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The walled city of Jajce

The walled city of Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was built on a karst hill above the waterfall of the Pliva River and is the core of today’s town of Jajce.  

Jajce Fortress
Jajce Fortress

Jajce is a town in the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the southern part of the area of Bosnian Krajina.

The walled city is a medieval fortified nucleus of Jajce, with Jajce fortress (citadel), high above the town on top of a pyramidal-shaped steep hill, enclosed with approximately 1,300 meters long defensive walls. It was declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The walled city was built in several stages.  It is one of the best-preserved fortified capitals of the medieval Bosnian Kingdom. In this area, the layers of the Copper Age settlement, material from the Bronze Age, and finds from the Roman Age were discovered.

The first reference to the name of Jajce in written sources is from the year 1396, but the fortress had already existed by then.

Jajce Fortress
Jajce Fortress

The fortress was built by the Grand Duke of the Bosnian Kingdom, Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatnić, the founder of Jajce. Thanks to his work, the fortress was transformed into a respectable manorial residence. He hired an Italian architect to arrange the interior of the palace, the suburbs, and the family tomb.

Bastion of Jajce fortress
Bastion of Jajce Fortress

However, the city became the seat of the kings of the Bosnian Kingdom, hence the royal coat of arms decoration on the citadel entrance. After the death of Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić in 1416, the city passed into the hands of King Stjepan Ostoja through his wife. In the time of the kings Stjepan Tomaš and Stjepan Tomašević, Jajce was a royal residence. The walls descend to natural obstacles, travertine walls, and riverbanks and continue to be built.

 The walls and fortress acquired its final form during the Ottoman period.

Jajce castle gate
Jajce Castle Gate

Southwest entrance in the Jajce fortress, with the royal Kotromanići coat of arms.

Jajce citadel is the focal point as part of the walled city of Jajce. Today, the citadel consists of a main portal, decorated with the Coat of Arms of the royal Kotromanić dynasty, two large bastions, and a gun-powder tower. 

Your visit to Jajce would not be complete without a visit to the beautiful medieval walled city.

If you want to visit Jajce you can check out our Travnik and Jajce tour.

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