Thanks to the soil fertility and perennial availability of drinking water, the terrain of today’s Municipality of Kozarska Dubica was settled as early as in the pre-historical period, which is evidenced by the presence of numerous archeological sites. After the Fall of Roman Empire, the space between the rivers of Una and Vrbas was settled by Slavic tribes. Namely, in Proto-Slavic language „dub“ means Oak Tree. The regions were covered by vast commonnoak forest, which the community takes its name after.
Dubica first appeared in written records in 1197. as “parish, county“. The city belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary until 1527. when, following their defeat in the Battle of Mohács, the Hungarian territories came under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy. Dubica was taken over by the Ottomans in 1538.. From the end of the 17th Century until the end of the 18th Century, on several occasions, it was again under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy. The Ottomans finally reclaimed it in 1796, following the Treaty of Sistova signed in 1791.. Interesting historic circumstances brought Dubica to be a part of the county governed first by the Knights Templar (1269. -1312.) and subsequently by the Knights of St. John of the Priory of Vrana. In the city center, there was the only convent of the Knights Templar in the territory of today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the southeast of today’s Croatia and Hungary, all the way to Greece.
The Ottoman – Habsburg wars (1683. – 1791.) were most notably focused on Dubica. The 1788. – 1791. war is called “the war of Dubica” in BiH. Situated between the two great empires of the time, Dubica witnessed many wars and shifts in governance, most notebly during the 18th Century. Each time it was conquered, it was almost completely destroyed. Thus, only a few remnants of walls of the old fortress bring forth some hard evidence of past times.
Following the Treaty of Sistova, the Ottoman Empire finally takes hold of Dubica, remaining within its boundaries until the Congress of Berlin in 1878..
Only at the turn of the 19th and the 20th Century did the small town, comprised mainly of craftsmen and tradesmen, begin to develop industrially. A sudden trade-related development begins with the accession of BiH to the Customs territory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Consequently, local merchants get in direct business relations with Austro-Hungarian industry and wholesale trade. In the following few years, the present-day nucleus of the town is built, tree alleys are planted and the main street is arranged, adorned even today with the façades from the period. Rich mercant families build their family houses, shops, hotel and restaurants in the guise of Venetian style, even inviting a group of Italian architects to help them in their efforts.