History of Brod and settlements in its surroundings dates back to the Bronze Age, around 1600 BC. At the site where a part of the oil refinery RS is located today, the remains of a relatively large settlement from ancient times are under ground. This place was called Pekaruša by local people. The residents of Pekaruša belonged to the great Pannonian people. Ancient Romans left their traces in these areas too. At the site of today’s Brod, there was a town settlement that the Romans called Marsonija. As the word Marsonija itself reminds of Mars – the Roman god of war – Marsonija too was not just a civil and commercial settlement, but it also had a fortress. The major part of ancient Marsonija was located on the site of today’s fortress of Slavonski Brod, and part of the settlement was located on the right side. The written documents mentioning Brod for the first time date back to 365, telling the fact that this city was 1635 years old.
Regarding the oldest places in the vicinity of Brod, the first one is Vinska and Liješće, which are mentioned in the reports of Marijan Maravić in 1648. The undivided area of Brod was divided in two administrations, Posavina and Slavonia, in 1739. The right bank became part of the Turkish and the left bank of Austrian empire. In 1850, there were 700 inhabitants in Brod.
In the early 19th century, Brod experienced its relatively huge upheaval. At that time, it was a shopping center and an important point at the crossroads of the two empires. By the fall of Napoleon, Brod will lose its strategic importance. At the Berlin Congress in 1878 Austria was given a mandate to take over the administration in Bosnia. Then Brod became part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. That year is also the starting point of formal education in Brod.
The first public library in Brod was founded in 1889 at the National Elementary School. The well-known merchant family Hadži-Ristić from Sarajevo also established the first monetary institution in 1859. After the establishment of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy over the territory of Bosnia, Brod became the main point for the traffic of the monarchy with the newly emerged provinces.
The railway station was built in 1896 and it was designed by the architect Hans Niemezcek. The station was officially put into use in 1897. The inspiration for this building was found in distant Afghanistan and it was built in a pseudo-mosque style. The oldest building constructed in this style, which has been preserved, is considered the Sarajevo City Hall. Unfortunately, the station was destroyed in the great attack on Brod on the 19th of January in 1945. The complete plans of this building have been preserved in Sarajevo. Until the end of World War II, the railway station in Brod was the largest traffic node in BiH.
The most important industrial facility – the Budapest-based company for chemical products (from which the Oil Refinery will grow later) “Danica” d. d. was built at the end of the nineteenth century, in 1892.
On July 15, 1897, the first ferry departed from Brod to Derventa and Zepce. The first Serbian Orthodox church was built in Brod in 1894. The old Roman Catholic church of St. Elijah was built in 1860 and after the new church was built in 1907, it was converted into a residential building. The mosque was built in 1909. There is no information about the old mosque but it is certain that it was built in the 18th century.
One of the interesting facts is that, thanks to the merchants in Slavonski Brod, Brod got the first petroleum lamp in the whole of BiH in 1860. Interestingly, in 1923, the Oil Refinery was able to get a Ford brand car and it was also the first car in Brod. The first aero-rally in Brod was in 1912. It happened only 9 years after the first plane was lifted above the ground. The village on the right bank of Sava was officially named Bosanski Brod in the early fall of 1878, and this name was retained until the end of the 20th century.