Arriving in Kraljeva Sutjeska feels
like stepping through a time warp. As the industrial areas of Kakanj
disappear as you near this tiny, ancient village with its large Franciscan
church and monastery one will find well-kept houses, gardens in
perfect shape and the reflection of the sun off the water is caused by the
white stones and not a discarded can.
You'll find that many of the
women, particularly the older ones, still dress in traditional attire.
Most are farmers but you'll find the odd carpenter or shop owner hammering
away or selling his wares as well. The Dusper House in the village is the
oldest house in central Bosnia, dating back to the early 18th century. The
house has been designated a protected national monument. Restoration has
not yet begun but the house can still be visited and is an impressive
example of authentic Bosnian architecture.
One of the oldest mosques in
Bosnia and Herzegovina is situated at the entrance of this village. It was
built in a few days only, and has never required any maintenance since -
or so the story goes. The mosque and its wooden minaret are open to
visitors. You’ll enjoy the (local language) accounts of its past, told
proudly and with a twinkle in the eyes by the lady who maintains this
beautiful little place of worship.
Kraljeva Sutjeska and the citadel at
Bobovac were once the seat of two Bosnian kings, Tomas and Tvrtko, of the
Kotromanic Dynasty. The last Bosnian queen, Saint Katarina, is mourned
today by the local townswomen who still wear black scarves as part of the
traditional dress. When the Ottomans conquered the fortress at Bobovac,
Queen Katarina either fled or was exiled to Rome, never to return to
Bosnia. It was reported that her children were taken to Istanbul, where
her son converted to Islam and became a major figure in the Ottoman