Jajce (German: Jaitze) is a town and municipality in the canton of Central Bosnia. It is located about 70 km south of Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Jajce was the seat of the kings of Bosnia before the conquest by the Ottoman Empire.

Jajce is located in the center of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The old town is located on a castle hill, which is bounded in the south by the Pliva and in the east by the Vrbas. To the southwest of the old town, the Pliva flows over a 20 m high waterfall into the Vrbas Gorge. The mostly forested mountains in the area rise up to 1400 m.

The municipality of Jajce is bounded in the north, northeast and west by the Republika Srpska. The neighboring municipalities within the federation are Dobretići in the east, Travnik in the southeast and Donji Vakuf in the south.

To the northwest of Jajce are Mrkonjić Grad, Ključ and Bihać.



Relics from the Bronze and Iron Ages have been found in the urban area. A first permanent settlement in the area emerges from the oldest existing monument, a temple of the god Mithras from the 4th century AD.

Jajce was founded in 1396 by Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić, Duke of Bosnia. The Duke, who came from Split, had a fortress built at the confluence of the Pliva and Vrbas rivers and named it Jajce. In the 15th century a town developed below the fortress. The Bosnian King Tvrtko II (1421–1444) made Jajce his royal seat. It gained not only political but also economic importance as the center of the Bosnian state and can be regarded as the “first capital of Bosnia”. This heyday ended in 1463, however. Stjepan Tomašević was crowned as the last Bosnian king by papal legate Nikola von Modruš, a Dalmatian humanist, in Jajce in November 1461, before he was captured and executed by the Ottomans in 1463. In the same year they took the city for the first time, but were repulsed by the Hungarians. Their king Matthias Corvinus established the "Banat Jajce" in 1464.

Ivaniš Berislavić, a nobleman of a Croatian lineage, was Banus of Jajce from 1504 to 1514. His task was to protect the borders of the Kingdom of Hungary, Croatia, from Ottoman attacks. After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the city came under the Ottoman Empire.

From July 29, 1878, Austrian-Hungarian troops occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina in accordance with the resolutions of the Berlin Congress. Jajce itself was occupied on August 7th. Previously, there had been fighting in the area around the city.

During the Second World War, Jajce was the scene of important political events due to its location in an unoccupied area. In the building of the former Sokol gymnastics club, the 2nd assembly of the Anti-Fascist People's Liberation Council (AVNOJ) met from November 21 to 29, 1943, at which historical resolutions were passed and the federalist concept for socialist Yugoslavia was developed (AVNOJ resolutions). Therefore Jajce is considered to be the founding place of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Before the Bosnian War, about 45,000 people lived in Jajce; today the community has around 30,000 inhabitants, mostly Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks. Tensions recurred on the return of residents displaced during the war, and one person was killed in 1997. During the war, the western districts of the municipality of Jajce split off and form the municipality of Jezero in the Republika Srpska today.