Bihać, the Pearl of Krajina in the Embrace of the Magical Una
Along the banks of one of the prettiest Bosnian-Herzegovinian rivers, the emerald-colored Una River, the city of Bihać emerged a long time ago, as the pearl of Krajina and northwestern Bosnia; the residents of Krajina, who are known for being cordial and hospitable, have been proud of Bihać for centuries.
Author: Semra Hodžić
Legend about the formation of the city
The legend about Krajina has been told for generations; namely that Bika, one of three sisters, the daughters of affluent Krajina resident Dobrica, ordered for it to be built, while her sisters had cities built in other places in the picturesque Bihać basin. The legend says that the city was named Bikće after Bika, and that it was later renamed to Bišće, and then finally it got the name that it bears to this day. The first written records about the city were found in the charter of Austro-Croatian king Bela IV from 1260, stating that it was a „city that already existed in that place“.
Because its history dates back so far into the past, many peoples left their traces in it, which can be seen through the cultural and historical monuments that this city is full of.
Whether you have decided to come for a visit because of its fascinating natural beauty or to see its sights, the time you spend here will be very fulfilled.
Cultural and historical monuments
Most of the cultural and historical riches of Bihać are protected as national monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Among them, the most significant and best-known is the Kapetanova Kula (Captain’s Tower), which once served as a prison, and also the Fethija Mosque, the only European Islamic place of worship built in the Gothic style. Next to Kapetanova Kula, there is also the well-known Kameno Turbe (Stone Turbeh); for years, there have been numerous legends about how the Kameno Turbe came to be and who is buried there. Next to the turbeh, there is also the tower of the former Church of St. Anthony. Bihać is a city that is proud of its anti-fascist past to this day, and the memory of the fight against fascism is preserved by the Muzej Prvog Zasjedanja AVNOJ-a (Museum of the First Session of the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia).
It should not be forgotten that this area is also known for several old towns, some of which have become tourist attractions. We would single out the medieval town of Sokolac, with a location that brings a new view of nature and the city itself, and today, thanks to the newly-established walkway, you can reach it on foot from the center of the city in just half an hour. There is also the medieval Ostrožac, which consists of the medieval fort from the Ottoman period, the castle of Lothar von Berks and a collection of sculptures.
Una – a treat for fans of adrenaline
Apart from cultural and historical sites, Bihać can offer a great number of sporting and recreational activities. The Una National Park is quite special, as a natural reserve on the Una River; its waterfalls and rapids are a real treat for fans of adrenaline and extreme sports. Una is known for rafting, and anyone who has tried it will tell you that rafting on the Una is like nothing else, an amazing experience. The National Park also attracts fans of fly fishing, and the surrounding nature has been attracting more and more bicycle tourists, for whom, as we have found out, there are new trails that are currently being prepared.
You will certainly not be indifferent to the magic of nature that you can see in this national park – like Štrbački Buk, which you will not be able to forget, and you should also not miss out on the medieval fortresses, the Martin Brod waterfalls that are exceptionally beautiful and protected by the UNESCO, Japod Islands, Čardaklije, Natur, and the many other wonderful places that the National Park is full of.
In order to complete your experience, we recommend that you spend several days in Bihać. One thing is for sure, when you are leaving Bihać, you will feel enriched with another wonderful experience and you will fall in love with the charm of this beautiful city on the emerald Una.
Bihaćko Ljeto (Summer in Bihać)
Apart from the natural beauty and adrenaline-filled activities that the City of Bihać offers, which are enjoyed by tourists from all over the world during the summer tourist season, the rich cultural and entertainment program should not be missed, as it is current in this city throughout most of the year, and especially in summer. There is a great network of organizations which make Bihaćko Ljeto a real tourist product, and to set the bar higher and higher each year, the Association of Tourism, which was recently formed in this city, has been working on the organization and branding of activities for the entire summer, and also on some new things through the project „Calendar of Events of Bihaćko Ljeto“, where in May you can already see what the residents of Bihać and their guests can expect when they visit this city during the summer months.
Welcome to the City of Bihać
Bihać is a charming city surrounded by incredible nature, where during the summer season tourists from all over the world come to enjoy themselves.The Tourism Association has its role in the whole process. It is our wish that in the years to come guests recognize us as a city of friendly people where summer is – a summer of positive energy and smiling people, and the city itself during that time is one of the prettiest postcards of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Whether you enjoy the rich program of Bihaćko Ljeto (Summer in Bihać) or you just enjoy going for a stroll listening to the sounds of nature, we wish you a warm welcome and for you to take only the fondest memories from our city.
Armin Amidžić, director of the Tourism Association of Bihać