Antun Knežević

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Antun Knežević
Born (1834-01-09)9 January 1834
Varcar Vakuf, Bosnia Eyalet, Ottoman Empire
Died 22 September 1889(1889-09-22) (aged 55)
Kotor Varoš, Condominium of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austro-Hungarian Empire
Resting place Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Occupation Friar
Language Bosnian
Citizenship Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian
Genre Social science, poetry
Subject History, culture
Literary movement Illyrian
Notable works "Rieč popa Gojka Miroševića svojem Bošnjakom i Hercegovcem"
"Rieč Hodže bosanskog Hadži Muje Mejovića"
"Suze bošnjaka nad grobnicom kralja svoga u Jajcu"
"Krvava knjiga"
"Opet o grobu bosanskom"
"Kratka povjest kralja bosanski"
"Pad Bosne"

Fra Antun Knežević (9 January 1834 - 22 September 1889) was a Bosnian Franciscan friar, historian and writer from Bosnia and Herzegovina.[1]


Born in Varcar Vakuf (today Mrkonjić Grad) in 1834, his father Anto came from the town of Uskoplje, and his mother was Agata Stipić (née Ivekić) from Varcar Vakuf. His father died early and he was raised by his uncle from father's side, Fra Grgo Knežević, who when died was buried in Ivanjska village.

Fra Antun Knežević studied in Fojnica, Rome and Siena. He became friar on 26 April 1851, and held first Mass on 21 September 1856.

Fra Antun Knežević was one of the main protagonists of Bosniak nationhood, and he fiercely advocated against imminent Croatization of Bosnian Catholics on one side, as well as imminent Serbianization of Bosnian Orthodox people on the other, as he called it in his work. His position and doctrine was that all the Bosnians are one people of three faiths, and that up to late 19th century, no Croats and Serbs lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although Fra Antun Knežević was not a unique phenomenon in this sense (he took the idea directly from his fellow friar, Fra Ivan Franjo Jukić who was his teacher and mentor earlier in his life, but also many other members of Franciscan order in Bosnia, since the 17th century, accepted the idea of a Bosniak identity and transferred within the brotherhood into 18th and 19th century), he certainly had strongest impact, next to Fra Jukić,[2][3][4] left deepest mark on Bosnian culture and history, both of them as champions of the notion that Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims are one nation, and Bosnia and Herzegovina country with deep cultural and historical roots.[5][not in citation given][6][7] Knežević's, as well as Jukić's, national belonging was always and primarily defined as Bošnjak (Bosniak) in such a way so as to include all three religious groups inhabiting Bosnia and Herzegovina. The only other cultural identity he recognized was Illyrian, as a cultural supra-identity of all South Slavs, hence his interest and activity as a member of the Illyrian movement.

He was a great opponent of any foreign occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in his time occupation by Turkey and Austro-Hungarian Empire. Fra Antun Knezević 1877 started the construction of the Franciscan monastery in Jajce (without permission).[8] He also opened first public school in Bosnia in his own house.

Knežević died on 22 September 1889 in Kotor Varoš while holding the folk mass. The bones were transferred to Jajce in 1955. Later friars of Jajce monastery moved the bones of Fra Antun Knežević to nearby new church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Jajce, his definite resting place.


  • curate and teacher in Varcar Vakuf (Mrkonjić Grad) 1857
  • curate in Bugojno 1858
  • curate in Carcar 1864
  • tutor and professor franciscan youth in Livno 1861 - 1864
  • lector of theology in Guča Gora 1864
  • vicar in Dobretićimi 1868
  • spiritual leader of youth in Đakovo 1868
  • vicar in Varcar Vakuf (Mrkonjić Grad) 1873
  • vicar in Ivanjska 1873
  • vicar in newly built monastery in Petrićevac 1875
  • vicar in Jajce 1876 - 1879
  • beget foundation of the monastery in Jajce 1882, officially opened 1886
  • vicar in Liskovica 1884 – 1886
  • vicar in Kotor Varoš 1889


  • "Rieč popa Gojka Miroševića svojem Bošnjakom i Hercegovcem"
  • "Rieč Hodže bosanskog Hadži Muje Mejovića"
  • "Mladić bosanski proviđen u svojoj učionici za prvu godinu"
  • "Rieč hodže Petrovačkog bratiji Turcima"
  • "Suze bošnjaka nad grobnicom kralja svoga u Jajcu"
  • "Krvava knjiga"
  • "Opet o grobu bosanskom"
  • "Kratka povjest kralja bosanski"
  • "Pad Bosne"
  • "Carsko - turski namjesnici u Bosni i Hercegovini"
  • "Povjesnica novoimenovanog Franjevačkog samostana u Jajcu I-III"
  • "Varica"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fra Antun Knežević (1834. - 1889.)" (in Croatian). Franjevačka provincija Uzvišenja. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Zemljopis i poviestnica Bosne. Google Books. 1851. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Zemljopis i poviestnica Bosne by Ivan Frano Jukić as Slavoljub Bošnjak, Zagreb, 1851, UDC 911.3(497.15)
  4. ^ Putpisi i istorisko-etnografski radovi by Ivan Frano Jukić as Slavoljub Bošnjak ASIN: B004TK99S6
  5. ^ "Kratka povjest kralja bosanskih". Dobra knjiga. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Predstavljanje: Kratka povjest kralja bosanskih". Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Kratka povjest kralja bosanskih by Antun Knežević ISBN 978-9958-688-68-3
  8. ^ "Kraljevski grad Jajce". Crkva Uzvišenja Jajce. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012.