The Story from 1903 about BiH Kings and their Cities

car-dusan-freskaAt the southern foot of the hill Tesevo in the middle of the valley, which closes the hill Brojsinovac and Vucija jama, is placed the town Sutjeska, which was famous in Bosnian history. Right above the town itself, on the left bank of the river Trstionica, is placed the old church of St. Gregory, which was built, according to the legend, by Stefan ban Kotromanic.

Moreover, there was monastery of St. Clare in Sutjeska in the middle ages and on the Trstionica River close Sutjeska was the second royal court “Trstionica”, which was mentioned in the time of Tvrtko I and Dabisa … Today, Sutjeska is insignificant, but it had glory days, and it used to be poured by all the splendor of a middle-aged court life.

Close to the creek Irva are other ruins, which people said to have once been a royal palace, and a little lower, sheltered on one side by the hill Jezevica, and on the other Hrid, stands the monastery of St. John the Baptist, the oldest Franciscan monastery in Bosnia, and its beginning is assumed to be in the time when the Franciscans first came to Bosnia.

When the Bosnian state started to develop and expand, Sutjeska and the nearby town of Bobovac was the center of state power in Bosnia. In the times of bans (governors) there was the ban’s palace (Curia bani), and during the era of kings, it was often called “Royal Sutjeska”. Tvrtko ruled from both Sutjeska and Bobovac, and there he issued a full range of state document that are important in the history of Bosnia. We will mention only the contract from 1385, which he concluded with the Hungarian palatine Nikola Gorjansko and the Hungarian Queen Marija and Jelisava, and the charter from 1390, in which he, on the tip of his power, confirmed rights and privileges to Sibenik, Brac and Spljet.

Many important things in the history of Bosnia happened in Sutjeska. When some delegation would come to the mission, they would honor the king usually in Sutjeska, and Tvrtko II made alliance with Venetian mission in 1423 against the Cetina prince Ivan Nelipic there and committed to attack Klis. With the fall of Bobovac (1463) Sutjeska fell as well. Once a royal town it became a village and the monastery stayed in it and recalled the memory of the old glory days.

While passing over Sutjeska by wooden bridge over the Trstionica River, the way takes us up through the narrow Poljanska River to Poljanska valley, which is narrow place that had to be cut out of the rock stairs, which climbs up the rocks (so-called Ljestvace). Sutjeska is expanding, and the stream Borovice and Miokovic are making up Poljanski stream, you’ll see the steep, rugged piece of the town Bobovac. This piece is part of mountain Dragovica. At the top of the falls is the city, which people called the Gornji grad (the Upper town), and below is Donji grad (Lower town).

The remains of the city are hardly visible today; walls are destroyed by the wind and weather, covered with dense forests and bushes, and there are only some pieces of rubble walls left. At the top of the castle can be seen several pieces of four large towers, in the lower part can be seen spacious, walled yard, and a spring on the middle. Other facilities is vague and cannot be distinguished. The original foundation of the city could only be reliably distinguished by careful research and digging.

The city of Bobovac was a glorious place from ancient time, and it was the place where the Bosnian bans and kings ruled. King Stefan Ostojic mentioned in his charter, “the famous palace of my kingdom in Bobovac” and Stjepan Toma called Bobovac “our table place”. In the middle of the 14th century, history recorded his first glorious episode, which took place around Bobovac. Ban Stjepan Kotromanic, following the example of his father, wanted to expand his land. In 1349, he took Travunja from Serbs, which was previously ruled by Serbian princes, and merged it with his young country, and king Dusan to avenge ban, took the military in Bosnia and came under Bobovac, which was the main place in Bosnia back then.

However, king Dusan had to be left Bobovac empty-handed and return home at the end, and ban Stjepan Kotromanic banished last Serbs from Bosnia in 1351. Nephew and successor of Stjepan, Tvrtko, chose Bobovac as his capital city; and he lived there happily and released many charters, among others, the one from 1375, which released Dubrovnik from paying tax in Bosnia.


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