Šabac /ʃâbat͡s/ is a city in western Serbia. It is the main city of Serbia's Mačva District, and the northernmost city of Podrinje, located on the Sava River. The city has a population of about 70 000 inhabitants, while the population of the whole administrative region is around 110 000 people. It was the first city in Serbia to undergo modernization in the XIX century, after 400 years of Ottoman rule.
Recently reconstructed part of the Šabac Fortress in winter.
In the Middle ages, a small Slavic settlement called Zaslon was first mentioned in Ragusan documents in mid-XV century. It became part of the Ottoman empire in 1459, when Belgrade fell. Turks built the first fortress in this location, calling it Böğürdelen. The city was mostly under Turkish administration until the XIX century, but since it was located on the border of the Ottoman empire with Hungary (later Austria-Hungary) it had changed hands quite a few times during its turbulent history. It was also an important market town.
Mišar field near Šabac was the site of one of the first victories of Serbian forces in the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottomans in 1806, when Šabac became a part of the Principality of Serbia; Turkish forces, however, remained in the fortress until 1867.
The most important Serbian mayor of the city in this period was Jevrem Obrenović, brother of Miloš Obrenović, Prince of Serbia, who modernized and urbanized the city. Being the main trading port of Serbia, Šabac was expanding rapidly, and boasted having the first new primary school in Serbia since the Ottoman rule (1826), first European-style horse carriage, first piano, first glass windows, first newspaper (1883), and it was also the first place in Serbia where women started visiting kafanas (pubs).
The city prospered until the First World War when it was occupied and devastated by Austro-Hungarian army. Cer mountain near Šabac is the location of the first Allied victory in the WWI, when Serbian forces defeated the bigger and better equipped Austro-Hungarian invader in August 1914. After the war, the city developed at a slower but steady pace, as an industrial city. One of the most important milestones in the city's development was the founding of Zorka chemical plant in 1938. During WWII, the city was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1941, and was liberated in 1944 by Yugoslav Partisans.
During the period of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, Šabac grew into a modern industrial city with the aforementioned Zorka chemical plant and the expanded population. The 1970's 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.
The nearest airport is Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (IATA: BEG), located some 60 km from Šabac. Duga bus company (+381-15-273-840) has three daily lines from Šabac to the Airport, departing from Šabac at 5:10 AM (Mo-Fr only), 10:00 (seasonal, from June to September) and 15:30 (Mo-Sa), there is no information available on-line about the departures from the airport, but since it takes about one and a half hours to get to the airport, they should be departing around 7 AM, 12 and 5:30 PM, but that still needs to be verified. There is no other organized transportation from the airport to Šabac, so the easiest way to get there would be to go to Belgrade Bus Station, and take a bus.
As far as Serbian Railways are concerned, Šabac is a dead end. There is only one passenger line going from Šabac to Ruma six times a day. You can reach Ruma by train from Belgrade, Novi Sad or Šid. Timetable of Serbian Railways can be checked here (English).
Although hard to reach by train, Šabac fares much better when buses are concerned. You can reach Šabac easily from Belgrade, Novi Sad, Loznica, Valjevo, Bijeljina and even Sarajevo. Šabac Bus Station's website currently doesn't offer the list of arrivals, so you should check with the bus station in the city you will be coming from.
Best way to go around Šabac is on foot, or riding a bicycle like the locals do. There is also public transportation in the city, mainly serving the surrounding villages, but there are also a couple of stops in the city itself. Recognizable old yellow buses go through the city centre every now and then. A timetable (Serbian only, could be inaccurate) is available here. There are many taxi companies, and you should expect an average taxi ride in the city to be around €5.
- Šabac Fortress, Stari grad bb. 00-24. Only a very small section of the former Šabac fortress is still extant today. You can visit it at any time of day and night, but don't expect anything spectacular. There are two small memorial plaques on the fortress, one in remembrance of the liberation of Šabac fortress in 1867, and another that commemorates the partisans and local citizens who were executed by Germans in front of the fortress during WWII. During the summer, the fortress is the most popular place for locals, as the city beach is located right next to it. Entrance is free. edit
- Šabac Museum, Masarikova 13, ☎ +381-15-350-287, . Monday to Friday, 08-20. Šabac Museum was founded in 1934, and is located in the former building of Šabac Gymnasium, the second oldest high school in Serbia. It houses two permanent exhibitions - historical and ethnographic, and frequently organizes various temporary exhibitions. edit
- Šabac Library, Masarikova 18, ☎ +381-15-345-205, . 7:30-20. Šabac Library was founded in 1847, and is one of the oldest libraries in Serbia. It is located in the beautiful former mansion of the Orthodox bishop of the Eparchy of Šabac, opposite of the Šabac Museum. It doesn't have much to offer to foreign tourists, but the building itself is well worth a look. edit
Cathedral Church of Saints Peter and Paul.
- Dunjić Mansion, Vojvode Mišića 13. This beautiful mansion was built by the director of Šabac Hospital, first Serbian surgeon Mihailo Dunjić (1874-1937), in the 1920's. Since the seventies, the mansion houses a permanent exhibition of 77 post-impressionist paintings by Branko Stanković (1915-1989), a famous Serbian painter from Šabac. Working hours of the Mansion are relatively short, best to check it out around noon on workdays. Dunjić Mansion is located opposite the former Šabac Hospital building, now housing the Municipal Archives. edit
- Cathedral church of Saints Peter and Paul is located in the centre of the city, on Masarikova Street; it is the cathedral church of the Eparchy of Šabac. It was built in 1831. During the WWI, the church was heavily damaged, Austro-Hungarian invaders tearing the roof down with heavy weapons, stabbing the icons in the iconostasis with bayonets and stealing the bells. Renovations of the church were completed in 1932 when famous Russian immigrant painter Andrew Bitsenko painted the frescoes in al seco technique. The church today also houses a wonderfully detailed copy of the wonder-working icon of Holy Virgin Mary Trojeručica (Tricherousa) on the north side of the nave; the church also has one of the tallest iconostases in Serbia. Outside, on the north wall of the church you can see the first memorial plaque from the church's consecration in 1831, with scars from Austro-Hungarian shelling still clearly visible. There is also a beautiful monument to the fallen citizens of Šabac during WWI, erected in 1934, located in the courtyard. Vespers are conducted daily at 17:00, and the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 on Sundays.
Catholic Church of Saint Anne.
- Catholic church of Saint Anne is located near the city centre, on Janka Veselinovića Street. It was completed in 1928, and still has an active parish life, although the city's Catholic population is very small. Mass is celebrated every Sunday at 10:00.
- Church of Saint Paraskevi is located next to the old railway bridge, on Savska Street, on the bank of Sava River. This miniature memorial church was erected in 2005, in remembrance of the citizens of Šabac who were executed by Communist Partisans after the liberation of the city in 1944.
- Church of Holy Trinity is located in Šabac's quarter called Letnjikovac, in a beautiful pine forest. Building of the church was started in 2007, and as of 2014, church is consecrated and functioning, although the works on the interior are still underway.
- Church of Saint Basil of Ostrog is located in the southern suburbs of Šabac called Kasarske livade. It was completed in 2012. The church also incorporates the biggest "House of Good Will" in Serbia - stationary for children with developmental difficulties.
- Šabac Synagogue was located in the Vlade Jovanovića Street, near the City Theatre. Only one Jewish family (out of about one hundred people) of Šabac has survived the WWII holocaust, so the Jewish community decided to sell the building of the synagogue to private individuals. It later came into the ownership of Šabac City Library, but has recently returned to private hands. The building still stands, but unfortunately, the memorial plaque was removed few years ago, for no apparent reason.
Church of Saint Paraskevi.
- Šabac Mosque "Medina" is located in Zeke Buljubaše Street, next to the Muslim cemetery, and it serves the city's small Muslim population.
- Donji Šor Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Šabac, located on Hajduk Veljkova Street, sharply contrasted by the tall buildings of the Zorka chemical plant rising right next to it. It is the final resting place for most of famous locals. Small Orthodox chapel dedicated to Saint George is located at the entrance. There is also a Partisans Cemetery located to the right of the main gate, with a monument to the soldiers and citizens of Šabac fallen in WWII. Small Jewish Cemetery is located nearby, clearly visible from the main road to Belgrade. There are no more Jewish families in Šabac, and the cemetery is preserved by local authorities as a culture monument, with 36 gravestones and 130 burials that testify about the rich cultural diversity of Šabac in the XIX and XX century.
Modern mural in Šabac depicting the famous incident with the linchpin.
- Čivijada, ☎ +381-15-347-383. Čivijada, which can roughly be translated as Linchpin Festival, is the most famous festival in Šabac. Its name comes from an event that may or may not be factual - when one of Serbian rulers, prince Miloš Obrenović, or his nephew king Milan, visited Šabac, some of the locals took the linchpins from his carriage, causing it to fall to pieces, thus earning the people of Šabac the name "čivijaši" (linchpinners). Čivijada was first organized in 1968, as a "worldwide festival of humour and satire", and the main program traditionally consisted of public readings of aphorisms, satirical stories, epigrams, an exhibition of political and other cartoons, and elections for the President of the Linchpin Republic (mostly among writers and actors). Since 2008, program of Čivijada was expanded into a typical carneval, with scantily clad ladies and music bands marching through the city, and various other programs, becoming a part of FECC - Federation of European Carneval Cities. edit
- Šabac Fair, ☎ +381-15-334-613. Šabac Fair takes place every 21 September, feast of the Birth of Holy Virgin Mary; it is a traditional fair that has become synonymous with Šabac itself. Regularly visited by about 100 000 people, the fair is a mixture of folk music, merry-go-rounds, candy, circus performers, fortune-telling Gypsies and all kinds of trinkets to buy. It takes place on Mihajlovac field near Sava river, close to the Šabac Fortress. edit
- Museum Night. A traditional manifestation taking place all over Europe also exists in Šabac. Every 17 June, local museum, galleries and other institutions organize various exhibitions and cultural programs that are open throughout the night. edit
- Šabac Summer Festival, Šabac Fortress, . Šabac Summer Festival is the biggest music festival in the city, catering for the wishes of the broadest audience - from house to punk music. It takes place every August in the Fortress on the bank of the Sava river. There is also a Demo fest for new bands. edit
Monument to the First Serbian Uprising in Mišar.
- Battle of Mišar Anniversary, Mišar village and Šabac Hippodrome. Battle of Mišar took place on Mišar field on 14 August 1806, when the Ottoman army clashed with Serbian insurgents led by Karađorđe Petrović. Although the Turks outnumbered Serbs 4 to 1, the insurgents defeated them and prevented them from getting to Belgrade. Anniversary of the Battle of Mišar is commemorated regularly for more than 100 years, with laying of wreaths at the monument to the fallen soldiers and the accompanying cultural program. At the Šabac Hippodrome, horse-riders gather to participate in traditional games of skill and agility, called "višeboj", contending for the title of the Hero of Mišar. edit
- Epiphany Cross Swim, ☎ +381-15-352-247. An Orthodox tradition, swimming for the cross thrown into the river on the day of the Epiphany (19 January), takes place in Šabac also, since 2004, under the auspices of the Orthodox bishop of the Eparchy of Šabac. Many young people (women too) swim for 33 meters in the ice-cold Sava river to take the Epiphany cross out of the water. Foreigners have also taken part in this manifestation. edit
- Easter Rock Marathon, Gospodar Jevremova 12, ☎ +381-15-346-936. Easter Rock Marathon takes place every Orthodox Easter in the Šabac Culture Centre, on Saturday and Sunday. Since the date of the Easter is different every year, so is the date of the Rock Marathon. edit
- Shopping Night, . 18-24. Shopping Night takes place three times a year, in April, August and December, for one day. More than 200 stores take part in this manifestation, offering discounts and promotions. There is also a cultural program on one or two stages in the pedestrian zone. The exact dates of the Shopping Night can be checked on the website. edit
- The Rose of Lipolist Flower Festival, ☎ +381-15-347-383. Lipolist is a beautiful village under Cer mountain, located some 25 km south from Šabac. Apart from agriculture, many locals have also taken up floriculture, thus earning the village the title of the "most fragrant village in Serbia". This manifestation takes place every June. edit
- International Swim Marathon, . Šabac International Swim Marathon, also known as "Peace Race", takes place in the beginning of August every year. It was founded as a competition in 1982 to commemorate the "Blood March" of 1941, when 4500 citizens of Šabac were forced by Nazi invaders to march for 22 km from the city to the concentration camp in Jarak village, many of them perishing during the march. edit
- Biker Rally, ☎ +381-63-832-64-45. Biker Rally takes place every mid-May since 2005, in Letnjikovac. edit
- Bubijada (Beetle Rally), ☎ +381-63-823-50-68. Volkswagen Beetle Rally takes place in Šabac every August, for one day, when proud owners of the famous "Beetle" parade through the city in their soon-to-be-oldtimers. edit
- Fićijada, ☎ +381-64-124-46-47. Zastava 750/Fiat 750Z Rally takes place in August during Čivijada. Zastava 750, commonly called "fića" was one of the most famous Yugoslav cars, produced from 1955 to 1985. edit
- October Salon. The October Salon is the most important event in the domain of visual arts in Šabac, when numerous artists from all over Serbia exhibit their paintings in the gallery of Šabac Culture Centre. edit
- Jazz & Blues Festival, Karađorđeva 22, ☎ +381-15-353-954. This music festival takes place every October on the main stage of the Šabac Theatre. Entrance is free. edit
- Abrašević Folklore Ensemble Annual Concert, Masarikova 22, ☎ +381-15-353-793. The oldest and biggest folklore dance ensemble in Šabac was founded in 1905. It is named after the proletarian poet Kosta Abrašević (1879-1898), who spent last years of his life in Šabac. The annual concert usually takes place in December in the Zorka Sports Hall, Hajduk Veljkova 2. Entrance is free. edit
- Šabac Tourist Office, Karađorđeva 5, ☎ +381-15-347-383, . Tourist Office of the City of Šabac is located in the centre of the city. It offers various local souvenirs and postcards, as well as information about the cultural activities in the city. edit
- Culture Centre Bookstore, Gospodar Jevremova 12. 08-20. edit
- Culture Centre Gallery, Gospodar Jevremova 12, ☎ +381-15-346-936. 08-20. The oldest art gallery in Šabac, located in a historical building in the pedestrian zone. edit
- Tržnica, Trg Đačkog bataljona bb. The oldest green market in Šabac, located in a historic building completed in 1939 and reconstructed in 2006. Buy healthy fruits and vegetables directly from local peasants and experience how the locals live. edit
Although the city was very famous (sometimes also infamous) because of its many taverns in the XIX and XX century, most of the old locales have closed, especially during the sanctions in the 90’s, so most of the taverns today are new (and much fewer than in the old days), but they can still offer a nice traditional meal.
- Gradska kafana, Pop-Lukina 35, ☎ +381-15-345-820. edit
- Vizantija, Mačvanska 43, ☎ +381-15-369-600. 08-24. edit
- Stari most, Savska bb, near the old railway bridge, ☎ +381-60-823-17-95. edit
- Romansa, Stojana Novakovića 48, ☎ +381-15-348-409. 08-24. edit
- Čardak, Vojvode Putnika 109, 15353 Majur, ☎ +381-15-377-453, +381-63-375-551. edit
- Mićo Bradina, Stevana Sinđelića bb, magistralni put Šabac-Loznica, ☎ +381-65-253-55-53. edit
- Villa Albedo, Miloša Pocerca 18, 15232 Varna, ☎ +381-15-284-233. edit
- Točkonja, Trg Đačkog bataljona 1, ☎ +381-62-668-989. edit
- Sweet House Confectionery, Karađorđeva 14, ☎ +381-15-349-136. 08-24. Free Wi-Fi. edit
- Pivnica КУМ, Masarikova 15. First craft brewery in Sabac.Rock music & great domestic food. edit
- Life Caffe, Gospodar Jevremova 10, ☎ +381-63-224-487. edit
- Hajneken, Kralja Milana 2. Pop, rock, blues, jazz and reggae music. edit
- Amadeus, Karađorđeva 11b, ☎ +381-15-344-110. edit
- Zvonce, Karađorđeva 1, ☎ +381-64-88-20-264. 10-01. Pop-rock, 80's and 90's music. edit
- Urbano, Masarikova 34, ☎ +381-15-352-130. 10-02. Karaoke, pop-rock music, live music. edit
- Caffe, Cara Dušana 1, Shopping Centre Trijumf. 07-24. Pop-rock, 80's music. edit
- Dinner, Trg Šabačkih žrtava bb, ☎ +381-64-01-11-051. 08-24. Rock, pop, house, dance, electronic and guitar music. edit
- Irish Pub, Karađorđeva 31, ☎ +381-63-407-760. edit
- Sloboda****, Trg Šabačkih žrtava bb, . The biggest hotel in Šabac, it has reopened on 19 September 2014, after 10 years of reconstruction. It is located in the city centre, next to the pedestrian zone, and the City theatre. It has 105 rooms, restaurant, multi-function conference rooms, two aperitif bars and a wellness centre. edit
- Vila Galeb**, Koste Abraševića 8, ☎ +381-15-346-700, . Small hotel located in the centre of Šabac. Opened in 1998, it has 1 apartment, 3 double and 6 single rooms. edit
- Dvor, Miloša Pocerca 11, ☎ +381-15-347-390. Small hotel located five minutes from the city centre. It has 32 rooms, and a multi-function hall in the lobby. edit
- Zeleni venac, Cara Dušana 2, ☎ +381-15-354-640. Hotel is located in the heart of the city, but is currently undergoing renovation. edit
Bed & Breakfast
- Golub Petrol, Obilazni put bb, Majur-Šabac, ☎ +381 15 375 511. edit
- Mićo Bradina, Stevana Sinđelića bb, magistralni put Šabac-Loznica, ☎ +381-15-72-79-007, +381-65-253-55-53, . edit
- Stan na dan, Pop Lukina 9, ☎ +381-64-010-40-32, +381-64-153-59-58. Apartments for rent in the centre of the city. edit
Outside the city
- Lipove Vode, Planina Cer, Lipove Vode, ☎ +381-63-820-63-91. Located in the pittoresque and historical Cer mountain, Lipove Vode has three triple, three double rooms, and two apartments. edit
- Villa Albedo***, Miloša Pocerca 18, 15232 Varna, ☎ +381-15-284-233. Villa is located in Varna village, 10 km south of Šabac. It has two double and two single rooms. edit
- Police Department: 192
- Fire Department: 193
- Ambulance: 194
- 24-hour Pharmacy "Kosta Nikolić": +381-15-343-194
- Bus Station: +381-15-334-065
- Railway Station: +381-15-341-910
- Maxi Taxi: +381-15-313-777
- City Taxi: +381-15-355-455
- Šabac Tourist Organization: +381-15-347-383
Monument to the fallen Serbian soldiers in the Battle of Cer in Tekeriš.
- Cer Mountain is located 25 km south-east from Šabac. Its highest peak stands at 698 meters. The mountain is the location of the first Allied victory in WWI, when outnumbered Serbian forces managed to defeat Austro-Hungarian invader in the Battle of Cer, on 15-16 August 1914. There are many pittoresque and safely marked paths on the mountain, as well as possibility for lodging in Lipove vode. Memorial church of Saint John of Shanghai at Lipove vode was consecrated in 2014, for the centennial anniversary of the Battle of Cer. Memorial centre dedicated to the fallen Serbian soldiers is located in the nearby village of Tekeriš, on the road to Krupanj. Since 2013, there is also a licensed tourist guide service (Ana Pavlović, +381-63-938-94-48, license No. 1580).
- Mišar is a village/township 5 km west of Šabac. It is the location of the famous Battle of Mišar, when Serbian insurgents defeated the Ottoman army during the First Serbian Uprising in 1806. There is a monument from 1906 commemorating the battle, and a small museum with a permanent exhibition dedicated to it. If you wish to visit the museum, even on weekends, you must call the Šabac Museum (+381-15-350-287) in advance, so they could arrange somebody to open the museum and take you through it. There is also a new Orthodox church, dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ, mostly completed (as of 2013), the first church to be built in the village since the Turkish destruction of the old church in 1806. Under the hill, there is an old cemetery where you can still see many of the original XIX century gravestones. Mišar can be reached with local buses from Šabac.
- Petkovica Monastery, dedicated to Saint Paraskevi (Saint Petka), is located in the eponymous village, some 30 km south-east from Šabac, on the slopes of Cer. It was founded in the XIII century, but had suffered destruction many times from the hands of Turks, Austrians and Germans. It is today one of the most beautiful monasteries in the Eparchy of Šabac. A small part of the relics of Saint Paraskevi is kept in the monastery. There is a wonder-working vine growing in front of the church, reputed to heal sterility in women. Petkovica village can be reached with local buses from the main bus station, and from the centre of the village it is a nice walk uphill to the monastery.
Church of the Holy Archangels in Kaona Monastery.
- Kaona Monastery, dedicated to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, is located in the eponymous village 25 km south from Šabac, by a beautiful artificial fish pond. Legend holds that the monastery was founded by Ikonija, one of the sisters of Miloš Obilić, the hero of the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. It was heavily damaged in the First Serbian Uprising, and a hundred years later almost completely destroyed in WWI, but it has been rebuilt in the 1930's, and has been an active monastery again since the 1960's. Apart from the main church, there is also a small chapel dedicated to Holy Virgin Mary, and a baptistery. The monastery houses a part of the relics of Saint Paraskevi. It can be reached by taking a bus to the village of Draginje, on the road to Koceljeva (that is, any bus that goes to the city of Valjevo), and then talking a somewhat longer but rather pleasant walk to the monastery.
- Radovašnica Monastery, dedicated to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel and the Protection of Holy Virgin Mary, is located in the eponymous village, some some 25 km south-east from Šabac, on the slopes of Cer. Founded in the XIV century, the monastery had been destroyed and renovated many times, and finally burned to the ground by Nazi invaders in 1941. There are two churches in the monastery, the older one, dedicated to the Protection of Holy Virgin Mary, rebuilt in the 1960's, and the new one, completed in 2014, on the former location of the main monastery church, dedicated to the Holy Archangels. The monastery houses the relics of Saint Theodore of Amasea, Saint George, Saint Nicholas and the New-martyrs of Prevlaka. Radovašnica village can be reached with local buses from the main bus station, but you should ask the driver or a fellow passenger where to get off, as the road to the monastery is off the main road somewhat before the village.
Church of Saint Elijah the Prophet in Ilinje Monastery.
- Čokešina Monastery, dedicated to the Birth of the Holy Virgin Mary, is located in the eponymous village on the northern slopes of Cer, some 40 km south-east from Šabac. It was founded in the XV century, but has suffered the same fate as all the other monasteries in the region, having been attacked and destroyed many times, especially during the First Serbian Uprising, when the insurgents clashed with the Turks at the very gates of the monastery in 1804. There is a monument to the Uprising with an ossuary, located in the courtyard. The monastery is not as easy to reach: take any bus that goes from Šabac to Loznica, get off in the village of Mačvanski Prnjavor, and then take a taxi to the monastery, or go for a 4 km walk due south through the beautiful countryside, if you have the time and are in good shape.
- Ilinje Monastery, dedicated to Saint Elijah the Prophet, is located in the village of Očage, some 22 km east of Šabac. It is one of the newest monasteries in the Eparchy of Šabac, it was founded in 1983. There is a small centre for rehabilitation of drug addicts in the monastery. The monastery is frequented by many locals as the monks have the bishop's blessing to hold the rite of the unction (anointment of the sick) every second Saturday, something only Orthodox Christians may receive, as it is one of the Sacred Mysteries of the Church. There have also been many reported scenes of possessed people screaming in voices and demons trying to disrupt the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. The monastery is not too easy to reach: take any bus that goes from Šabac to Loznica, get off in the village of Petlovača, and then take a taxi to the monastery, if there are any to be found, or go for a 2,5 km walk due north-east through the countryside.