The greatest Bosnian king Stjepan Tvrtko I Kotromanic suddenly passed away on this day in 1391. His life was marked with great conquests that resulted in large territorial expansion of BiH.
Stjepan Tvrtko I Kotromanic was born around the year of 1338. He was the son of Vladislav Kotromanic and Jelena Subic, and he came to the Bosnian throne as a fifteen years old boy in 1353, and he ruled Bosnia as a governor (ban) until the year of 1377. During that period, his reign over Bosnia was marked with constant conflict with Hungarian kingdom, which wanted to seize rich Bosnian mines and eradicate Bosnian population of Bogomils. Tvrtko I Kotromanic is the first Bosnian ruler who took the title of a king. That happened in the year of 1377 in the village Mile near Visoko. King Tvrtko I Kotromanic created respectable European country from BiH during his reign, which experienced large political, cultural and economic expansion.
King Tvrtko I is also special for the fact that he is the first ruler of Bosnia who decided to go into counterattack on neighbouring countries after they were attacking Bosnia for years. King Tvrtko I was more than successful in his conquests. He ended the conquest on Montenegro after he won territories of Kotor. Then he turned towards Serbia and reached Sjenica in today’s Sandzak. He was crowned as the king of Serbia, Bosnia, Pomorje, Hum land, Donji Kraj, Zapadne strane, Usora, and Podrinje.
Back then, Bosnia was considered as large economic power, which based its economy on rich mines of gold, silver, lead and other precious metals. Minted gold coins are the best proof of what kind of economic power it actually was.
Tvrtko’s dukat (currency) was four times larger than Ottoman’s dukat, it had 24 carats and was four centimetres wide and weighted 16 grams. This gold coin was important due to its symbolism. On one side it had a coat of arms of Bosnian kingdom with six fleur de lis and two more fleur de lis on the sides, and on the other side was a lion, the symbol of power of his kingdom. The fact that Venetian Republic, leading European maritime power, included him in the golden book of honorary citizens speaks enough about his power.
Bosnian army also participated in Kosovo battle on the side of prince Lazar, who asked king Tvrtko I for his help. Bosnian army won against Ottoman army on the left wing where it fought and returned home with slight losses. After that, Tvrtko I turned to conquests of Croatian territories where he progresses to Novigrad, and all Dalmatian islands and cities except Zadar and Dubrovnik were under his reign.
He suddenly passed away on March 10, 1391, and his cousin Stjepan Dabisa came to his place. Tvrtko I was buried in the Church of St. Nikola in the village Mile near Visoko.