Travnik

Summary

Travnik is situated in the valley of the Lasva River and bordered by Vlasic Mountain to the north and Mount Vilenica to the south. The early Slav settlers gave little evidence of their presence until 500 years after their arrival to the area around Travnik. 

travnik1

 

The valley reappeared in 1244, in terms of primary historical records, when the Hungarian King Bela IV gave one of his notables a piece of land in Lasva. By that time, the area was a feudal estate of the Bosnian state. It is famous for being the capital city of the governors of Bosnia from 1699 to 1850, and having a cultural heritage dating from that period.

Although remains from these centuries do not show the wealth the valley had known in Roman times, the era did have its share of castles and mansions. The Travnik Fortress was the most impressive fortress at the time, and still stands out as the best preserved of them all. This era gave Travnik its name. 

travnik2 

 

The Ottoman era renewed the glory of Travnik. It was the principal city and military centre of the Ottoman Empire. It was from here that the Ottomans planed their invasions further towards the southwest. They brought mosques, religious schools, roads and water systems. They fortified the medieval fortress and built a mini-city within its high stone walls. For over 150 years, the vizier – the Ottoman Sultan's representative in Bosnia - had his headquarters in this town, attracting both consulates and trade. Travelers visiting Travnik in this era were impressed by the town and called it the European Istanbul and the most oriental town in Bosnia. Ivo Andrić's brilliant 'Travnik Chornicle' gives you a feel of this period.

travnik3

  

Details about Travnik:

Travnik (Bosnian pronunciation: [trâːʋniːk]) is a town and municipality in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, 90 kilometres (56 miles) west of Sarajevo. It is the capital of the Central Bosnia Canton, and is located in the Travnik Municipality. Travnik today has some 16,534 residents, with a metro (municipality) population that is probably close to 57,543 people.

Geography

Travnik is located near the geographic center of Bosnia and Herzegovina at44°14′N 17°40′E. The river Lašva passes through the city, flowing from west to east before joining the Bosna. Travnik itself is built in the large Lašva river valley, which connects the Bosna river valley in the east with the Vrbas river valley in the west.

Travnik is found 514 meters above sea level. Its most distinguishing geographic feature are its mountains, Vilenica and Vlašić. Vlašić, named after the Vlachs, is one of the tallest mountains in the country at 1,933 meters (6342 ft).

 

Climate

Travnik has a continental climate, located between the Adriatic sea to the South and Pannonia to the North. Average summer temperature is 18.2°C (64.8°F). Average winter temperature on the other hand is a cold 0.5°C (33°F). It snows in Travnik every year. 

travnik4 

History

Although there is evidence of some settlement in the region dating back to the Bronze Age, the true history of Travnik begins during the first few centuries AD. Dating from this time there are numerous indications of Romansettlement in the region, including graves, forts, the remains of various other structures, early Christian basilicas, etc. In the city itself, Roman coins and plaques have been found. Some writing found indicates the settlement is closely connected to the known Roman colony in modern day Zenica, 30 km (19 mi) away.

In the Middle Ages the Travnik area was known as the župa Lašva province of the medieval Bosnian Kingdom. The area is first mentioned by Bela IV of Hungary in 1244. Travnik itself was one of a number of fortified towns in the region, with its fortress Kaštel becoming today's old town sector. The city itself is first mentioned by the Ottomans during their conquest of nearby Jajce.

After the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia in the 1400s, much of the local population converted toIslam. The city quickly grew into one of the more important settlements in the region, as authorities constructed mosques, marketplaces, and various infrastructure. During 1699 when Sarajevo was set afire by soldiers of Field-Marshal Prince Eugene of Savoy, Travnik became the capital of theOttoman province of Bosnia and residence of the Bosnian viziers. The city became an important center of government in the whole Western frontier of the empire, and consulates were established by the governments of France and Austria-Hungary.

The period of Austrian occupation brought westernization and industry to Travnik, but also a reduction of importance. While cities such as Banja Luka, Sarajevo, Tuzla, and Zenica grew rapidly, Travnik changed so little that during 1991 it had a mere 30,000 or so people, with 70,000 in the entire municipality.

A large fire started by a spark from a locomotive in September 1903 destroyed most of the towns buildings and homes, leaving only some hamlets and the fortress untouched. The cleanup and rebuilding took several years.

From 1929 to 1941, Travnik was part of the Drina Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

During the Bosnian War, the town mostly escaped damage from conflict with Serbian forces, but the area experienced fighting between local Bosniak and Croat factions before the Washington Agreement was signed in 1994. After the war, Travnik was made the capital of the Central Bosnia Canton.

 travnik5

Demographics

1971

55,822 total

  • Bosniaks– 24,480 (43.85%)
  • Croats– 22,645 (40.56%)
  • Serbs– 7,554 (13.53%)
  • Yugoslavs– 626 (1.12%)
  • others – 517 (0.94%)

 

1991

Demographic statistics for Travnik are scarce. According to the 1991 Yugoslav census, the area had a population of 70,747. Of these, 31,813 were Bosniaks (45%), 26,118 were Croats (37%), 7,777 were Serbs (11%), and 5,039 "others" (7%).

In the city itself there was a Croat plurality; Croats made up 37.29% of the city's population, Bosniaks made up 35.98%, Serbs 10.11%, Yugoslavs 13.4%, and others 3.22%. Croats made majority in Bojna, Kalibunar and Pirota, while Bosniaks were vast majority in Centar and Stari Grad (Old Town).

 travnik6

Government

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, very few cities actually have what would be considered "city governments". Instead, the country's municipalities are essentially based from chief settlement to chief settlement. Thus, though Travnik doesn't really have a city government of its own, it is part of "Municipality Travnik" which for all practical purposes is the de facto city government since its area of jurisdiction covers Travnik and the outlying villages and small towns. An exception to this rule are cities so large they cover more than one municipality (for example, Sarajevo).

Asides from being the obvious center of municipality government, Travnik is also the capital of the Central Bosnia Canton, one of the 10 Cantons of Bosnia. Its current mayor is Admir Hadžiemrić; The municipality government has various bureau's dedicated to help in the running of the region, ranging from the bureau of urbanization and construction, to the bureau of refugees and displaced persons.

Economy

The economy of the Travnik region, which was never anything extraordinary, suffered greatly during the war period of the early 1990s. In 1981 Travnik's GDP per capita was 63% of the Yugoslav average. Nowadays, most of the region deals with typical rural work such as farming and herding. As for urban industry, Travnik has several factories producing everything from matches to furniture. Food processing is also a strong industry in the region, especially meat and milk companies.

travnik7 

Culture

Travnik has a strong culture, mostly dating back to its time as the center of local government in the Ottoman Empire. Travnik has a popular old town district however, which dates back to the period of Bosnian independence during the first half of the 15th century. Numerous mosques and churches exist in the region, as do tombs of important historical figures and excellent examples of Ottoman architecture. The city museum, built in 1950, is one of the more impressive cultural institutions in the region. Travnik became famous by important persons who were born or lived in Travnik. The most important are Ivo Andrić (writer, Nobel Prize for literature in 1961), Miroslav Ćiro Blažević (football coach of Croatian national team, won third place 1998 in France), Josip Pejaković (actor), Seid Memić (pop-singer) and Davor Džalto (artist and art historian, the youngest PhD in Germany and in the South-East European region).

Sport

The local football team is NK Travnik, established in 1922. All about sport in Travnik here: http://www.hronika.ba/sport.html#

 

 

Notable people

Tourism

Like many Bosnian towns, Travnik's tourism is based largely on its history and geography. Nearby Mt.Vlašić is one of the tallest peaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and an excellent spot for skiing, hiking, and sledding. Though tourism isn't very strong for the city, Vlašić is probably its chief tourist attraction. The city itself is also of interest. Numerous structures dating to the Ottoman era have survived in near perfect condition, such as numerous mosques, oriental homes, two clock towers (it is the only city in Bosnia and Herzegovina to have two clock towers), and fountains. The city's old town dates back to the early 15th century, making it one of the most popular widely accessible sites from that time.

travnik8  

In literature

One of the main works of Ivo Andrić, himself a native of Travnik, is the Bosnian Chronicle (a.k.a. Travnik Chronicle), depicting life in Travnik during the Napoleonic Wars and itself written during World War II. In this work Travnik and its people - with their variety of ethnic and religious communities - are described with a mixture of affection and exasperation.

travnik9 

Miscellaneous

The Bosnian Tornjak, one of Bosnia's two major dog breeds and national symbol, originated in the area, found around Vlašić mountain.

Twin cities