10 reasons why you should travel to Banja Luka instead of Sarajevo

Yegana Veliyeva 22 January 2021 1980 views 7 min. read

Do you know where is Banja Luka? Banja Luka is a beautiful small town with a small center, which is located between the green hills of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the coast of the Vrbas River. The city of Banja Luka is the official capital of the Republika Srpska of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but still the names of Banja Luka Bosnia and Herzegovina are pronounced together. Banja Luka Bosnia and Herzegovina is considered the second-largest city in terms of the number of inhabitants, the basis of which is made up of Serbs, and in another part you can even meet African Americans. The city of Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The name of the town also shows its meaning. Literally, Banja Luka translates as "St. Luke's Bath". The first part of the name is given in honor of the presence of thermal waters here, and the other-in honor of the respected Saint Luke among the Serbs. The town of Banja Luka is quiet, green and with clean air. It is also very cozy and comfortable, which is very important. Do you need food? Nearby you will definitely find several supermarkets, among which there are also round-the-clock ones. Want to go shopping? Small shops are everywhere. Forgot to buy some bread? You will definitely find a bakery nearby. For those who love nature, paths have been laid along the nearby green hills, where you can walk as much as you want. For sports enthusiasts, there are treadmills with exercise equipment and tennis courts. If you just want to relax, then in the evening you can walk along the coast of the Vrbas River. In short, despite its small size, the city can be called universal. banja luka view The local population professes Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Islam. In the city landscape, you can see a luxurious cathedral temple, an avant-garde cathedral and a majestic mosque. Almost every district has an Orthodox church. There are also two Catholic monasteries in the city. In the central part of the city, you can admire the chamber church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The most notable places are the Temple of Christ the Savior, Ferhadija Mosque, the Church of Christ the King, Church of the Holy Trinity, Church of the Epiphany, Church of the Holy great Martyr Prince Lazar, Monastery of Petricevac, the Church of St. Ante Church of the Visitation of the Blessed virgin Mary. Speaking of the style of architecture of the city, there are most often two-or three-storey houses that were built in the neoclassical and neo-Renaissance styles. The time of creation falls on the end of the XIX – beginning of the XX century, when Banja Luka was still part of Austria-Hungary. Quite a glorious and diverse history has allowed the city to boast of many attractive attractions. There is an ancient Roman fortress, monasteries, mosques, and medieval mansions. banja luka It so happened that in the city, the main attractions, thanks to the turbulent past, are concentrated in the central part of the town. In addition, numerous cafes, restaurants, bars and shops can also be found here. For example, here you can see the Chamber of the Republic, the Banski Dvor, the Cultural Center, the Gradska Palata, the Banja Luka City Administration Building, the People's Theater, the Banu Tisa Monument. A traveler who wants to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina must choose Sarajevo or Banja Luka. Once you know some information about the beautiful town, check out the ten reasons, after reading which you will understand which city Sarajevo or Banja Luka to visit first.

1. Gentlemen's Street

lord street

After the farmers ' market, you will arrive at Trg Srpskih vladar Square. Small fountains gush out from under the bars right under your feet. After this square, you can see the pedestrian Lord's Street, a kind of local Arbat. Lord's Street is the most common street in the city. But under this name, unfortunately, you will not find it on the city map, since its official name is recognized as Veselin Masleshi Street. At the end of the XIX century, it was generally called Pivarska Street. It was from that time that its unofficial name appeared – Lord's Street. The name of the street was given for a reason – there is a whole story. It was like this. About a hundred and fifty years ago, an influential man built two two-story shops on the street in order to turn the city into a modern, advanced city in Europe. The local population had never seen such pomp before, and everything they needed was always purchased at the local bazaar. The shops made such a strong impression that people from nearby villages came here just to visit these shops. A large number of visitors came in, crowded in, soiled the floors, and eventually came out empty-handed. The man was tired of this, especially since he had a complex about tasteless clothes and bad-smelling people, so he placed small signs on the walls with the words "Lord's Street", so that everyone would not go there in a row. No one knows whether this man got the necessary result or not, but the name of the street remains. The Austrians, who then captured the city, saw the signs and translated the name of the street into their own language, and the street became known as "Herren Gasse". After the Austrians, it became King Alphonse XIII Street, but not for a long time. Tito drove away all the lords, as well as the kings and herrs, and the name of the street was changed and named in honor of the revolutionary Veselin Masles. So it is officially called today, but the townspeople still prefer to call it the Manor. Moreover, Manor Street is a favorite place of their pastime.

2. Cathedral of Banja Luka

cathedral of banja luka

Interesting sights to visit include the Cathedral of Banja Luka. In the beginning, a structure was placed on the territory of the cathedral, which was designed in 1887 and bore the name of St. Bonaventure. However, in 1969, after a very strong earthquake, the Cathedral of Banja Luka could not perform its former functions. As a result, a new building was erected on the site of the old building in 1974. The modern appearance of the building is similar to a tent, which symbolizes either a tent from the Old Testament or the many tents placed everywhere in the city after a natural disaster.

3. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior

banja luka

Another place to visit is the Cathedral of Christ the Savior Banja Luka, which was built in 1929 and is one of the richest on the Balkan Peninsula. In 1941, the Temple was destroyed by fascist troops, and the communists of Yugoslavia after the war pretended not to see the missing architectural building in the central part of the city. And only after the departure of the communists, the Orthodox gained the chance to resume their religious place. In 2004, the construction of the holy building was completed. Today, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is considered one of the main symbols of the new appearance of Banja Luka.

4. Notable buildings

banja luka city

The fortress on the coast of the Vrbas River is a popular tourist destination. Here the huge walls are very well preserved, while there are very few buildings in the inner part. The City Hall of Banja Luka, which was designed in 1932, shows an excellent example of Serbian architecture of the Middle Ages – here you will see a beautiful radiant facade, and not low arches, and white ornaments. Another attractive secular structure is the Governor's Palace, which today houses a concert hall and an art gallery. Another attractive place is the Gomjonica Monastery, which contains a unique collection of icons dating back to the XVIII century. The most remarkable is the building of the architecture of Islam – the Ferhadiya mosque, which belongs to the XVI century. The mosque was on the UNESCO List until 1993, but then it was destroyed. Today, restoration work is being carried out here.

5. Thermal springs

thermal springs

An important attraction of the town, which gave it part of the name, is the thermal water springs located in the Gorni Sheher district. This area is called Poruchitsa, from the word "poruchi", which translates as hot, although the water temperature of +33, +36 degrees does not quite correspond to this. Non-privatized sources are actively used by the elderly, who provide themselves with health and communication points. Water from the springs serves as a cure for rheumatism, neuralgia and skin diseases. You can often find small indoor pools with thermal waters. The balneological resorts of Laktashi and Slatina are very famous here.

6. Cuisine and restaurants

meal

In search of an interesting gastronomic tour, you can also travel to Banja Luka Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here is a paradise for meat eaters, because the main ingredient in almost all dishes is meat. Speaking about the Bosnia and Herzegovina cuisine, it is impossible not to mention the "Banyaluchsky chevap" of lamb and beef, which is a local brand-a local variation of a hot dog. Chewap is fried on a special grill with extensive grates along with lepeni tortillas. All this is sprinkled with a special secret herbal tincture. Next, the chevap is wrapped in a mold and served on the table. Chevaps are washed down with the famous local beer "Nectar", the taste of which is considered excellent. Also, the national cuisine is famous for "Teletina" cutlets, grilled "Yanetina" chops, "Moussaka" meat pie, "Filovane paprika" stuffed pepper and other delicious dishes. A peculiar and delicious dish is considered to be "Ispod sacha", which is a stew that is baked in a vessel corked everywhere and buried in coals.

7. Profitable shopping

shopping

The city of Banja Luka is a place where you can enjoy shopping. And quite reasonable prices will please you even more. Clothing, shoes, a variety of accessories and household goods – all this you can buy in the huge department store "Boska" on the main square of the city, including in small shops on the main street for pedestrians. Souvenirs are recommended to be purchased at the spontaneous market, which is located next to the Banja Luka fortress. In addition to souvenirs, you will see a lot of useful things here. Another interesting place is the shop "Duga" near the city hall, where tourists are offered souvenirs made by folk craftsmen using ancient technologies.

8. People full of optimism

banja luka peopleBosnia and Herzegovina people

are very friendly and friendly people. Despite the fact that they have felt the full weight of the war, and even today there are enough problems here, local Bosnia and Herzegovina people can maintain a cheerful spirit and cheerfulness. The Serbs, in particular the Bosnian Serbs, have a positive characteristic: the people practically do not complain about life. And it's not because they like everything, it's just the way they do it.

9. Mountain beauty

mountain beauty

Due to the fact that the Vrbas River for twenty-five kilometers to the city goes between the mountain gorges and here the river is shown in wonderful and incredible beauty. The mountainous area is just full of various tourist attractions. On the territory there are waterfalls, windmills, and the oldest wooden churches. There are also Strikin cave and the ancient town of Greben.

10. Extreme sports

vrbas river

The town of Banja Luka has several clubs that organize active recreation. Among the services, there are hiking tours, rafting in the canyon of the Vrbas River (the implementation of descents on mountain rivers), unforgettable mountain tourism, rock climbing, mountain tours on bicycles and many other interesting and exciting tours. Most of the extreme recreation is carried out on the Vrbas River or in its vicinity – upstream for thirty kilometers.

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