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Old town Dubrovnik near Ilijaš: Proof of cooperation between Kulin ban and Dubrovnik citizens

Old Town Dubrovnik, Medieval fortress in the area of ​​Višnjica settlement, in the municipality of Ilijaš. In the 13th century, the area between Sarajevo and Visoko field belonged to the old Bosnian parish of Vidogošće-Vogošća, in which Dubrovnik, together with the suburb, is the main political center of this parish.

The town was built on a steep, narrow and curvaceous hill Hum, above Sastavak, or the mouth of the Zenik stream into the river Misoča. The easier access to the city is from the village of Kopošić, while the other access is possible by a bad macadam near the Misoča River. The city is some ten kilometers away from Ilijaš.

There are no precise data on the town’s origin, and for the first time it is mentioned in the record of the Dubrovnik office (Diversa Cancellariae), which deals with the transport of goods to Deževica, Podvisoko and to the place called Doboruonich.

Defensive purposes

Fr. Ivan Frano Jukić also mentions people of Dubrovnik who had melted silver and iron ore and built the city, with the approval of Kulin Ban. Bosnian Dubrovnik is also mentioned in the treaty from August 20, 1503, concluded between the Hungarian king Vladislav and the Ottoman Empire. According to the Gazi Husrev-bey’s waqfnama (deed of endowment) from 1531, the name of this city was mentioned as “Dobronik”, and it is assumed that the name refers to the present old town of Dubrovnik.

The city consisting of the upper and lower parts, and the town, made up a complex of 500 meters long. On the surrounding hills, towers that protected the approach of the city were placed, and it is assumed that the only point that allowed the access to the city that came along the cobblestones was the wooden bridge on the rise, while all three other sides had impassable cliffs. In the upper city of 72 meters long there were four towers and a court.

The city is located in a remote area, quite poor and anhydrous, in which the feudalists were once inhabited, and the city itself was the size of a military city. Because of this position it was suitable for defense purposes.

There are many legends about the defense of this city, and among them is the queen who hid two barrels of gold in a meadow called Pozlaćenica and she escaped before the Ottomans. Considering the proximity of Kopošići with the necropolis of Prince Batić, and the fact that it was the political center of the parish, and then Dubrovnik, this city probably belonged to the genus Mirković, to which Prince Batić belonged.

It is assumed that the city fell under the authority of the Ottomans in 1463, and that it had a crew with a fortress commander, and that a smaller mosque was built in the town, which later became a ruin.

Deceived Queen

People say that Dubrovnik, like Bobovac, has fallen woefully. “Some pasha rushes towards the city, but nothing happens … And five other pashas sultan from Istanbul changed, till he got the city. For a long time he hit the city with arrows and guns and killed all soldiers on the mountains, but the city he did not win. But then comes the trouble, there is a grandma who says: “The city you will not win, until your close all sources of water to it.” Pasha promises her a bag of gold, and she tells him to feed and groom his horse for three days, but not to give him water, then let him go and find water himself. That’s how it happened. Pasha fed and groomed his horse, but the animal could not eat anymore, because he was thirsty, and he let him go, and the horse ran on the Čemer Mountain, and found the spring. Pasha closed the spring, and when the water ran out in the city, then the queen surrendered the city, but she goes free without sacrificing her citizens.”

According to this story this city is also called “Queen’s City”. It is said that Mary Theresa was in the city and had a separate room. They call it “Tisov-city“. Not far from the town, on the south side, there is the village Tisovik, called, by the precious yew (tisovina) wood, which today is not present in the village or in the surrounding area.

Many years of efforts of members of the Association of enthusiasts from Ilijaš to launch a story about the old city of Dubrovnik were finally fruitful at the end of last year. The Sarajevo Company “Color Paleta” started restoration and conservation of the east tower of this almost forgotten medieval city. The goal of the works is to ensure, first of all, excavations, which have already begun at this archaeological site, and are part of a large project that implies the complete restoration of the old city, which in one period of medieval Bosnia was an important capital.

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