Hall 1 - BOARD 2


Panorama of Valjevo at the beginning of the twentieth century

During the 19th century, Valjevo was rapidly developing and urbanising. In the second half of the century, from 1862 to 1900, the town population increased from 2,150 to 7,477. With the expansion of the town, new institutions were established: primary school, grammar school, reading room ... A theatrical troupe started performing, and a printing shop and the local newspaper were initiated. There was the brewery and savings bank, a public bath was built, as well as new public buildings for schools and courts, and also hotels. The streets in town were lit, at first by gas, and in 1900, among the first towns in Serbia, Valjevo had electric street lighting. Among other things, which was of crucial importance for the events that followed, Valjevo had a modern civil District Hospital, and it also became a significant garrison centre with the Military Hospital.

The District Hospital in Valjevo was founded in 1867 and it was originally located in a private house which was not appropriate for the needs of the hospital. In 1885 the hospital moved into the new, purpose-designed facility. Two decades later the hospital complex was expanded with a modern surgical pavilion.

After major military reforms conducted in the Kingdom of Serbia, in1883 Valjevo became the seat of the Drina Divisional Region. As early as 1885 the first barracks in the city were built, in Ilidza (Seventeenth Regiment Barracks), followed by the Barracks of the Fifth Infantry Regiment in 1899 and then the Artillery Barracks, military storage complex of the Drina Division and the building where the Division Command was situated.

Even before the Drina Divisional Region was established, during the Serbian - Turkish wars (1876-78), a temporary military hospital, where Russian doctors and orderlies worked, was stationed in Valjevo. The temporary military hospital existed there after the formation of the garrison, probably within the barracks in Ilidza. With the beginning of the new century Valjevo became the seat of the permanent military hospital of the Drina Division.

During the Balkan Wars (1912/13.), in addition to the permanent military hospital, there were two auxilliary hospitals - one at the Grammar school, and the other in the Fifth Regiment Barracks. Thirteen doctors worked in those hopsitals. Beside Serbian medical staff, there were three Danes, two Czechs and one Croat.


Valjevo is a nice little town of eight to ten thousand inhabitants, in the hills, with a healthy climate, quite modern, there are even electric lighting; it is the seat of the district, it has at least five large barracks, as well as a beautiful grammar school, now ready for accepting the wounded. From the interview with Dr. Arius van Tienhoven given to a Rotterdam newspaper in August 1915
Surrounded by green hills, a small town of Valjevo lies in the valley like in one bed. Its low houses look quite white under the dazzling sun. From "What I saw and lived through in the Great Days" by Dr. Archibald Reiss