A pearl of medieval heritage! The old town of Ključ played a key role in the then Bosnian state

Bosnia and Herzegovina can really be proud of the number of beautiful fortresses hidden in its interior. One such is located exactly where Sana passes through the canyon of Breščica and the Ljubinska mountain, more precisely on a rock that overlooks both the river and the municipality of Ključ.

Situated at an altitude of 521 m above sea level, the Old Town of Ključ is a fortress whose origins date back to ancient times when its foundation was most likely built on this very spot.



The old town of Ključ, Photo: Dudlajzov, Depositphotos


Although the Old Town of Ključ was mentioned for the first time in 1322, in the charter of Ban Stjepan II Kotromanić, who gifted Vukosava Hrvatinić the parishes of Banica and Vrbanja, as well as the cities of Ključ and Kotor, according to research, the fortress was built sometime in the 13th century on the total area of 1300 m2.

It was created in two parts, the defensive one, which has the Lubica tower and the camp protected by a wall, and the lower part of the city, which stretches along the slopes of the canyon above the Sana River. In addition to impressive construction, a perfect defensive position, and a view of the entire valley, Ključ also had a secret passage to the Sana River for water supply, as well as a trade and craft, cultural, and religious center.


The old town of Ključ, Photo: Dudlajzov, Depositphotos


The old town changed owners over the years, but it did not play a significant role until the invasion of the Ottoman Empire and the moment when the last Bosnian king, Stjepan Tomašević, fled from the fortress in Jajce to Ključ in 1463. He surrendered there and was then returned to Jajce, where he was executed.


The old town of Ključ, Photo: Dudlajzov, Depositphotos


When Ključ got under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, it became the rallying point of the Turkish army for further conquests until 1878, when there was resistance from the citizens and the Austro-Hungarian army.

During their time, a mosque was built inside the fort and significant changes were made.



Today, the Old Town of Ključ, in addition to being a symbol of the municipality of Ključ, which developed in the basin itself after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, is also a symbol of key historical events for the then medieval Bosnian state.

In 2003, the fortress received the status of a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina and has been renovated ever since.

The road and hiking trails to the fort have been arranged so that visitors and passers-by can approach it. If you find yourself in the vicinity, be sure to visit it!






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