The International Monuments Day was marked in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well, in the old town of Dubrovnik and at the locality of Kopošići, the necropolis of the Great Bosnian Prince Batić in the vicinity of Ilijaš near Sarajevo. This day was marked with the aim of popularizing this location and drawing attention of the public to the historical value of this area.
The medieval town of Dubrovnik dates from the 13th century and is located 17 kilometers of air distance from Sarajevo, 10 kilometers from Ilijaš following the upstream of Misoča River. In 2003, the town of Dubrovnik was declared a national monument. However, not many people show interest in it today. Consequently, it is neglected by both the official bodies and historiography.
“Its real size and value have never been well defined nor presented to the public. We, as a group of interested enthusiasts, are working on a research with the aim of determining its real size, and we are making good progress,” said Perica Mijatović, representative of a group of local enthusiasts from the area of Ilijaš.
Mijatović added that the research on the field discovered that the town of Dubrovnik consisted of an upper part, the lower part and varoš, and that it was an urban complex in the length of 500 kilometers. The town had extraordinary fortification elements that provided maximum security. Forts were built on the surrounding hills and protected the access roads to the city, and it is being assumed that there was a wooden bridge that could be raised at the only point of access, while impassable cliffs surrounded the city from the other three sides.
The upper part of the city was around 72 meters long, and had four forts and a palace.
“Dubrovnik was the capital of one medieval administration-political unit called župa in the pre-Ottoman period, and nahija in the Ottoman period. Nahija consisted of 182 villages, and covered the area of the present municipalities Ilijaš, Breza, Vogošća and the majority of Vareš. It was a strong economically developed župa, because it had the main mines of iron, silver and lead that were mentioned at the time,” Mijatović explained.
Braco Babić, a cartographer and a tourist and alpine guide from Sarajevo, highlighted that Bosnia and Herzegovina disposes with a large number of medieval fortified towns that were characteristic for their system of construction. Those were fortification facilities that served for defense, as well as for living to the nobles of the time. By its architectural and construction shape, they did not differ from many known European cities.
Babić also explained how the town of Dubrovnik was established: “At the time of the medieval Kingdom of Bosnia, the Bosnian king allowed the merchants from Dubrovnik to exploit the mines of lead, gold, zinc and other precious materials. The people of Dubrovnik built a fortified castle here, on a rock on the mountain, and the locals started calling this town after its founders – Dubrovnik”.
Babić added that this town deserves to be reconstructed, especially because it is located near the village of Kopošići, where there is a medieval necropolis with tombstones and the tombstone of the famous nobleman, the Duke Batić.