the Majevica Mountain takes the central place in the area of northeast Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are 170.000 people living in the Tuzla city area. Tuzla is one of the four biggest cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and represents economic, scientific, cultural and medical center of the northeast Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city has numerous tourist attractions: salt lakes in the city center, picnic area Ilincica, nearby Lake Modrac and Konjuh Mountain, and many others. Underground exploitation of salt which was ongoing for several decades has caused significant sinking of the ground, with sinking reaching 10 meters in some parts of the city. Many buildings were destroyed, especially the buildings with the old architecture, which has caused a significant change to overall look of the city.