Location: Vareš, Zenica-Doboj Canton Map

Constructed: 14th century during reign of Stephen II, Ban of Bosnia


Description of Bobovac Archaeological Site

Bobovac is a medieval fortified Bosnian capital that was first mentioned in 1349. The settlement of Bobovac existed for centuries, but it was Stephen II, Ban of Bosnia who added the defenses and made it his residence. Bobovac was used to store government treasury as well as burial center for Bosnian kings. Among tombs found on its territory is that of Stephen Ostojić, Stephen Tvrtko II, Stephen Thomas and possibly Queen Dorophy. Due to Ottoman invasion the capital was moved to Jajce. Bobovac fell in 1463 to Turkish forces. Currently archeological digs are carried out on the grounds of the former town of Bobovac.



It was built by Stjepan II Kotromanić shortly before the middle of the 14th century. Bobovac was the seat of Bosnian rulers from the reign of Ban Stjepan II Kotromanić (first half of the 14th century), through all Bosnian kings and until the end of Bosnian independence with the Ottoman conquest (1463). The first time Bobovac was mentioned in written documents was in 1349. In the Zadar archive, Bobovac is mentioned in October 1445 and February 1446. This is rare information that mentions residents of lower social classes from Bobovac by name.

Its position and terrain configuration enabled defense and it was the military and administrative headquarters of the Bosnian kings next to Kraljeva Sutjeska, which was without fortifications and had more administrative and political significance. The Bosnian royal crown was kept in it. There was also a royal burial chapel, for which it is assumed that King Ostoja ordered the old church in Bobovac to be remodeled for this purpose.

Due to its geostrategic, military and political importance, it was the target of invaders' attacks.

During the Bosnian-Serbian war in 1350, the Serbian emperor Stefan Dušan besieged it, but did not conquer it.

In September 1407, the city was conquered by the Hungarian army and for a time held a crew in it in an effort to return the deposed Bosnian king Stjepan Ostoj to the throne.

Stjepan Tomašević (1461-1463), the last Bosnian king, moved the royal court to Jajce due to the immediate danger from the Ottomans.

Bobovac was besieged by the Ottomans on May 19 and conquered on May 21, 1463 after only three days of fighting. Some sources state that heavy battles were fought for the city and that the Ottomans used the cannons sent to them by the German Jörg from Nuremberg. It is also said that Prince Radak, who ruled the city at that time, surrendered the city to Bobovac thinking that he would be rewarded for it, but the Ottomans executed him after the surrender. The rapid fall of Bobovac, which was believed to be able to withstand a two-year siege, surprised King Stjepan Tomašević and made it impossible for him to gather an army and get foreign help. Because of this, the crews of Visoko and some other towns surrendered without a fight. After its capture, the Ottomans destroyed it, but because of its exceptional strategic importance, they rebuilt some facilities necessary for their stay. The Ottoman crew stayed in Bobovac until 1626, when it was abandoned due to the loss of strategic importance due to the continuation of the Ottoman conquests towards the north, when it remains deep in the background. The royal burial chapel was reconstructed, but with some unrecognized methods, so that its value was diminished.

Ćiro Truhelka in his work from 1904 "Our cities: a description of the most beautiful medieval cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina" writes:

King Stefan Ostojić mentions in his documents "the famous court of the kingdom, we in the city of Bobovac", and Stjepan Toma calls Bobovac "our table place". In the middle of the 14th century, history records the first famous episode, which took place around Bobovac. Ban Stjepan Kotromanić, following the example of his father, went for it to expand his banship as much as possible. In 1349, he took Travunja from the Serbs, which until then had been ruled by Serbian princes, and annexed it to his young state, and Emperor Dušan, to take revenge on the ban, broke into Bosnia with his army and fell under Bobovac, which was already the main place in Bosnia. . In Bobovac there was also the daughter of Ban Jelisava, and the king offered Ban peace only on the condition that she would give him Jelisava as a wife. But the ban was proud, and did not want his own daughter to be a reward for peace, so he refused the emperor's proposal. Dušan began to besiege Bobovac, to seize the city and Jelena. It was in vain for him to be a hard rock, on which Bobovac was standing, because it was even harder than the defiance of the Bosnian ban, and did not bow down in front of the Serbian army. Dušan had to leave Bobovac empty-handed and return home, and ban Stjepan Kotromanić expelled the last Serbian company from Bosnia in 1351. The daughter of Banov, Jelisava, who despised Dušan's crown, later became the wife of Ljudevit, King of Hungary and Croatia.

The son and heir of Stjepan, Tvrtko chose Bobovac as his capital; he happily lived there and issued several documents, among them the one from 1375, by which he frees the people of Dubrovnik from taxes in Bosnia.

During the war, which was conducted in the first years of the XV. century party of Ostoji and Tvrtković Tvrtković, or rather the Hungarian and Bosnian people's party, Ostoja closed in Bobovac. Hrvoja besieged the city, where his wife Kujava and the Bosnian crown were with the king (year 1403). Ostoja was getting ready to flee the city, and arranged with the people of Dubrovnik to meet him by boat in Drijevi and take him to Dubrovnik. And he really managed to escape and come to Buda before Sigismund, whom he informed that he had sent the ban of Mačva, Ivan Maroth, to Bobovac, to defeat Hrvoja's army and rescue Queen Kujava and her children, who remained in Bobovac. Maroth dispersed the Bosniaks and placed a Hungarian garrison in Bobovac, Vranduk and other towns down Bosnia. But the Bosnian crown, which was kept in Bobovac, remained in the hands of Ostoja, who held it even when he was deposed and Tvrtko II sat on the throne. Only when Ostoja died, and Tvrtko II. became king for the second time, he could have been crowned with the Bosnian crown. The brothers Radivojevići, Grgo and Vučić served King Ostoja particularly faithfully during these sieges of Bobovac, and Ostoja rewarded them for their loyalty in 1408. When Tvrtko II. sat on the government, he also chose Bobovac as his capital city, and among the state documents he issued there, the strange contract in which he promised the Bosnian throne to Prince Herman of Celje (1417) is worth mentioning. Behind King Stjepan Tomašević, "royal Bobovac" and its neighboring "royal" Sutjeska saw a lot of great days and many embassies from Dubrovnik and other neighboring states. In 1444, he issued the document by which he gave the famous hero Janko of Sibin an annual salary of 3,000 ducats as recognition for his heroism, and as early as 1457, Tomaić ruled under the royal city of Bobovec in Sutjeska. Only his son Stjepan Tomašević left Bobovac and transferred the capital to Jajce, which has been used since the beginning of the 15th century. century began to spread and gain more and more importance. As great as the first appearance of Bobovac in history was, so was the sad episode, with which Bobovac concludes its existence. When in 1463 the great conqueror Mehmed II. crossed the Drina to conquer Bosnia, his army fell under Bobovac. The king had gone to Jajce, to gather an army around him there, which would have to suppress the Ottomans, and in Bobovac some garrison remained under the command of Prince Radak. Radak, hoping for his happiness in the Turkish service, did not think of defense, but offered the sultan himself to surrender the city. The sultan took the city, and in the name of a salary he had the traitor plunge down a rock into an abyss, and while giving that sentence, he said: how will Radak serve him, when he was a traitor to his born ruler. The people around Bobovac still show the rock under which the traitor found his salary, and call it Radakovica after him. The conquerors left no stone unturned in Bobovac, but destroyed it to the ground, and the town almost disappeared from the surface of the earth, and there is no mention of it in the further history of Bosnia. The little podor, which is still left on that barren, steep karst, which was scattered by storm and wind, is only one of the most sacred relics of Bosnia, because every stone there is a witness of the former glory of Bosnia, but also - the destruction of Bosnia.


Mausoleum - church in Bobovac

The "Royal Mausoleum" in Bobovac is a town church where, according to Christian customs, its founders were buried. Nine skeletons were found in five graves. Kings Stjepan Dabiša, Stjepan Ostoja, Stjepan Ostojić, Tvrtko II and Stjepan Tomaš were buried there. The last Bosnian king, Stjepan Tomašević, whose remains were brought from Jajce, was probably buried with them. Of the nine skeletons, only one belongs to a female person, who was buried next to Company II. It is assumed that it belongs to Tvrtko II's wife, Queen Dorothea Gorjanska. Between the graves of King Tvrtko II and the grave of a woman presumed to be Queen Doroteja Gorjanska, there is a child's grave, which is presumed to belong to the child of Tvrtko II and Doroteja Gorjanska.



On November 6, 2002, the Commission for the Preservation of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared the historical area "Medieval Town of Bobovac" a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.