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History of Slavonski Brod
Slavonski Brod through centuries
Brod na Savi
I World War
II World War
Slavonski Brod in 19th Century - Brod na Savi
In the 19th century Brod was a colony looking like an "agricultural town" in consideration of its inhabitants had gardens, barns and holding cattle. The town-planning core made today's Braće Radića Street, A. Starćevića Street, M. Mesića and Petra Krešimira IV Streets. Today's Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić Square was built inadequately and weekly fairs took place on that area. The military authorities prevented the construction of the Square on the basis of the Regulation from the 1755. It forbade the building of brick houses. Even more strict regulation brought out in 1783. In case of war all houses at 1200 m distance from the fortress had to be pulled down in order to freely operate fortress artillery. This strict orders remeined effective till the abolition of Vojna Krajna. In 1845. Brod inhabitants were alowed to build only chimneys out of brick.
Although by the architectural sight, Brod did not match to the usual idea of a town as a whole, it was that because of the craft and trade`s class, the commanding class in fortress, the status of the military "komunitet", the public utilities and cultural and educational role for its wider rural surroundings. Therefore, it was proclaimed town formally by the Manifest of the king Franjo Josip II on 8th June 1871. with name "Brod na Savi" which it would carry till the 1934. when it became Slavonski Brod.
More rapid and radical changes in topographical development and architectural sight of Brod, came after the abolition of Vojna krajna with which disappeared different restrictions and the development of capitalistic economy became quicker.
Brod entered the period of the ecomomic prosperity in which competent contractors and tradesmen won rapidly a significant property with which they could on different ways show their business success, and first of all, by the building of the representative residential - business buildings. In this way since the 80-ies of the 19th century till the beginning of this century, today's Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić Square was formed.
Owing to the favourable position by the navigable Sava, and a railway line which connected it with all the parts of the Monarchy and with Bosnia across the bridge, which was released in traffic in 1879. Brod has been developing quickly to an important industrial centre. The great possibilities of employment and earnings, attracted a lot of people to this town when its population for only 30 years (1881-1910) redoubled.
Otherwise, the first more accurate figures of the population of Brod originated from 1780. when 1574 inhabitants were registered: 1500 Catholics and 74 members of the Orthodox church. About 50 years later (1827.) Brod had 2484 inhabitants, and in 1869. the number increased to about 4000 (Brod was still just a little bigger than some of the border-line villages of Brod regiment like Babina Greda and Bošnjaci). According to the census from the 1880., Brod had 5066 inhabitants, and in 1910. there were 10.200 people.
In the national structure of Brod, Croats were always in majority, and the other numerous nationalities were Serbs, Germans and Hungarians.
Till the abolition of "Vojna krajina", the most numerous after Croats were Serbs, who settled as Vlasi during the18th century. They started to feel like Serbs much later under the influence and the effect of the Serbian Ortodox church which all the members of the Orthodox church proclaimed Serbs. In Brod during the 19th century Serbs did about 8% of the total population. We found Germans in Brod in a greater number not before the half of the last century in order to become (with 718 people) after Croats the most numerous national group. In the following decades the number of Germans would grow in order to reach the number of 1551 in 1910., what was about 13% of the town population.
Jews were colonising Brod in 1870-ies, when there were enough of them to establish worship Jewish community, and soon, in 1892. they built the synagogue (at the place of today`s Fina) which suffered damages in The second world war. According to the census from the 1910. 558 Jews lived in Brod what was 6% of its population. The figures of the number of Hungarians were the most indicative. In the middle of the 18th century there was only one Hungarian in town, in 1880. there were 364 of them. In the census from the 1910. when Brod had 10.200 inhabitants, 2.530 of them or 20%, spoke out as Hungarians.
Translated by: Mirta Bušić