City center


Coat of arms

Location of the municipality of Šabac within Serbia
Coordinates: 44°45′N 19°42′E / 44.750°N 19.700°E / 44.750; 19.700Coordinates: 44°45′N 19°42′E / 44.750°N 19.700°E / 44.750; 19.700
Country Serbia
District Mačva
Settlements 52
  Mayor Nebojša Zelenović
  Municipality 795 km2 (307 sq mi)
Population (2011 census)[2]
  Town 74,242
  Municipality 118,347
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 15000
Area code +381 15
Car plates ŠA
Climate Cfb
Website www.sabac.org
Serbian Orthodox church, Central Šabac
Šabac, Kingdom of Serbia, 1904
Šabac library
Hotel in Šabac

Šabac (Serbian Cyrillic: Шабац, pronounced [ʃâbat͡s]) is a city in western Serbia, along the Sava river, near the mountain Cer, in the region of Mačva. It is the administrative center of the Mačva District. The city has a population of 74,242, while population of the administrative area is 118,347. Šabac acquired city rights in 2007, after a partial restructuring of local government in Serbia.


The etymology of name Šabac is uncertain, although its resemblance to the name of the Sava River is suggestive. This name is in use since the end of the 15th century. In Serbian, the town is known as Šabac (Шабац), in Bosnian as Šabac, in Turkish as Böğürdelen, in German as Schabatz, and in Hungarian as Szabács.


Human settlements existed in this area in neolithic times.[3] In the Middle Ages, Slavic settlement named Zaslon existed at the current location of Šabac.[3] This settlement was mentioned in Ragusan documents from 1454. The settlement was part of the Serbian Despotate until it fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1459.

In 1470, the Ottomans built the first fortress in the town and named it Bejerdelen (Böğürdelen, meaning "side-striker"). In 1476 the Hungarian king Matthias captured the fort and it stayed under administration of the Kingdom of Hungary until 1521, when it was again captured by the Ottomans. Under Hungarian administration, the town was part of the Banovina of Mačva whereas under Ottoman administration it was firstly part of the Sanjak of Zvornik within the Province of Bosnia, and later part of the Sanjak of Smederevo. Šabac was the administrative center of the Nahija of Šabac, a local Ottoman administrative unit. During the Ottoman period, Šabac was a typical oriental town with tiny streets, small shops and several mosques. Population was composed of both, Muslims and Serbs.[3]

Until the 19th century, Šabac was mostly under Ottoman administration, but control of the town also changed hands several times between the Ottoman Empire and Habsburg Monarchy. During the first period of Habsburg administration (1718-1739), Šabac was part of the Habsburg Kingdom of Serbia. After the Treaty of Belgrade (1739), Šabac reverted to Ottoman control and, with the new border line between the two empires, it gained importance as a border town, as well as a market town. A second period of Habsburg control of the area occurred in 1789-1790, the storming of the city being one of the early experiences of the renowned military leader Józef Poniatowski, but the Ottoman control over area was subsequently restored.

Šabac became a site of importance in Serbian history in the First Serbian Uprising when, in 1806, Karađorđe Petrović led the Serbian insurgents into one of the first victories over the Ottoman army near the nearby village of Mišar. Until 1813, the town was part of Karađorđe's Serbia. After the fall of Serbia in 1813, brief period of restored Ottoman control followed, but after the Second Serbian Uprising in 1815, Šabac was included into autonomous Principality of Serbia. However, Ottoman army remained in the Šabac fort for next several decades. The Obrenović family also left a mark on the town as the place of residence of the enlightened Jevrem Obrenović, brother of Prince Miloš Obrenović, who modernized and urbanized it after the Second Serbian Uprising. The period from 1820-1850 saw the establishment for the first time in Šabac of a hospital, a pharmacy, a Serbian grammar school, a gymnasium, a theatre, and a musical society.

The Ottoman army evacuated the fort of Šabac for good in 1867, marking the end of the Ottoman presence in the area. The first newspaper in the Kingdom of Serbia was printed in Šabac in 1883, and the town was also the first in Serbia where women started visiting kafanas (pubs) on Sunday afternoons, as was customary for men.

The town prospered until the First World War when it was occupied and devastated by Austro-Hungarian army and had its population halved (from cca. 14,000 to 7,000). The World War I is also remembered for the battle on nearby Cer mountain where the Serbian army under general Stepa Stepanović won an early victory against Austria-Hungary in August 1914, the first Allied victory in the war. After the war, Šabac was decorated with French War Cross with Palm (1920), Czechoslovak War Cross (1925), and the Order of the Karađorđe's Star with Swords (1934).

Since 1918, the town is part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later renamed to Yugoslavia). From 1918 to 1922, it was administrative seat of Podrinje District, from 1922 to 1929 administrative seat of Podrinje Oblast, and from 1929 to 1941 it was part of the Drina Banovina. An early milestone in the Yugoslav era of the town's history was the opening of the Zorka chemical plant in 1938. The city's renewal was interrupted by World War II and occupation by German troops (from 1941–44). During the German occupation, Šabac was part of the area governed by the Military Administration in Serbia. Some 5,000 residents of Šabac were imprisoned along with 20,000 others in the Šabac concentration camp; including 1,200 fleeing Jews in the ill-fated Kladovo transport.[4]

Eventually, 7,000 inmates were killed. The city was liberated from occupation by the Yugoslav Partisans in 1944. After the war, it was included into People's Republic of Serbia within new socialist Yugoslavia. Since then, it grew into a modern industrial city with the aforementioned Zorka chemical plant and the expanded population. The 1970s saw the construction of the first modern sports hall. The swamp at the city's outskirts, Benska Bara, was drained and turned into a residential neighborhood, and a new bridge was built over the Sava river. By 2010, the population of the city and its suburbs had risen to 75,000.

Demographics (2011 census)

Ethnic Groups in the Municipal Area (2011 Census)
Group Population

Local communities

Urban local communities

  • Benska Bara
  • Bair
  • Kasarske livade
  • Donji Šor
  • Žika Popović

  • Letnjikovac
  • Preki Šor
  • Šipurske Livade
  • Živinarnik

Rural local communities

Map of Šabac municipality


Prior to 1990, Šabac had one of the best developed economies in Yugoslavia. International sanctions against Yugoslavia during Bosnian War provoked the shutdown of the Zorka plant, which was the main enterprise in Šabac. Many other major local firms like "Šapčanka", "Izgradnja", and "Nama" also shut down during this period. The main industries of Šabac today are agriculture, transportation and food production. Since 2000, some of the more important companies are diary plant Mlekara Šabac, Elixir Group, Zorka Pharma, and Tin mill.

Number of employees per activity
Activity Number
Communal, public and personal service631
Healthcare and social work 2548
Administration and social assurance724
Property stock and charter419
Traffic, storage and communication 1670
Hotels and restaurants394
Wholesale and retail, repair 2515
Distribution of power, gas and water655
Salvage industry6880
Fishing, agriculture and forestry540


There are several sports societies in Šabac:

Local media

Radio stations

  • Radio Kruna (98.0 MHz)
  • Radio AS
  • Radio Roda
  • Skala Radio (106.8)
  • Radio Čivija
  • Radio Vikom

TV stations



Šabac Grammar School
Street in Šabac

Elementary schools

This is a list of elementary schools in Šabac.

High schools

This is a list of high schools in Šabac.

Private centres of education

Teachers' associations

Several teachers' associations exist in Šabac.



The length and status of roads in the municipality is:

Serbian Railways class 711 diesel multiple unit on Šabac-Ruma local passenger train leaving Šabac.


The railroad through Šabac connects Ruma (corridor X) and across Šabac, Loznica and Zvornik proceed Drina and connect Serbia with Bosnia and Herzegovina. A branch which connected this line with Bogatić (Petlovača - Bogatić) is locked out. The railway is used for the transport of goods and raw materials for the Zorka factory and passenger transport to Ruma.


Seats in the municipality parliament won in the 2004 local elections:

Non-government organizations in Šabac

According to unofficial data, in the city of Šabac, there are over 300 registered non-government organizations, with wide variety of activities and different primary goals. Traditionally, the most active are those organizations whose primary goals are humanitarian, protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, protection of the rights of ethnic minorities, protection of the vulnerable social categories, ecology, etc.

Beside traditionally active organizations in Šabac, there are non-government organizations which unites young people in purpose of protecting their own rights. Under the social category of youth (young people) are those who are not older than 30, and not younger than 15 years, according to Ministry (Department) of youth and sports, of the Republic of Serbia.

Some of the most active organizations in Šabac are: Youth Umbrella (Omladinski Kišobran), Caritas - Šabac, Roma for Roma, Human heart of Šabac (Humano srce Šapca), NGO Light, NGO Ecos.

Trade Unions

Famous people linked to Šabac

Vladimir Jovanović
Mileva Marić - Einstein
Józef Poniatowski

Coat of arms of Šabac and armorial flag

There are three versions of the coat of arms of Šabac: the Primary, Middle, and Large.

Twin cities

Šabac is twinned with the following cities:



Wikimedia Commons has media related to Šabac.
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