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Many Bosnians didn't know much about this town until two rather significant events occurred. The first was that Tesanj's Oaza mineral water won a gold medal at the Berkeley Springs Mineral Water Contest in the United States.

Rumour has it that even President Bill Clinton drank Oaza in the White House. This event was a great source of local pride and national envy. More recently, producer Pjer Zalica's 2003 film Gori Vatra (Fuse) was set in Tesanj. The film won the Sarajevo Film Festival Grand Prize in 2003 and was nominated for an Oscar. This finally put Tesanj in the limelight.

The old town is dominated by the well-preserved fortress that overlooks the whole city. The fortress is a result of the many different civilizations that have made Bosnia and Herzegovina their home. The fort is open to visitors.


The uncle of King Stjepan Tomasevic, Radoje Krstic, was 'given' the town of Tesanj by his nephew in 1461. Tesanj became the seat of the kingdom where the noble Krstic family lived and reigned until 1476. Then, the Ottomans dethroned everyone, and Tesanj was no exception. The main Ottoman figure in the early days of Tesanj's new rule was Gazi Ferhad bey. His most significant contribution was the building of the Ferhadija Mosque, which still stands in the old town and dates back to the 15th century. The old Eminagic House is the oldest house in Tesanj, and is said to have been built at the end of the 17th century.

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