Travnik

Travnik is a city and municipality in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, 90 km west of Sarajevo, on the Lasva River, at the altitude of 514 meters, on one of the slopes of the Vlasic Mountain, surrounded with Vlasic Mountain from the north, and the Vilenica Mountain on the south. Travnik is the capital of the Central Bosnia Canton, located in the Travnik Municipality. Travnik is famous for being the capital city of the governors of Bosnia from 1697 to 1850, and having a cultural heritage dating from that period. The Old Fort of Travnik, dating from the 14th and the 15th centuries is one of the most beautiful and best preserved medieval fortified structures in Bosnia on which later historical periods had left their distinctive characteristics. Vlašić Mountain, which has been named after the Vlach population, with the highest peak of 1933 meters, makes fantastic ski center of Bosnia and Herzegovina and outstanding tourist destination throughout the year.

Number of historical traces such are numerous Roman monuments, tombs, fortifications and remains of various structures and the early-christian basilicas testify about the rich history of Travnik, which starts from the first Millennia. Roman coins and plaques have been unearthed in town of Travnik. Some written evidences about the settlement are closely related to the Roman colony found in Zenica, which is about 30 km away from Travnik. First Slavic settlers lived in Travnik 500 years after its foundation and left some evidences of their live in this area. In the Middle Ages the feudal province of the Medieval Kingdom around Travnik beared the name of Župa Lašva, about which there are first historical data from 1244, during the reign of the Hungarian Kind Bela IV. Travnik was one of numerous fortified towns of the region, with its Kastel – the Castle Fortress, that used to be one of the most impressive of its time. Town of Travnik was first mentioned in the archives of the Turkish historian Dursun Bey as settlement conquered by Sultan Mehmed II the Conquerer in his invasion on the royal town of Jajce. After the Turkish conquest of Bosnia, most of population converted to Islam. Town of Travnik quickly became one of the most important settlements in the region, where Ottoman authorities had built mosques, markets and infrastructure. Travnik became the main town of the Ottoman Province of Bosnia and the seat of 77 Viziers in 1699, when soldiers of Prince Eugene of Savoy destroyed Sarajevo. Since then town of Travnik was important center of the whole west border of the Ottoman Empire, where French and Austrian authorities had their consulates. During the Turkish reign, Travnik has regained its glory, and got the status of the main town and military center of the Ottoman Empire. It was from Travnik where started the Turkish invasions and attacks towards the southeast. Ottomans built mosques, religious schools, roads and sewerage and waste system in Travnik, which soon got the Oriental appearance. Turks also have reconstructed the Medieval fortress and founded a tiny town within its stone walls, which present day provide exceptional stage for various cultural and touristic events, as well as outstanding and favorite excursion and tourist destination. However, visitors who used to come to Travnik during the Ottoman rule were impressed by the beauty of the town, which was considered as the most Oriental town of Bosnia, and thus called the European Stambol. Ivo Andrić in his famous novel „Travnik Chronicle” best presented Travnik of that time of history.

The old town of Travnik – the Castle of Travnik, built in the first half of the 15th century, which is also the only Medieval monument of Travnik, is the most important cultural and historical asset of town of Travnik. The oldest monument from the Turkish reign is the Yeni Mosque, built in 1549, although the Suleymani Mosque, known as the Multicolored Mosque, is the most famous and the most significant Islamic culture monument. The other important cultural-historical monuments of Travnik are the Elchi Ibrahim Pasha Medresse, the Birth House of Ivo Andrić – the Nobel Prize Winner for Literature in 1961, with wonderful original exhibits and Ivo Andric most famoust books translated into numerous languages, the Vrhbosna Archbishopric, the Orthodox Church, two Clock Towers. The Plava Voda – Blue Water of Travnik is the popular excursion place of locals and visitors of Travnik which distinguishes itself among the monuments of the natural heritage of the town. The Memorial Museum in Travnik displays permanent exhibitions – the Cultural-Historical collection exposing the heritage of Travnik and surroundings, and the Natural Collection, as well as the particularly interesting temporary exhibitions and displays. Since 1974, as the part of the Travnik Museum, the Memorial Birth House of Ivo Andrić successfuly popularizes the literature legacy of the Novel Prize winner. The Travnik Museum initiated production of the theatrical performance „Nobelovac i Travnik” (Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andrić: life, literature…). This performance tends to tell the scenographic story about Ivo Andrić and Travnik along motifs of the writer’s life and his literature works, which are dedicated to the writer’s home town.

Tourist route of the Travnik Museum includes the locations and cultural and historical monuments which are described in the novel of Ivo Andric – the Travnik Chronicle, which, besides other novels of Ivo Andric, granted the writer the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961. The museum curator talks about the literature and historical aspects of the novel, which represent the unnamed personalities dressed in costumes, while interpreting the fragments from the novel at the authentic locations. The tourist route called „Travnička hronika” – Travnik Chronicle provides visitors an unique way of understanding one of the most beautiful European novels. The famous Travnički sir – the Travnik Cheese is also one of the landmarks of this beautiful and interesting town and area.

Since the Dayton Peace Treaty of 1995, Travnik has become part of the Federal Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, having been made the administrative centre of Central Bosnia. In 1998, Travnik was given the official status of an UNHCR Open City, in which members of all ethnic groups live peacefully together.

«…Niko nikad u Travniku nije ni pomislio da je to varoš stvorena za običan život i svagdašnje događaje…
Njihov grad, to je u stvari jedna tijesna i duboka rasjeklina koju su naraštaji s vremenom izgradili i obradili, jedan utvrđen prolaz u kom su se ljudi zadržali da žive stalno, prilagođavajući kroz stoljeća sebe njemu i njega sebi. Sa obje strane ruše se brda strmo i sastaju pod oštrim uglom u dolini u kojoj jedva ima mjesta za tanku rijeku i drum pored nje. Tako sve liči na napola rasklopljenu knjigu na čijim stranicama su s jedne i s druge strane, kao naslikani, bašte, sokaci, kuće, njive, groblja i džamije. Nikad niko nije izračunao koliko je sunčanih sati priroda uskratila ovome gradu, ali je izvjesno da se sunce docnije rađa i ranije zalazi nego u ma kojoj od bosanskih mnogobrojnih varoši i varošica. To ne poriču ni Travničani ali zato tvrde da sunce, dok sja, nigdje ne sja tako kao nad njihovim gradom.
U toj uskoj dolini kojom po dnu protiče Lašva a sa strane je šaraju vrela, jazovi i potoci, punoj vlage i promaje, gotovo nigdje nema prava puta ni ravna mjesta,koliko da čovjek nogu metne slobodno i bezbrižno. Sve je strmo i neujednačeno, izukrštano i isprepleteno, povezano ili isprekidano privatnim putevima, ogradama, čikmama, baštama i kapidžicima, grobljima ili bogomoljama. Tu, na vodi, tajanstvenoj, nestalnoj i moćnoj stihiji, rađaju se i umiru naraštaji Travničana…
Tako se smjenjuju pokolenja i predaju jedno drugome ne samo utvrđene tjelesne i duševne osobine, nego i zemlju i vjeru, ne samo nasljedno osjećanje mjere i granice, ne samo znanje i razlikovanje svih staza, kapidžika i prolaza svoje zamršene varoši nego i urođenu sposobnost za poznavanje svijeta i ljudi uopšte. Sa svim tim dolaze travnička djeca na svijet, ali više od svega sa gordošću. Gordost, to im je druga priroda, živa sila koja ih kroz cio život prati i pokreće i udara im vidan znak po kome se razlikuju od ostalog svijeta.”

Odlomak iz Andrićeve Travničke hronike

Balkan Tour Serbia – Montnegro – Bosnia and Herzegovina

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