Bobovac - Vareš

bobovac vares 001

Bobovac is the most important and best fortified city of medieval Bosnia built on a rock at the south side of the mountains massif of “Dragovskih and Mijakovskih poljica” above the delta of the river Mijakovo, southwest of Vareš. Thanks to its location and equipment it was considered as the best Bosnian medieval fortified city. The city was raised by the ban Stephen II Kotromanić at the half of the 14th century, and later served as the headquarters of most rulers, especially from the period of the reign of Stephen II, the Bosnian kings, until the end of Bosnia's independence, when the Turks conquered it in 1463.

The first time Bobovas was mentioned was in written records in 1349. Bobovac consisted of the upper town with a square tower, the remains of which still exist, and the lower part of town, on a lower step lower for about 20 meters, of a polygon shape of around 40 meters long and 25 meters wide, of which today only the garden and fountain remain. Due to its geo-strategic, military and political significance Bobovac was the target of the attack invaders. Its location and configuration of the terrain made defence possible and it was a military and administrative center of the Bosnian kings next to Kraljeva Sutjeska, that was free of fortifications and had more of a administrative and political importance.

It kept the Bosnian royal crown. There used to be a royal burial chapel, for which it is presumed that the King Ostoja ordered to the old Bobovac church to be rebuilt in that purpose. In it three Bosnian kings were buried: Stjepan Ostoja, Tvrtko II Kotromanić and Stjepan Tomašević. The Ottomans besieged Bobovac on the 19th of May and conquered the city on the 21st of May 1463 after only three days of fighting. Some sources say that tough battles were led for the city and that the Ottomans used guns sent by a German named Jörg from Nürnberg. It is also said that Prince Radak, the person who operated the city at that time, surrendered Bobovac thinking he would be rewarded for it, but he was executed by the Ottomans after surrendering.
The rapid decline of Bobovac, which was believed to be able to withstand a two-year siege, surprised the King Stjepan Tomašević and prevented him from gathering troops and gaining foreign aid. Thus, the crews of Visoko and some other towns surrendered without a fight. After his capture, Bobovac was destroyed by the Ottomans, but due to his great strategic importance they once again built some facilities required for their stay. The Ottoman garrison was in Bobovac until 1626 when it was abandoned due to loss of the strategic importance of the continuation of the Ottoman conquest to the north when the city remained deep in the background. The royal burial chapel was reconstructed, but with unapproved methods, so that its value was impaired.


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