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 northern half, there is a great fort, a prehistoric site from the Bronze and Iron Age. On the north end, there is a small fort. The fort itself has two parts: a medieval southern and northern Ottoman part. The medieval town has a ground plan of an irregular rectangle over 40 meters long and a width of about 35 meters. From the tower on the west side is the beginning of the remains of a large pen that was added along with the medieval city in the Ottoman period.

First mentioned in written sources in 1495 and named after the whiteness (or tint) by which it stood out above Bjelajsko field. Between 1530 and 1537, Bjelaj came under Ottoman rule.

Bjelaj has two parts: the southern medieval and northern Ottoman part. The medieval city has a layout of irregular rectangles over 40 m long (north-south) and about 35 m wide (east-west). The entrance to the city is in the northward.




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Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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User Reviews

Miroslav Krtinic (14 months ago)
Nice place, insufficiently commercialized ... It's worth coming ...
Fahrudin Vojic (15 months ago)
Great place for rest in Nature.
Tomas Damjanovic (16 months ago)
God. In 1495, the treasurer of King Vladislav II noted that he paid Gašpar Perušić a sum of 30 forints "for the preservation of his city of Belaj" (egregio Caspar Perusyth pro conservatione castri sui Belay dati sunt 30 fl.). Ten years later, in 1505, Princess Beatrice Frankopan, widow of Duke Ivaniš Korvin, held the town together with the Sokolac Fortress and Ripče, and on her behalf all three towns were ruled by the castellan Dujam Orlovčić. Between 1530 and 1537, Bjelaj (Bilaj) fell under Ottoman rule. It belonged to the Bosnian sandžak, vilayet and kadiluk of the Neretva. As early as 1540, the nahija Bjelaj was first mentioned, and a little later it was mentioned as the nahija Bjelaj-Blagaj, but it soon fell under the kadiluk Kamengrad, which is mentioned as a kadiluk in the Bosnian or Kliška sandžak. From 1562, the nahija Bjelaj was attached to the kadiluk Novosel, which was in the Kliška sandžak. It is recorded that in 1577 a crew of 370 Ottoman mercenaries under the command of the Dizdars was stationed in the fortress. From 1592 the town was part of the Bihać captaincy, and from the 18th century it was part of the Petrovac captaincy. Dizdar Bjelaja (Bilaja) Alijaga was in the commission for delimitation with the Venetians. In 1747, there was a crew of 30 members in Bjelaj and dizdar Hasanaga. According to the list of fortifications and weapons in them from 1833, in Bjelaj (Bilaj) there was 1 cannon of 12 pedals and 3 small cannons of 6 pedals.
Resad Behic (17 months ago)
Unique and more than that. The old town that proudly rises above the green Bjela field and the village itself. Above all, the top of the mountain Osječenica dominates with its stone cap, which is mystically surrounded by clouds of blue. She is the mother of many mountaineers who come to visit her. Osječenica is Olympus in the Petrovac field, and the old town of Bjelaj stands as a stone temple of an ancient deity and a witness to turbulent history. There is a white Bjelaj or Bilaj, that proud antiquity with its stone ruins, telling the story of antiquity, waiting for researchers, archaeologists, admirers of antiquities and heritage, to breathe new life into it. So come, see, experience the heritage.
Crochet H-M (4 years ago)
Historical place!! We should visit more places like this.. We have to learn our history!
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