Kneževo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Skender Vakuf
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
 • Mayor Bore Škeljić (SDS) [1]
 • 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 is a town and municipality in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. It lies about 40 kilometres (25 mi) south-east of Banja Luka and is part of the Republika Srpska entity.


In 1992, during the Bosnian War, the town was renamed from Skender Vakuf (approx. "Skender's Endowment") to Kneževo ("Prince's Town")[2] as part of the "language war"[3] or "linguistic cleansing".[4] (The old, "Bosnian" name remains in use in some circles,[5] but is not mentioned once on the municipality's home page.)


The area was settled already in the Roman era, as is indicated by the remains of Roman Basilicas 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 Stećak type date back into the 14th/15th century, when the area was part of the Kingdom of Bosnia. The most famous are from the 17th and 18th centuries. 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.[6] The Old Mosque was significant and one of the first in the region. It was destroyed, along with the New Mosque, in the Bosnian War in 1992. A significant holy site of Islam is also nearby, in Ajvatovica.

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


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).

The municipality is subdivided into Javorani, Bastaji, Kneževo, Živinice, Imljani, Vlatković, Mokri Lug, Šolaji and Kostici. Since 1995 the former south-western subdivisions of Davidovići, Dobretići, Kričići and Melina are part of the municipality of Dobretići in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.




Ethnic Composition
Year Serb  % Croats  % 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 majority of old Skender Vakuf municipality became part of Republic of Srpska, as Kneževo. Part of the municipality which included four Croatian settlements (almost all of Croatian population in prewar municipality) became part of Federation of Bosnia - Hercegovina is new municipality - Dobretići.


Ethnic Composition
Year Serb  % Croats  % 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


Serbian Orthodox church
Kneževo municipality building

Until 1991[edit]

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 i Živinice.

Since 1995[edit]

Bastaji, Bokani, Borak, Bregovi, Čarići, Ćukovac, Golo Brdo, Imljani, Javorani, Kobilja, Kostići, Malići, Mokri Lug, Paunovići, Rađići, Kneževo (Skender Vakuf), Šolaji, Vlatkovići i Živinice.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Galijaš, Arminia (2009), Eine Stadt im Krieg. Der Wandel der bosnischen Stadt Banja Luka (1990–1995), Universität Wien 
  3. ^ NZZ Folio (6), 99 |url= missing title (help)  .
  4. ^ 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 .
  5. ^ E.g. UN map of Bosnia-Herzegovina from March 2007.
  6. ^ Language Evolution in Bosnia

External links[edit]