Kneževo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Coat of arms of Kneževo
Coat of arms
Location within Bosnia and Herzegovina
Location within Bosnia and Herzegovina
Coordinates: 44°28′16″N 17°22′44″E / 44.47111°N 17.37889°E / 44.47111; 17.37889Coordinates: 44°28′16″N 17°22′44″E / 44.47111°N 17.37889°E / 44.47111; 17.37889
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
Entity Republika Srpska
Municipality Kneževo (seat)
 • Mayor Bore Škeljić (SDS)
 • Total 332,9 km2 (1,285 sq mi)
Population (2013 census)
 • Total 10,428
 • Density 31,3/km2 (810/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area code(s) 51
Website Official Kneževo Municipality Website

Kneževo (Serbian Cyrillic: Кнежево) is a town and municipality in Bosanska Krajina in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It lies about 40 kilometres (25 mi) south-east of Banja Luka.


The name of the town prior to the Yugoslav Wars was Skender Vakuf ("Skender's Endowment"). On 14 September 1992, the Assembly of Republika Srpska renamed it to Kneževo ("Prince's Town")[1] as part of the "language war"[2] or "linguistic cleansing".[3] The old name remains in use in some circles,[4] but is not mentioned once on the municipality's home page.


Kneževo is located between the rivers Ugar, Vrbas and Vrbanja and surrounded by the mountain chains of Čemernica, Ranča in the west, Vlašić in the south and Ježica in the north-east. The municipality has an official altitude of 864 metres (2,835 ft), but really ranges from 600 to 1,493 metres (1,969 to 4,898 ft). Kneževo is 50 kilometres (31 mi) southeast of Banja Luka by the M56 motorway.

Neighbouring municipalities are Čelinac (extreme north), Kotor Varoš (east), Travnik, Dobretići, Jajce (south), Mrkonjić Grad and the city of Banja Luka (west). The southern border is defined by the border of the Republika Srpska with the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country's other entity. The mountainous region in the south is forested and impracticable; its limestone mountains reach a height of 1,493 metres (4,898 ft).[5][6][7]


Today, the Kneževo municipality includes Bastaji, Bekići, Bokani, Borak, Bregovi, Vlatkovići, Golo Brdo, Gornji Korićani, Doline, Donji Korićani, Živinice, Imljani, Javorani, Kneževo, Kobilja, Korićani, Kostići, Milovići, Mokri Lug, Pavlovići, Paunovići, Ravni Sto, Rađići, Ćeleši, Ćukovac, Čarići, Šolaji.[citation needed]


Roman basilica have been found in Imljani and Javorani, and remains of the Roman road from Servitium (Banja Luka) to Levsaba (Travnik) were also found in the vicinity. Tombstones of the Stećak type date back to the 14th and 15th centuries, when the area was part of the Kingdom of Bosnia. In 1463 the town became part of the Ottoman Empire and Islam was to become the dominant religion of the region. The charitable endowment (vakuf) that is reflected in the town's traditional name Skender Vakuf (after Ali-dedo Skender) contributed to urbanization.[8][better source needed] The Old Mosque was significant and one of the first in the region. It was destroyed, along with the New Mosque, in 1992 during the Bosnian War.

In the Korićani Cliffs massacre of 21 August 1992, some 200 Bosniaks and Croats detainees were massacred by the Bosnian Serbs Police and Army forces (in deep cliff in the canyon of Ilomska) river.

After the Bosnian War, part of the municipality was split off to form the Dobretići municipality of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity.


The municipality houses several cultural monuments, such as the Old Church of St. Nicholas from 1757, the 18th-century Church of Prophet Elijah.

In Imljani there is a monument dedicated to 43 fallen soldiers of the Army of Republika Srpska who fell at the Vlašić battlefield on 20 March 1995.[9]


The mayor of Kneževo is Bore Škeljić, of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS).[10]


According to the preliminary results of the 2013 population census in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were 3.958 inhabitants in Kneževo town, and 10.428 inhabitants in the Kneževo municipality.[11]


Ethnic Composition
Year Serbs  % Croats  % Muslims/Bosniaks  % Yugoslavs  % Others  % Total
1961 8,564 93.12% 19 0.21% 560 6.09% 28 0.89% 19 0.21% 9,190
1971 15,926 74.35% 4,431 20.69% 947 4.42% 9 0.04% 106 0.49% 21,419
1981 15,953 69.52% 5,395 23.51% 1,141 4.97% 322 1.40% 141 0.61% 22,948
1991 13,263 68.30% 4,770 24.56% 1,071 5.52% 169 0.87% 145 0.75% 19,418
Note:After 1961 the municipal borders changed. The municipality became significantly larger.

After the war, the majority of the old Skender Vakuf municipality became part of the new Kneževo municipality of the Republika Srpska entity. Four Croatian pre-war settlements became part of the new Dobretići municipality of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity.


Ethnic Composition
Year Serbs  % Croats  % Muslims/Bosniaks  % Yugoslavs  % Others  % Total
1961 383 38.61% 16 1.61% 560 56.45% 28 2.82% 5 0.50% 992
1971 723 42.83% 17 1.01% 923 54.68% 5 0.30% 20 1.18% 1,688
1981 1,491 51.24% 45 1.55% 1,118 38.42% 205 7.04% 51 1.75% 2,910
1991 2,484 66.08% 42 1.12% 1,063 28.28% 111 2.95% 59 1.57% 3,759

Notable people[edit]


According to the 1991 census, the municipality consisted of: Bastaji, Bokani, Borak, Bregovi, Brnjići, Bunar, Čarići, Ćukovac, Davidovići, Dobratići, Donji Orašac, Golo Brdo, Gornji Orašac, Imljani, Javorani, Kobilja, Kostići, Kričići - Jejići, Melina, Mijatovići, Milaševci, Mokri Lug, Paunovići, Pavlovići, Prisika, Rađići, Skender Vakuf, Slipčevići, Šolaji, Vitovlje Malo, Vlatkovići, Vukovići, Zapeće, Zasavica, Zubovići and Živinice.

In 1995, the municipality included Bastaji, Bokani, Borak, Bregovi, Čarići, Ćukovac, Golo Brdo, Imljani, Javorani, Kobilja, Kostići, Malići, Mokri Lug, Paunovići, Rađići, Kneževo, Šolaji, Vlatkovići and Živinice; the south-western settlements of Davidovići, Dobretići, Kričići and Melina became part of the municipality of Dobretići in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


  1. ^ Galijaš, Arminia (2009), Eine Stadt im Krieg. Der Wandel der bosnischen Stadt Banja Luka (1990–1995) (PDF), Universität Wien 
  2. ^ NZZ Folio (in German) (6), June 1999  Missing or empty |title= (help).
  3. ^ Doder, Dusko (4 May 1993), "Warring Bosnia factions practice linguistic cleansing of geographic names", Baltimore Sun . The source refers to the following as the original announcement: Službeni glasnik Republike Srpske (17), 9 November 1992: 721  Missing or empty |title= (help).
  4. ^ E.g. UN map of Bosnia-Herzegovina from March 2007.
  5. ^ Vojnogeografski institut (1955). Vlašić (in Serbo-Croatian). Belgrade: Vojnogeografski institut. 
  6. ^ Spahić M. et al. (2000): Bosna i Hercegovina (1:250.000). Izdavačko preduzeće „Sejtarija“, Sarajevo.
  7. ^ Mučibabić B.(1998): Geografski atlas Bosne i Hercegovine. Geodetski zavod BiH, Sarajevo
  8. ^ Language Evolution in Bosnia
  9. ^ "ПАРАСТОС У ИМЉАНИМА". RTRS. 2012-03-20. 
  10. ^ .  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "Попис становништва, домаћинстава и станова у Босни и Херцеговини 2013 на територији Републике Српске — Прелиминарни резултати" (PDF). Banja Luka: Републички завод за статистику. 2013. 

External links[edit]