Barutana

The Barutana memorial area, which is also called Bjelovar’s Hiroshima, is one of the particularly emotional places you can visit in Bjelovar. Located in the Bedenik forest, in the northwestern part of the city, the area was renovated and opened in 2020, and serves as a painful reminder of those who died and suffered in the defense of the city during the Homeland War.

The reason why Barutana is also called Bjelovar’s Hiroshima is a large explosion that left behind a 12-meter deep crater and completely destroyed the forest within a radius of 60 meters and damaged another 150 meters of forest. The explosion occurred on September 29, 1991, in the final attempt of Croatian soldiers to seize the warehouse of the war reserves of the 265th Motorized Brigade of the Yugoslav People’s Army, thereby liberating the Bjelovar and Koprivnica garrisons and preventing the merger of the 265th Motorized Brigade and the forces of the 5th Banja Luka Corps.

All three warehouses located in that area were prepared for chain mining by the Yugoslav People’s Army forces led by Major Milan Tepić. However, members of the Croatian army reacted well and cut the connection between the southern warehouse with the central and northern ones, and on September 29 they entered the central complex from the northern side. They then opened fire, three soldiers were killed, but they managed to break through to the eastern side, where the members of the Yugoslav People’s Army began to surrender. Major Tepić refused to surrender peacefully and activated the mines, but due to the severed connection, only the southern warehouse exploded. Instead of 1,700 tons of explosives, only a few hundred exploded, but even that was enough to leave this piece of forest heavily damaged. Members of the Yugoslav People’s Army who took part in the bombing were detained and later exchanged, and Barutana has been completely restored today and contains a monument to fallen veterans, a chapel and an informational and educational center.

In the memorial area, there is also an educational trail with 14 information boards that follow the development of events from the breakup of Yugoslavia through the Homeland War and the key events in it, to the last military and law enforcement operations. The T55 tank and the BVP M80, the original infantry fighting vehicle that was in Barutana on September 29, 1991, can be viewed in the area. The people of Bjelovar mark that date every year with a festive program honoring fallen veterans.

  • Adress

    Barutanska Street 10

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