Jovan Cvijić


Jovan Cvijić : biography

October 11, 1865 – January 16, 1927

Major works

  • Geografska ispitivanja u oblasti Kučaja u ist. Srbiji, 1893.;
  • Das Karstphänomen, 1893.;
  • Karst, 1895.;
  • Struktura i pojela planina Balkanskog poluostrva, 1902.;
  • Antropografski problemi Balkanskog poluostrva, Naselja srpskih zemalja, I 1902.;
  • Die Tektonik der Balkanhalbinsel mit besonderer Berückichtigung der neueren Fortschritte in der Kenntnis der Geologie von *Bulgarien, Serbien und Mazedonien, 1904.;
  • Osnove za geografiju i geologiju Makedonije i Stare Srbije I-III, 1906.—1911.;
  • Grundlinien der Geographie und Geologie von Mazedonien und Alt-Serbien. Nebst Beobachtungen in Thrazien, Thessalien, Epirus und *Nordalbanien, 1908.;
  • Aneksija Bosne i Hercegovine i srpsko pitanje, 1908.;
  • Jezerska plastika Šumadije, 1909.;
  • Dinarski Srbi, 1912.;
  • Izlazak Srbije na Jadransko More, 1912.;
  • Raspored Balkanskih naroda, 1913.;
  • Jedinstvo i psihički tipovi dinarskih južnih Slavena, 1914.;
  • Severna granica južnih Slavena (La frontiere septentrionale des Jugoslaves), 1919.;
  • Balkansko poluostrvo i južnoslavenske zemlje, osnovi antropogeografije, I, 1922.;
  • Geomorfologija I-II, 1924., 1926.
  • Balkansko poluostrvo i južnoslavenske zemlje, osnovi antropogeografije, II, 1931.;


Jovan Cvijić has sometimes lost his scientific impartiality because of Serbia’s political advancement. Cvijić’s work, since he was a reputable geographer, was used as a scientific justification for Greater Serbian politics and Serbian territorial claims.

According to Cvijić the true Bulgarians were "different from the other South Slavs in their ethnic composition". Within non-Bulgarians Cvijic included three ethnographic groups described until the end of the 19th century predominantly as Bulgarians: the Macedonian Slavs, the Shopi, and the Torlaks. He excluded even the region of Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, from the Bulgarian stock and maintained the three types above were eminently Slavic and therefore Serbian.

He stated that Serbia can operate with a much larger entity that the territory it now holds.Cvijic, "O nacionalnom radu", commemorative speech 1907, reprinted in Govori i Clanci, I, Beograd 1921 p. 51-76


Together with a group of geographers and biologists he founded the Serbian geographic society in 1910, in Belgrade. He was the president until his death. In the year 1912 he started a magazine "Serbian geographic society herald", which still exists. He gave seminars one a week for the students of similar sciences, which were attended by the teachers of Belgrade grammar schools, as well.

Jovan Cvijić founded the Faculty of Philosophy’s Geographical institute in 1923, the first establishment of that type in Balkans, and was its manager from the foundation to 1927.

In Belgrade 1947. Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts founded geographical institute which was named "Jovan Cvjic". The institute was founded with a primary reason to improve geographic science.

On November 21/22 2002, the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts organised a scientific meeting "The Social-political work of Jovan Cvijić".

There is at his family’s house in Belgrade (5, Jelena Ćetković Street).

The house was built in 1905. and since 1963. has been protected by the state as a monument of culture. It has unique internal decoration, made by founder of national decoration art – Dragutin Inkiostri Medenjak. Cvijić, according to his own nature, shared the enthusiasm of the educated people of that time for the creating a national style based on Balkan folklore elements.

Today in the house you can find a legacy of Jovan Cijic which contains 1476 subjects, containing manuscripts, letter, notes, olans, books, paintings, geographical charts, atlases, personal items, etc. Museum occasionally gives lectures on the subject.

In Serbia, a number of schools and streets are named after Jovan Cvijić. He is still considered the most significant Serbian geographer. His work has been continued by his students, six of whom later became members of the Serbian Academy, including Pavle Vujević, Borivoje Z. Milojević and Milisav Lutovac.