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Municipality and town
Konjic, view of Neretva from the bridge
Konjic, view of Neretva from the bridge
Coat of arms of Konjic
Coat of arms
Location of Konjic within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Location of Konjic within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Country  Bosnia and Herzegovina
 • Municipality president Emir Bubalo (SDA)
 • Total 1,169 km2 (451 sq mi)
Population (2013 census)
 • Total 26,381
 • Density 23/km2 (60/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area code(s) +387 36
Website Official municipality site

Konjic is a town and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located in northern Herzegovina, around 50 kilometres (31 mi) southwest of Sarajevo. It is a mountainous, heavily wooded area, and is 268 m (879 ft) above sea level. The municipality extends on both sides of the Neretva River. The town of Konjic, housed about a third of the total municipality population.

The city is one of the oldest permanent settlements in Bosnia, dating back almost 4000 years; the city in its current incarnation arising as an important town in the late 1300s. Today, the population of Konjic municipality is estimated at 26,000 people.


  • History 1
    • During the Bosnian War 1.1
  • Culture 2
    • D-0 ARK Underground Biennal of Contemporary Art 2.1
  • Natural heritage 3
    • Neretva river 3.1
    • Rakitnica river 3.2
    • Boračko lake 3.3
    • Blatačko lake 3.4
    • Jablaničko lake 3.5
    • Prenj mountain 3.6
  • Endemic and endangered species 4
    • Trout 4.1
  • Ecology and protection 5
    • Protected area 5.1
    • Dam problems 5.2
  • Settlements 6
  • Ethnic distribution 7
    • 1971 7.1
    • 1991 7.2
  • Notable residents 8
  • External links 9
  • References 10


Konjic bridge

The area near the town is believed to be settled up to 4000 years ago, and settlements around 2000 years ago by Illyrian tribes travelling upstream along the Neretva River have been found.[1] Konjic was earliest recorded by name in the records of the Republic of Ragusa on 16 June 1382.[2] The town, being part of the Bosnian kingdom, was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, of which the lasting feature for the town (apart from the many mosques and bringing of Islamic faith) is the Ottoman-inspired bridge which features in the town's coat of arms, and later into the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

After World War I, the town, long with the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina, became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes later renamed Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929. During World War II, the town became part of the Independent State of Croatia, and following the war joined the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Between 1953 and 1979, a 611 square-metre atomic bunker, dug 300 metres into a mountain, was built secretly by the government in the Konjic municipality, in which President Tito and about 350 people from the Yugoslav ruling elite would have been able to find shelter.[3] The town grew significantly and prospered as a vibrant, multi-ethnic city with good transport links (the town is on the railway between Sarajevo and the Adriatic Sea), the large Igman ammunition factory and Yugoslav Army barracks. These factors became one of the main reasons for the conflict in the 1990s.

During the Bosnian War

During conflict in Yugoslavia, Konjic municipality was of strategic importance as it contained important communication links from Sarajevo to southern Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the siege of Sarajevo the route through Konjic was of vital importance to the Bosnian government forces. Furthermore, several important military facilities were contained in Konjic, including the Igman arms and ammunition factory, the JNA Ljuta barracks, the Reserve Command Site of the JNA, the Zlatar communications and telecommunications centre, and the Celebici barracks and warehouses.

Although the Konjic municipality did not have a majority Serb population and was not part of the declared "Serb autonomous regions", in March 1992, the self-styled "Serb Konjic Municipality" adopted a decision on the Serbian territories. The SDS, in co-operation with the JNA, had also been active in arming the Serb population of the municipality and in training paramilitary units and militias. According to Dr. Andrew James Gow, an expert witness for the Prosecution, the SDS distributed around 400 weapons to Serbs in the area.

Konjic was also included in those areas claimed by the HDZ in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the "Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna", despite the fact that the Croats did not constitute a majority of the population there either (just a quarter of population in 1991, as the municipality was mixed). The Croatian Army units (known as the HVO) were established and armed in the municipality by April 1992.

Following the international recognition of the independent Bosnian state and the walk-out of SDS representatives from the Municipal Assembly a War Assembly was formed to take charge of the defence of the municipality. Between 20 April and early May 1992 Bosnian government forces seized control over most of the strategic assets of the Municipality and some armaments. However, Serb forces controlled the main access points to the municipality, effectively cutting it off from outside supply. Bosniak refugees began to arrive from outlying areas of the municipality expelled by Serbs, while Serb inhabitants of the town left for Serb-controlled villages according to the decision made by Serb leadership.[4]

On 4 May 1992, the first shells landed in Konjic town, fired by the [4]

The first area to be targeted was the village of Donje Selo. On 20 May 1992 forces of the TO and HVO entered the village. Bosnian government soldiers moved through Viniste towards the villages of Cerići and Bjelovcina. Cerići, which was the first shelled, was attacked around 22 May and some of its inhabitants surrendered. The village of Bjelovcina was also attacked around that time. According to witnesses heard by the ICTY, the Serb-populated village of Bradina was shelled in the late afternoon and evening of 25 May and then soldiers in both camouflage and black uniforms appeared, firing their weapons and setting fire to buildings. Many of the population sought to flee and some withdrew to the centre of the village. These people were, nonetheless, arrested at various times around 27 and 28 May, by TO, HVO and MUP soldiers and police.[5]

These military operations resulted in the arrest of many members of the Serb population and it was thus necessary to create a facility where they could be imprisoned and questioned about their role in war crimes during the siege of Konjic. The former JNA Čelebići compound was chosen out of necessity as the appropriate facilities for the detention of prisoners in Konjic. The majority of the prisoners who were detained between April and December 1992 were men, captured during and after the military operations at Bradina and Donje Selo and their surrounding areas. At the end of May, several groups were transferred to the Čelebići prison camp from various locations. In its judgement in the Delalić case the ICTY found that some Serb prisoners had been beaten, tortured and several murdered by the camp guards, and two women at the camp had been raped (one of them Grozdana Cecez, identity of other woman is unknown). Some of Čelebići prison guards (such as a guard with last name Tucaković) beheaded Sćepan Cećez and used his head as a football kicking it around.


D-0 ARK Underground Biennal of Contemporary Art

Konjijc hosts a Biennial of Contemporary Art since 2011, called "D-0 ARK Underground" which is located in an Atomic shelter named ARK, which the Yugoslav army built between 1953 and 1979 in Konjic.[6] The project, which the Council of Europe called the best cultural event in 2011, was curated by Petar Cukovic, Branislav Dimitrijevic in 2011 and Branko Franceschi and Bashak Shenove in 2013.[7]

Natural heritage

Neretva river

The Neretva is largest karst river in the Dinaric Alps in the entire eastern part of the Adriatic basin, which belongs to the Adriatic river watershed. The total length is 230 km (140 mi), of which 208 km (129 mi) are in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the final 22 km (14 mi) are in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County of Croatia.[8][9] The municipality of Konjic includes at least half of the area of the Upper Neretva (Bosnian: Gornja Neretva), which is the upper course of the Neretva river. Geographically and hydrologically the Neretva is divided into three sections.[9] The upper course of the Neretva river is simply called the Upper Neretva (Bosnian: Gornja Neretva), and includes a vast area around the Neretva, numerous streams and well-springs, three major glacial lakes near the river (and even more lakes, outside the municipality of Konjic, scattered across the mountains of Treskavica and Zelengora in the wider area of the Upper Neretva), one artificial lake (Jablaničko), mountains and forests, and native flora and fauna. All this natural heritage together with the cultural heritage of the Upper Neretva, represent rich and valuable resources of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Europe. The Upper Neretva has water of Class I purity[10] and is almost certainly the coldest river water in the world, often as low as 7–8 °C (45–46 °F) in the summer months.

Rakitnica river

The Rakitnica river is the main tributary of the Upper Neretva. The Rakitnica forms a 26 km (16 mi)-long canyon (of its 32 km (20 mi) length), that stretches between Bjelašnica and Visočica to the southeast of Sarajevo.[11] There is a hiking trail along the ridge of the canyon, at a level of 800 m (2,600 ft) above the river, all the way to the village of Lukomir. Lukomir is the only remaining traditional semi-nomadic Bosniak mountain village in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At almost 1,500 m (4,900 ft), the village of Lukomir, with its unique stone homes with cherry-wood roof tiles, is the highest and most isolated mountain village in the country. Indeed, access to the village is impossible from the first snows in December until late April and sometimes even later, except by skis or on foot. A newly constructed lodge is now complete to receive guests and hikers.

Boračko lake

Blatačko lake

Jablaničko lake

Jablaničko Lake (Bosnian: Jablaničko jezero) is a large artificially-formed lake on the Neretva river, right below Konjic where the Neretva briefly expands into a wide valley. The river provided much fertile, agricultural land before the lake flooded most of the valley.

The lake was created in 1953 after construction of a high gravitational hydroelectric dam near Jablanica in central Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The lake has an irregular elongated shape. Its width varies along its length. The lake is a popular vacation destination in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Swimming, boating and especially fishing are popular activities on the lake. There are 13 types of fish in the lake's ecosystem. Many weekend cottages have been built along the shores of the lake.

Prenj mountain

Endemic and endangered species


The river Neretva and its tributaries represent the main drainage system in the east Adriatic watershed and the foremost ichthyofaunal habitat of the region. Salmonidae fish from the Neretva basin show considerable variation in morphology, ecology and behaviour. Neretva also has many other endemic and fragile life forms that are near extinction. Among most endangered are three endemic species of Neretva trout: Neretvanska Mekousna (Salmo obtusirostris oxyrhynchus),[12] Zubatak (Salmo dentex)[13] and Glavatica (Salmo marmoratus).[14]

All three endemic trout species of Neretva are endangered mostly due to destruction of the habitat and hybridisation with introduced trouts and illegal fishing as well as poor management of water and fisheries (dams, overfishing, mismanagement).[15][16]

Ecology and protection

Protected area

Dam problems

The benefits brought by dams have often come at a great environmental and social cost,[17][18][19] as dams destroy ecosystems[20] and cause people to lose their homes and livelihoods.

The Neretva and two main tributaries are already harnessed, by four HE power-plants with large dams on Neretva, one HE power-plants with major dam on the Neretva tributary Rama, and two HE power-plants with one major dam on the Trebišnjica river, which is considered as part of the Neretva watershed.

Also, the government of the NGO's, domestic[22] as well as international,[23][24][25] who wish for the canyon, considered at least beautiful as the Tara canyon in Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby Montenegro, to remain untouched and unspoiled, hopefully protected too.[26][27]
Moreover, the same National Park of Upper Neretva towards the professional and scientific principles and not according to the needs of electric energy lobby".[28][29]


ArgudBaleBareBarmišBijelaBjelovčinaBlaceBlučićiBorciBoždarevićiBradinaBrđaniBudišnja RavanBukovicaBukovljeBulatovićiBušćakButurović PoljeCerićiCrni VrhČelebićiČelinaČesimČičevoČuhovićiDobričevićiDoloviDoljaniDonja Vratna GoraDonje SeloDonje VišnjeviceDonji ČažanjDonji GradacDonji NevizdraciDonji PrijeslopDošćicaDubočaniDubraviceDudleDužaniDžajićiDžanićiDžepiFalanovo BrdoGakićiGaljevoGlavatičevoGobelovinaGoraniGoransko PoljeGoricaGornja Vratna GoraGornje VišnjeviceGornji ČažanjGornji GradacGornji NevizdraciGostovićiGrabovciGradeljinaGruščaHasanovićiHerićiHomatlijeHomoljeHondićiIdbarJasenikJavorikJezeroJežeprosinaJošanicaKaleKanjinaKašići • Konjic • KostajnicaKotoKrajkovićiKralupiKrtićiKrupacKrušćicaKulaLađanicaLisičićiLokvaLukaLukomirLukšijeLjesovinaLjubučaLjutaMladeškovićiMokroMrkosoviceObrenovacObriOdžaciOrahovicaOrlišteOteležaniOvčariPačeraniParsovićiPlavuziPodhumPodorašacPokojištePolje BijelaPožetvaPrevljeRadešineRaotićiRasvarRazićiRedžićiRepovciRepovicaRibariRibićiSeljaniSeonicaSitnikSlavkovićiSolakova KulaSopotSpiljaniStojkovićiStrgoniceStudenčicaSultićiSvijenčaŠunjiTinjeTovarnicaTrebojeTrešnjevicaTrusinaTuhobićiTurijaUgošćeVelušaViništeVrbljaniVrciVrdoljeZabrđaniZabrđeZagoriceZaslivljeZukići.

Ethnic distribution


40,879 total


According to the 1991 census, the municipality of Konjic had 43,878 residents: 23,815 Bosniaks (54.3%), 11,513 Croats (26.2%), 6,620 Serbs (15.1%), and 1,930 others (4.4%).[30]

Notable residents

External links

  • Municipal Website of Konjic (Bosnian)
  • Website of Konjic (Bosnian) (English)


  1. ^ Bosna i Hercegovina ...::: Informativno-turisticki portal BiH :::... KONJIC
  2. ^
  3. ^ Exploring Tito's Cold War bunker,
  4. ^ a b Judgement ICTY vs Delic et al., 16 November 1998
  5. ^ Paragraphs 138-139, Judgement ICTY vs Delic et al., 16 November 1998
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Contemporary Arts Biennale kicks off in Kojic". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Neretva River Sub-basin". INWEB Internationally Shared Surface Water Bodies in the Balkan Region. Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "Hydrological characteristics of Bosnia and Herzegovina – Adriatic watershed". Hydro-meteorological institute of Federation of B&H. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  10. ^ "Water Quality Protection Project – Environmental Assessment". World Bank. Retrieved 18 June 2009. 
  11. ^ BHTourism - Rakitnica
  12. ^ "Salmo obtusirostris". Balkan Trout Restoration Group. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  13. ^ "Salmo dentex". Balkan Trout Restoration Group. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  14. ^ "Salmo marmoratus". Balkan Trout Restoration Group. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  15. ^ Kottelat, M. (2008). "Salmo dentex". 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 5 August 2007. 
  16. ^ Crivelli, A.J. (2006). "Salmo marmoratus". 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 5 August 2007. 
  17. ^ "Hydroelectric power's dirty secret revealed". New Scientist - Environment. Retrieved 18 June 2009. 
  18. ^ ""Upper Neretva"Our view of the Hydroelectrical Power Station System ". ZELENI-NERETVA Konjic NGO For Preservation Of The Neretva River And Environment Protection. Retrieved 22 June 2009. 
  19. ^ "Dams–Impact of dams". Science Encyclopedia, vol.2. 
  20. ^ Environmental Impact of Dams
  21. ^ "Methodology and Technical Notes". Watersheds of the World. Archived from the original on 4 July 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2007. A large dam is defined by the industry as one higher than 15 meters high and a major dam as higher than 150.5 meters. 
  22. ^ "ZELENI-NERETVA Konjic NGO For Preservation Of The Neretva River And Environment Protection". Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  23. ^ "Water power: the upper Neretva River, Bosnia-Herzegovina". WWF - World Wide Fund. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  24. ^ "Fondacija Heinrich Böll". Retrieved 24 March 2009. 
  25. ^ "REC – The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe". Retrieved 24 March 2009. 
  26. ^ "Living Neretva". WWF - World Wide Fund. Retrieved 18 March 2009. 
  27. ^ "Declaration For The Protection Of The Neretva River". ZELENI-NERETVA Konjic NGO For Preservation Of The Neretva River And Environment Protection. Retrieved 22 June 2009. 
  28. ^ Silenced Rivers: The Ecology and Politics of Large Dams, by Patrick McCully, Zed Books, London, 1996
  29. ^ ""Upper Neretva"Arguments Pro&Contra – Why Are We Contra The Hydroelectrical Power Station System ". ZELENI-NERETVA Konjic NGO For Preservation Of The Neretva River And Environment Protection. Retrieved 22 June 2009. 
  30. ^ Paragraph 121, Judgement ICTY vs Delic et al., 16 November 1998

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