Top left: Pliva Waterfall
Top right: Panorama view eastern Marsala Tita area, from Jajca Fortress
Middle right: Jajca Fortress and ancient area
Bottom left: View of Sejh Mustafe area
Bottom right: Meadow Gate and Omer Bey's Native House
|Country||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Entity||Federation of BiH|
|• Mayor||Edin Hozan (SDA)|
|• Total||339 km2 (131 sq mi)|
|• Density||91/km2 (240/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Area code(s)||+387 30|
Jajce is a town and municipality located in Central Bosnia Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As of 2013, it has a population of 30,758 inhabitants. It is situated in the region of Bosanska Krajina, on the crossroads between Banja Luka, Mrkonjić Grad and Donji Vakuf, on the confluence of the rivers Pliva and Vrbas.
Jajački Mithraeum is a temple dedicated to God of the Sun, Mithra. The god was worshiped and cult spread to other parts of Roman Empire throughout the Mediterranean basin by slaves and merchants from the Orient, and by Roman soldiers who came into contact with the followers of the cult in the East. Temple is dated to the 2nd century AD and repaired sometime during the 4th century AD. This particular Mithraeum is renowned as one of the best preserved in Europe. It was discovered accidentally during the construction of private house. Temple is protected by glass walls so that visitors can see inside even without entering facility. However, for entrance and closer look visitors need to give notice of their visitation in advance by contacting the Ethnological museum of Jajce.
Jajce was first built in the 14th century and served as the capital of the independent Kingdom of Bosnia during its time. The first references to the name of Jajce in written sources is from the year 1396, but the fortress had already existed by then. The town has gates as fortifications, as well as a castle with walls which lead to the various gates around the town. About 10–20 kilometres from Jajce lies the Komotin Castle and town area which is older but smaller than Jajce. It is believed the town of Jajce was established after Komotin was struck by Black Death. Jajce was the residence of the last Bosnian king Stjepan Tomašević, where he was slain.
The Ottomans besieged the town and executed Tomašević, but held it only for six months. At this point it was Hungarians who looked to seize the opportunity to accomplish long-desired goal of capturing Bosnian realm. With the Bosnian King's death opportunity opened for Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus to try and capture Bosnia before Ottomans, which consequentially lead to Siege of Jajce and suppression of Ottoman forces advancement. This derailed Ottoman plans for nearly half of century, for which time Hungarians established the Banovina of Jajce.:36 Before her death in 1478 Queen Catherine restored the Saint Mary's Church in Jajce, today the oldest church in town.
Skenderbeg Mihajlović besieged Jajce again in 1501, which, although siege was unsuccessful, marked approaching demise of the town and Hungarian rule in Bosnia. Mihajlović was repelled by Ivaniš Korvin, who was assisted by Zrinski, Frankopan, Karlović and Cubor. In 1527, Jajce became the last Bosnian town to fall to Ottoman rule. Under the Ottomans, town lost its strategic importance, as the border moved further North.
There are several churches and mosques built in different times during different rules, making Jajce a rather diverse town in this aspect.
World War II
From 1929-41, Jajce was part of the Vrbas Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During the Second World War, Jajce gained importance as centre of a large swath of free territory, and on 29 November 1943 it hosted the second convention of the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ). There, representatives from throughout Yugoslavia decided to establish a federal Yugoslavia in equality of its nations, and established that Bosnia and Herzegovina would be one of its constitutive Republics. Post-war economy of Jajce in socialist times was based on industry and tourism.:36
At the beginning of the Bosnian War, Jajce was inhabited by people from all ethnic groups, and was situated at a junction between areas of Serb majority to the north, Bosnian Muslim majority areas to the south-east and Croatian majority areas to the south-west.
At the end of April and the beginning of May 1992, almost all ethnic Serbs left and fled to territory under Republika Srpska control. In the summer of 1992, the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) started heavy bombardment of the city; the town, that was defended by Croat (HVO) and Bosniak (ARBiH) forces with two separate command lines, fell to Serb forces on 29 October. Retreating forces where joined by a column of 30,000 to 40,000 civilian refugees, stretching 16 kilometres (10 miles) towards Travnik, under VRS sniping and shelling. Shrader defined it as "the largest and most wretched single exodus" of the Bosnian War.
Bosniak refugees re-settled in Central Bosnia, while Croats moved either to Croatia or closer to the Croatian border due to rising tensions. By November 1992 the pre-war population of Jajce had shrunk from 45,000 to just several thousand.
In the following weeks, all mosques and Catholic churches in Jajce were demolished as retribution for the HVO's destruction of the town's only Serbian Orthodox monastery on 10–11 October. The VRS converted the town's Franciscan monastery into a prison and its archives, museum collections and artworks were looted; the monastery church was completely destroyed. By 1992, all religious buildings in Jajce had been destroyed, save for two mosques whose perilous positioning on a hilltop had made them unsuitable for demolition.
Jajce was recaptured together with Bosanski Petrovac in mid-September 1995 during Operation Mistral 2 by the Croatian Defence Council (HVO), after VRS forces had evacuated the Serb population. Jajce became part of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina according to the Dayton Agreement. Even returning Bosniaks were at start blocked by a mob of Croats in early August 1996, which according to US diplomat Robert Gelbard was personally directed by convicted Bosnian Croat war criminal Dario Kordić. Bosniak refugees could return peacefully only few weeks after, being followed by many more, and Dario Kordić surrendered and was flown to the Hague following political pressure on Zagreb, particularly by the United States.
Economy and tourism
The economy of the Jajce municipality is nowadays weak. UNESCO has started to renovate the historical parts of the city together with Kulturarv utan gränser (Cultural Heritage without Borders), a Swedish organisation. The main project of the company was to renovate the old traditional houses which symbolised the panoramic view of the city and the waterfall. As of 2006, most of the houses were rebuilt.
Jajce was a popular tourist destination in Yugoslav times, mostly due to the historical importance of the AVNOJ session. Tourism has restarted, and its numbers (20-55,000 tourists in 2012-2013) are relevant in relation with the municipality's population (25,000). Tourists from across former Yugoslavia still make up most of tourism in Jajce, but middle-eastern tourists have also increased since the early 2000s; organised school trips also are a significant portion of touristic influx. Spring and autumn are the main tourist seasons.:40
The town is famous for its beautiful 22-metre (72 ft) high waterfall where the Pliva River meets the river Vrbas. It was damaged during the Bosnian war, by high waters and severe flooding, as the area of Jajce-1 Hydroelectric Power Station intake was at the battlefront and out of service, sudden rise in water-level and discharge created tidal wave which damaged travertine body of the waterfall.
Jajce is situated in the mountains, there is a beautiful countryside near the city, rivers such as the Vrbas and Pliva, lakes like Pliva lake, which is also a popular destination for the local people and some tourists. This lake is called Brana in the local parlance. Not far from Jajce there are mountains that are over two thousand meters high like Vlasic near the city of Travnik. Travelling through the mountain roads to the city may not sit well with some visitors, because the roads are in poor condition, but the scenery is picturesque.
In the town itself, there was 13,579 people, with distribution by ethnic groups:
- Muslims - 5,277 (38.86%)
- Serbs - 3,797 (27.96%)
- Yugoslavs - 2,217 (16.32%)
- Croats - 1,899 (13.98%)
- others and unknown - 389 (2.88%)
|Climate data for Jajce (1961–1990)|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.6
|Average high °C (°F)||3.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−0.8
|Average low °C (°F)||−4.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−25.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||60.2
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||12.0||11.3||13.0||13.7||14.5||14.4||10.0||10.0||10.1||9.6||11.5||12.8||143.1|
|Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm)||15.4||11.5||4.0||0.5||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||3.5||11.5||46.4|
|Average relative humidity (%)||82.7||79.4||75.1||72.3||75.2||76.9||75.8||76.8||78.8||80.2||81.9||84.4||78.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||52.5||71.1||115.3||147.7||180.7||197.3||243.8||221.2||165.6||120.5||72.0||44.2||1,631.9|
|Source: Meteorological Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina|
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- Piacenza, Italy
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[...] in Bosnia Jajce under Hungarian garrison actually held until 1527
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- Visit Jajce[permanent dead link]
- BiH Tourism
- Bradt Guide
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jajce.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Jajce.|
- Everything about Jajce(in Bosnian)(in Croatian)
- Image of Town and Waterfall
- Official Website(in Bosnian)(in Croatian)
- Tourism in Jajce(in Bosnian)(in English) (in Italian)(in German)
- Agency for Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage and Development of Tourist Potential of Town Jajce(in Bosnian)(in Croatian)(in English)
- Tragovima bosanskog kraljevstva - Tourist route for medieval Bosnia (English)
- Trail of the Bosnian Kingdom - Cultural Tourism in Jajce
- Jajce Tours by Sarajevo Funky Tours - Jajce Tours (Bosnia and Herzegovina)