Banja Luka
Overview
 
The name "Banja Luka" was first mentioned in a document dated February 6, 1494, but Banja Luka's history dates back to ancient times. There is a substantial evidence of the Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 presence in the region during the first few centuries A.D., including an old fort "Kastel" (Castra, lat.) in the centre of the city. The area of Banja Luka was entirely in the kingdom of Illyria and then a part of the Roman province of Illyricum
Illyricum (Roman province)
The Roman province of Illyricum or Illyris Romana or Illyris Barbara or Illyria Barbara replaced most of the region of Illyria. It stretched from the Drilon river in modern north Albania to Istria in the west and to the Sava river in the north. Salona functioned as its capital...

, which split into provinces of Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

 and Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 of which Castra became a part.

Slavs
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 settled in the area in the 7th century A.D., although the exact nature of their migrations remains something of a mystery.
Encyclopedia

History

The name "Banja Luka" was first mentioned in a document dated February 6, 1494, but Banja Luka's history dates back to ancient times. There is a substantial evidence of the Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 presence in the region during the first few centuries A.D., including an old fort "Kastel" (Castra, lat.) in the centre of the city. The area of Banja Luka was entirely in the kingdom of Illyria and then a part of the Roman province of Illyricum
Illyricum (Roman province)
The Roman province of Illyricum or Illyris Romana or Illyris Barbara or Illyria Barbara replaced most of the region of Illyria. It stretched from the Drilon river in modern north Albania to Istria in the west and to the Sava river in the north. Salona functioned as its capital...

, which split into provinces of Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

 and Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 of which Castra became a part.

Slavs
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 settled in the area in the 7th century A.D., although the exact nature of their migrations remains something of a mystery. What is known is that the first mention of the city dates to 1494, by Vladislav II. The name is interpreted as "Ban's meadow", from the words ban
Ban (title)
Ban was a title used in several states in central and south-eastern Europe between the 7th century and the 20th century.-Etymology:The word ban has entered the English language probably as a borrowing from South Slavic ban, meaning "lord, master; ruler". The Slavic word is probably borrowed from...

("a medieval dignitary"), and luka ("a valley" or "a meadow"). The identity of the ban and the meadow in question remain uncertain, and popular etymology combines the modern words banja ("bath" or "spa"), or bajna ("marvelous") and luka ("port"). A different interpretation is suggested by the Hungarian name "Lukácsbanya", i.e. "Luke's Mine", which is also the meaning of Slovak "Banja Luka". In modern usage, the name is pronounced and usually declined
Declension
In linguistics, declension is the inflection of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and articles to indicate number , case , and gender...

 (u Banjaluci) as one word, and often written as such; the citizens reportedly prefer the more correct form with inflected adjective (u Banjoj Luci).

Beside "Kastel" fort (lat. Castra) there is also a Roman Catholic Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 monastery, built in the 20th century in Banja Luka’s neighbourhood of Petrićevac
Petricevac
Petrićevac is a part of the city of Banja Luka in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Today, there are about 25,000 inhabitants in Petrićevac.The place is the location of a Catholic church of Saint Anthony and a Franciscan monastery in the 20th century...

 and an earlier Trappist monastery from the 19th century that lent its name to the neighbourhood of Trapisti and has left a large legacy in the area through its famous Trappist cheese and its beer production.

Ottoman rule

During the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 rule in Bosnia, Banja Luka was the seat of the Bosnian pashaluk
Pashaluk
Pashaluk or Pashalik is a term for one type of the Subdivisions of the Ottoman Empire.It is the abstract word derived from pasha, denoting the quality, office or jurisdiction of a pasha or the territory administered by him....

, and the lords of the region built what is nowadays the main street of the city. The most prominent pasha
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

  was Ferhat-paša Sokolović
Ferhat-paša Sokolovic
Ferhat-pasha Sokolović was an Ottoman general and statesman from Bosnia and Herzegovina.-Biography:Ferhat-pasha was born into the famous Bosnian family, which among others, also gave the Ottoman Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Sokolović. Ferhat Pasha was governor of the sanjak of Klis between 1566 and...

, who ruled between 1566 and 1574, Like his brother, the Grand Vizier
Grand Vizier
Grand Vizier, in Turkish Vezir-i Azam or Sadr-ı Azam , deriving from the Arabic word vizier , was the greatest minister of the Sultan, with absolute power of attorney and, in principle, dismissable only by the Sultan himself...

 Mehmed-pasha Sokolović, Ferhat had been abducted, Islamized and recruited into Ottoman service. The Serbian Orthodox Patriarch of Peć, Makarije Sokolović
Makarije Sokolovic
Makarije Sokolović was the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church from 1557 to 1571. He was the first patriarch of the restored Serbian Patriarchate, after its lapse in 1463 that resulted from the Ottoman conquest of Serbia...

, appointed by Mehmet Pasha, who with the support of the Sultan had revived the Peć patriachate, was a close relative.

Ferhat Pasha was one of the main founders of what was Banja Luka’s town core during the Ottoman rule. He built over 200 projects ranging from artisan and sales shops to wheat warehouses, baths and mosques. Among his more important constructions were the Ferhadija and Arnaudija
Arnaudija mosque
Arnaudija Mosque, built in 1594, was a large mosque in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina before it was totally destroyed by the Army of Republika Srpska on 7 May 1993.The mosque was demolished by explosives on May 7, 1993 by the Serb militia...

 mosques, the former, as tradition has it, erected with monies from the Austrian Auersperg
Auersperg
Auersperg may refer to:* Principality of Auersperg, estates held by the princely Austrian family of Auersperg* Palais Auersperg, a large baroque palace in Vienna, build for the princely Auersperg family- Family members :...

 family paid to buy back Herbard von Auersperg's
Herbard VIII von Auersperg
Herbard VIII von Auersperg, Freiherr from 1550, Slovene name: Hervard Turjaški was a governor of Carniola supporting Protestantism, and an imperial Habsburg general in the wars against the Ottoman Empire.-Life and career:Herbard von Auersperg was born into one of the oldest Austrian families...

 head decapitated by Ferhat Beg after his victory at Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

n Budačka in 1575, and as ransom for the release of Herbard's son, Wolf Engelbrecht von Auersperg, who had been taken captive in that battle. During the construction of the mosques, a plumbing infrastructure was laid that served the surrounding residential areas. All this stimulated the economic and urban development of Banja Luka, which soon became one of the leading commercial and political centres in Bosnia.

Austrians

In 1688, the city was burned down by the Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

n army, but it quickly recovered. Later periodic intrusions by the Austrian army stimulated military developments in Banja Luka, which made it into a strategic military centre. Orthodox churches and monasteries near Banja Luka were built in the 19th century. Also, Sephardic Jews and Trappists
Trappists
The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance , or Trappists, is a Roman Catholic religious order of cloistered contemplative monks who follow the Rule of St. Benedict...

 migrated to the city in the 19th century and contributed to the early industrialization of the region by building mills, breweries, brick factories, textile factories and other important structures. For all its leadership to the region however, Banja Luka as a city was not modernized until Austro-Hungarian
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 rule in the late 19th century. Austrian occupation brought westernization
Westernization
Westernization or Westernisation , also occidentalization or occidentalisation , is a process whereby societies come under or adopt Western culture in such matters as industry, technology, law, politics, economics, lifestyle, diet, language, alphabet,...

 to Banja Luka.
Railroads, schools, factories, and infrastructure appeared, and were developed. This led to a modern city, which, after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, became the capital of the Vrbas Banovina
Vrbas Banovina
The Vrbas Banovina or Vrbas Banate was a province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia between 1929 and 1941. It was named after the Vrbas River and consisted mostly of territory in western Bosnia with its capital at Banja Luka...

, a province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

.

Yugoslavia

The provincial capital owed its rapid progress to the first Ban Svetislav Milosavljević. During that time the Banski dvor and its twin sister, the Administration building, the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, a theatre and a museum were built, the Grammar School was renovated, the Teachers College enlarged, a city bridge was also built and the park renovated.
125 elementary schools were functioning in Banja Luka in 1930. The revolutionary ideas of the time were incubated by the "Pelagić" association and the Students' Club. Banja Luka naturally became the organizational centre of anti-fascist work in the region.
During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Banja Luka was occupied by the Croatian Ustashe regime. Most of Banja Luka's noble Serbs and Sephardic Jewish families were deported to nearby Croatian concentration camps such as Jasenovac
Jasenovac concentration camp
Jasenovac concentration camp was the largest extermination camp in the Independent State of Croatia and occupied Yugoslavia during World War II...

 and Stara Gradiška
Stara Gradiška concentration camp
Stara Gradiška was the most notorious concentration and extermination camp in Croatia during World War II, mainly due to the crimes which were committed against women and children. The camp was specially constructed for women and children of Serb, Jew, and Romani ethnicity...

. On February 7, 1942 the Ustaše
Ustaše
The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...

 forces, led by a Croatian Franciscan monk, Miroslav Filipović
Miroslav Filipovic
Miroslav Filipović was a Croatian Ustaše and Roman Catholic friar who was convicted of war crimes by both a German military court and a Yugoslav civil court and hanged in Belgrade.-Early life:Filipović's date of birth was 5 June 1915, but little else about his early years has been...

 (aka Tomislav Filipović-Majstorović) killed numerous Serbs
Serbs
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

 (among them children) in Drakulići, Motike and Šargovac (part of the Banja Luka municipality). The city's Orthodox church of the Holy Trinity was totally demolished by the Ustashe occupation authorities . The city was finally liberated on April 22, 1945.
Banja Luka was the home of many World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 heroes, such as the siblings Vahida and Osman Maglajlić. The nursing school in Banja Luka carried their names, but during the Bosnian war it was changed by the Bosnian Serb authorities, as a part of the tremendous nationalism in the war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina.

1969 earthquake

On 26 and 27 October 1969, two devastating earthquakes (6.0 and 6.4 on the Richter scale
Richter magnitude scale
The expression Richter magnitude scale refers to a number of ways to assign a single number to quantify the energy contained in an earthquake....

) damaged many buildings in Banja Luka. 15 people were killed, and over a thousand injured A large building called Titanik in the centre of the town was razed to the ground, and the area was later turned into a central public square. With contributions from all over Yugoslavia, Banja Luka was repaired and rebuilt. That was a period when a large Serb population moved to the city from the surrounding villages, and from more distant areas in Herzegovina.

Bosnian War

During the 1990s, the city underwent considerable changes when the Bosnian war
Bosnian War
The Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995. The war involved several sides...

 broke out. Upon the declaration of Bosnian-Herzegovinian
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 independence and establishment of Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

, Banja Luka became the de facto centre of the entity's politics.

Manjača camp was a concentration camp on mountain Manjača near the city of Banja Luka in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Croatian War and Bosnian War from 1991 to 1995.

The Manjača camp was shut down under international pressure in late 1993 but was reopened in October 1995. At that time it was estimated that total of between 4,500 and 6,000 non-Serbs primarily from Sanski Most
Sanski Most
Sanski Most is a town and municipality in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located on the Sana River in Bosanska Krajina, between Prijedor and Ključ. Administratively it is part of the Una-Sana Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina....

 and Banja Luka areas have passed through the camp. When the camp was captured in 1995 by the Bosnian authorities some 85 corpses were found associated with killings at the camp. Some 1,000 people are still missing from the Sanski Most that were deported to Manjača camp.

The camp was founded by the Yugoslav National Army
Yugoslav People's Army
The Yugoslav People's Army , also referred to as the Yugoslav National Army , was the military of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.-Origins:The origins of the JNA can...

 (JNA) and authorities of Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

 (RS) and was used to collect and confine thousands of male prisoners of Croat and Bosniak
Bosniaks
The Bosniaks or Bosniacs are a South Slavic ethnic group, living mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a smaller minority also present in other lands of the Balkan Peninsula especially in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia...

 nationalities.

An estimated 40,000 Serbs from Croatia took refuge in Banja Luka. Nearly all of Banja Luka's Croats and Bosniaks were expelled during the war and all of the city's 16 mosques were destroyed. A court ruling resulted in the authorities of Banja Luka having to pay $42 million for the destruction of the mosques. However, the Banja Luka district court later overturned the ruling stating that the claims had exceeded a three-year statute of limitations. The Bosniak community vowed to appeal against the decision.

In 2001, several thousand Serb nationalists attacked Bosniaks during a ceremony marking the reconstruction of the historic 16th-century Ferhadija mosque
Ferhadija mosque
Ferhat Pasha Mosque , also known as the Ferhadija Mosque, was a central building in the city of Banja Luka and one of the greatest achievements of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 16th century Ottoman and Islamic architecture....

. There were indications of police collaboration. Fourteen Bosnian Serb nationalists were jailed for starting the riots.

Settlements of City of Banja Luka

Agino Selo
Agino Selo
Agino Selo is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


• Banja Luka
Barlovci
Barlovci
Barlovci is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Bastasi
Bastasi (Banja Luka)
Bastasi is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Bistrica
Bistrica (Banja Luka)
Bistrica is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Bočac
Bočac
Bočac is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Borkovići
Borkovići
Borkovići is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Bronzani Majdan
Bronzani Majdan
Bronzani Majdan is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Cerici
Cerici
Cerici is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Čokori
Čokori
Čokori is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


• Debeljaci
Dobrnja
Dobrnja (Banja Luka)
Dobrnja is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Dragočaj
Dragočaj
Dragočaj is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Drakulić
Drakulic
Drakulić is a Christian Serbo-Croatian surname, and may refer to:* Saša Drakulić , Serbian footballer* Slavenka Drakulić , Croatian writer and publicist...


Dujakovci
Dujakovci
Dujakovci is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Goleši
Goleši
Goleši is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Ivanjska
Ivanjska (Banja Luka)
Ivanjska is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Jagare
Jagare
Jagare is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Kmećani
Kmećani
Kmećani is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Kola
Kola (Banja Luka)
Kola is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Kola Donja
Kola Donja
Kola Donja is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Krmine
Krmine
Krmine is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Krupa na Vrbasu
Krupa na Vrbasu
Krupa na Vrbasu is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Kuljani
Kuljani (Banja Luka)
Kuljani is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Lokvari
Lokvari
Lokvari is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Lusići
Lusići
Lusići is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Ljubačevo
Ljubačevo
Ljubačevo is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Melina
Melina (Banja Luka)
Melina is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Motike
Motike (Banja Luka)
Motike is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Obrovac
Obrovac (Banja Luka)
Obrovac is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Pavići
Pavići
Pavići is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Pavlovac
Pavlovac (Banja Luka)
Pavlovac is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Pervan Donji
Pervan Donji
Pervan Donji is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Pervan Gornji
Pervan Gornji
Pervan Gornji is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Piskavica
Piskavica (Banja Luka)
Piskavica is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Ponir
Ponir
Ponir is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Prijakovci
Prijakovci
Prijakovci is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Priječani
Priječani
Priječani is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Prnjavor Mali
Prnjavor Mali (Banja Luka)
Prnjavor Mali is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Radmanići
Radmanići
Radmanići is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Radosavska
Radosavska
Radosavska is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Ramići
Ramići (Banja Luka)
Ramići is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Rekavice
Rekavice
Rekavice is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Slavićka
Slavićka
Slavićka is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Stratinska
Stratinska
Stratinska is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Stričići
Stričići
Stričići is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Subotica
Subotica (Banja Luka)
Subotica is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Šargovac
Šargovac
Šargovac is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Šimići
Šimići
Šimići is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Šljivno
Šljivno (Banja Luka)
Šljivno is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Verići
Verići
Verići is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Vilusi
Vilusi (Banja Luka)
Vilusi is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina....


Zalužani
Zalužani (settlement)
Zalužani is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The village is also home to Bosnia Hertzagovnia's only motor racing track....


Zelenci
Zelenci (Banja Luka)
Zelenci is a village in the municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-References:...


Demographics

It has been estimated that today's population of the municipality of Banja Luka is about 250,000. Today the population is overwhelmingly made up of Bosnian Serbs and Serb refugees from Croatia. During the war from 1992-1995 some 60,000 people, mostly Bosniaks and Croats, left or were forced to leave Banja Luka. Some Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats have returned to their homes but the majority of Banja Luka's pre-war inhabitants have not yet returned to their city.
Census of the municipality of Banja Luka
style="background: bgcolor="#F5DEB3" > year of census style="background: bgcolor="#C2B280" > 1991 style="background: bgcolor="#C2B280" > 1981 style="background: bgcolor="#C2B280" > 1971

|-
Serbs 106,826 (54.61%) 93,389 (50.86%) 92,465 (58.25%)
Croats 29,026 (14.83%) 30,442 (16.57%) 33,371 (21.02%)
Bosniaks 28,558 (14.59%) 21,726 (11.83%) 24,268 (15.28%)
Yugoslavs 23,656 (12.08%) 31,347 (17.07%) 4,684 (2.95%)
others 7,626 (3.89%) 6,714 (3.65%) 3,948 (2.48%)
style="background: bgcolor="#F5DEB3" >total 195,692 183,618 158,736

City of Banja Luka
style="background: bgcolor="#F5DEB3" > year of census style="background: bgcolor="#C2B280" > 1991 style="background: bgcolor="#C2B280" > 1981 style="background: bgcolor="#C2B280" > 1971
|-
Serbs 70,155 (49.03%) 51,839 (41.82%) 41,297 (45.46%)
Bosniaks 27,689 (19.35%) 20,916 (16.87%) 23,411 (25.77%)
Croats 15,700 (10.97%) 16,314 (13.16%) 17,897 (19.70%)
Yugoslavs 22,645 (15.82%) 30,318 (24.46%) 4,606 (5.07%)
others 6,890 (4.81%) 4,550 (3.67%) 3,620 (3.98%)
style="background: bgcolor="#F5DEB3" >total 143,079 123,937 90,831


Government

Banja Luka plays an important role on different levels of Bosnia and Herzegovina's government structures. Banja Luka is the centre of the government for the Municipality of Banja Luka.

A number of entity and state institutions are seated in the city. The Republika Srpska Government and the National Assembly
National Assembly of the Republika Srpska
The National Assembly of the Republika Srpska is the legislative body of the Republika Srpska, one of two entities comprising the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

 are based in Banja Luka. The Bosnia and Herzegovina State Agencies based in the city include the Indirect Taxation (VAT) Authority, the Deposit Insurance Agency as well as a branch of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the central bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in the capital city, Sarajevo.The Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina was established in accordance with the law adopted at the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 20, 1997...

 (formerly the National Bank of Republika Srpska).

Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 maintain diplomatic representation through consulates-general in Banja Luka.

Economy

Although the city itself was not directly affected by the Bosnian war in the early 1990s, its economy was. For four years, Banja Luka fell behind the world in key areas such as technology, resulting in a rather stagnant economy. However, in recent years, the financial services sector has gained in importance in the city. In 2002, the trading began on the newly established Banja Luka Stock Exchange
Banja Luka Stock Exchange
The Banja Luka Stock Exchange or BLSE is a stock exchange which operates in the city of Banja Luka in the Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-History:...

. The number of companies listed, the trading volume and the number of investors have increased significantly. A number of big companies such as Telekom Srpske
Telekom Srpske
Telekom Srpske is a telecommunications company based in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The company is owned by Telekom Srbija, and is the second largest telecommunications company in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the biggest one listed on the Banja Luka Stock Exchange, with the market...

, Rafinerija ulja Modriča, Banjalučka Pivara
Banjalučka Pivara
Banjalučka Pivara is a Bosnian brewing company based in Banja Luka. Company was founded as part of activities by Trapist order in village Delibaša. After World War two brewery was nationalized and in 1975 included in newly founded company "Bosanska Krajina"....

 and Vitaminka are all listed on the exchange and are traded regularly. Investors, apart from those from Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

 and Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, now include a number of investment funds from the EU, and from Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, USA, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.

A number of financial services regulators, such as the Republika Srpska Securities Commission and the RS Banking Agency are headquartered in Banja Luka. This, along with the fact that some of the major banks in Bosnia, the Deposit Insurance Agency and the Value-added tax (VAT) Authority are all based in the city, has helped Banja Luka establish itself as a major financial centre of the country.

In 1981 Banja Luka's GDP per capita was 97% of the Yugoslav average.

Culture

Due to its long history, Banja Luka is rich in culture. There are several museums including the Museum of Bosanska Krajina
Bosanska Krajina
Bosanska Krajina or Bosnian Frontier is a geographical region, a subregion of Bosnia, in western Bosnia and Herzegovina enclosed by three rivers - Sava, Una and Vrbas. It is also a historic, economic and cultural entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina....

, the Ethnographic Museum established in 1930, and the Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska
Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska
The Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska is an art museum in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina....

. Banja Luka is also the home of the national theatre and library, both dating from the first half of the 20th century, and of numerous other theatres.
One of the most famous cultural sites in Banja Luka is the cultural centre of "Banski Dvor" (Halls of the Ban
Ban (title)
Ban was a title used in several states in central and south-eastern Europe between the 7th century and the 20th century.-Etymology:The word ban has entered the English language probably as a borrowing from South Slavic ban, meaning "lord, master; ruler". The Slavic word is probably borrowed from...

), built in the 1930s as the residence for the Bans of the Vrbas Banovina
Vrbas Banovina
The Vrbas Banovina or Vrbas Banate was a province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia between 1929 and 1941. It was named after the Vrbas River and consisted mostly of territory in western Bosnia with its capital at Banja Luka...

. It is a representative building in the very centre of the city housing the National Assembly along with a concert hall, gallery, state television, and a restaurant. Most of the main cultural and political events nowadays take place in the building.

The relatively poorly preserved fortress "Kastel" is found in the city centre. This mediaeval castle is one of Banja Luka’s main attractions. Located on the left bank of the Vrbas river, it gives a specific charm to the city. During the summer, music concerts take place in the fortress.

In the city there are many Cultural Artistic Associations. The oldest is CAA "Pelagić" (founded in 1927), one of the oldest institutions of this kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

.

Events

In the summer, there are many festivals, with live bands playing at the outdoor venues. The main festivals include: Banja Luka Choir Gathering (April - May), Theater Festival "Teatar Fest" (May), International Short Film Festival "Kratkofil" (in June), Demofest in July, International Animated Film Festival (in October), The Jazz Festival "Jazzlook" (in October), The Film Festival "Dukafest" (in November), The Month of the Rock Music (in June), Banja Luka Rock Open Air, "Ex-Yu Rocks!" festival (in July), "Demofest
Demofest
Demofest is a music festival held in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where pop/rock demo bands from the Balkan region compete for prizes. The first Demofest was organized in 2008, between July 19 and 26, achieving notable popularity among the media and general public. Demofest is to continue on...

" festival (in July), Folklore Days of Banja Luka (July - August, every Thursday), Summer on the Vrbas (in July), Banja Luka Summer Games (in August), as well as the Banja Luka Fashion Week.

Sport

Banja Luka has one major football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 stadium and several indoor sports halls. The local handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

 and football teams bear the traditional name Borac
Borac Banja Luka
Borac is a sports society with several teams, from the city of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Borac means "Fighter" and the clubs supporters are called Lešinari/Лешинари which means Vultures....

 (fighter), though the basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 club was recently renamed to Banjalučka Pivara
Banjalučka Pivara
Banjalučka Pivara is a Bosnian brewing company based in Banja Luka. Company was founded as part of activities by Trapist order in village Delibaša. After World War two brewery was nationalized and in 1975 included in newly founded company "Bosanska Krajina"....

, after the Banja Luka's brewery
Brewery
A brewery is a dedicated building for the making of beer, though beer can be made at home, and has been for much of beer's history. A company which makes beer is called either a brewery or a brewing company....

. The three football teams from Banja Luka are Borac Banja Luka
Borac Banja Luka
Borac is a sports society with several teams, from the city of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Borac means "Fighter" and the clubs supporters are called Lešinari/Лешинари which means Vultures....

 (2010/2011 season champions of Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the top football league in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the country's most prestigious level of football competition currently contested by 16 clubs with last two teams relegated at the end of every season....

), FK BSK Banja Luka
FK BSK Banja Luka
BSK Banja Luka is a football club from the city of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The club competes in the First League of the Republika Srpska. Club stadium is called Stadion Caire at part of Banja Luka named Hiseta.-Current squad:-External sources:* at Transfermarkt.* ...

, and FK Omladinac Banja Luka
FK Omladinac Banja Luka
FK Omladinac is a football club from the city of Banja Luka, in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The club used to compete in the First League of the Republika Srpska.-External sources:* at Soccerway....

 (both in the First League of the Republika Srpska
First League of the Republika Srpska
First League of the Republika Srpska is a second level football competition in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since there were three different football championships in country, organized on ethnic principles, the "First League of the Republika Srpska" was the top flight in Republika Srpska before 2002....

), and FK Naprijed Banja Luka.

The city has a long tradition of handball players and teams. RK Borac Banjaluka was the European Champion in 1976, the European Vice-Champion in 1975 and the winner of the IHF Cup in 1991.

Recently, tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 has taken on a bigger role in the city. The local tennis tournament, "Memorijal Trive Vujića", has become professional and has been awarded ATP
Association of Tennis Professionals
The Association of Tennis Professionals or ATP was formed in 1972 by Donald Dell, Jack Kramer, and Cliff Drysdale to protect the interests of male professional tennis players. Since 1990, the association has organized the worldwide tennis tour for men and linked the title of the tour with the...

 status in 2001, with the rank of a Challenger
ATP Challenger Series
The ATP Challenger Tour, known until the end of 2008 as the ATP Challenger Series, is a series of international men's professional tennis tournaments...

. The Banja Luka Challenger takes place in September each year. Also, in 2006, the Davis Cup
Davis Cup
The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation and is contested between teams of players from competing countries in a knock-out format. The competition began in 1900 as a challenge between Britain and the United States. By...

 matches of the Europe/Africa Zone Group III took place in the city. Apart from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, the teams included Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 and Andorra
Andorra
Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

.

In 2005, the European Championships in Rafting
Rafting
Rafting or white water rafting is a challenging recreational outdoor activity using an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on white water or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this...

 were held on the Vrbas river. According to the International Rafting Federation, "The event was hugely successful and the hosts are to be praised for the exemplary manner in which they ran the event, managed the media and looked after the competitors, staff and spectators...". Many nations took part, with the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 being the most successful. In May 2009 the World Championships will be held on the Vrbas and Tara rivers.

Among many other sports, Banjaluka has recently had a flourish of sports previously unknown in the country, such as archery (archery club "Banjaluka" http://www.skbl.rs.ba) or floorball.

Tourism

The natural beauties of the surrounding area guarantee the city of Banja Luka a good position in tourism. Banja Luka has a number of hotels, one of the best being Hotel Cezar Banja Luka.
One of the hotels right on the Vrbas river's bank is the Marriott.
The city and surrounding area boast a number of popular tourist attractions. Among the most famous are the pools, thermal springs, and spas in the region. Due to its parks and over 10 000 trees Banja Luka was once nicknamed the "Green City". The area is popular among nature lovers, while the city centre is attractive to tourists due to its historical structures and many restaurants. Other attractions of Banja Luka are the Banj Hill and a waterfall of the Vrbas river near Krupa. Rafting on the Vrbas river is currently becoming popular among the local tourists. There is fishing, rock climbing and hiking along the canyon of the Vrbas between Banja Luka and Jajce
Jajce
Jajce is a city and municipality located in the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is part of the Central Bosnia Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity...

, and there is plenty of accommodation for visitors.

Transportation

Public transportation within Banja Luka is exclusively operated by the bus services. Over 30 bus lines connect downtown with the rest of the city and its suburbs. The oldest bus link in the city is line No 1. Taxis are also readily available.

Banja Luka International Airport
Banja Luka International Airport
Banja Luka International Airport , also known as Mahovljani Airport, after the nearby village of the same name, is an airport located north northeast of the railway station in the city of Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the...

  is located 23 km from Banja Luka. The airport is served by B&H Airlines
B&H Airlines
B&H Airlines is an airline with its head office in the Energoinvest Building in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, operating scheduled services, charter passenger services and small cargo services...

, which operates regular flights to Zurich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

 (four times weekly) and Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 (two times weekly). Charter flights also operate from the airport, and the airport can be used as a back-up to Sarajevo Airport
Sarajevo International Airport
Sarajevo International Airport , also known as Butmir Airport, is the main international airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located southwest of the railway station in the capital city of Sarajevo in the suburb of Butmir....

. Zagreb Airport
Zagreb Airport
Zagreb Airport , also known as Pleso Airport after the nearby suburb of Pleso, is the main international airport of Croatia and also a Croatian Air Force and Defense major fighter jet base. Located 10 km from the central railway station in Zagreb, it served 2,071,561 passengers in 2010 and is the...

, due to weather conditions in winter often preferable to Sarajevo, is approximately two hours away from Banja Luka by car.

Banja Luka is the hub of the railway services of Željeznice Republike Srpske, comprising one half of the railway network of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

. Services operate to most northern Bosnian towns, Zagreb
Zagreb
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...

 (twice daily), and Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

. Due to the recent conflict, an outdated rail network, and a lack of carriages, services are slow and infrequent compared with neighbouring countries.

A wide range of bus services are available to most neighbouring and larger towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as to regional and European destinations such as Austria, Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland and Slovakia.

The expressway E-661 (locally known as M-16) leads north to Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, existing as an expressway from Banja Luka to Laktasi
Laktaši
Laktaši is a town and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in the Republika Srpska entity near the city of Banja Luka.-Geography:...

 and as a two-lane road from Laktasi
Laktaši
Laktaši is a town and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in the Republika Srpska entity near the city of Banja Luka.-Geography:...

 to the Bosnian/Croatian border. This second section of the road is currently being upgraded to an expressway.

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Banja Luka twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with the following cities:
Bari
Bari
Bari is the capital city of the province of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, in Italy. It is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples, and is well known as a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas...

, Italy Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

, Serbia, since 2003 Bitonto
Bitonto
Bitonto is a city and comune in the province of Bari , Italy. It is nicknamed the "City of Olives" due to the numerous olive groves surrounding the city.-Geography:...

, Italy Campobasso
Campobasso
-Main sights:The main attraction of Campobasso is the Castello Monforte, built in 1450 by the local ruler Nicola II Monforte, over Lombard or Norman ruins. The castle has Guelph merlons and stands on a commanding point, where traces of ancient settlements have been found...

, Italy Graz
Graz
The more recent population figures do not give the whole picture as only people with principal residence status are counted and people with secondary residence status are not. Most of the people with secondary residence status in Graz are students...

, Austria
Kaiserslautern
Kaiserslautern
Kaiserslautern is a city in southwest Germany, located in the Bundesland of Rhineland-Palatinate at the edge of the Palatinate forest . The historic centre dates to the 9th century. It is from Paris, from Frankfurt am Main, and from Luxembourg.Kaiserslautern is home to 99,469 people...

, Germany, since 2003 Kranj
Kranj
' is the third largest municipality and fourth largest city in Slovenia, with a population of 54,500 . It is located approximately 20 km north-west of Ljubljana...

, Slovenia, since 2006 Lviv
Lviv
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following...

, Ukraine Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut, Israel, since 2010 Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Russia, since 2003
Novi Sad
Novi Sad
Novi Sad is the capital of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, and the administrative centre of the South Bačka District. The city is located in the southern part of Pannonian Plain on the Danube river....

, Serbia, since 2006 Patras
Patras
Patras , ) is Greece's third largest urban area and the regional capital of West Greece, located in northern Peloponnese, 215 kilometers west of Athens...

, Greece, since 1995 Sremska Mitrovica
Sremska Mitrovica
Sremska Mitrovica is a city and municipality located in the Vojvodina province of Serbia, on the left bank of the Sava river. As of 2002 the town had a total population of 39,041, while Sremska Mitrovica municipality had a population of 85,605...

, Serbia Västerås
Västerås
Västerås is a city in central Sweden, located on the shore of Lake Mälaren in the province Västmanland, some 100 km west of Stockholm...

, Sweden, since 1969 Zemun
Zemun
Zemun is a historical town and one of the 17 municipalities which constitute the City of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia...

, Serbia

People

  • Petar Kočić
    Petar Kocic
    Petar Kočić was a Serb prose writer and politician from Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was active in the Serbian National Organization with ties to the Mlada Bosna revolutionaries, after which he seceded with his closest supporters leading a wing under his leadership.Like both Borisav Stanković, who...

    , novelist
  • Marijan Beneš
    Marijan Beneš
    Marijan Beneš is a former Yugoslavian boxer from Bosnia and Herzegovina, still considered one of the best in the Yugoslavian history. After a brilliant amateur career, culminating in the gold medal in European Amateur Boxing Championships in Belgrade, he turned professional in 1977, and won the...

    , boxer and poet
  • Anton Josipović
    Anton Josipovic
    Anton Ante Josipović is a former boxer from Bosnia and Herzegovina...

    , boxer
  • Ivan Merz
    Ivan Merz
    Blessed Ivan Merz was a Bosnian-Croatian lay academic, beatified by Pope John Paul II on a visit at Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 23, 2003...

    , blessed layman and Catholic activist
  • Mustafa Nadarević
    Mustafa Nadarevic
    Mustafa Nadarević is a Bosnian actor and comedian. He has studied at the Academy of Drama and Arts in Zagreb....

    , Bosnian actor, one of the most recognizable character actors in the ex-Yu region
  • Neven Subotić
    Neven Subotic
    Neven Subotić is a Serbian football defender, who plays for Borussia Dortmund of the German Bundesliga. He made his first-team debut in the 2006–07 season for 1. FSV Mainz 05. In 2008, he signed with Dortmund...

    , football player
  • Milorad Karalić
    Milorad Karalic
    Milorad Karalić is a Serbian former handball player who competed for Yugoslavia in the 1972 Summer Olympics and in the 1976 Summer Olympics.He was born in Ivanjska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, then Yugoslavia....

    , handball player
  • Nebojša Popović
    Nebojša Popovic
    Nebojša Popović was a Serbian basketball player, coach and administrator...

    , basketball player
  • Ivan Ljubičić
    Ivan Ljubicic
    ----Ivan Ljubičić is a Croatian tennis player born in Bosnia and Herzegovina . His career-high ATP ranking to date has been no. 3, and he stands at no. 37....

    , tennis player
  • Saša Lošić
    Saša Lošic
    Saša Lošić - Loša is one of the most recognizable composers of the Balkans and the leader of the band Plavi Orkestar, which was one of the most popular acts of the former Yugoslav Pop and Rock scene.He is a composer of often folk-inspired pop, as well as theatre scores Saša Lošić - Loša (born July...

    , singer, composer
  • Vlado Milošević
    Vlado Miloševic
    Vlado Milošević was a Serbian composer and ethnomusicologist from Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina, a part of Yugoslavia for most of his life. His hometown of Banja Luka holds an annual musical festival named after the composer....

    , composer
  • Zlatan Muslimović
    Zlatan Muslimovic
    Zlatan Muslimović, is a Bosnian international football player. He holds both Bosnian and Swedish citizenships.-Early career:As a teenager, Muslimović played for the Swedish teams Habo IF and Husqvarna FF...

    , football player
  • Marija Šestić
    Marija Šestic
    Marija Šestić is a Bosnian Serb singer and musician. She is most known for representing Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 in Helsinki, Finland...

    , singer
  • Ivana Gagula
    Ivana Gagula
    Ivana Gagula, is a Swedish model and the Miss Earth Sweden 2007 winner. Gagula represented Sweden in the 2007 Miss Earth beauty pageant, held in Quezon City, the Philippines, November 11, where she reached a semi-final spot....

     Semi-finalist in Miss Earth 2007
    Miss Earth 2007
    Miss Earth 2007, the seventh Miss Earth beauty pageant, was held on November 11, 2007 at the UP Theater in Quezon City, Philippines. The delegates also visited Nha Trang, Vietnam. 88 delegates competed for the title, making 2007 the largest edition of delegates for Miss Earth. The pageant was...

  • Nebojša Malešević
    Nebojša Maleševic
    Nebojša Malešević is a Bosnian Serb fashion model....

    , Mr Bosnia & Herzegovina (Mr World 2007 representative)
  • Abid Kovačević
    Abid Kovacevic
    Abid Kovačević is a former Bosnian footballer. He capped twice for Yugoslavia.-Club career:Kovačević played for Ethnikos Piraeus F.C. in the Greek Super League from 1981-1984.-References:*...

    , football player
  • Nikola Pejaković
    Nikola Pejaković
    - Kolja i Smak Bijelog Dugmeta :The songs Pejaković had composed during the mid-1980s were released on his debut album Mama, nemoj plakati , released by System Records in 2001. Influenced by diverse range genres and crossing them with witty and a bit vulgar lyrics, Pejaković described his musical...

    , actor
  • Mladen Bojinović
    Mladen Bojinović
    Mladen Bojinović is a Serbian handballplayer playing in the French league club Montpellier HB. He joined the club in 2002, where he came from FC Barcelona...

    , handball player

List of associations of interest


External links

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