Krajina (pronounced [krâjina]) is a Slavic toponym, meaning 'frontier' or 'march'. The term is related with kraj or krai, originally meaning "edge"[1] and today denoting a region or province, usually distant from the metropole.


The Serbo-Croatian word krajina derives from Proto-Slavic *krajina, derived from *krajь, meaning "edge", related to *krojiti, "to cut";[1][2] the original meaning of krajina thus seems to have been "place at an edge, fringe, borderland", as reflected in the meanings of Church Slavonic краина, kraina,[2] and Old East Slavic окраина, okraina.[3]

In some South Slavic languages, including Serbo-Croatian and Slovene, the word krajina or its cognate still refers primarily to a border, fringe, or borderland of a country (sometimes with an established military defense), and secondarily to a region, area, or landscape.[2][4] The word kraj can today mean an end or extremity, or region or area. Archaically extrapolated, it could mean "army" or "war";[4] this meaning developed from the earlier meaning of "borderland" in a manner analogous to the French word campagne.[2] The term is equal to German Mark and French marche.[5]

In other Slavic languages (including the Chakavian and Kajkavian dialects of Serbo-Croatian), the term has other meanings, either a territorial name (cf. Krajna in Poland, from Old Polish kraina, meaning region, borderland, extremity[2]) or word with meaning "a land, landscape" (e.g. in Polish, Slovak, Czech or Sorbian).

Geographical regions

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Bosanska Krajina, around Banja Luka and encompassing a larger area, also on older maps called Turkish Croatia; westwards from Vrbas river, on the NW from Završje (on older maps, Završje is a part of Croazia Turca, Türkisch Kroatien, Török Horvátország [6])
    • Cazinska Krajina, borderland of Bosnia towards Croatia around the city of Cazin. Today it is considered as Una-Sana Canton.
  • Croatia
    • Krayna vu Otoce: medieval Glagolitic name of Gacka valley in Lika highlands
    • Cetinska krajina, area along the valley of river Cetina in the southern Croatia, in Zagora, to the east from Herzegovina (Bosnia and Herzegovina), mostly containing Sinjsko polje
    • Drniška krajina, area around the city of Drniš in southern Croatia, in Zagora, to west from Cetinska krajina
    • Imotska krajina, area around the city of Imotski, in southern Croatia, in Zagora mostly containing Imotsko polje, to east from Cetinska and Omiška krajina, to west from Vrgoračka krajina; also the name of the soccer club from Imotski
    • Istarska krajina, historical region in western Croatia, central area of peninsula of Istria [7]
    • Kninska Krajina, region around Knin in southern Croatia, to north from Drniška krajina and northeast from Cetinska krajina
    • Neretvanska krajina, historical area westwards from river of Neretva, southwest from župa Imota [7][8]
    • Omiška krajina, region in hinterland of city of Omiš, in Croatian south, in Zagora; to east from Cetinska krajina, to west from Cetinska krajina
    • municipality of Krajina, a municipality in southern Croatia, located between Split and Imotski, existed from 1912–1945 [9]
    • Sinjska krajina, area in Zagora, in southern Croatia, around the city of Sinj, west from Livanjski kraj, southeast from Vrlička krajina (sometimes considered as part of Cetinska krajina)
    • Vrgoračka krajina, area in Zagora, in southern Croatia, around the city of Vrgorac, southwest from Herzegovina and west from Neretva valley, to east from Imotska krajina
    • Vrlička krajina, area in Zagora, in southern Croatia, around the city of Vrlika, west from Livanjski kraj, northwest from Cetinska krajina (sometimes considered as part of Cetinska krajina)
    • Krajina is also a Croat surname
    • a part of peri-littoral area near Makarska in Croatia is called Krajina (see reference)
  • Montenegro
  • Poland
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia

Political regions

Subdivisions of Austria-Hungary:

Political units formed by rebel Serbs at the beginning of the Croatian War of Independence (1991–95):

Political unit formed by Serbs in the prelude (1991) of the Bosnian War (1992–95):

Where the term "Serbian Krajina" or "Krajina" alone is used, it most often refers to the former Republic of Serbian Krajina.

In Russia:

In Slovakia:

In Czech Republic:

In Ukraine:

  • In Ukrainian, krajina (країна) means "country, land", while Ukrajina is the country name. See also: Name of Ukraine.


See also


  1. Rick Derksen (2008), Etymological Dictionary of the Slavic Inherited Lexicon, Brill: Leiden-Boston, page 244
  2. “*krajina” in Oleg Trubačóv (ed.) (1974–), Этимологический словарь славянских языков [Etymological dictionary of Slavic languages], Moscow: Nauka, volume 12, pages 87-88
  3. Max Vasmer (1986), Etimologičeskij slovarʹ russkogo jazyka [Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language], in 4 vols (second edition), Moscow: Progress — Translated from German and supplemented by O. N. Trubačóv
  4. Group of authors (1969). "Кра̏јина". Речник српскохрватскога књижевног језика, vol. 3 (in Serbo-Croatian). Novi Sad/Zagreb: Matica srpska/Matica hrvatska. p. 30.
  5. Group of authors (1972). "Krajina". In colonel-general Nikola Gažević (ed.). Vojna enciklopedija, vol. 4 (in Serbo-Croatian). Belgrade. p. 681.
  6. Pándi Lajos - Köztes Európa 1756-1997
  7. Croatia in 1073
  8. (in Croatian) Excerpt from the book I. Marinović, B. Šutić, M. Viskić: Baćina: Prošlost Baćine, Udruga Pagania, Ploče, 2005, ISBN 953-95132-0-0
  9. (in Croatian) Povijest
  • Karlo Jurišić, Lepantska pobjeda i makarska Krajina, Adriatica maritima, sv. I, (Lepantska bitka, Udio hrvatskih pomoraca u Lepantskoj bitki 1571. godine), Institut JAZU u Zadru, Zadar, 1974., str. 217., 222., (reference from Morsko prase)
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