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 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
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
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
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
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