Read how some Cities in BiH got their Names

Stories about the origin of city names are often interesting. and, after all, do you know why the city you live in is called just like that?


The word “Sarajevo“ is of Turkish origin and is a compound of the words “Saray“ which means palace, fortress and “Ovasi“ that means field. Literally, Sarajevo would be “the field around the palace“. However, one should know that the city of Vrhbosna existed earlier at the ground of the present-day Sarajevo, and it was mentioned for the first time in the charter of King Bela IV back in 1244.


Among the explanations of the original names, two are the most interesting: Mostar got the name after mostars– the bridge keepers or after two towers that were called mostars.

In written documents, Mostar was first mentioned in 1452. Inhabitants of Dubrovnik called it in their letters the settlement with two towers around the wooden bridge hardened with chains.


“Srebrne“ is a Bulgarian and Serbian word for silver, and as there is a silver mine on the hills of this city, it got its name after it. Srebrenica was mentioned in 1352 in Dubrovnik written sources for the first time.


Bihac or Bisce was mentioned for the first time in 1206. It was a free royal town and was called the Island of St. Ladislav. The word Bihac in its various forms: bisce, bijak, bihak, bihag means the royal good and this area had the central place in  the Kingdom of Croatia.


The name Pocitelj indicates the archaic origin. The etymology of the name of Pocitelj is still not resolved. Some believe that the name Pocitelj was derived from the verb pocivati (to rest), others believe that the origin of the name of Pocitelj should be searched in the Hungarian “citelj“, Italian “citadela“, as an expression for the city, a fortress…

(Source: radiosarajevo.ba)

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