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The Travnik Medieval Fort was one of the survivors of the 1903 fire, and the imposing structure, which for centuries defended the city from outside invaders, still dominates the horizon.


The fortress is open to guests. The walk up is lovely and the old quarter around the fortress has some very impressive traditional homes. Today, this is perhaps the best preserved fort in all of central Bosnia. Apart from being the administrative headquarters for Ottoman rule in Bosnia, Travnik is best known as an ancient trading place. The markets were always filled with visitors and traders from Dubrovnik, Serbia and other Ottoman territories. Just as Mostar's and Sarajevo's carsija developed into craftsmen's quarters so too did the old town of Travnik.

Travnik is the birthplace of Ivo Andric, winner of the Nobel Laureate for Literature, author of Bridge on the Drina. He also wrote Travnik Chronicles, which portrayed his view of life in Travnik during Ottoman rule. The Ivo Andric House is now a museum and a restaurant (Divan Restaurant: Zenjak bb, Travnik; tel: + 387 30 541 971). The Sahat Kula is a yet another trademark from Ottoman times. This clock tower was built in the 18th century and towers 20 meters in the town center.

You'd be ill-advised to ignore Plava Voda (Blue Waters), a large source that flows out of the base of Vlasic Mountain. There is a path all the way to the source. The water is freezing cold and wonderful for a cold drink or a refreshing splash in the summer. Near Plava Voda is the Elci-Ibrahim pasina Medresa, built in a neo-Moorish style. Its construction in 1706 was due to Travnik's growing importance within the Ottoman Empire not only as a major trade town but for Islamic Studies as well.

It's hard to miss the Sarena Dzamija (Multi-Colored Mosque), built in 1757. With its bright colors, its unique and intricate artistic details on the outside walls and its carved wood, it is said to be among the most beautiful mosques in the Balkans and the only one in the country that people believe stores hairs of the prophet. It has unusual flower motives painted on the outside, and it is one of only two mosques in Bosnia and Herzegovina in which the prayer room is positioned on the first floor, with the ground floor used to conduct business.



Jeni mosque
is the oldest mosque in Travnik dating back to 1549. It has been reconstructed and renovated several times since its 16th century construction by dervish orders. The Loncarica and Hadzi Ali-begova mosques are also worth a peek as great examples of Ottoman architecture.

The Hadzi Ali-begova mosque is the only one in Bosnia and Herzegovina to have a sun clock-dial. This 'suncani sat' was apparently built in 1886 by the Smoljan brothers to assist the winemakers Basbunar. Travnik has always boasted of a rather diverse local population.

In town, there is the Catholic Church of St. Ivan Krstitelja, built in 1887. Just outside of Travnik in the north Lasva Valley region is the Gospina Kapela. This kapela was built by a water source thought to have healing powers and has since became a small pilgrimage site for Catholics in the region.

The Church of the Lords Source has been built on the same premises. The orthodox church of Znamenitosti from 1854 is home to many icons from the 17-19th centuries.

Southeast along the Lasva River from the Sarena Dzamija is one of the few remaining old-style Bosnian mahalas (residential quarter). These old homes, built with steep roofs to counter the effects of heavy snow, are prime examples of traditional Bosnian architecture. The houses are inhabited, giving them all the characteristics of living museums.

In the middle of town is the Zavicajni Museum on Mehmedpase Kukavice 1 (tel: + 387 30 518 140). The Museum is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is 1 KM. At Galerija Terra on Bosanska Street 161 (tel: 030 511 428; 061 983 003) one can find a rich collection of local paintings, many of them depicting life in Travnik.



Eight kilometers from Travnik towards the town of Vitez is the famous Franciscan Monastery of Guca Gora. Although the Franciscan church had significant difficulties during the Ottoman times many of the monasteries continued to function. The small village of Guca Gora is situated on a hilltop overlooking the Lasva Valley. The monastery, as most Franciscan monasteries in Bosnia are, is open to the public and has an interesting library collection.






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Zenica
Travnik
Vlasic Mountain
Nature Park Tajan
Tesanj
Maglaj
Teslic
Krivaja River/Zavidovici
Bugojno
Prusac
The heart-shaped land
What to do?
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The pure, spring-fed waters in the rivers and lakes of the Pliva River Region have provided superb fishing opportunities for decades. The Pliva River has a well-deserved reputation as one of Europe's best fly fishing rivers.



The middle and lower segments of the Pliva and the other four large rivers in the region provide excellent fishing opportunities for all types of anglers. Enormous fish have been caught in the Pliva Lakes both from the shore and from boats. All of these quality waters are easily accessible from a paved road system that parallels the rivers and lakes. The rivers and lakes in the Pliva River Region have a diversity of large and healthy fish species that may be caught by the sports angler. Passive to very active fishing techniques may be employed in this region. The sports angler may pursue streamside fishing by either spin casting or fly fishing or considerably more leisurely boat fishing in the lakes.
More on fishing ground can be found here
http://www.plivatourism.ba/index_eng.html

Kayaking and boating

The Great Pliva Lake was created by impounding the Pliva River near Jajce in order to generate hydro-electrical power. The lake is 3,800 meters long and extends from Jajce to the town of Jezero. The lake is 500 meters wide and has an average depth of 33
meters. The deepest location in the lake is 100 meters. The waters of the lake are generally calm, but high winds occasionally do occur. The Great Pliva Lake never freezes and kayaking and boating take place all year round. The Pliva Lakes' attraction for kayaking and canoeing is that the water is "Heavy. This means that there is a naturally occurring additional atom of hydrogen that provides extra stability to the water. This unique condition results in the water being very flat and stable and this provides the perfect venue for kayak and canoe competitions. People kayak and canoe along the entire 29.5 km length of the Pliva River. Those who like roughing it will enjoy the whitewater runs on the upper reaches of the river, from its source to the Pliva Lakes. For competition-minded people, the real highlight is the Great Pliva Lake. This lake is the site of all sorts of competitions, from local schools competitions to the World Kayak Competition, and 200, 500 and 1,000 meter tracks are permanently marked with buoys. Each year, state and international kayak competitions are held in July and August.
You can rent two and four seat kayaks. Both come with personal flotation devices, addles, spray skirts, drip rings, float bags, and helmets. Alternatively, you can rent canoes or peddle boats. They, too, come with safety equipment and instructions. Small sailing boats are allowed to sail on the lake as well. Only motor boats are forbidden, in order to avoid water pollution. You can rent your equipment for a day or a half day. Once you're done, you might be lucky enough to enjoy a concert on the beach of the small Pliva Lake. A concert schedule is available at the Kayak Club.
The Pliva (eco) tourism organization has more information: www.plivatourism.ba/index_eng.html






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Jajce
Banja Luka
Doboj
Bihac
Pliva Lake Region
Bardaca
Bird Reserve
Una River
Drvar
Cazin
Bosanska Krupa
Velika Kladusa
Prijedor/Kozara
National Park
Sanski Most
Vrbas River
The heart-shaped land
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Bobovac

The fortress of Bobovac was built because the ancient town of Kraljeva Sutjeska was vulnerably located in the valley. The fortress is strategically situated on a high ridge above the Bukovica Stream, some 5km from Kraljeva Sutjeska.

It is in the middle of nowhere. Initially, the inhabitants of Kraljeva Sutjeska sought shelter here when they were under attack. In the dangerous years before the final invasion by the Ottomans, they moved here permanently. The fortified town had quarters for the noble family on the western end, while the central and lowest part of the ridge housed the towns people. The church, horse stables and military barracks were situated on the upper eastern hill overlooking the entire fortress and the surrounding mountains.

Bobovac is not accessible by car. Getting there is a pleasant and well marked one-hour walk from Kraljeva Sutjeska, along the Bukovica Stream through thick beech tree forests. In the summer months the trail is lined with blackberries and fresh mint growing near the water. The only fully intact structure remaining at Bobovac is the mausoleum that Queen Katarina had built following the death of Tvrtko. His remains were removed during the last conflict and moved to an undisclosed location. Some of the outer walls and part of the horse stables can be seen on the high ridge behind the mausoleum and the king's quarters are slowly crumbling away. The view from this little nest in the valley is extraordinary. If possible, go to the monastery first and take a tour around with one of the Franciscans. The monastery's old drawings of Bobovac will help create a much clearer picture of how things looked in 13th and 14th century Bosnia.

Monastery, museum and library

Today's church is much more recent than the rest of the monastery. It was built just before the turn of the 20th century when the Austro-Hungarians lent considerable support to building and/or reconstruction of sacred Christian objects in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Designed in Venetian style, the high vaulted ceilings are now cracking in places as a result of earthquake damage and, as was recently discovered, because of some flaws in the original design. What is assumed to be the oldest organ in the country was previously hidden in the monastery and is now displayed in the church. A massive statue paying tribute to Queen Katarina (she was deemed a saint by the local church but has not yet been officially acknowledged as such by the Pope) dominates the east side of the church.

The monastery is a complex so large that it infinitely exceeds the requirements of the six monks now residing in Kraljeva Sutjeska. It burned down several times during the Ottoman period. The last reconstruction was completed in 1891, with some additions and renovations made since then. The museum houses a limited collection of art, documents and artifacts gathered or discovered at Bobovac or brought back from monks traveling the Christian world. The collection of crosses, robes and artifacts is quite impressive for a small three-room museum somewhere in the hills of central Bosnia. A cross from 7th-century Syria is displayed amongst the elaborate crosses collected in Germany, Venice and Rome. Miniature models of the village's old architecture and a rich collection of traditional dresses illustrate the traditional ways of life. Lastly, the original permits issued by both the sultan and the local vizier from Visoko are displayed. At the time, these two documents cost more than the construction of the monastery itself.

The old chapel bell was recovered when Bosnia was annexed by Austria. Church bells were illegal during Turkish times and were hidden by the monks. When the bishop was ordered out of Bosnia, only the Franciscan monks were permitted to stay. They went to great lengths to hide and protect the sacred objects that the priests left behind. The largest collection of incunabula are housed in the library. Volumes and volumes of philosophy, theology, chemistry and history written in Italian, Latin, German, French and the local language line the shelves. The books were all collected from local boys who went to the West to be educated and brought back literacy and Catholic teachings. The first Bible to be translated into the local bosancica language also has an introduction to the local alphabet so the illiterate villagers could learn to read and write. The monastery is open to visitors upon request Monday to Sunday from 09:00 - 15:00. Entry fee is 3 KM (1 KM for groups 20+). The Museum and Monastery are located at Sv. Ivana Krstitelja (tel: 032 771 700; email: gvardijan@ks-samostan.com; web: www.ks-samostan.net). 


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Sarajevo, the City
Bjelasnica
and Igman
Lukomir/Umoljani
Jahorina Ski
Centre
Ilidza
Sutjeska National Park
Tara River
Upper Drina Valley
Kresevo
Fojnica
Kraljeva Sutjeska
Visoko
Vares
Rakitnica Canyon
Bijambare
Olovo
The heart-shaped land
What to do?
Where to go?


The Catholic traditions of Srebrena Bosna are best represented in Fojnica and Kraljeva Sutjeska. The Holy Spirit Franciscan Museum, part of a hilltop monastery, holds over 17,000 volumes of books, records and documents, and the second-largest collection of incunabula (books printed before 1500).



The museum also exhibits the Ahdnama. This document is one of the most important orders issued by Sultan Mehmed Fatiha to the Catholic communities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The 16th century decree, signed at Milodraz to the northeast of Fojnica, allowed Christians to freely retain their religious life and to propagate their beliefs. Although there were random persecutions at a local level, it was the policy of the empire to grant religious freedom to its Christian citizens.



Cazim Musa Hadzimeljic
in the village of Zivcici is an Islamic sacral place where dervishes gather annually. It is also a small family museum, open daily from 8 to 4, that has some fascinating examples of dervish traditional dress from the Ottoman period, and a few paintings and other relics from Ottoman times.

In the vicinity of Fojnica, just off the main road from Kiseljak to Busovaèa, is the Naksibendi order tekija (old dervish house) in Zivcici village. The area is blessed with the many beautiful waterfalls of Kozica River.





Locate on the map
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Sarajevo, the City
Bjelasnica
and Igman
Lukomir/Umoljani
Jahorina Ski
Centre
Ilidza
Sutjeska National Park
Tara River
Upper Drina Valley
Kresevo
Fojnica
Kraljeva Sutjeska
Visoko
Vares
Rakitnica Canyon
Bijambare
Olovo
The heart-shaped land
What to do?
Where to go?


The mineral-water springs at Slana Banja and Kiseljak are amongst the greatest natural resources in Tuzla. The underground exploitation of raw materials, however, has created such large sinkholes that a good part of the old town has caved in.



In recent years much effort has been put into a planned revitalization of the area. What remains of the old town is still charming and while strolling through the centre you forget the industrial zone on the far side of the city.

Tuzla is a university and educational centre, so there are always plenty of caf's and clubs to visit for younger travellers. The National Theatre (Pozorisna st. 4) was built in 1898 during Austro-Hungarian rule and is the oldest in the country. Local productions are held regularly and although it's a rarity to have plays or concerts in English, they do have some excellent shows.

The Portrait Gallery
(Ratka Vokica st.) has continuous exhibitions of work by local and international artists. Ismet Mujezinovic's Gallery (Klosterska st. 17) is mainly dedicated to Mr Mujezinovic himself. He was a painter from Tuzla, famous enough to have a gallery established in his name and a monument erected in his honour. The Eastern Bosnia Museum (Dindic mahala st. on number 21, tel: + 387 35 318 320.) exhibits archaeological, ethnological, historical and artistic pieces and artifacts from the whole region. The Museum is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.



Apart from Tuzla's many beautiful mosques, there is also the Orthodox church that went untouched throughout the war. The Franciscan monastery in town is still very active and the Catholic community in Tuzla is rather large.



Just out of town in the village of Breska is a 200-year-old Catholic church. Being so far from the sea and not having a Neretva or Una River nearby, the administrations of the northeast have embarked on a mission to create large artificial lakes.



Panonika Lake
, created near the saltwater wells in the centre of town, was visited by 100,000 people in less than two months when it first opened. A fifth of the lake is saltwater which acts as a natural cleanser. The complex has recently been enriched with another artificial lake. For more information see: www.panonika.ba. Entry fee is approximately 1,5 KM. 

The town has several other attractive picnic locations: Ilincica is the closest to town; Lake Modrac, a massive lake lined with beaches, restaurants and bed and breakfasts, attracts the biggest crowds; Konjuh Mountain is the best area if you're looking to do some hiking







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Tuzla
Bijeljina
Srebrenica
Srebrenik
Gradacac
Gracanica
Kladanj
Zvornik
East Posavina
Sekovici
Vlasenica
The heart-shaped land
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A nearby skiing center is excellent for beginners and intermediate skiers. The length of the ski trails is 1,4 km and they are equipped with two ski lifts.

Tourist Ethno Village "Babici-Rostovo" at 1160 meters is located 15 km from Bugojno (at the altitude of 1160 meters). With over a hundred beds in this eco and ethno village you can enjoy safe ski trails and great food accompanied by delicious wines.
phone: + 387 61 183 086, + 387 63 685 755
e-mail: ski_rostovo@bih.net.ba
web: www.ski-rostovo.com




Locate on the map
What to see and do
Tourist information
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Zenica
Travnik
Vlasic Mountain
Nature Park Tajan
Tesanj
Maglaj
Teslic
Krivaja River/Zavidovici
Bugojno
Prusac
The heart-shaped land
What to do?
Where to go?


Museum of Visoko (Zavicajni muzej), founded in 1953, has several thematic exhibitions. The one which catches special attention is the display of local traditional crafts.

address: Alije Izetbegovica 29
phone: + 387 32 736 267
e-mail: muzejvisoko@bih.net.ba
web: www.zavicajnimuzej.com

Visoko has been one of major archaelogical sites for several years now. Explorer Semir Osmanagic is convinced he has found Europe's first pyramids which he says are a new world wonder dating back to ancient times. These findings might change the whole history of the Europe as there are no pyramids found until now in Europe.



Teams are still excavating and doing restoration at Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun, in Visoko near Sarajevo. The pyramid has all the elements: four perfectly shaped slopes pointing toward the cardinal points, a flat top and an entrance complex. A paved entrance plateau was found and underground tunnels are discovered. More on Bosnian pyramids on www.piramidasunca.ba.



During the rule of the Bosnian Kingdom, Visoko valley was a very important trade, cultural and educational centre of the Bosnian Church. Old Town Cajengrad is a medieval fortress which served to defend Bobovac from enemies and today represents an archaeological site. The fortress was discovered by accident when a few locals found a stone structure with windows during a rock climb. Mile, which is believed to be one of the residences of Bosnian kings, is located 5 km from the citys centre. Findings so far show that Stjepan II Kotromanic and Tvrtko Kotromanic resided there. This is also the place where Tvrtko was crowned and buried at the Church of St. Nicholas. Mile is also known for the trade agreement between Bosnia and the Republic of Ragusa (Republic of Dubrovnik) signed in 1189 under the Charter of Kulin Ban, the oldest preserved Bosnian document written in bosancica (Cyrillic).



Locate on the map
What to see and do
Tourist information
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Sarajevo, the City
Bjelasnica
and Igman
Lukomir/Umoljani
Jahorina Ski
Centre
Ilidza
Sutjeska National Park
Tara River
Upper Drina Valley
Kresevo
Fojnica
Kraljeva Sutjeska
Visoko
Vares
Rakitnica Canyon
Bijambare
Olovo
The heart-shaped land
What to do?
Where to go?