Banja Luka is a city of greenery, with many gardens, parks and tree-lined alleys.
Banja Luka is called the city of youth, sports, and beautiful women. It is an economic, administrative, financial and cultural centre with approx. 250 000 inhabitants, and is the second-largest city in size in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The town is situated on both banks of the Vrbas River at the intersection of the Dinaric Mountains to the south and the Pannonian Basin to the north.
It has a moderate, continental climate, with warm summers and moderately cold winters.
In the territory of today’s Banja Luka, since ancient times, there have always existed human communities that left behind the marks of time in which they lived.
You can experience a spirit of different cultures that were interwoven in this territory and visit a large number of cultural and historical sights.
In the heart of the city of Banja Luka, there stands Kastel, as a witness to the past, the skeleton of the present and the prediction of the future. Fortress Kastel is the oldest historical building in the City of Banja Luka, and it is located in the very centre of Banja Luka, the fortress has a rich history. The old walls of Kastel arouse our curiosity about the history of this city, a story of battles, trade, successes and failures, to which all the witness and the culprit has been the fortress itself.
It was built in 1579 under the reign of Ferhad Pasha Sokolovic when Banja Luka became the centre of Bosnian pashalik. It is one of the most significant cultural and historical buildings of the oriental culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina, built in the same way as the school of the famous Turkish architect, Sinan. Ferhad Pasha Sokolovic was a member of the famous Sokolovic family, who marked a part of Bosnian history, in the time when the Ottoman Empire was at the peak of its power. Ferhadija was destroyed in 1993. in the Civil War, and its rebuilding, based on the same project, has started in 2006.
Gospodska Street is the most popular, busiest and certainly the oldest streets of Banja Luka. If you like shopping, coffee and ice cream, or simply want to enjoy a walk through the city then Gospodska Street should not be missed when you come to Banja Luka
The National Theatre of the Republic of Srpska was founded in 1930 in Banja Luka and plays an important role in the development of culture and art in the city. The first play was on October 18th 1930. with the presence of the governor Svetislav Milosavljevic who did a lot for the founding of the Theatre.
Today, plays are performed every day and one of the most popular festivals in Banja Luka, the „Teatar Fest“, takes place at the National Theatre.
The Cathedral of Saint Bonaventure in Banja Luka is one of three Roman Catholic cathedrals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first cathedral was built in gothic style from 1885 till 1887 but was severely damaged when a terrible earthquake occurred in Banja Luka in 1969, and it became necessary to demolish the building. A new one was built in 1972/1973 in modern style in the form of a tent.
Convent Maria Stern was founded by father Franz Pfanner, a member of the Cistercian order, in 1869 (Trappists). Their motto was “pray and work“, Lat. “ora et labora“.
The Trappist community brought many craft skills and knowledge then transferred to the local population, thus encouraging agricultural production of the area.
They manufactured here, besides beer, food and number of different tools, the famous Trappist cheese. You will see a beautiful church built in 1926, with preserved ornaments, and a permanent photo exhibit “130 years of Trappists”.
Monks are always glad to meet guests and talk about the history of their monastery. They are hardworking people as their predecessors were.
The area of the Vrbas Adventure Resort lies on the terrain for which karst forms such as sinkholes, caves, pits, springs, etc are characteristic. One of the karst sources is located in Krupa na Vrbasu which creates the Krupa River, after which it is named. Sinking in Podrašničko polje near Mrkonjic Grad, a little river Ponor falls down into the depths of the earth’s crust, in order to see the daylight in underground systems again, but this time with a new identity poured into the Krupa River. The legend says that the Krupa River used to rise out of today’s Strikina pećina and that the sources fall down several dozen meters below because of the tectonic disturbances.
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