After you conquer the peaks of Mt. Vranica, also known as “Swiss Alps” in Bosnia, and after you indulge yourself in mouth-watering shepherds’ specialities made at the most beautiful “mountain eye” - Prokoško lake, there is nothing like a good spa-break. In that case, only 20 km away, the town of Fojnica is the next place to visit, as it has great balneological resort. Besides the healing power of its thermal waters, renowned since the Roman times, this small town is proud of the oldest written document on human rights called “ahdnama”, dating back to 1463. But what put this town on the world map is something far more attractive for visitors – significant gold deposits. So, if you were wondering where to test your luck, here is your dream destination – Fojnica, the place to find gold in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Relatively close to Sarajevo (60 km), the town of Fojnica has a long history of gold mining dating back to the Roman times. In the ancient times, the gold was found along rivers and streams and mainly on a small scale by artisan gold miners. Even though the gold deposits were found in the eastern part of Mt.Vranica in the 5th century, only in the early 1900s, this became more defined and developed when the gold mine was opened in Bakovići. Between 1895-1938 around 2,24 tons of gold was produced and exported to the UK and some European countries. 70 years after the gold mine was closed, the rivers of Fojnica are still gold-bearing, and all visitors have a unique chance to try gold washing.
Fojnica is also a place with a 650-years-old Franciscan Monastery famous for its library that keeps important philosophical and theological documents of Bosnia & Herzegovina. One part of the monastery belongs to the museum that holds a treasury of traditional clothes, jewelry, mining-related tools, etc. This museum conserves one of the richest coins collection in the Balkans, but also the oldest armorial in the Balkans dating back to the 14thcentury. On the top of this, comes probably the oldest written document on human rights called “ahdnama”, created during the Ottoman occupation in 1463. The legend has it that the leader of Bosnian friars – Fra Anđeo Zvizdović, knelt before Sultan Mehmet begging for the safety of the Catholic people of Bosnia & Herzegovina. As a response, Sultan issued the famous “ahdnama”, by which he guaranteed to friars their right to live and to serve the Holy See in the Vatican.
Located in the proximity of marvelous Mt. Vranica, this area offers excellent opportunities for “the Swiss Alps” hiking experience, as well as mountain biking and horse riding, or even free skiing. If you are more into the water, two exceptional splendors are at your fingertips. One of them is Prokoško Lake, famed as the most beautiful “mountain eye”. The other one, less known due to its remoteness, Kozice Waterfalls with breathtaking scenery of the Kozice River that, over a distance of 1 km, drops 300 m through a series of cascades. At the end of the day, you might need a complete relaxation and recovery, so besides being the place where you can find gold in Bosnia, Fojnica has another treasure – the abundance of thermal water with healing properties.
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