Šujica – the most curved river in the world

Rijeka Šujica PHOTO: VELIJA HASANBEGOVIĆ

The most curved river in the world flows through the Duvno Field (Duvanjsko Polje). At least the great BH travel writer, Zuko Džumhur, saw and described it when he was passing from Travnik to the Adriatic Sea, and stopped to rest by the river Šujica, admiring its beauty. Over this beautiful river, the Galečki Bridge stands, which is believed to have been built 2,000 years ago.

River Šujica, whose waterfall is forty kilometers long, is extremely attractive for Fly Fishing. Although anglers often come to these parts, its time is yet to come. Good promotion, accommodation capacties and observing tourism at the regional level, we should bring a revival here soon.

The oldest inhabitants

The capacities on Kupres, due to the attractive ski resort, are full during the winter, and in the summer they can be completely used for hunting, fishing, hiking … In the Šujica river, which is adorned with extremely clean water, trout and limestone live as well as crayfish. Crayfish’s tail is called among people ‘šuja’ ‘, so it is believed that this place was named Šujica after it.

Here, people continually lived from the prehistoric period, and sources say that the oldest inhabitants of this region were from the Illyrian tribe Delmati. Their largest settlement was Daelminium, today Tomislavgrad. It is believed that the Romans conquered Delmata in the first century of the new era, so that the bridge over Šujica dates back to that period.

Among the archeological remains of the Illyrian tribe Dalmat there are several graves. More archaeological remains date from the time of ancient Roman authorities, among which today are the most visible remains of the commercial-military ancient road that connected the port city of Salon with Sevitium. The road was passing east from the cliff of Stržanj, and on the bottom of it, there is a spring of the River Šujica. On the slope, there are remains of an ancient fortress that served as a watchtower all through the Middle Ages and the Ottoman era. Stržanj is one of the possible locations of the ancient Stridon, the birthplace of Saint Jerome.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, this area was originally in the Ostrogothic kingdom until the middle of the 6th century, and then within the nominal authority of Bizant until the arrival of Slavs in the 7th century. Throughout early Middle Ages, the area of ​​today’s Šujica belonged to the Livno County in the Croatian kingdom. In 1326, the rule of the Bosnian kings extended to the Tropolje (Duvno, Glamoč and Livno), and thus to Šujica. Since then, this geographical and cultural subdivision has the names of the West side or the Završje.

Guardians of the gorge

The Ottoman Empire will conquer Šujica in the early 16th century. It was at this time, for the first time, that only the name Šujica was recorded in the Ottoman taxpayers list from 1516. Šujica is mentioned as a settlement in the Kupres nahija in the Neretva Kadiluk (dministrative area). The census records seven Christian homes in Šujica. The second census, 15 years later, mentions 34 inhabitants of Šujica who serve as guardians of gorge (most likely Stržanj) and as such, they are exempt from all taxes except for grain tax.

In 1550, it was noted that, on his trip to Istanbul, Venetian ambassador Catarino Zeno was in a very pleasant inn in Svizza. The famous writer Evliya Çelebi describes Šujica in 1660 as a small village on a spacious and fertile valley, and its inhabitants as very hearty and brave.

Even today, like Zuko Džumhur, numerous travelers stop there and are surprised by the meandering of the river, enjoying the photographing and observation of the surrounding mountains Želvodić and Malovan, which rise above the field.

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