Maglaj Fortress (Maglajska tvrđava)

Location: Maglaj, Zenica-Doboj canton Map


Description of Maglaj Castle

The Maglaj fortress is one of the largest and strongest fortifications in the Bosna river valley, and as a settlement developed around the town very early on, which over time grew into the center of the nahija (district), this led to the fact that this town-fortress from the medieval period maintained in a fairly good condition until today, changing, of course, the form and content in accordance with the changes in the way of warfare.

According to the strategic conditions of the time in which it was founded (in the XIV century at the latest), the city was built on a steep and steep igneous rock, which strongly stands out over the right coast of Bosnia. The old town got its current appearance during the Turkish era, only in the 18th century. Although in its long life of at least six centuries, it experienced numerous minor and major changes and went through several phases of construction, the Maglaj fortress basically preserved its medieval core. In the 14th and 15th centuries, Maglaj was a real medieval town. Keeping up with the times, i.e. adapting to the increasingly strong cannon fire, the medieval town increasingly turned into a fortress of the new age. Nevertheless, it continued to serve its purpose, primarily as a defense center for the internal security of the nahija, until finally in 1878, having lost all military significance, it was abandoned as a military-defense antique. Abandoned to the ravages of time, abandoned by people and without constant supervision, the city deteriorated more and more after that.

The city was repaired more thoroughly in 1782, while all subsequent interventions were modest and partial. The decay of the city became even more intense since the people left it in 1878. Finally, in 1962, the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of the SR Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with the SO Maglaj provided funds and began a detailed archaeological examination and rehabilitation of the town. The examination could not establish continuity from Roman or even prehistoric times, as is the case with numerous cities that developed precisely on the sites of prehistoric fortifications.

Medieval Maglaj, the one from the 15th century, represents an already developed type of town with a defense tower. The city was not entered from the north side like today, but from the west, along a path that came from the south side, from Zagrađe, from where it climbed over a high rock to the city. The road, cut into the rock, 2.5 to 3 m wide, was partially destroyed after the Second World War by quarrying. An enemy who would try to approach the city this way would have his right side completely uncovered, and this was a great advantage on that steep terrain above Bosnia, for the defenders who could easily hold the entrance under the fire of arrows through the crowns on the ramparts.


Maglaj Clock Tower

A well-preserved clock tower stands in the vestibule of the Maglaj old town (fortress), which struck the hours according to Central European time. As this building is built on a cliff, its front side is slightly higher than the opposite side. In horizontal section, the tower is a square with a side of 3.07 m; the height of the front side is 17.10 m, and the opposite side is 14.77 m.

In 1955, five more clock towers were in operation, namely in Sarajevo, Prusac, Foča, Maglaj and Tešnje. The first two worked according to Turkish time, and the others according to Central European time. The clock tower in Maglaj was built on October 17, 1697. year which is shown on the engraving.