Coordinates: 43°30′23″N 18°46′29″E / 43.50639°N 18.77472°E / 43.50639; 18.77472
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Foča – Panorama.jpg
Амбијентална цјелина Ћерезлук, Фоча 023.JPG
Aladža džamija--.jpg
Foca Sveta Sava IMG 0701.JPG
Дрина 3 NP003.jpg
Coat of arms of Foča
Location of Foča within Bosnia and Herzegovina
Location of Foča within Bosnia and Herzegovina
Coordinates: 43°30′23″N 18°46′29″E / 43.50639°N 18.77472°E / 43.50639; 18.77472
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
Entity Republika Srpska
Geographical regionPodrinje
 • Municipal mayorMilan Vukadinović (SNSD)
 • Municipality1,134.58 km2 (438.06 sq mi)
 (2013 census)
 • Town
 • Municipality
 • Municipality density16/km2 (42/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code58

Foča (Serbian Cyrillic: Фоча, pronounced [fôtʃa]) is a town and a municipality located in Republika Srpska in south-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the banks of Drina river. As of 2013, the town has a population of 12,234 inhabitants, while the municipality has 18,288 inhabitants.

City assembly building

Foča houses some faculties (including the Medical and Orthodox Theological Faculty of Saint Basil of Ostrog) from the Istočno Sarajevo University. It is also home to the "Seminary of Saint Peter of Sarajevo and Dabar-Bosna", one of seven seminaries in the Serbian Orthodox Church. Foča was also, until 1992, home to one of Bosnia's most important Islamic high schools, the Madrasa of Mehmed Pasha Kukavica. The Sutjeska National Park, which is the oldest National Park in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is located in the municipality.


Early history[edit]

The old clock tower of Foča is a symbol of the town built in the 18th century
Old part of the town
Hadživuković house, built in the 19th century

The town was known as Hotča during medieval times. It was then known as a trading centre on route between Ragusa (now Dubrovnik) and Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey). Alongside the rest of Gornje Podrinje, Foča was part of the Serbian Empire until 1376, when it was attached to the Kingdom of Bosnia under King Tvrtko. After Tvrtko's death, the town was ruled by the dukes of Hum, most notably was Herzog Stjepan. Foča was the seat of the Ottoman Sanjak of Herzegovina established in 1470, and served as such until 1572, when the seat was moved to Pljevlja.

World War II[edit]

Young citizens from Foča entering Belgrade as a part of the Yugoslav Partisans

In 1941, the Ustaše killed the leading Serbs in Foča.[1] Between December 1941 and January 1942 over two thousand Bosnian Muslim civilians were killed in Foča by the Chetniks as act of vengeance for repression over Serbs by Muslim soldiers in the ranks of the Ustaše.[2] Additionally Chetniks attacked Ustaše and in Foča in August 1942.[2]

Tjentište, valley of heroes, dedicated to the fighters and victims from the WWII

On 13 February 1943, Pavle Đurišić reported to Draža Mihailović the actions undertaken by the Chetniks in the Foča, Pljevlja, and Čajniče districts: "All Muslim villages in the three mentioned districts were totally burned so that not a single home remained in one piece. All property was destroyed except cattle, corn, and senna."[3]

In the operation Chetnik losses "were 22 dead, of which 2 through accidents, and 32 wounded. Among the Muslims, around 1,200 fighters and up to couple of thousands of civilian victims of both nationalitys."[3] Đurišić said what remained of the Muslim population fled and that actions were taken to prevent their return.[3] The municipality is also the site of the legendary Battle of Sutjeska between the Tito's Yugoslav Partisans and the German army. A monument to the Partisans killed in the battle was erected in the village of Tjentište.

Bosnian War[edit]

In 1992, at the onset of the Bosnian War, the city fell under the control of the Army of Republika Srpska. From 7 April 1992 to January 1994, Serb military, police and paramilitary forces enacted a campaign of ethnic cleansing in the area of Foča against Bosniak civilians. By one estimate, around 21,000 non-Serbs left Foča after July 1992.[4] Most of them that managed to escape were settled in the town of Rožaje in Montenegro until the war ended. Only about 10 Muslims remained at the end of the conflict.[5] Thirteen mosques including the Aladža Mosque were destroyed and the 22,500 Muslims who made up the majority of inhabitants fled.[6] The Tribunal Judges determined beyond a reasonable doubt that the purpose of the Serb campaign in Foča was, among others, "to cleanse the Foča area of Muslims" and concluded that "to that end the campaign was successful.[5]

In numerous verdicts, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ruled that the ethnic cleansing, killings, mass rapes, and the deliberate destruction of Bosniak property and cultural sites constituted crimes against humanity. According to the Research and Documentation Center (IDC), 2,707 people were killed or went missing in the Foča municipality during the war. Among them were 1,513 Bosniak civilians and 155 Serb civilians.[7] Additionally, Bosnian Serb authorities set up rape camps in which hundreds of women were raped.[8][9] Numerous Serb officers, soldiers and other participants in the Foča massacres were accused and convicted of war crimes by the ICTY.

Post-war period[edit]

In 1995 the Dayton Agreement created a territorial corridor linking the once-besieged city of Goražde to the Federation entity; as a consequence, the northern part of Foča was separated to create the municipality of Foča-Ustikolina.[citation needed] Prior to that in 1994, the ethnically-cleansed town was renamed Srbinje (Serbian Cyrillic: Србиње), "place of the Serbs". In 2004, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared the name change unconstitutional, and reverted it back to Foča.

Since the war, around 4,000 Bosniaks have returned to their homes in Foča, and several mosques have been re-built.[6] This has taken place largely due to the administration of Zdravko Krsmanović, who was mayor from 2004 to 2012. In the 2012 elections, however, Krsmanović was defeated and a new mayor, Radisav Mašić, was elected with support of parties SDS and SNSD.[citation needed]

Reconstructed Aladža mosque; all mosques in the town were damaged or destroyed during the war

The Aladža Mosque was rebuilt from 2014 and reopened in May 2019.[10]

In October 2004, members of the Association of Women Victims of War (Udruzenje Žene-Žrtve Rata) attempted to lay a plaque in front of the Partizan sports hall (also used in 1992 as a rape camp) to commemorate the crimes that occurred there.[11][12] Around 300 Bosnian Serbs, including members of the Association of the Prisoners of War of Republika Srpska, prevented the plaque from being affixed.[13]

The Partizan sport hall was reconstructed by UNDP,[14] with EU funding, following a selection by the Foča municipal council,[15] also with the participation of elected representatives of local returnees.[16]

In 2018 and 2019, the association of war victims have been commemorating rape as a weapon of war by congregating in front of Karaman's House in Miljevina and of the Partizan sport hall in Foča on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict (19 June).[17]

In 2021, a memorial to convicted Srebrenica massacre perpetrator Ratko Mladić was painted near a school in the town.[18]


Settlements within Foča

Aside from the town of Foča, the municipality includes the following settlements:



Population of settlements – Foča municipality
Settlement 1948. 1953. 1961. 1971. 1981. 1991. 2013.
Total 39,171 39,178 47,173 48,741 44,661 35,389 18,288
1 Brod 600 371
2 Đeđevo 504 323
3 Foča 6,763 9,257 11,530 14,335 11.237
4 Miljevina 1,763 973
5 Orahovo 308 326
6 Patkovina 600 298
7 Prevrać 426 203
8 Štović 458 201
9 Trbušće 544 207

Ethnic composition[edit]

Serbian Orthodox church of St Sava
Ethnic composition – Foča town
2013. 1991. 1981. 1971.
Total 11.237 (100,0%) 14,335 (100,0%) 11,530 (100,0%) 9,257 (100,0%)
Serbs 10.939 (97.3%) 7,901 (55,12%) 5,663 (49,12%) 4,148 (44,81%)
Bosniaks 83 (0.7%) 5,526 (38,55%) 4,414 (38,28%) 4,309 (46,55%)
Others 178 (1.6%) 522 (3,641%) 49 (0,425%) 77 (0,832%)
Yugoslavs 312 (2,176%) 677 (5,872%) 50 (0,540%)
Croats 37 (0.3%) 74 (0,516%) 87 (0,755%) 152 (1,642%)
Montenegrins 632 (5,481%) 514 (5,553%)
Albanians 8 (0,069%) 7 (0,076%)
Ethnic composition – Foča municipality
2013. 1991. 1981. 1971.
Total 18,288 (100,0%) 35,389 (100,0%) 44,661 (100,0%) 48,741 (100,0%)
Serbs 16,739 (91,53%) 18,315 (45,21%) 18,908 (42,34%) 21,458 (44,02%)
Bosniaks 1,270 (6,944%) 20,790 (51,32%) 23,316 (52,21%) 25,766 (52,86%)
Others 224 (1,225%) 851 (2,101%) 148 (0,331%) 164 (0,336%)
Croats 55 (0,301%) 94 (0,232%) 141 (0,316%) 218 (0,447%)
Yugoslavs 463 (1,143%) 1,156 (2,588%) 102 (0,209%)
Montenegrins 947 (2,120%) 990 (2,031%)
Albanians 20 (0,045%) 13 (0,027%)
Slovenes 10 (0,022%) 15 (0,031%)
Roma 8 (0,018%)
Macedonians 7 (0,016%) 15 (0,031%)


Prince Karl iron bridge, built in the late 19th century

The following table gives a preview of total number of registered people employed in legal entities per their core activity (as of 2018):[19]

Activity Total
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 280
Mining and quarrying 40
Manufacturing 188
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 70
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 84
Construction 124
Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 375
Transportation and storage 158
Accommodation and food services 184
Information and communication 53
Financial and insurance activities 58
Real estate activities -
Professional, scientific and technical activities 48
Administrative and support service activities 9
Public administration and defense; compulsory social security 647
Education 467
Human health and social work activities 619
Arts, entertainment and recreation 138
Other service activities 46
Total 3,588


Museum of old Herzegovina
Local theatre

Museum of old Herzegovina and city theatre are located in Foča.[20]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Foča is twinned with:

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Stenton, Michael (2000). Radio London and Resistance in Occupied Europe: British Political Warfare 1939-1943. Oxford University Press. pp. 327. ISBN 0-19-820843-X.
  2. ^ a b Tomasevich, Jozo (1975). War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945: The. Stanford University Press. p. 258. ISBN 0-8047-0857-6.
  3. ^ a b c Hoare, Marko Attila (2006). Genocide and Resistance in Hitler's Bosnia: The Partisans and the Chetniks. Oxford University Press. pp. 331–32. ISBN 0-19-726380-1.
  4. ^ Blumenthal & McCormack 2008, p. 55.
  5. ^ a b "Facts about Foča" (PDF). International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
  6. ^ a b Charter, David (28 May 2009). "World Agenda: US hopes for Bosnia rest on town mayor's shoulders". The Times. London, UK.
  7. ^ Ivan Tučić (February 2013). "Pojedinačan popis broja ratnih žrtava u svim općinama BiH". Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  8. ^ "ICTY: Blagojevic and Jokic judgement" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-05.
  9. ^ "ICTY: Kunarac, Kovač and Vuković judgement" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-05.
  10. ^ East Journal
  11. ^ "Bosnian Serbs reject rape plaque". BBC News. 1 October 2004.
  12. ^ "Rape as a Crime Against Humanity". Archived from the original on January 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  13. ^ OHR Media Roundup
  14. ^ "UNDP | Procurement Notices - 40043 - RFQ/112/17 Reconstruction works".
  15. ^ Glas Srpske
  16. ^ European Parliament
  17. ^ 2018 Start BiH, 2019 Oslobodjenje, 2019 Klix
  18. ^ Sorguc, Albina (26 April 2021). "Homage to Ratko Mladic Provokes Fear in Bosnian Town". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  19. ^ "Cities and Municipalities of Republika Srpska" (PDF). Republika Srspka Institute of Statistics. 25 December 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  20. ^ "Gradsko pozorište Foča". muzej (in Serbian). Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  21. ^ админ, град Крагујевац. "Градови пријатељи". Град Крагујевац (in Serbian). Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  22. ^ Parallelus. "Međunarodna saradnja". Retrieved 2021-01-18.

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]