VAREŠ – A MOUNTAIN TOWN WHERE YOU SIMPLY RELAX YOUR SOUL AND ENJOY THE SERENITY

Some cities are defiant and proud, and others are plagued by looking for a way out of the gray matter, but they all have their time when they have magic that gives them a special image and sound. Vareš is a place full of people of good will. People from Vareš are willing to work, to pull concrete moves for their city, for their Vareš.

This work completes their youth, and creates happy memories of their age. In this little town near Sarajevo, you simply need to relax your soul and enjoy your peace by listening to Vareš breathing, and Vareš is really breathing like people in it who have always dug and processed iron ore, as evidenced by the mention of the surrounding villages. The town of Vareš, under that name and in that locality that exists today, is mentioned in the 15th century during the time of the administrator Jakub Hadum-paša. The Turkish authorities placed a lot of importance in Vareš for a successful craft work that was widely heard, and with the arrival of Austria-Hungary this city is experiencing a true revival in the full sense of the word. Vareš became a place where the economy is blooming, and the work is over.

Since the economy was of great importance for then Austro-Hungarian Empire, the era of construction and investment in Vareš began, and the first high furnace for the smelting of iron ore was built, and renovation of the majdan is done. After the Second World War, industrial development only grew, ore was digging more and more, and Vareš became the right industrial center. The cultural heritage of this small town is rich. Churches and mosques were built there. Nobody did not bother anyone. The proof that it was indeed so was the wall fortifications on Bobovac, the church of Sv. Mihovila and the old mosque in Karici. However, through the long and burning history of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian people, that seat of the Bosnian rulers – Bobovac has changed considerably.

 

The turbeh of seven brothers – legend says…

The turbeh of the seven brothers is a jedler tekke in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  In 1879, Sejfulah Iblizović founded the jedler tekke of the Kashbendi Order. This was initially a room for the guard of the turbeh of the seven brothers, which was built along with the turbeh by Sulejman-pasha Skopljak around 1815. The tradition says that some of the sheiks were buried there, who came with Sultan Fatih.

Later, two dervishes were buried there, suspected and innocently executed on the occasion of the theft of money from the Sarajevo pagans in 1494. There were buried four captains also, whom Mustafa-pasha Dalbatan decided to destroy, because they did not inform in a timely manner of the army of Prince Eugen of Savoy in Sarajevo in 1697.

THE ETERNAL FLAME – THE FLAME THAT CARRIES A MEMORY OF THE LIBERATORS OF SARAJEVO

In the morning of the November 27th, 1947, the Eternal flame fascinated people of Sarajevo by its beauty. The flame it was carrying, and still carries today, is a reminder of the liberators of Sarajevo in the Second World War. People from Sarajevo, people who do not accept monuments easily, accepted this monument very quickly.

In that period, when there was no disco in the city and cafes on each step, the Eternal Fire became a gathering place for young people who called it a “burning tire”. This simple, yet very beautiful symbol of Sarajevo is work of Juraj Najhart. Located at the facade of the building that was originally Grand Hotel, and then the residence of Zemaljska banka, the Social Book Service, today it would be the seat of the Payment Bureau. In the heart of the Sarajevo Walking Zone, this monument connects the three streets: Mula Mustafe Bašeskije, Titova and Ferhadija. It consists of a plaque with the text which reads.

The courage and jointly spilled blood of fighters of the Bosnian Serb, Croat, Montenegrin and Serbian brigades of the famous Yugoslav army, joint efforts and victims of the Sarajevo patriots Serbs, Muslims and Croats, Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina was freed.

QUEEN KATARINA, A TRAGIC HEROINE OR JUST AN ORDINARY QUEEN

The position of a woman in society changed as time changed. Women in the Middle Ages haddifferent roles. They could be wives, mothers, nuns, and some women took up more social positions, such as the queen. Men always had a prominent role in society, and women were in a shadow, seemingly invisible, often a supply of peace and a means of exchange. Regardless of whether they are noblemen or “ordinary” women, they were considered as father’s, but also as husband’s property. The rights of women differed depending on class affiliation and marital status. Women in that period did not have the right to be the part of the Parliament, they were deprived of their education and all public functions, and their only task was to dedicate themselves to the household. As such, women did not have the right to vote. Marriage as the foundation of society played an important role. Marriage was pre-arranged, and women become man’s property, without the right to vote, because as they said then the only good woman was a silent woman. A woman couldn’t decide anything because there was a thought that males were smarter than females.

Now imagine the period of Middle Ages, the great castles, chambers, servants, the glittering gold, and all the benefits that bring money and power. Imagine impeccable suits, big and long dresses, and expensive jewelery. Imagine a woman. A woman who came to this home without choosing itand wanting being in it. A woman who had to fight for her right to vote, her position, respect, but also her love. As such was Queen Katarina, the woman who remained without her husband, children and homeland. She experienced the destiny of her people and her family, and she went to refuge to save the same people. In Middle Ages it was not easy being a woman, especially not at the court. As much as it seemed to us that they lived in splendor and well-being, that they were valued and respected, it was not easy to be a woman from the royal palace. Many of them did not know what love and freedom were. They got married for political and social reasons. Tha’s how it was with queen Katarina. Her marriage was a guarantee of peace between her father Stjepan Kosača and the future husband Stjepan Tomaš. She married quite late, because her father repelled the plague until someone showed up enough for his interests. Somebody like the Bosnian king. Katarina’s marriage was supposed to make a political balance in those areas. The wedding was performed by the Catholic Department in the court of Mihodra. As a well-educated nobleman, she married her to goodness, toughness and humility. She followed her husband on all travels, and many churches were built together, including the Church of St. Katarina in Jajce.

Then life of Queen Katarina was in the shadow of two powerful men, her father and her husband, and therefore there are not many details about her reign. There are only stories and legends that say that she loved her people a lot. Women learned household chores, and the most beautiful relationship. Very young, at age 37, she became widowed with two children, son Sigismund and daughter Katarina. Stjepan Tomašević, son of Stjepan Tomaš and Vojača, confesses to Katarina as a queen and her mother. Queen Katarina had difficult times. After empty promises and agreements, the Sultan had moved to the Bosnian kingdom. Bobovac fell quickly into the hands of the Ottomans. King Stjepan Tomašević was in Jajce, but after he realized that he could not go there for a long time, he went to Ključ. After some time spent in Ključ, because of the lack of weapons and food, the king decided to surrender on condition that the Sultan’s army guaranteed his life. However, the king was executed in Jajce in 1463. While winning, Bosnian Queen Katarina was in Kozograd. When she heard of her people’s guilt, she decided to go south to Konjic and then to Dalmacija. In one of the parades the queen went with the escort, and in the other were her children. Later, that decision became disastrous. The hostile army stopped the procession in which her children were and captured them. The queen learned this late, only in Dubrovnik. Just like every mother and queen, she was too, in a great pain for her children, but also for the disaster that has struck her people. She was a mother and a queen. She was trying to find out about her children for a long time, but everything was unsuccessful. Then, the queen went to Dubrovnik where she expected to find help and arm of salvation, but to the people of Dubrovnik it was not appropriate for them to find the queen of the lost kingdom, and they were most afraid of the conquest of Sultan Mehmed II. The Queen went to Rome where she found comfort in her faith. She became a member of the Third Order of the Franciscan Order and helped the sick. She spent all those years in sorrow and grief for her children and her homeland. She found out that her children converted into Islam. Later, it would be known that Sigismund became Ishak-beg, called Kraljević, and that he received a lesser faction in Asia. There was no historical data about her daughter, Katarina. Whether she married, where she lived, how and where she died, nothing   is known. With all these concerns, the suits for children and homeland, the queen falls short on the patient’s bed and expresses her desire to write her will. In the will she wrote that she left her kingdom to her children if they find them and if they accept the faith of her father. However, she was aware that this might never happen, and therefore left the kingdom to the Holy See.

Queen Katarina died 5 days after writing her last wish, October 25, 1478. She was buried in the Franciscan church of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ara Coeli. On her grave the figure of a proud queen with a crown was displayed showing the coats of arms of the Bosnian state and the Kosaca family, and at the bottom the inscription was written by a Bosnian woman. A pious, intelligent woman, the great-hearted queen, left a deep trail among her people, and especially among women. The face of Queen Catherine depicts the sad and tragic destiny of many women who have lost their husbands, their children, and their homeland. There is hope for never repeating such events and no woman will experience the suffering and the pain that Queen Catherine has been fighting against.

 

 

TODAY THERE ARE JUST STORIES ABOUT THAT TIME!

There are many stories about the past days today, and perhaps for a few years the story about the way of life then will be extinct.

Today, as we are naught about ourselves, our traditions and cultures are turning to the west, and we feel a disgrace to tell someone where we are from and what we have done in our


lives. West doesn't want us, if it wanted us it would do much to help us, and did not offer only what violates our Bosnian-Herzegovinian society. Many of the sofras with the sweetest foods we ate are outdone and forgotten. The smell of hot cake and somun replaces white bread, so today we are healthy. And I – I will never be embarrassed from where I am, I am not ashamed of my grandma and her colorful scarfs, my mom and her colorful “dimije”. We don’t have time for our closest relatives or friends, we’d rather sit at home, chat on facebook and apologize for not having time for them rather than to go to coffee and talk in person, but that cost us, there is no time, and we have to buy it. Our elders have left many things to us in “amanet”, they are no longer here today, but there are many memories, tips and some vivid photographs that remind us of some good times of the past.

RIMSKI MOST- DO YOU KNOW HOW ‘ROMAN BRIDGE’ GOT IT’S NAME, ALTHOUGH ROMANS NEVER CROSSED OVER IT?

The bridge at Plandište, better known as the Roman Bridge, is located in the Ilidza area, and it has a lot of history behind it.

The bridge at Plandište, better known as the ‘Roman Bridge’, is located in the Ilidza area, and it has a lot of history behind it. It is located at the western entrance to Sarajevo, about two kilometers downstream from the source of the river Bosna. It is not known exactly which year was built and who was responsible for its existence, but for the first time it is mentioned by the Venetian Katarin Zeno in the 16th century, who said that there is a stone bridge on the Bosna River, with seven arches. Which would mean that the Roman bridge existed at the time of the Middle Ages. During that period, Bosnia was in direct relation with Dubrovnik, and it is assumed that there must have been a bridge in the Middle Ages due to the trade route and the transfer of goods, across the river.

This bridge is said to be a paradox, its name is the Roman Bridge, and not a single Roman crossed over that bridge. But, there is an explanation for everything. The bridge we know today was built in the Ottoman period on the foundations of the Roman bridge that existed there before. There is a theory that the Roman Bridge was built of Roman tombstones that were in the immediate vicinity, and that is why it is called the Roman Bridge, but these are just assumptions.

The truth is that the bridge is striking and that it looks magnificent in every season. In winter, it fits perfectly into the snowy whiteness, while in summer the surrounding trees and greenery create a very beautiful scene. The Roman bridge, for its beauty and history, gazes its eyes and represents a building that is quite visited by photographers, who use the opportunity for beautiful photographs that can be made here.

Bridges do not leave us indifferent, some cause admiration and awe while others are enchanting. The Roman bridge fascinates and causes a stir. In addition to the Latin Cuprija, Kozija Cuprija and Seher-Cehajina cuprija, the Roman Bridge is one of the fourth preserved stone bridge in the area of Sarajevo. The natural-architectural ensemble of the Most in Plandište (Roman Bridge, Bridge over the river Bosna in Plandište) was proclaimed in 2005 as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Enjoy the shots recorded by our team!

 

 

ZERINA KOZLO: “When you grow up into a musical family, it is inevitable that music becomes part of you”

Music is an universal language that everyone understands. There’s a lot things in music that positively affects people and improves their mood. It is a special type of art in which an interpreter expresses exactly what can not be said, and what is hard to keep silent. An old folk says that musicians are the ones who make a lot of people happy, but at the same time they are people who do not like neighbors, because they are constantly disturbing peace. We, in our neighborhood, here in Kakanj, in the vicinity of Sarajevo, have found the real musical family Kozlo, and, at least to us, the authors of this article, music performed by this young artist does not bother us.

Since olden times, the Kozlo family spoke the universal language of music. Tradition, culture, chores and traditions of music were passed on to new generations. One of the youngest members of this music family is Zerina Kozlo. A young interpreter and artist who presents her talent through playing a flute, quite well. She started playing a flute in the seventh grade, after her friend suggested her that idea. She thought she would give up very quickly because she was in her teenage years, however her life turned her in the other direction, where she started slowly moving forward, building herself as an artist, with a continuous work and development. In the seventh grade of elementary school she joined ‘Rudarska glazba’ in Kakanj, whose  member she’s even today.

She attended the ‘Music School’ in Kakanj, and is currently attending ‘Srednja zubotehnicka skola’ in Zenica. Attending the ‘Elementary music school’ in Kakanj, she had a couple of performances at the shows in Kakanj and Zenica, where she was noted by the ‘Rudarska glazba’ conductor. To her great surprise, he offered her to join ‘Rudarska glazba’. Unfortunately, she did not have the opportunity to present her artistic skills at the competitions.

Asked if there might be sensations from Kakanj, such as ‘2Cellos’, Zerina responded a bit more modestly, that it’s a big challenge, because they are a world-recognized duo, but that she has something else planned. Her plan is to join, with a couple of flutes, and make a band that would try to play famous ex Yu melodies and songs, and to make a breakthrough in the Blakans. She says it’s realistic because she tried to play some famous songs on flute, and since it’s a very innovative way of performing, she thinks people would be pleased to listen to her performances.

From the significant performances that Zerina had, she emphasized the performance at a concert of ‘Film Music’ organized in Kakanj and for which there was a great interest. It’s not a classic concert, but a slightly different performance, her father said that it’s actually a musical. The excellent performance of the musical has triggered many stories across the region, so young artists received a call for performances in Zagreb and other cities. However, financial resources enabled them to organize the musical in only a couple of nearby cities.

We talked to Zerina in Sarajevo, where we also recorded a promotional video clip worth watching and listening to!.

 

VARES- BEAUTIFUL OLD HOUSES IN THE PLACE MATIJEVIĆI KEPT BOSNIAN STYLE BUILDING FROM OBLIVION

Old people used to say “Nothing more beautiful than own house and freedom of that house”, and that proved the life 200 years ago, where people used to live in the spirit of tradition, in houses built in Bosnian style, that was unfortunately pushed into oblivion and replaced by the imposed modern style of the Western European system. Unfortunately, once again, we have shown that we pay very little attention to the preservation of tradition, culture, and architectural heritage that is disappearing. The Bosnian style of house construction was a recognizable product, and it was very influenced in this region, with oriental spirit and culture, modern construction methods, brought by the Austro-Hungarians and the Ottomans. This style is part of our cultural heritage, and we are just standing and watching how our own tradition, of one nation, is sinking into oblivion, by modern way of life. It is true that we begin to appreciate some things with time, and we are witnesses of the time of emptiness and desolation. Our parks and cities are empty, and they used to be full of life. Our soul is empty, and it was once full of life. Silence and desolation is in the interior of our souls, and we hide from the world.

Our villages and towns remember better days. These settlements were the past of which many people dreamed of, and the village of Matijevići was a part of that beautiful story, old Bosnian houses testify to this even today. Matijevici testifie about this past, about the kingdom of Bosnia, about life in the Middle Ages. The houses in Matijević testify that this nation had one of the few construction methods that are older than 200 years. Not even Americans or Englishmen had it, nor Italians, at least not in the way that it can be found in Vares, a village full of soul, peace and tranquility.

In the past, the sounds from the forges and foundries could be heard here, and today  mostly pensioners live here, whose ancestors came to this settlement in the 17th century fleeing from the plague, from the Krivaje valley or, according to another belief, the inhabitants came from Dubosica and Bobovac. Here, the Stavnja River was the refuge of many mills, and the most famous one was the one at Lađa. Today it is a haven for tourists who want to see an old Bosnian house, a recognizable symbol of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnian houses were and will be part of BiH. They are just a little part of what Vares can offer to it’s visitors. And a smaller town with a greater history in BiH certainly does not exist, and it’s one of the reasons why you should visit this city. Enjoy our photo gallery before your visit to Vareš!

VISOKO: A small town that defies time

“While I was thinking about the past and dreaming about the future, I did not even notice that the beautiful present passed by me,” says a well-known quotation. For Visoko it can be said that it has a lot of past to think about, we will not write too much about it’s wonderful present, because this city lives, but we can wish for even better future. Many times, this small town, center of Bosnia, has shown that it can defy time but that time can not defy it. It is a city that was one of the most important cities in medieval Bosnia. From that place, the medieval city, kings were watching and recalling the size of their kingdom. From that time, there is a quote: “In Visoko and Podvisoko, kings issued their charter, the authorities held the councils, and the proxies of the foreign authorities came up with precious gifts before the Bosnian rulers and councilors and gave them the wishes of their statesmen”.

In that small town, in the immediate vicinity of Sarajevo, one country was writing it’s history, Bosnia. In this town one generation was leaving and the others came, but no one ever managed to erase the trace of first lives, and diminish the significance of Visoko. As everything existed before us, everything will be left behind us too, like witnesses of history written in chapters, ‘stećak’ and other monuments. It is history that remains to defy, and to testify that life has been developing, even before the Middle Ages. Illyrians lived there, Bosnian church developed there too, kings were crowned and buried, and the remains of the 11th century library testify that Visoko has always been part of Bosnia, which contributed most to the development of culture and statehood. Visoko always played the most beautiful melodies on the flutes, made in Godusa, by the hands of our great friend Vehab Halilovic, about which we already wrote. Visocica, with an interdisciplinary scientific approach, that attracts an increasing number of tourists from year to year, has become the most accurate archaeological location in the world, since 2006. Pyramids, that are part of an ancient past, are a luxury for all lovers of history and adventure. In the sea of attractive pyramids and excavations, the archaeological park in Visoko is a place, that should be the starting point of tourists, coming to BiH, and that has a lot to offer.

We will start our story of this town with a story about the archaeological park and the pyramids. Although opinions are divided whether it is a pyramid or not, the fact is that Visoko has since became one of the most attractive locations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and world. What advocates and opponents, of the theory of pyramids, have agreed is that enormous amounts of energy emanate from the ‘Pyramid of the Sun’ or Mount ‘Visocica’, which has been repeatedly proven. From the first mines, there were more dusts in and around Visoko than around the Egyptian pyramids, that are considered to be the most important historical treasure of the planet. Some people deny it, others support it, but it will definitely be written in the time that Bosnia and Herzegovina was the center of the world for many archeologists, scientists and many important names in the world. In 2006, this place became one of the most visited archaeological locations in the world. People from Visoko greeted the story of pyramids with enthusiasm, they opened grill shops (chevabdžinica) on the pyramid, with the name like “At Pharaoh”, sold souvenirs and used the full potential of tourism, but then a media silence followed and a project of archaeological excavations lost its significance. However, the project did not stand still, people worked hard. The walls of the pyramids, tunnels, and the park were built, which is a real small oasis for relaxation. We photographed and recorded this, so visit it and tell us what you think. Enjoy our story!

 

‘ROGO ZADE’ MOSQUE IN SARAJEVO – One of the smallest mosques in the world

The Sarajevo mosque, with an unusual name – Rogo Zade, was built in 1660, according to the inscription on the door of the mosque, and its total surface is just over 50 m². This is the smallest mosque in the region and Europe, but also one of the smallest in the world. It was built under the Sarajevo settlement Sedrenik, in the Rogina 1 street. In fact, the mosque was restored in 1972, and before that, its surface was even smaller than the current one. As there are numerous mosques in Sarajevo’s nearby settlements, Sedrenik and Grlić hill, the Rogo Zade mosque is visited by a very small number of believers, and it is like a symbol of the city.

The mosque also houses a turban (Muslim cemetery) with three mezzars. It is believed that Hungarian Muslims were buried in them, who came to these areas 300 years ago, fleeing from the inquisition, in the (then) Hungary. The legend further states that a part of the Hungarian Muslims settled in Sarajevo, above the Sumbul mahala and near the mosque, built by Rogo Zade. It is believed that among the immigrants from Hungary there were three rich families, who left Hungary, leaving all their behind. The legend says that some members of these families were buried just outside the mosque of the Rogo Zade, where the people later built them turbe.

Around the mosque there is a cemetery (muslim cemetery) with around 20 ‘nišans’ (monuments). In one of the tombs there are the remains of the famous Bosniak historian Sidki Muvakkit Hadzihuseinovic, author of the famous work “Tarih-i-Bosna”, written in Turkish, published under the title “History of Bosnia” in Sarajevo, 1999.