Castles and fortifications in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Počitelj Castle

In the middle ages, Počitelj was the administrative centre and centre of governance of Dubrava župa (county), and its westernmost point, which gave it major strategic importance.  It is supposed that the fortified town and its attendant settlements were built by Bosnia"s King Stjepan Tvrtko I in 1383. The walled town of Počitelj evolved over the period from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Architectura ...
Founded: 1383 | Location: Čapljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Yellow Bastion

The Yellow Fortress or Yellow Bastion is a cannon fortress at the entrance of the 'Walled City of Vratnik'. It was built between 1727 and 1739 in area called Jekovac, close to the Jajce Barracks and the Jekovac water reservoir. It served as one of the defense points against the Austro-Hungarian troops in 1878. The fortress was damaged and rebuilt several times. The most recent renovation took place in 1998.
Founded: 1727-1739 | Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Walled city of Jajce

The Walled City of Jajce is a medieval fortified nucleus of Jajce in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with citadel high above town on top of pyramidal-shaped steep hill, enclosed with approximately 1,300 metres long defensive walls,. It is one of the best preserved fortified capitals of the Bosnian Kingdom, the last stronghold before the kingdom dissolved under the pressure of military advancement at the onset of Ottoman Empire ta ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina

White Fortress

The White Fortress (Bijela Tabija) is an old fort overlooking the historic core of Sarajevo. It is a protruding part of the wall of what was historically known as the old Vratnik City, and dominates the Eastern, the natural entrance to Sarajevo. It is built of stone and it used to house a gun-crew and an ammunition storage. Its thick walls have openings for cannons. As far as the precise year of construction goes, differ ...
Founded: 1550 | Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Travnik Castle

Travnik Castle, locally known as Stari Grad Castle (old town castle), is a medieval town-fortress complex in the town of Travnik. Dating back to pre-Ottoman Bosnia when the former Christian Kingdom ruled the region, there is no historical data as to the construction date of the Medieval fortress. However, the construction type and other characteristics indicate that it was built sometime in the second half of the 14th ce ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Travnik, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ostrožac Castle

Ostrožac Castle is a castle located in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Una-Sana Canton just outside the town of Cazin, in the village of Ostrožac. The castle dates back to the 13th century when Ostrožac was part of property of the noble house of Babonić family. In 1592 it was captured by the Ottoman Turks and established as an Ottoman province of Bosnia. The castle was built between 1900 and 1906 by Major of Bihać Loth ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Cazin, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Velika Kladuša Castle

Velika Kladuša was first time mentioned in 1280, but the castle was built by Ottomans after they conquered the area in 1633. It was in military use until the late 19th century, but is today converted as restaurant and travel use.
Founded: 17th century | Location: Velika Kladuša, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Blagaj Castle

Blagaj Fortress is a town-fortress complex built on a high, inaccessible karst hill. The archaeological material scattered above the slopes of Blagaj hill indicate that settlements existed here during the prehistoric and Roman periods. Remains of fortifications were discovered on each of the summit"s highest points: On the north-eastern summit, there are the remains of a Roman or late antique fortification or observa ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ostrovica Castle

The Ostrovica Castle is a large medieval structure situated above the small village of Ostrovica near Kulen Vakuf. Having been built on a heavily wooded ridge of a steep hill overlooking left bank of the shallow Una river, the castle was located on a strategic site connecting the northern and southern parts of the long Una valley. The modern-day castle was most probably built during the 15th century on the foundations o ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hutovo Castle

Hutovo fortress or Hadžibegov Grad is a castle in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the municipality of Neum near the village of Hutovo. The fortress is located along a narrow road leading from Hutovo Blato to Neum, below Žaba mountain and southwest of Hutovo. Strategically situated atop a hill overlooking the Prešjeci pass, it was often traversed by salt caravans from Ston traveling inland. The name Hadžibegov Grad is deriv ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Neum, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sokolac Castle

The castle of Sokolac is situated on one hill on the east side of the hill Debeljača on the left bank of the river Une. The oldest charter in which Sokolac is mentioned dates from the 14th century. For a long time the town was exposed to the battles between the Bosnian crown and the Kings of Sigismund of Luxemburg and Ladislaus of Naples. The Ottoman army occupied the fort in 1592. At the site of today’s fortress in t ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Stolac Castle

Stolac Castle is one of the largest forts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The complex system of stone walls and towers suggests that it was built in several stages, which are difficult to differentiate.  In the prehistoric period the north-western part of the fortress, towards the settlement outside the walls, was probably the area that was inhabited.  On the site of present-day Stolac lay the antique-era municipium of Dilen ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Stolac, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Buzim Castle

Bužim Castle was built during the 12th century, and is located at 325 metres above sea level. It was the second-biggest medieval castle in Cazinska krajina, after Bihać. The castle is an example of renaissance architecture, and served as both a military hill fort and a residence for the nobility. Bužim Castle and a nearby old mosque are protected as national monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bužim, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fortress of Herzog Stjepan Vukčić Kosača

The Fortress of Herceg Stjepan in Ljubuški, is a medieval fortress in the western part of Herzegovina. It is also known as the Old Town Ljubuški. Yes, it has the same ‘owner’ as a more famous one in Blagaj. The fortress is located on the top of the karst hill called Buturovica, near the city of Ljubuški. It has a height of 396 meters above sea level and it is connected with the main road by a new macadam ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Ljubuški, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bjelaj Castle

Bjelaj castle, locally known as Stari Grad Bjelaj (Bjelaj old town), is a medieval town-fortress complex near the village of Bjelaj, Bosanski Petrovac. Located on the edge of the Petrovac plain (or part thereof Bjelajsko fields), on the northern slope of the Osječenica mountain. The area around the city is uninhabited and lean. The whole complex is situated on a plateau about 850 metres long. On the south end of the no ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Bosanski Petrovac, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Walled city of Jajce

The Walled City of Jajce is a medieval fortified nucleus of Jajce in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with citadel high above town on top of pyramidal-shaped steep hill, enclosed with approximately 1,300 metres long defensive walls,. It is one of the best preserved fortified capitals of the Bosnian Kingdom, the last stronghold before the kingdom dissolved under the pressure of military advancement at the onset of Ottoman Empire takeover.

The entire complex of the Walled city of Jajce, with the citadel, city ramparts, watchtower Medvjed-kula, and two main city gate-towers lies on the southern slope of a large rocky pyramid at the confluence of the rivers Pliva and Vrbas, enclosed by these rivers from the south-southwest, with the bed of the Pliva, and east-southeast by the river Vrbas gorge.

History

The fortress was built by Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić, the founder of Jajce. However, the city became the seat of the Bosnian kings, hence the royal coat of arms decoration on the citadel entrance. A part of the wall was built by the Hungarian King, while the Ottomans erected the powder magazine. The walls are high and the castle was built on a hill that is egg shaped, the rivers Pliva and Vrbas also protect the castle. There is no rampart on the south and west.

Jajce was first built in the 14th century and served as the capital of the independent Kingdom of Bosnia during its time. The town has gates as fortifications, as well as a castle with walls which lead to the various gates around the town. About 10–20 kilometres from Jajce lies the Komotin Castle and town area which is older but smaller than Jajce. It is believed the town of Jajce was previously Komotin but was moved after the Black Death.

The first reference to the name of Jajce in written sources is from the year 1396, but the fortress had already existed by then. Jajce was the residence of the last Bosnian king Stjepan Tomasevic; the Ottomans besieged the town and executed him, but held it only for six months, before the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus seized it at the siege of Jajce and established the Banovina of Jajce.

Skenderbeg Mihajlović besieged Jajce in 1501, but without success because he was defeated by Ivaniš Korvin assisted by Zrinski, Frankopan, Karlović and Cubor.

During this period, Queen Catherine restored the Saint Mary"s Church in Jajce, today the oldest church in town. Eventually, in 1527, Jajce became the last Bosnian town to fall to Ottoman rule. The town then lost its strategic importance, as the border moved further north and west.

Jajce passed with the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina under the administration of Austria-Hungary in 1878. The Franciscan monastery of Saint Luke was completed in 1885.

Surroundings

The Walled city of Jajce is located at the confluence of the Pliva and Vrbas rivers. It was founded and started developing in the Middle Ages and acquired its final form during the Ottoman period. There are several churches and mosques built in different times during different rules, making Jajce a rather diverse town in this aspect. It is declared National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and, as the old Jajce city core, including the waterfall, and other individual sites outside the walled city perimeter, such as the Jajce Mithraeum, it is designated as The natural and architectural ensemble of Jajce and proposed as such for inscription into the UNESCO"s World Heritage Site list. The bid for inscription is currently placed on the UNESCO Tentative list.