Šabac (Serbian Cyrillic: Шабац, pronounced [ʃâbat͡s]) is a city and the administrative centre of the Mačva district in western Serbia. The traditional centre of the fertile Mačva region, Šabac is located on the right banks of the river Sava. According to the 2011 census, the city proper has population of 53,919, while its administrative area comprises 118,347 inhabitants.


Град Шабац
City of Šabac
From top: The central city square, Cultural center, Courthouse in Šabac, Hotel ,,Freedom", Serbian Orthodox church, Šabac Fortress, Šabac library


Coat of arms
Location of the city of Šabac within Serbia
Coordinates: 44°45′N 19°42′E
Country Serbia
RegionŠumadija and Western Serbia
  MayorNebojša Zelenović (ZZS)
  Ruling partiesZZS/DS/SPO - ZS/NS/NS/ZS
Area rank25th in Serbia
  Urban30.89 km2 (11.93 sq mi)
  Administrative795 km2 (307 sq mi)
83 m (272 ft)
 (2011 census)[2]
  Rank11th in Serbia
  Urban density1,700/km2 (4,500/sq mi)
  Administrative density150/km2 (390/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code+381(0)15
Car platesŠA


The name Šabac was first mentioned in Ragusan documents dating to 1454. The origin of the city's name is uncertain; it is possible its name comes from the name of the city's main river, the Sava. The city is known by a variety of different names: Zaslon in medieval Serbian, Szabács in Hungarian, Böğürdelen in Turkish, and Schabatz in German.


Archaeological evidence attests to more permanent settlement in the area from the Neolithic.[3] In the Middle Ages, a Slavic settlement named Zaslon existed at the current location of Šabac.[3] 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 Beyerdelen (Böğürdelen, meaning "side-striker"). In 1476 the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus captured the fort; it remained 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 Banate of Macsó, 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 centre of the nahiye 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. The population was composed of both Muslims and Serbs, along with smaller numbers of Hungarians and Croats.[3]

Until the 19th century, Šabac was mostly under Ottoman administration, but control of the town changed hands several times between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy during the Ottoman-Habsburg wars. The first period of Habsburg rule began in 1718, when Šabac was incorporated into the Habsburg Kingdom of Serbia. After the Treaty of Belgrade (1739), Šabac reverted to Ottoman control and, straddling the boundary between the two empires, it gained importance as a market town. A second period of Habsburg control of the area followed starting in 1789. The storming of the city was one of the early experiences of the renowned military leader Józef Poniatowski. Ottoman control over the area was restored a few years later.

Šabac became a site of importance in Serbian history in the First Serbian Uprising when, in 1806, Karađorđe 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 Revolutionary Serbia. A brief period of restored Ottoman control followed, but after the Second Serbian Uprising in 1815, Šabac was included into the now-autonomous Principality of Serbia under the Obrenović dynasty. This first ruling family of modern Serbia left its mark on the town; knez Miloš Obrenović's brother, the enlightened Jevrem Obrenović, built a personal residence and helped modernise the town: the period from 1820 to 1850 saw the establishment 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 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 the Austro-Hungarian army and had its population halved (from cca. 14,000 to 7,000). 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 the French War Cross with Palm (1920), the Czechoslovak War Cross (1925), and the Order of the Karađorđe's Star with Swords (1934).

In 1918, the town became a part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later renamed to Yugoslavia). From 1918 to 1922, it was the administrative seat of Podrinje District, from 1922 to 1929 the administrative seat of Podrinje Oblast, and from 1929 to 1941 it was a 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 the new socialist Yugoslavia. Since then, it grew into a modern industrial city with the aforementioned Zorka chemical plant and an 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.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [5]

According to the 2011 census results, the city of Šabac has a population of 115,884 inhabitants.

Ethnic groups

The ethnic composition of the city of Šabac:

Ethnic group Population

Local communities

Urban local communities

Rural local communities


Prior to 1990, Šabac had one of the best developed economies among cities in Yugoslavia. However, international sanctions against Yugoslavia during the 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 Hesteel Serbia Iron & Steel - Tin mill. Production of raspberry is also highly developed in Šabac area. As of September 2017, Šabac has one of 14 free economic zones established in Serbia.[6]

The following table gives a preview of total number of employed people per their core activity (as of 2017):[7]

Activity Total
Agriculture, forestry and fishing208
Processing industry6,911
Distribution of power, gas and water279
Distribution of water and water waste management417
Wholesale and retail, repair6,057
Traffic, storage and communication1,650
Hotels and restaurants810
Media and telecommunications348
Finance and insurance490
Property stock and charter69
Professional, scientific, innovative and technical activities899
Administrative and other services898
Administration and social assurance1,476
Healthcare and social work2,100
Art, leisure and recreation360
Other services641


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



Elementary schools

High schools

Private centres of education

  • King's College[8]
  • Premier
  • Pygmalion[9]
  • Interlink



The length and status of roads in the city are:

  • Main roads 59.9 km (37.2 mi) (all asphalt)
  • Regional roads 111.4 km (69.2 mi) (all asphalt)
  • Local roads 304.2 km (189.0 mi) (187.8 km (116.7 mi) asphalt)
  • Unconventional roads 2,700 km (1,678 mi) (only 20 km (12 mi) asphalt)
  • City streets 10 km (6 mi)


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 city 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.

Notable people


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:



  1. "Municipalities of Serbia, 2006". Statistical Office of Serbia. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  2. "2011 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in the Republic of Serbia: Comparative Overview of the Number of Population in 1948, 1953, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2002 and 2011, Data by settlements" (PDF). Statistical Office of Republic Of Serbia, Belgrade. 2014. ISBN 978-86-6161-109-4. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
  3. "Zvanična prezentacija grada Šapca - Istorija".
  4. Anderl and Manoschek. 2001 Gescheitert Flucht. Vienna: Mandelbaum.
  5. "2011 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in the Republic of Serbia" (PDF). stat.gov.rs. Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  6. Mikavica, A. (3 September 2017). "Slobodne zone mamac za investitore". politika.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  7. "ОПШТИНЕ И РЕГИОНИ У РЕПУБЛИЦИ СРБИЈИ, 2018" (PDF). stat.gov.rs (in Serbian). Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  8. http://www.kingscollege.rs/ Archived July 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  9. "Pygmalion School of English".
  10. "List of Affiliation Partners within Saitama Prefecture". International Exchange. Archived from the original on 2016-01-04.
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