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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.



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 impressivefortress at the time, and still stands out as the best preserved of them all. This era gave Travnik its name.


The Ottoman era renewed the glory of Travnik. It was the principal cityand 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 theEuropean Istanbuland the most oriental town in Bosnia. Ivo Andrić's brilliant 'Travnik Chornicle' gives you a feel of this period.


Details about Travnik:

Travnik(Bosnian pronunciation: [trâːʋniːk]) is a town and municipality in centralBosnia and Herzegovina, 90 kilometres (56 miles) west ofSarajevo. It is the capital of theCentral 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.


Travnik is located near the geographic center of Bosnia and Herzegovina at44°14′N17°40′E. The riverLašvapasses through the city, flowing from west to east before joining theBosna. Travnik itself is built in the large Lašva river valley, which connects the Bosna river valley in the east with theVrbasriver valley in the west.

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


Travnik has acontinental 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.



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 ofRomansettlement 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 dayZenica, 30 km (19 mi) away.

In the Middle Ages the Travnik area was known as thežupa Lašvaprovince of the medievalBosnian Kingdom. The area is first mentioned byBela IV of Hungaryin 1244. Travnik itself was one of a number of fortified towns in the region, with its fortressKaštelbecoming today's old town sector. The city itself is first mentioned by theOttomansduring their conquest of nearbyJajce.

After theOttoman conquest of Bosniain 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 whenSarajevowas set afire by soldiers of Field-MarshalPrince Eugene of Savoy, Travnik became the capital of theOttoman province of Bosniaand residence of the Bosnianviziers. The city became an important center of government in the whole Western frontier of the empire, andconsulateswere established by the governments of France andAustria-Hungary.

The period of Austrian occupation brought westernization and industry to Travnik, but also a reduction of importance. While cities such asBanja Luka,Sarajevo,Tuzla, andZenicagrew 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 alocomotivein 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 theDrina Banovinaof the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

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




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%)


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).



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 theCentral Bosnia Canton, one of the 10Cantons 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.


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 frommatchesto furniture. Food processing is also a strong industry in the region, especially meat and milk companies.



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 areIvo 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) andDavor Džalto(artist and art historian, the youngest PhD in Germany and in the South-East European region).


The localfootballteam isNK Travnik, established in 1922. All about sport in Travnik here:

Notable people


Like many Bosnian towns, Travnik's tourism is based largely on its history and geography. NearbyMt.Vlašićis 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,Vlašićis probably its chieftourist 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.


In literature

One of the main works ofIvo Andrić, himself a native of Travnik, is theBosnian Chronicle (a.k.a.Travnik Chronicle), depicting life in Travnik during theNapoleonic Warsand itself written duringWorld 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.



TheBosnian Tornjak, one of Bosnia's two major dog breeds and national symbol, originated in the area, found aroundVlašićmountain.

Twin cities