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It is thought the Illyrians had major settlements here and during the Roman conquest the town rapidly gained importance because of its rich gold deposits. Handicrafts and trade were well established even before the arrival of the Ottomans in the towns of Kozograd, Zvonigrad and Kasteli, all located in todays Fojnica and surroundings.

Kozograd, a fortress located on the slopes of Zec Mountain
is presumed to have been in existence since at least the early 15th century, when the Dubrovnik miners would hide here with their treasures from invading forces. It is also believed that this fortification was the last place Queen Katarina stayed at before she fled to Dubrovnik and further on to Rome, never to return to the conquered kingdom she left behind.

Zvonigrad is more than likely a prehistoric settlement
where ancient miners sought refuge. Kasteli, in the near vicinity of the hunting lodge Zahor, was a temporary shelter for the Franciscan monks from Fojnica during the Ottoman invasion of Bosnia. These three towns are ruins now. Fojnica as a town was first mentioned in 1365, when miners had come from Germany and Dubrovnik to develop this ore-rich area. In the late 15th century, after the invasion of the Ottomans, Fojnica recorded 329 families. In the same period Mostar, a city now 20 times the size of Fojnica, recorded only 19 dwellings.

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