The mysterious fortress Kastel in Banja Luka

Fortress kastel

The mysterious fortress Kastel in Banja Luka Kastel Fortress is the oldest monument in Banja Luka

Kastel Fortress keeps the deepest secrets of this city, because it is the oldest monument in Banja Luka. It is located on the left bank of the Vrbas and with its massiveness it tells us about great events and greats who used it as a defensive position and military fortification from the ancient period to the new century.
The total area of Kastel is 48,000 square kilometers, the ramparts consist of nine bastions and two drops of a tower within the ramparts. It is surrounded on all sides by thick stone walls on which loopholes and observation posts have been erected, and its final shape and present-day form was given in the 18th century.
Data on its origin lead us to the second century AD in Roman times, when it was built as a military camp or Castro. The Kastel fortress is entered from three directions to the north, west and east. It is also interesting that the remains of residential buildings dating from the 8th and 12th centuries were found in the area of Kastel, and the oldest object that confirms that there was an ancient settlement is an altar dedicated to the Roman god Jupiter. On this beautifully carved stone monument, found in 1895, there is an inscription which deciphered the text: “Jupiter, the greatest genius of this place in Sicily, acrin, consular benefactor of the province of Upper Pannonia, fulfilled his vow voluntarily and with gratitude.” Several specimens of late antique bronze, pottery and one late antique bronze fibula were found inside the fortress. Descriptions and drawings from the 18th century give a picture of the fortification with numerous casemates, but also with more than 30 barns for grain.
Nevertheless, the very development of the city and the significance of the city and thus the castle began during the time of Ferhad-pasha Sokolović. Ferhad-pasha first built his fortified tophana on the site of today’s Kastel, and ten years later the tophana grew into a real fortified town with towers and basins, which was constantly extended.
Next to the fortress itself, there is an artillery workshop that was used to make cannons, rifles and gunpowder and was opened at the beginning of the 18th century. It was during this period that the most famous battle near the Kastel fortress in 1737 took place during the Turkish rule. The battle of Banja Luka was started by Austrian units under the command of General Hildenburghausen, which penetrated the Vrbas valley and began the siege of Kastel. However, the Bosnian governor Ali-pasha Hećimoglu defeated the Austrian army with a sudden attack from the hill Lauš, and so Kastel remained unconquered. In the 19th century, Kastel, like other fortresses, lost the military significance that it had before, but it was and remains, as it is on the coat of arms, the symbol of the city of Banja Luka. In 1950, the Kastel Fortress was declared a cultural and Istrian heritage site of the first category, and in 2002 it was added to the list of endangered monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Source:Wikipedia /Saša Knežić
Translated: Alma Gadžo

Fortress kastel

Kastel fortress in Banja Luka

It is located on the left bank of the Vrbas and with its massiveness it tells us about great events and greats who used it as a defensive position and military fortification from the ancient period to the new century.

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Meet the keeper of hidden secrets in Počitelj -the city of stone and water

Pocitelj

Meet the keeper of hidden secrets in Počitelj The city of stone and water

Počitelj is a unique settlement within the municipality of Čapljina, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia and Herzegovina). It is located on the left bank of the Neretva river, on the main  road from Mostar to Metković, in the north of the municipality of Čapljina. Its historic urban center dates back to the 14th century. Pocitelj is a protected national monument of BiH and is on the UNESCO list.

Although the town was first mentioned in written documents in 1444, it is assumed that it was built by the Bosnian king Tvrtko in 1383. This medieval town had a Mediterranean look, but after the Turkish conquest it was orientally remodeled. The mixture of these two architectural styles gives Počitelj a special dimension.

Apart from the extraordinary oriental culture and Ottoman style, Počitelj is interesting and known as the host of an art colony with the longest tradition in Southeastern Europe.

Počitelj Fortress was built between the 14th and 15th centuries, at intervals, when construction was suspended. The original medieval core of the city is the oldest fenced part, where two phases of construction can be identified: older, inner city or fortress (tower with a small inner courtyard – donjon) from the end of the 14th century, with later additions, alterations and reinforcements from the second half of the 15th century. Judging by the appearance of the oldest parts of the fort, it can be assumed that the small place, below the fort,dates from an earlier or the same period as the fort itself. Shortly before 1698. the fort was considerably enlarged and fortified with a stronger defense system. The city is walled so as to form an inner donjon with a square tower, two bastions (Mehmed-paša’s and Delibaša’s), Dizdar’s house, granary, fortification mosque and “water tower” (cistern with entrance and stairs leading to the water), two large and two small portal (gate). During the war in BiH from 1992-96. year, the fort did not suffer serious damage.

In the Neretva valley, the main stronghold in the defense against the Turks was in Počitelj. This fortress was built by the Bosnian king Tvrtko I in 1383 and had a strategic role in controlling the road to the sea, along the Neretva river valley. Today, the historic town of Počitelj, which was built below the fortress, has an oriental appearance and is entirely in the function of tourism and cultural events.

Translated by Alma Gadžo

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How familiar are you with Kiseljak?

How familiar are you with Kiseljak?

Some cities are defiant and proud, and others are plagued and are looking for a way out of the drab, but they all have their time when they have magic that gives them a special image and sound. [umetnime] Kiseljak is a city and municipality in central Bosnia, located in an idyllic area, at the mouth of three rivers and at a location where roads connecting the whole of Central Bosnia cross. The Lepenica river runs through the city, and the city itself lies at an altitude of 475 meters. The location of the present Kiseljak probably as a settlement existed in the middle ages, as evidenced by numerous tombs called “stećci” in today’s narrower and wider area of the city. After the Second World War, Kiseljak became an established town and center of a larger region. They build residential buildings, roads and many facilities of utility, public and political services and the city itself is developing as a spa resort. This important transit place is best known for its traditional Kiseljak biscuits, Sarajevski kiseljak factory, as spa center and its thermal waters. In recent years, there has been an accelerated housing construction in this city, newly built sales facilities and, globally speaking, the expansion is present in every respect. All this in order to make this city one of the largest and most developed centers of Central Bosnia. However, besides mineral and thermal water, Kiseljak municipality has many natural resources, among which we can emphasize radioactive mud and gas, large forest and mineral resources, where the predominantly red and white clay is more famous as kaolin and dolomite sands. [umetnime] The most important natural phenomenon of Kiseljak is mineral water, or sorrel. Although we do not know exactly when the first jet of this water and natural carbon dioxide crawled in the air from the ground, it is well known that the Counselor from Vienna, Professor Dr. Ludwig, after studying all the natural waters and springs in BiH, found that acidic water springs in Kiseljak by its top quality are springs of mineral water, compared to other sources in Europe. Therefore, city fathers today base their economic and tourist plans for the town of Kiseljak by guiding this claim. Nowadays the Sarajevo Snack Factory employs a large number of people and the Kiseljak economy would be almost unthinkable without this economic giant. Evlija Čelebija, a Turkish travel writer among the first, warned of the healing properties of mineral water back in 1659. Čelebija about Kiseljak and mineral water writes: “The extinction of the village (the Turks named Kiseljak as Ekshi, which, in translation from the Turkish language, means sour water) springs several springs of different waters. The nature of each spring’s water is different; one of them completely opens up more than ricinus, one hot spring completely closes, one spring is good for itching, lichen and other crusts on the body, and for a french fox, its spring looks yellow, and poorly birds go to various soup, that soup Be better than lemon and rose vinegar. Water from this spring and other waters is called ‘hot water’, but each spring has a different taste. From these waters full merchants from every one of the bottles and from the villas to the villas. ” [umetnime] Kiseljak and mineral water in 1864 are described by Turkish writer and statesman Ahmet Dževdet. In his letter to the great Vizier Fuad-pasha, Dževdet explains: “Here I saw a weird mixture of the world who came here to drink this very healing water. This summer comes the world from all sides, even from Austria. Early in the morning you can see Bosniaks in the halls and long feathers, rafts in various mansions, Austrians in hats and other costumes, holding a bowl (a small cup of glass, tanned with water) and drinking acidic water, then calm and succulent park. The water is acidic and has a lot of gas, leaving it out of the ground like a fountain. This water drinks the world to a great extent from the baskets, is left in bottles and sends even in Austria. This water is a very good opening tool. And it’s strange that any other mouthpiece weakens the stomach and bowels, while this water is just counteracting. It strengthens the stomach and increases appetite. Early morning, a man walks up to his will and drinks white coffee, with a peculiar appetite of dessert, and then hardly wait for dinner. It is interesting to me that this water has the opposite properties, the opening and the nutrition, and I have to ask a doctor who tells me that this water has not yet been properly analyzed, and that secret is still unknown, but it certainly has magnesium and iron. In short, this is a beautiful and proven medicinal water. As winter people from Carigrad go to the warm Italian regions, it would take longer to come here for the summer season. It would not be difficult either: the Danube and Savo to Brod, and then this way by car. ” this is a beautiful and proven medicinal water. As winter people from Carigrad go to the warm Italian regions, it would take longer to come here for the summer season. It would not be difficult either: the Danube and Savo to Brod, and then this way by car. ” this is a beautiful and proven medicinal water. As winter people from Carigrad go to the warm Italian regions, it would take longer to come here for the summer season. It would not be difficult either: the Danube and Savo to Brod, and then this way by car. ” [umetnime]

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

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.

[umetnime]

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.

[umetnime]

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.

[umetnime]

 

 

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

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

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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.

[umetnime]

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.

[umetnime]

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.

[umetnime]

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!

 

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VISOKO: A small town that defies time

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”.

[umetnime]

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.

[umetnime]

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!

[umetnime]

 

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Boon is Neretva’s gurgle and an extra cup of coffee in Konjic

Boon is Neretva's gurgle and an extra cup of coffee in Konjic

Only those who immensely love follicle from which they evolved and winged know how difficult is to write about it. It is difficult to string words knowing that it can’t be written everything we know and feel. It is difficult to write about love, immeasurable love! That is the only way to love the city which is placed in the heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the city where Neretva gurgles, the city where Zuko Džumhur put his tobbaco pipe in mouth and began with writing of new lines. That is the way to love the city of wood carvings where every motif is carved with a lot of love knowing that product which is made with love and sweat is going to be esteemed somewhere. You have to give it to get it, you must love to be loved. [umetnime] Zuko Džumhur was once asked: “What makes a human happy in life?“ He answered very simply: „Here in Bosnia we have one word which puts all that in one place, and it is – RAHATLUK (in English it can be translated as “boon“)! You can have millions, but if there is no rahatluk in your soul, you don’t have anything!“ And what is rahatluk? It is when wind blows from Neretva, when seagull flies from Trešanica, when heels jingle accros Ćuprija, when you hear call to prayer from Vardak’s mosque, when bells ring from monastery of Ivan Krstitelj. Šta je merak ? Merak is Konjic, merak is every Hercegovina’s cliff, merak is first coffee on Prenj, merak is celebrating Labor Day on Vrtaljica. Once upon a time Celts also enjoyed here when they named our green-eyed beauty Nera-Etwa, which means the divine river. And they weren’t wrong. “You didn’t get tired, you are still unconquerable, strong, you swing our causeys, and we even don’t know. You wake me up in the morning, at night you make me asleep. And then I break my sleep, but you are there, under the window. You keep me… Keep me…“ [umetnime] Summer? Summer is, dear guests, for Pazar and Tećija, only real inhabitants can tell you what that is and where that is. It is important to know that you will refresh yourself, sunbathe and absorb Neretva with every breath. Konjic is also Lazo Drljača, the last bogumil, as he liked to call himself. Konjic is Boračko jezero, Jablaničko jezero, Blatačko jezero. Konjic is home of the inhabited village at the highest altitude in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the home of Lukomir. Konjic is the home of the second deepest canyon in Europe, canyon of Rakitnica. When you are already there, you should have lunch in the city centre, try trout and relax in rafting. Next to that all, you need to hear the song called “Mrazevi“ (Frosts) interpretated by our Irina Kapetanović Perduv. When you wake up from a good sleep with first sun rays, you have to visit old city core. Knock on the door of the former home of Zuko Džumhur, have a walk in the Linden street Pave Anđelića, take photos on the Stone bridge from 1682. Beauty are mosques in Konjic, churches,  museum, bridges, rivers. Beauty are men and women from Konjic. [umetnime] You can sit on a bench in the heart of Konjic and look, just look. It is so small bazaar, so you can see everything, hills and mountains, and everything a human created and left there from 16th July 1382 until now. This bazaar is a pearl in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and when you visit all of them and catch the fancy of them, you will notice that you have a wonderful necklace. Wear it with pride and keep it in the most beautiful bin to never lose it.

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Why visit Zagreb?

Why visit Zagreb?

Enjoy in video and visit Zagreb [umetnime]

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