Discover why Jajce is ‘Bosnian Venice’

2 minutes to read

If you like Venice or Dubrovnik, but find it too overcrowded, you must come and see Jajce. No other town in Bosnia and Herzegovina can boast so many cultural layers and such numerous architectural styles in a place so small. This charming and calm town, nestled in the heart of Bosnia, is blessed with an abundance of water settings. Just to mention one – Pliva Waterfall.

Jajce is simply lovely, even its name is cute, it is actually a diminutive form of the word “egg”. The name comes from the shape of a hill above the old town, topped by an impressive medieval citadel. This citadel used to be the biggest and the best fortified, it kept resisting the Ottomans even after the rest of Bosnia was conquered.

At the same time, Jajce is a royal place, having been the residence of the Bosnian kings. In the Middle Ages, Bosnian kings were crowned just down the hill in the Church of St. Mary, with the last inauguration of Stjepan Tomašević in 1461. The church is the place where the relics of St. Luke the Evangelist were enshrined. The relics were brought by the last Bosnian Queen, Mara Jelena, as her dowry. Therefore, the bell tower of the church is devoted to St. Luke. Built in the 15th century, it is the only remaining medieval bell tower in the continental Balkans.

Beneath the church are the Catacombs, a unique underground crypt, built in 1410, by Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić, the founder of Jajce, who intended it for himself and his family.

The proof that this place was inhabited in the 3rd century is the Mithraeum, a sacred temple dedicated to the Persian sun god – Mithras. The cult of Mithras was widespread throughout the provinces of the Roman Empire. This is a world heritage monument and one of the oldest monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Jajce is surrounded by a range of mountains of medium height, which abounds in deciduous and coniferous woods, mountain meadows, pastures, but also rivers, lakes and waterfalls. The mountains offer a great number of activities such as hiking, climbing, biking, skiing, botanizing and photo safari.

The author

Ljiljana Krejic

Ljiljana Krejic

I am Ljiljana, from Bosnia & Herzegovina. Being a journalist, I can't escape from that perspective when travelling. My mission is to make you explore the last Europe’s undiscovered gem.

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