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Kreševo is a Bosnian town with the greatest number of monuments per one inhabitant (8 NM, 6000 inhabitants). Together with Fojnica, Kreševo is the oldest mining place in BiH. Ore has been extracted and processed here since earliest times; also various metal artefacts. Various archaeological finds from prehistory have been preserved. From ancient period the following have been found: some foundations of the buildings, remains of stone works, parts of the town aqueduct, smelting plants etc. In the Middle Ages, Kreševo continues its intensive development based on rich ore reserves. At the end of the 14th century, the Franciscans built their monastery ( its library is considered one of the biggest in BiH). They built the church in the 15th century. ”The Glorious Court” in Kreševo was a temporary seat of King Stjepan Tomaš (Ostojić) Kotromanić. In the Ottoman period, Kreševo was still one of the most developed towns with intensive mining and metal constructions, not only in BiH but also in the broader area. In the 17th century, the Kreševo Franciscans, after completing their studies in Italy, brought the first mining-metal handbook. Only a few copies have been preserved in the whole world. The specimen in Kreševo is the most complete and best preserved. At the end of this period, there were in Kreševo 70 blacksmith workshops (duganje) and 6 hans (caravanserais). Until now, some thirty old Bosnian houses, mostly covered with shingle, have been preserved. Many of them have entryways more than hundred years old.
All this speaks of the development of economic and cultural life of the inhabitants of Kreševo and its significance within the history of BiH.
From Sarajevo (36 km)
From Mostar (115 km)
10:00 am (whole day trip)
During the turbulent centuries of Ottoman rule the monastery was often destroyed. However the friars of Kreševo managed to collect rare, valuable and interesting exhibits that give a fairly clear picture of life in these areas over the centuries.
It is not surprising that most of the findings refer to the traditional jobs related to minerals ores and their processing. We can see examples of minerals extracted from our regions as well as tools used to dig and process them. There is a distinct and valuable collection of mining lamps and numerous tools, some of which date back to ancient times. One part of the museum represents a small blacksmith shop (“duganja”): there are bellows, forges, anvils and hammers of different dimensions as well as various examples of tools.
This exhibition also contains products of artistic quality, the tools and products of various trades – carpentry, tailoring, weaveing and traditional footwear crafts, as well as a collection of handiworks. The sacral part of the museum’s collection consists of crosses, chalices, monstrance’s and art works such as candle holders, censers and other similar items.
The museum has a collection of important historical documents, copies and originals: the Charter of King Tomaš to the people of Dubrovnik from 1444; a document of Duke Juraj Vojsalić from 1434; Selim’s vizier permit (“bujruntija”) to repair monastery issued in 1767; a copy of Ahdnama ( political guarantee, letter, turcism) given to Friar Anđelo Zvizdović in 1463 by Sultan Mohammed II. Conqueror and others.
The vibrant village of Vranci is located two kilometers from Kresevo, and actually it is like an open-air museum.
Although there isn’t exact data about the age when the first bridge on this site was built, the Roman bridge is undoubtedly the oldest preserved architectural construction in the area of Kreševo. It has been knwon as the Roman bridge since the ancient times. There are remains of a Roman road with wheel traces of Roman mining wagons in the vicinity of the bridge.
The bridge was restored in 2010 and entered in the National monument register of BiH.
Two iron plates (ta’te) were used in place of the bells in all monasteries under the Ottoman rules.
Ta’te are two iron plates hanging on ropes or chains. One of the plates is always longer and thinner while the another one is shorter and thicker, as in the case of ta’te in Vranci. They are pounded interchangeably by two hammers entirely made of iron and this pounding produces a melodious and harmonious sound.
The ta’te in Vranci are the only ones still in use in in BiH . They used to be part of the church built in 1530, then been used in the another church whcih was burned down in 1765. When the Kreševo monastery obtained permission to use a bell , around 1880 the ta’te was donated to the village of Vranci.
There are a few interesting residential houses in Kreševo, Vranci, Kojsina which are known as “old Bosnian houses”. The main features are: thin wooden shingles (“šindra” or “kaplama”), with the upper floor larger than the ground floor (“izbačen boj”), the wooden doors are decorated with various old locks.
The Bosnian houses of Kreševo display a diversity of styles which reflect a rich historical heritage and they are also still private dwellings.
The village is located between Fojnica and Kreševo. It was known for its mines, the market, the colony of Dubrovnik, the stećak necropolis, as well as the St. James of the Marches who resigned there during the middle ages. There is the sanctuary of St. Jacob’s who is beleived to lived there. Sunday mass is celebratd there evey week. The Church of Our Lady of Snow is also another place of interest. Apart from the historic sights ther are plenty of other activities like hiking, biking, jeep safari etc.
The Franciscan monastery of the Holy Spirit in Fojnica and its belonging church were built in the 14th century. It holds today about 50 000 books, among which around 10 000 books several centuries old. One should mention ahdnama, a charter from the Ottoman period, by which the military leader Mehmed II el-Fatih, in 1464, guaranteed security to the Bosnian Franciscans and enabled them free activity in the country he had occupied. The monastery comprises today the church, museum and archives. The artefacts kept in the Monastery are mostly made of the Fojnica gold and silver and are made by Fojnica craftsmen.
The monastery complex (the monastery buildings, museum, church, walls and surroundings), museum collection, archives and the library holdings represent the National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Kozograd, a fortress located on the slopes of Zec Mountain is presumed to have been in existence since at least the early 15th century. It was a place where the miners from Dubrovnik hid their treasures from invadors. It is also believed to be the last place where the Queen Katarina had stayed before she fled to Dubrovnik and Rome.
Zvonigrad is more than likely a prehistoric settlement where ancient miners sought refuge. Kasteli, in the near vicinity of the hunting lodge Zahor, was a temporary shelter for the Franciscan monks from Fojnica during the Ottoman invasion of Bosnia. These three towns are ruins now. Fojnica as a town was first mentioned in 1365, when miners had come from Germany and Dubrovnik to develop this ore-rich area. In the late 15th century, after the invasion of the Ottomans, Fojnica recorded 329 families. In the same period Mostar, a city now 20 times the size of Fojnica, recorded only 19 dwellings.