Bosnia and Herzegovina are not famed for castles. It is quite strange because it has some of the most beautiful medieval castles in Europe. Most of them are in ruins, and just a few of them are still standing tall just like they did in their original state. However, it doesn’t stop visitors to gather here and discover the medieval history of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bosnia was a small, warring society in the medieval era and most of the castles in this country originate from those communities. Without further ado, here is the list of some of the most beautiful castles in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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Table of Contents
List of castles in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ostrožac is a castle positioned in the Una-Sana Canton off the town of Cazin near the village of the same name. It is one of the most beautiful castles in Bosnia and Herzegovina dating back to the 16th century when the Ottoman
Turks established the Ottoman province of Bosnia. The second addition to the castle was made from 1900 to 1906 by an unconfirmed member who belonged to the Habsburg family.
There is still a conflict in the ownership of the castle, but citizens of Ostrožac and Cazin are allowed to use the grounds of the castle for local entertainment and concerts. After a series of renovations, the villa is rumored to be sold to a private owner by the government.
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The Jajce fortress sits around the altitude of 470m above the town. The castle located in the complex of the medieval city dating back to the 13th century.
Built over several centuries, the Fortress encircles the architectural ruins of a castle built in the middle of the 15th century.
Located in the southwest of the Fortress, there is a portal having the royal coat of arms. This portal dates back to the era of King Stjepan Tomasevic and Tvrtko II, after moving the royal court in 1421 to Jajce.
The defensive walls and fortification system were built in various phases. There are two walls extend from the Fortress one to the west and one to the north of medieval town. The Small, Large and Samic’s bastions found on the north walls, and Banja Luka and Travnik gatehouses serve as entrances to the city.
The clock tower in the castle was once a guard tower. The Fethija’s mosque is located opposite to it and is also known as Sultan Suleyman’s mosque.
The calls to prayer were resonated from this mosque for the citizens of this town.
Bear tower was named after its strength, shape, and size. It is positioned in the western wall of the old city and is the only round tower in Jajce.
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Also known as Stjepan Grad, the Blagaj Fort is a serene town-fortress, positioned around Mostar near a place named Blagaj. Built on the karts hill, Blagaj Fort houses a serene karst spring of Buna River. It is the biggest European karts spring.
There is also a mystical dervish monastery named “Old Tekke”. These are some of the must-see tourist attractions in this region. The fort is located at the height of 275m above the sea level and 231m above the River Buna sources.
You can have the serene view of River Buna from the height on this area covering it, along with the city of Mostar and little settlements from the south.
You can also embrace the view of sunsets on Herzegovinian sky. This medieval fortification is well known for two famous rulers who lived here in history.
The first ruler of them is a Bosnian duke, Sandalj Hranic. Blagaj was one of his residences in the year 1404. Blagaj was the residence after him for Stjepan Vukčić Kosača, who is also known as count. In this area’s history, he was a very prominent person.
The whole Herzegovina area named after Herzog and this Fortress also named after Stjepan Grad. In the mid 15th century, Ottomans occupied the castle. The fort was repaired twice, and they had their garrison until 1835. According to the legends, Stjepan also buried his treasure here.
Currently, this Fortress is conserved by the state and ranked among the National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The entire area is best for day trips and to enjoy activities like sightseeing, nature walks, climbing and all the rest provided by Stjepan grad.
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Tešanj is an old city where the castle of the same name is located. Tešanj Castle was built in the valley on a hill, situated along the Tešanj River on a partly isolated and cliff of a mountain and is accessible from three sides of Tešanj town in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The hill of Tešanj holds its natural beauty for around 3000 years.
This fortified settlement of medieval period belongs to a group of fortified and larger towns on the plateau, explicitly built atop a rocky hill where you can get the serene view of the whole Tešanj city in a valley.
The castle is reportedly built during the Bronze Age, and it has fallen into oblivion, and it still lacked any particular interest. The Tešanj castle is one of the oldest fortresses in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since the 1970s, it has been protected by several measures.
The castle truly evokes the eyes of tourists, visitors and Anadolija team which visited this somehow barren castle, which is known to be one of the oldest fortresses in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Fortress of Tešanj developed into a ravine on the slopes of hills, and there is a significant defensive point in the middle. It belongs to the Bronze age and is developed into a fortification today.
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Srebrenik Fortress is a castle positioned around the Srebrenik town in B&H. It is the best-preserved medieval castle in Bosnia, dating back to 1333, stood in the Srebrenik outskirts. The castle was occupied by Stephen II Kotromanic, the Ban of Bosnia, until 1353 when he died.
It was once significantly larger, but some of its structure and walls have collapsed over time. It is also known for “Povelja of Stjepan II Kotromanić” document in which islands were gifted by Stjepan around the island of Labin to the Dubrovnik Republic which is controversial in Srebrenik by many residents.
Gradina is the birthplace of the first king of B&H, Tvrtko I Kotromanic.
When Stjepan II Kotromanic died, the Fortress got inherited by Stjepan’s distant relative, and the Second was Danis. The Fortress was abandoned after he died in the year 1378.
Bobovac is a fortified city of B&H since the medieval period. Located near the Borovica village and Vares. The city was built during the rule of Ban of Bosnia, Stephen II and initially mentioned in 1349. Kraljeva Sutjeska also ruled it, and Bobovac was better fortified than others.
Stephen Tomasevic, the Bosnian King, transferred the royal seat during the war with the Ottoman Empire to Jajce. The Ottomans invaded the city in 1463. The fall of the castle hastened the conquest of Ottomans in Bosnia.
Today, Bobovac is a conserved cultural site. It holds the crown jewels of Bosnia and serves as a burial site for some of the rulers of Bosnia. In the five tombs of the mausoleum, there are nine skeletons spotted. The skeletons which identified belonged to kings Ostoja, Dabisa, Ostojic, Thomas and Tvrtko II.
It is believed that one of those skeletons belongs to Tomasevic, the last king, who was decapitated in Jajce on the Mehmed the Conqueror’s orders.
Only one of those skeletons is female (found next to the same of Kong Tvrtko II), which was assumed to that of his wife, Queen Dorothy.
The old fort of Travnik is one of the best-preserved and beautiful fortified medieval castles in Bosnia and Herzegovina which got its unique characteristics from the historical periods. There is no official record in the common historical sources about the year and duration on which the castle was built or who built it.
According to the historians, the castle was built in the mid of 14th century or the first half of 15th century. When it comes to construction and other indicators, it is believed that King Tvrtko II Kotromanic originally built the castle, but the possible builder may also be King Stjepan Dabisa.
The castle is facing the city from the hillside over Plava Voda. The stone walls of the castle look so bright in the sunlight that they seem to have been scrubbed. The multisided and restored keep holds modest museum of history, as well as the costumes and there, are serene city views from Garbun, the beautiful summer café.
The current appearance of the towers and walls are due to the intervention of Turkish rulers of military fortifications. The fort was positioned under the Museum of Travnik in 1953.
Thanks to the Museum Stipe Lozic director, the redecorating and cleaning of the fort started, with the conservation and archeological work. Stari grad soon became the center of artistic and cultural events in Travnik, which is witnessed by a lot of visitors and tourists.
The revitalization and renewal process of the Fortress started in the year 1999.
Gradina or Doboj Fortress is positioned in Doboj city of B&H. It is one of the most prominent defenses in the medieval duchy/bannate of Usora. This giant stone structure, built in the 13th century on the site of wood-based and clay structure dating back to the 10th or 11th century.
From 13th to around early 15th century, the Fortress was constructed in the Romanesque style of architecture in the first period of existence of this Fortress.
This magnificent castle has been ransacked and burned around 18 times in its turbulent history according to its official records. Doboj fortress was known to be the property of the royal Kotromanic family, unlike the Zvecaj fortress of Great Bosnian Duke or Sandalj Hranic’s Blagaj castle, which were the heart of their dukedoms.
Doboj fortress had gone through a significant change and reconstruction in 1415. When still holding some of the original elements of Romanesque style, the Fortress exudes ancient Gothic style, and the large keep of the Fortress is reinforced with thick walls, and they have the addition of plateau with six cannons above it.
The captain’s tower got its more overwhelming factor with several stories tall square keep standing above the Fortress. Other outer walls were added across the previous triangular core, and three large towers have improved well. Those towers protect the flanks of the castle so well that no one had ever chosen to attack the castle.
It is a beautiful castle in Bosnia and Herzegovina. One of the Turks pillars located in Pocitelj in the valley of Neretva River.
In 1383, this Fortress initially built by Bosnian King Tvrtko I and played a role of control through the valley of the sea. It is positioned around 45m above sea level.
A small town located apart from the M17 highway, Pocitelj located 3km north of Caplijna. The beautiful settlement is positioned below the high cliffs above river Neretva, ruled by the medieval fortresses.
Oriental styles mainly feature it. The Mediterranean style gave a whole new dimension to the town. It usually existed before, but it is mentioned in 1444 for the first time as a seat of the parish.
Also known as the White Fortress, Bijela Tabija is an old fort facing the historical highlights of Sarajevo. This national monument belonged to Bosnia & Herzegovina. This castle located around 667m over the sea level.
This castle is a protruding aspect of the wall of what was previously called as old Vratnik City, and it rules the natural entryway to Sarajevo in the East. It is built of stone and is used to have ammunition storage and gun crew. The thick walls of this castle have holes for cannons. When it comes to construction year, there are varied opinions put ahead.
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