It’s considered the birth certificate of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). It’s evidence that an independent Bosnian state existed in the 12th century and that its ruler was Ban Kulin.
Ban Kulin’s Charter was sent to the traders of Dubrovnik, allowing them unfettered movement through Bosnia, guaranteeing their safety and exempting them from any taxes.
“That is the first and oldest known trade agreement between two countries. It shows how friendly the relations between middle age Bosnia and the Republic of Dubrovnik at the end of the 12th century were. The Charter was written in both Latin and Cyrillic script and we know that the author of the latter is the ban’s student Radoje. It’s considered that it was written in Mostrima or Milimi, near Visoko,” Ana Maric, the curator of the National Museum of BiH, explained. Many consider that today’s BiH could learn a lot from that Charter and build a society based on the values propagated in it.
“Multiculturalism, which was entrenched in Bosnia since Ban Kulin’s Charter and reinforced by many other Bosnian rulers’ charters. As well as that in Bosnia has been developing unity from differences from centuries. Ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and every other unity. In any case, for Europe and the modern world, Bosnia is a paradigm of a modern state,” Rizvan Halilbegovic from the Association of Bosnian-Turkish Friendship “Bosfor” said.
Of the three preserved originals of the Charter, two are in Dubrovnik and one is in St. Petersburg in Russia. This one in Russia is considered to be the original and to have belonged to the Bosnian state. Despite initiatives to have this document returned to BiH, we still only have a copy in the National Museum of BiH.
“That Charter ought to be treated as it deserves to be treated. First, its place shouldn’t be in a foreign country. Its place is in the Parliamentary Assembly, in this country. From it, we need to learn how to love your home and how to build it. How to develop an economy, as well as diplomatic and military and political relations. Especially concerning international activities,” prof. dr. Dzemal Najetovic from the Bosniak Academy of Sciences and Arts said.
Even though we don’t have an opportunity to see the original of the Charter, Bosnians and Herzegovinians are keeping a memory of this significant ruler and his state. And in the language, at that. His rule is considered a golden age in which people lived the best so the people remembered him with the saying “From Ban Kulin and good days…”