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Medieval Bosnia under the Protection of the Slavic Gods

Bobovac and Kraljeva Sutjeska
Bobovac is a medieval town of the Bosnian Kingdom which is located near Perun Mountain. The mountain got the name “Perun” after the Slav god of thunder.

Perun mountain is situated in Central Bosnia, municipality of Vareš. The  maximum elevation of the mountain is 1472 m. This mountain is characteristic for unpredictable weather conditions. Nowadays Perun mountain is not so visited by the tourists even though it has a huge potential. For this reason we want to present to you all the potentials of this “thunder beauty”.

The mountain is characteristic for the dense forest of pine and fir trees. Therefore, local people collect the pine needles to make pine needle syrup which is healthy for pulmonary diseases. As well “Perun” mountain is rich with mushrooms, especially with the ceps and chanterelles. The locals pick the mushrooms because they can earn pretty good. This is not the end of Perun diversity and resourcefulness of the local inhabitants. The locals pick wild raspberries, blueberries and sell them on the nearest markets or restaurants. As one local said he sometimes manages to earn 200 KM (100 €) in one day by selling 20 kg of blueberries. To sum up this mountain has a huge potential in organic food production. 

This is not all, what the god of thunder offers! “Perun” mountain is perfect for hiking, mountain biking and historic sightseeing. The hiking and mountain biking trail starts from “Vareš Majdan”, a place of traditional black smith manufacture. “Vareš Majdan” is known as the place where in the last 800 years the black smith manufacture was done in the same way. The black smith manufacture depends on the help of the water energy.To sum up, with Schwarzwald in Germany, is the only place in Europe that black smith is still done in a traditional way.

The hike from Vareš Majdan to the mountain lodge Javorje is about 2 hours long. When we speak about mountain biking it is also an amazing option to do. The trail for hiking and cycling is medium hard and pretty short so anyone can do it. With dense pine and fir forest your lungs will be filtered like never before. After a breathtaking ride on “Perun” mountain, you can go for a nice swim in the lake “Nula”. The lake was formed in the place of an old mine and now is a place of really good water quality for drinking and swimming. The lake is about 150 m deep and it is the biggest reservoir of drinking water in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Engineers of geology made a scientific research and came to the conclusion that the water is also very healthy for swimming. Main reason for that is the minerals in the water, due to the geology of the terrain.

If you like adrenaline sports then paragliding from “Perun” is a perfect option for you. From the runway “Perunova greda” (1280 m) you can fly above the area and let nature overwhelm you. It is easy to do with the guys from the paragliding club “Perun” from Vareš.

Fruit picking in Bosnia
Perun’s fields are carpeted by wild blueberries growing naturally and undisturbedly so our team had no issues in finding these sweet fruit pearls. Depending on the variety, blueberry bush heights vary but wild blueberries are known as lowbush blueberries and these were around 10cm heigh.

Medieval Town of Bobovac

Bobovac was built by the Bosnian king Stephen II Kotromanić in the first half of the 14th century. The crown of the Bosnian kings was kept here and as well the royal mausoleum where archeologists found five tombs. The last 5 Bosnian kings were buried in the tombs. The town of Bobovac was a good fortification due to the terrain and well made walls around the medieval town. Many times it was invaded, like in 1350. by the Serbian emperor Stephen Dušan. The Bosnian king could resist and Stephen Dušan needed to retreat. During the long Bosnian – Hungarian conflicts over the crown and religion this place was an important fortification. Religious conflict was based on the Bosnian church that was treated by the Vatican as the heretic branch of Christianity. If we speak about the crown conflicts it’s mostly because Tvrtko I Kotromanić broke up all the commitments towards the Hungarian crown in the mid 14.th century. In the early 15h century Stephen Ostoja, helped by the Hungarians, managed to take the crown from the Kotromanić family. That was a Bosnian king that was not supported by the ordinary people of Bosnia. Therefore, Tvrtko II Kotromanić managed to dethrone him and again the Bosnian crown was in the right hands in Bobovac. A fun fact is that all the royal names that we mentioned are actually “Stephens”.  

Another fact about how Bobovac fell into the hands of Ottomans is connected to the betrayal. While the king Stephen Tomašević went to Jajce to collect the army, his commander Radak betrayed him and let the Ottomans into Bobobac without the resistance. After the Ottomans entered Bobovac, Sultan Mehmed II pushed Radak over a rock into the canyon. Sultan said if he betrayed his king, how would he then serve me. Even nowadays local people are pointing to that rock and saying that it is “Radakovica”, the rock from where our traitor Radak was killed.

Bobovac i Kraljeva sutjeska
Bobovac is a medieval town of the Bosnian Kingdom and also known as the best fortified town and residence of the kingdom. Nowaday it’s the protected national monument of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Kraljeva Sutjeska Monastery

Another national monument of Bosnia & Herzegovina is the monastery in Kraljeva Sutjeska. Especially if you decide to do the mountain biking on “Perun” and you like historic sightseeing then you should definitely visit Bobovac and Kraljeva Sutjeska. 

Kraljeva Sutjeska is a monastery that was built by the Bosnian king Stephen II Kotromanić. The church of John the Baptist is part of the monastery. There is also a museum and library where about 11 000 books and 31 incunabulas are being kept. The nowadays church of John the Baptist was built in 1858. on the plateau of previous churches. In the monastery you will find a valuable collection of renaissance and baroque paintings. Also oldest birth certificates in Bosnia & Herzegovina are kept there and many valuable documents as proof of the existence of the Bosnian Kingdom. The monastery is part of the “Bosna Srebrena” (lat. Bosnia Argentum) province, which is the franciscan order of the Catholic church in Bosnia. The name dates from pre Ottoman times and it was given after the city of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia. 

Bobovac i Kraljeva sutjeska
Kraljeva Sutjeska together with the Bobovac fortress was the seat of two Bosnian kings of the Kotromanić dynasty - Tomaš and Tvrtko.

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