Srebrenik Fortress (Utvrda Srebrenik)

Srebrenik Fortress

Location: Srebrenik, Tuzla Canton  Map

Constructed: 1333


Description of Srebrenik Fortress

Srebrenik Fortress is a medieval fortress on the territory of today's municipality of Srebrenik, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In December 2004, the Srebrenik fortress was declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.



It is located on the northeastern slopes of the Majevica mountain, in the village of Gornji Srebrenik, about 5 km from Srebrenik. It was built on a high, steep and almost inaccessible rock above the valley of the river Tinja. A deep moat was made under the most accessible part of the fortress, so access is only possible via the bridge. It is 5 km away from the modern road Tuzla-Županja, or Tuzla-Lončari-Brčko.



The fortress was built on a rock that rises from the surrounding terrain at a height of about 50 to 70 m. The height difference between the lowest point where tower III is located and the highest point on the palace is about 13 m. Therefore, the entire fortress was compressed on an area of about 60 x 30 meters. To the southeast of the capital tower, in front of the moat, about 17 m from the entrance to the fortress, there is the ruin of a detached square tower (side length 7 m).

The ramparts of the fortress and the outer parts of the walls of all the towers and enclosures, which together with the ramparts formed the defensive envelope of the fortress, are about 1.5 m thick, while all other walls inside the ramparts are thinner. The entire fortress was built in one go. It contains: four towers, a corral, a cistern and a residential building with a basement.

Since Srebrenik was thoroughly preserved in the period from 1975 to 1978, and in 2003 a new solid bridge was built to access the fortress, today there is no major damage.



There are no known historical sources that would clearly indicate the year of construction of this fortress or its builder. The oldest source in which Srebrenik is explicitly mentioned is the charter of Ban Stjepan II Kotromanić from 1333.

It was located on important military roads at the time, which gave the fortress strategic importance. Already in 1363, King Ludovic I sent an army towards Bosnia, headed by his palatine Nikola Count, which suffered heavy losses at Srebrenik.

Srebrenik fell under Hungarian rule in 1393, during the campaign of the Hungarian king Sigismund. Since then, Hungarian military campaigns in Bosnia have become more frequent. The Hungarians occupied Srebrenik three more times, in 1405, 1408 and 1410. The fortress was then given as a gift to Serbian despot Stefan Lazarević, although it still served as a Hungarian garrison. King Stjepan Tomaš managed to bring the fortress back under Bosnian control for a short time in 1433, but already in 1452 it was conquered by Đurađ Branković, the nephew of Stefan Lazarević, who gave it to the Hungarian authorities.

In 1462, the Ottomans conquered Srebrenik, and the following year they overthrew the Bosnian kingdom. Due to logistical failures and a sudden epidemic, the Ottomans were forced to leave Srebrenik, which was taken advantage of by Matthias Corvin, who conquered Srebrenik and then handed it over to the titular king of Bosnia, Nikola of Ilok, in 1464. In the same year, the Srebrenica Banovina was founded.

The Ottomans conquered the Srebrenica Banovina between 1510 and 1519 and established their garrison in Srebrenik.

With the expansion of the borders of the Ottoman Empire to the north and northeast, the fortress lost its importance, therefore it remained either almost or completely abandoned. As a result, unrepaired damage remains.

After the Peace of Karlovac, the fortress once again becomes strategically important. Austrian spies report only that Srebrenik is an old fortress. Repairs were made on several occasions, the first as early as 1756, but their scope and result is unknown.

With the departure of the last soldier, the fortress was completely abandoned in 1835. Only the Ottoman mosque, built in the 16th century, remained maintained in the following decades.