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Kreševo – A tourist town that isn’t

 

Kreševo should be a tourist town. For some reason it’s not. The town is surrounded by pristine mountains and is blessed with an impressive abundance of fresh water springs. Being located off the beaten path also contributed to Kreševo escaping most of the ravages of war. The town’s traditional architecture has stayed largely intact and the lovely Franciscan Monastery still beautifies the hillside. One of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most famous Christian writers and literary masters taught in the monastery below Bitovnja and Lopata Mountains. Fra Grga Martić, a Franciscan, is revered as Kreševo’s most important figure. The strong Catholic traditions found even today in Kreševo is attributed to the teachings and writings of Fra Grga.

With no more than a few hundred inhabitants, the medieval settlement of Kreševo expanded with the arrival of German and Ragusan blacksmiths. It was not uncommon for the Bosnian royalty to invite skilled labor from friendly neighboring states to exploit Bosnia’s rich mineral wealth. This was indeed the case for Kreševo. Mining communities were established to reap the benefits of significant gold and silver resources. Kreševo is still known today for its metal craftsmen, although the gold rush days are over. Kreševo is a one of the few communities in the entire country that has little or no unemployment.

Kreševo is also known for its old Bosnian architecture. The walls of many old homes are made of clay and straw plaster, and the roof tiles are specially treated cherry-tree shingles. The village of Vranići just a few kilometers from Kreševo is home to the finest example of this old construction style.

Although there is a great potential to be a popular spot for visitors, Kreševo still does not cater to tourists. The mountains surrounding the town do have good infrastructure, well marked hiking trails and decent accommodation in the mountain highlands.  There are four mountain lodges on Bitovnja, Lopata, Inac, and Zečevo Mountains. To the north of Kreševo is a small but modern ski center called Rakova Noga.

Kreševo is an ideal place to explore an unspoiled place that has managed to maintain its authentic and original feel. It may not cater to all your needs but it’s a neat town nonetheless.

ATTRACTIONS

Franciscan Monastery Kreševo

Address Fra Grge Martića 1. Phone 030 806 075. Web www.samostan-kresevo.com. Hours 9am-noon, 3pm-5pm Monday-Saturday. Entrance fee Free.

The Franciscan monastery, as in many other Central Bosnia communities, has been serving its people since medieval times. They have organized an impressive, yet modest, rustic museum, library and gallery. As is the case throughout Central Bosnia, the monks are more than welcoming to visitors.

ACCOMMODATION

Pansion Banja

Address Banjska 13. Phone 030 806 820. Web www.banjakresevo.com. Email rajko@banjakresevo.com. Prices Doubles from 50KM. Cards MC, V.

The only two places to stay in Kreševo are also fish-farm restaurants. Banja is a prewar establishment well known in the region not only for its good trout but for the hidden spring from a cave that provides the fresh mineral water for the fish pond. The pension has taken advantage of this gift of nature and made a natural swimming pool as well. The rooms are basic, clean, and well kept.

Pansion Ribnjak

Address Vrela bb. Phone 030 806 670 Web www.ribnjak.eur.ba. Email info@ribnjak.eur.ba. Prices Doubles from 40KM. Cards Not accepted.

Ribnjak has recently expanded, opening up four double rooms for guests. They have tennis courts on the facility as well as a fitness center and walking trail. The staff is friendly and the location makes for a nice and quiet R&R destination.

EAT/DRINK

Kreševo is known for its abundance of clean water sources and fresh mountain air. The water sources are so plentiful that every restaurant in Kreševo specializes in fresh trout. So take your pick … it’s hard to go wrong in any of these places.

Restoran Banja

Address Banjska 13. Phone 030 806 820. Hours 8am-10pm everyday. Cards MC, V.

Banja is perhaps the best-known fish-farm restaurant in Kreševo. The natural springs, which gush from the cave here, have made it an attraction since Yugoslav times. The fish is most certainly tasty and they serve a wide variety of grilled-meat dishes and local specialties.

Restoran Kamin

Address Kreševska cesta bb, Kiseljak. Phone 030 871 725. Hours 9am-11pm everyday. Cards MC,V.

Although not located in Kreševo itself, Kamin is close enough. Located on the left-hand side of the main road heading towards Kreševo from Kiseljak, this restaurant is just too good to leave out of this magazine. The food here is excellent and the price makes it a good value.

Restoran Ribnjak

Address Vrela bb. Phone 030 806 670. Hours 9am-10pm everyday. Cards Not accepted.

You get to pick your own fish from the pond in this traditional fish restaurant. Grilled trout is the specialty of the house but the veal specialties are delectable.

Restoran Stari Ribar

Address Rakova Noga 16. Phone 030 808 002. Hours 8am-11pm everyday. Cards Not accepted.

This old fisherman’s restaurant is a nice combination of fish and national dishes. Located just below the hills of Rakova Noga ski center, Stari Ribar is an excellent spot for good food in a perfect setting.

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