Showing posts with label Republika Srpska. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Republika Srpska. Show all posts

November 29, 2011

6 Cool Buildings in Banja Luka

Banja Luka  the administrative capital of the Republika Srpska, is a beautiful town with lots of  interesting buildings from the last century like the Banski Dvor (Бански Двор) (1932), the National Theater (Народно позориште Републике Српске) (1933), The City Hall (Градска палата) (1934), The Palace of the Republic (Палата Републике Српске) (1936) and the buildings on the Promenade - Gospodska street (officially Veselin Masleša street).
(Picture from Panoramio)

What interests me more about Banja Luka are a few modern buildings that I want to show here in this post:

 1. Dom Vojske

 Today it is the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska (Народна скупштина Републике Српске. (picture from panoramio and skyscrapercity)

2. The Retirement Home (Старачки Дом)

 The building looks quiet interesting, it was started in 1989 and it's still not finished.
 (picture from Teča sa Dunava)

3. The Borik Sport Center (Спортска дворана Борик)

This Sport Center is a typical 1970's structured concrete building and lays in the Borik neighboorhood. (picture from wikipedia).

Borik is a neighborhood of Banja Luka. It was built northeast of the old city center after an earthquake in 1969 when Banja Luka was heavily damaged. Borik was planned for housing of people who lost their homes in an earthquake and it was built in a modern socialist architectural style, typical for cities that were developed under an influence of a communist system. (picture from scborik).

The building is from 1974, can seat about 5'000 people and is used for different Sports and for Concerts.

4. The Cathedral of Saint Bonaventure

The Cathedral of Saint Bonaventure is one of four Roman Catholic cathedrals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Cathedral was built in honor of Saint Bonaventure, a Franciscan theologian from the Middle Ages. It was constructed by Alfred Pichler in the 1970s after the original had been damaged in the 1969 earthquake.
It was built in a tent like shape. The bell tower was added in 1990.(picture)

5. Boska Shopping Center

“Boska” department store (from 1978) is a building that looks like from outer space. Its shape was designed without any direct formal relationship to the local heritage.

picture by

It's kind of a landmark of Banja Luka, due to its location (in the very center on a big pedestrian square) and to its over-sized shape. It stands there as a nostalgic symbol of former Yugoslavia and never underwent any changements. (picture from panoramio)

6.  Hotel Turist in Celinac (near Banja Luka)

The last of the 6 buildings is not really in Banja Luka. But with its prefab facade, its round-corner-windows and daring color concept fits into this list of cool buildings.

The hotel has 35 beds and a restaurant. (Pictures from panoramio)

And here a few links for visiting Banja Luka:
Banja Luka Online Guide
• The Banja Luka in your pocket guide to download
  (it's from 2009) but still useful

Here you can download a map of the City of Banja Luka

September 21, 2009

Monastery Tvrdos near Trebinje

On the way between Trebinje and Mostar (around 5km from Trebinje) lays an old monastery surrounded by wineyards. The monastery was built on the foundation of an old church, and the 4th-century foundations of the first Roman church on the site are still visible today (inside the curch, below the glassbottom). This shows also how long there is christian religion in Hercegovina.

In the first half of the 6th century the monastery was the biggest scriptorium of the Slavic south, and at the same time cultural and spiritual center of a broader area.
The Orthodox monastery was established there in the 15th century, with a cathedral constructed about 1508 and painted with murals by Vicko Lavrov from Dubrovnik (1517) and from monk Marko Stefanov Trebinjac (on the same period).

This was also the period when Viasilije Ostroski (the holy monk from Ostrog Moanstery in Montenegro) arrived to Tvrdos to become a monk. His modesty forbidding him to push himself forward to occupy the high positions his piety and capabilities recommended him for, he was elected as Bishop of Zahumlje and Skenderia against his will.

He had the capacity to help the orthodox population of the area not to succomb to islamisation by the turks or to catholization by catholic missionars.

The monastery remained a seat of the Metropolitans of Herzegovina until the Ottoman Turks destroyed it in 1694 (in the fights between Venetians and Turks). That was also when Vasilije Ostroski fled to Montenegro.

Actually Tvrdos had been frequently destroyed and reconstructed before.
The current building of the monastery was constructed in 1924. Today the monastery is temporarily the seat of the Eparchy of Zahumlje and Herzegovina (otherways the seat is in Mostar).

Tvrdos was built to give protection from attacks, a massive wall is built around the monastery.
The monastery is also known for the good wine the monks are making and also for the honey. Because of that it's on the wineroute of Hercegovina (here the site) and here is the website of the monastery (in serbian).

September 18, 2009

Hercegovacka Gracanica in Trebinje, Republika Srpska

From the city center of Trebinje, there is a 2 km road that winds up the hill Crkvina where you reach the church "Hercegovacka Gracanica" (the Gracanica of Hercegovina) a copy of the famous Gracanica Church in Kosovo and Metohija (here the post I made).

On the top of this hills there was already a christian church (probably from 6th century) in the place where now stands the new Gracanica.

The famous serbian poet Jovan Ducic (1871-1943) is burried there.
When he died on April 7, 1943 he was buried in the Serbian Orthodox monastery of Saint Sava in Libertyville, Illinois (USA). He expressed a wish in his will to be buried in his home town of Trebinje, a goal which was finally realised when he was reburied here on October 22, 2000 in the newly built church. And so the grave of Ducic is now in the krypta of the Church.

The church can be seen from any place in the town of Trebinje, and it is said to be the most beautiful sacred place in Eastern Herzegovina.

There is a marvelous view of the whole town from here (here with my son and my sister-in-law)

For the building, the Church got a very generous donation from one of the richest Diaspora Serbs: Branko Tupanjac.

A picture fron the richly decorated interior

What made me smile a little is this fresko, it shows Jovan Ducic (for whom the church was built) and Branko Tupanjac (the sponsor) handling over a church building.

The Church Complex includes an amphitheater, the Vladicin (Bishop's) home, a gallery with icons, a summer garden, a library and a belltower.

September 12, 2009

Trebinje, Republika Srpska

While spending some of my summer vacation at the Montenegro coast, I made a daytrip to explore some parts of Hercegovina, not far away from the Montenegro and the croatian order.

The toponym Trebinje comes from a medieval term Travunia. Trebinje was probably built by Slavs on the site of a Roman town laid waste by the Saracens in 840. In the mid-10th century Constantine Porphyrogenitus mentioned it under the name of Terbunia. It commanded the road from Ragusa to Constantinople, Under the name of Tribunia or Travunja (the Trebigne of the Ragusans), it belonged to the Serbian Empire until 1355. Trebinje became a part of the expanded Medieval Bosnian stateTvrtko I in 1373. In 1482, together with the rest of Herzegovina it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire.

During the period of Austro-Hungarian administration (1878-1918) the several fortifications were built on the surrounding hills, and there was a garrison based in the town. They also modernized the town expanding it westwards, building the present main street, as well as, several squares, park, new schools, tobacco plantations, etc

The Arslanagica Bridge was built by Mehmed-pasa Sokolovic in 1574, during Turkish occupation. It has been his pious endowment to his son who was killed in fights with Venetians. When Turks were pushed out of Herceg Novi in 1687, many Turkish families from this town moved to Trebinje. Among them there was Arslan-aga. He got possessions in the east from Trebinje: on Zubci, Necvjece and Jasen, as well as the right to charge bridge-toll across the bridge on the Trebisnjica River. Since then, the bridge was named the Arslanagica Bridge after him. By building hydroelectric system on the Trebisnjica River, the bridge finished under water of storage lake in 1965.

At the request of Institute for protection of monuments of culture, the bridge has been dismantled and moved down the river in 1966. The new location of the Arslanagica Bridge has been between settlement Gradina (on the right shore of the river) and settlement Police (on the left shore). Since 1993, the bridge has also been called the Perovica Bridge.

Entering the old city center

The Osman Pasa Mosque
In the Old Town (Kastel)not far away from the westgate and town's walls, lays the Osman Pasa Mosque from 1726. The 16 meters high octagonal minaret was considered one of the most beautiful of Hercegovina and the mosque itself one of the most spacious.
The mosque was built by masters of Dubrovnik and by order of Osman-Pasa Resulbegovic. After being destroyed in the last war it has been renovated
authentic to the original one from 2001 to 2005.

The old town is a lively place full with pleasant places and enough green spots.

The architecture of the old town shows austro-hungarian influence.

The town today is the economic, educational, cultural and spiritual center of East Herzegovina. Trebinje simply captures ones attraction with its nicely cared urban line, and harmonious natural environment .

With its climate Trebinje is entirely opened toward Mediteranean Sea. The climate dominates over the valley of the Trebisnjica river.

The river is heavily exploited for hydro-energy. After it passees through the Popovo polje area (South-West of the town), which always floods in winter, it naturally runs underground to the Adriatic Sea, near Dubrovnik in Croatia.

The Old Town-Kastel was built by Turks on location of the medieval fortress of Ban Vir, on the western bank of the Trebisnjica River.

Trebinje strongly grew in the era of Tito's Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1990. It especially developed its hydroelectric potential (Hydroelectricity) with its, dams, artificial lakes, tunnels, and several hydroelectric plants. This industrial development brought large increase in urban population of Trebinje.

The old town is pedestrian zone and has many cozy places under the shades of big trees to dwell and and enjoy a drink!

Also in the evening the city is busy and busting. Below you'll find some useful link if you plan to visit this charming city:

online Trebinje travel-guide here
here what to see and what to do in trebinje
In your pocket guide for Bosnia & Hercegovina here
City map of Trebinje (the only one on the internet) here