Tuzla Travel Guide

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Tuzla (Tuzla Map - http://www.tuzlamap.tk)

Tuzla is a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina . At the time of the 1991 census, it had 131,000 inhabitants. Taking into account the influx of refugees , the city is currently estimated to have 160,000 inhabitants. After Sarajevo and Banja Luka, Tuzla is the third largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the seat of the Tuzla Canton and Tuzla Municipality.

Evidence of settlements from the remotest past, which have existed in the area of the present-day Tuzla, is evident from the remains of archeologically discovered and investigated cultural layers. The remains of the oldest discovered cultural material provide evidence that Tuzla, with its close surroundings, is one of the oldest settlements in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that the area of Tuzla's salt water springs has been uninterruptedly inhabited from earliest times - the younger neolithic age to the present day. Starting from the neolithic age to the present day, settlement of Tuzla was always related to its salt resources. The oldest written records left behind by the Greeks Aristotle and Strabo say so, also providing evidence that the Ancient Greeks knew the region of Tuzla.

In his historic writings, the Byzantine historian and cezar Constantine Porfirogenet, around the year 950, mentions the existence of Tuzla's salt water springs and settlements surrounding them.

Tuzla was named after its natural resource - SALT. The present day name is derived from the Turkish word TUZ meaning salt.

During the Middle Ages Bosnia experienced many changes in rulers from Byzantinium and  Austria-Hungary in this area.  The region was first occupied by the Turks in 1460, and somewhat later - in 1474 - the occupation was definite. Within the Bosnian vilayet, Tuzla was under the administrative government of the Zvornik sanjak and it was granted a status of quadiluk with a domicile first in Gornja Tuzla, which was moved to Tuzla proper around the middle of the 17th century.

Under Turkish rule, the importance of the settlement increased. In the early 18th century Tuzla becomes the domicile of the captain.  Due to the reform of the Turkish administration, a freer development of the town economy and the introduction of modern crafts, Tuzla developed into the administrative center of the Zvornik sanjak, and had become an important traffic, millitary and cultural center of north - east Bosnia.  Towards the end of the Turkish rule, Tuzla had approximately 5000 inhabitants and was one of the bigger towns in Bosnia.

The first document recording the exploitation of Tuzla's salt water springs dates from 1548. Salt was produced the whole year. Salt wells were located on the present-day Salt square . In the close vicinity of the wells fires built of firewood burned.  The daily salt production in Donja Tuzla was approximately 250kg, and 300 kg in Gornja Tuzla.

In the early 18th century a rectangular fortification was built in the town, with high walls and with one lookout on each wall, with the main tower inside the walls. The settlement was surrounded by an outer wall with four gates. The fortification was destroyed in 1870. Many buildings have remained in Tuzla from the period of Turkish rule, built as memorials by prominent Turks. Several mosques have been preserved to the present day. Turalibeg's mosque with a stone minaret, AK - mosque in Gornja Tuzla (both dating from the 16th century), Haji-Hasan's Mosque and the Jalta Mosque.

In 1826 the first schools were opened in Tuzla, the first hospital "Hastahana" was opened in 1874, and six years before the "Hastahana" was established, the first pharmacy began to operate.

After this area came under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire the economic development increased and Tuzla became an integral part of the Austro-Hungarian economy.   As its administration was established, more up-to-date methods for salt and coal exploitation were introduced.

Contributors

March 31, 2005 change by giorgio

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