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Fortress of Herceg Stjepan


The fortress was built in the Middle Ages, above Ljubuški, at the very top of Butorovica hill. According to folk tales, herceg (duke) Stjepan Vukčić of Kosač is responsible for the construction of the fortress, although it is historically older than him. In written sources, Ljubuški was mentioned for the first time on February 21, 1444 under the name Lubussa.

The fortress complex consists of two parts. The central tower "Herceguša" was built at the end of the 14th or the beginning of the 15th century, and the perimeter wall in the form of an irregular polygon with massive towers was built in the Ottoman period after 1472. The OLD TOWN OF LJUBUŠKI was declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina in October 2003.

Sometime before 1477, the city fell into Turkish hands and became a border fortress with a strong garrison. The Turks converted the fortress into a military residence with all the accompanying facilities. After 1835, the Ljubuški fortress lost its defensive and strategic role.

History of the fortress of Herceg Stjepan

The late medieval fortress of the feudal ruler Herceg Stjepan Kosača is the most monumental archaeological site of the municipality of Ljubuški, located on the prominent top of the karst range of the Buturovica hill (396 masl) and as such is a symbol of the city of Ljubuški and Herzegovina. The fortress complex consists of two parts. The rectangular central tower, popularly called "Herceguša", built at the end of the 14th or the beginning of the 15th century, and the perimeter wall in the form of an irregular polygon with massive towers, date from the Ottoman period after 1472. The complex covers an area of 3,350 m2 and consists of several units, such as a small and large bell tower with a table and various buildings; guardhouse, granary, bakery, armory, powder room and 4 water cisterns. The medieval suburb developed on the Crkvica terrace, at the foot of the southern part of the city. Not far from the entrance (about 250 m northwest) to the fortress are the remains of a mosque from the middle of the 16th century. Ljubuški was first mentioned in historical sources on February 15, 1435 under the name Lubussa. The Ottoman authorities conquered the city for the first time in 1463, and finally in 1477, when it was mentioned in the register of the Sandžak of Herzegovina. In the endowment of Nesuh-age Vučjaković in 1565, the city is mentioned as "Kala Lupuška" (Ljubuški Fortress). During the 17th century, Ljubuški became the center of the "Kadiluk", and finally left it in 1835 after losing its defensive and strategic purpose.

During the 17th century, Dubrovnik masters restored these walls for the first time. Unfortunately, due to seismic activity and atmospheric conditions during the 20th century, this fort was significantly damaged. By the decision of the Commission for the Preservation of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the building complex STARI GRAD IN LJUBUŠK was declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina in October 2003.

Do you want to experience the fortress of Herceg Stjepan firsthand, enjoy the beautiful nature, picturesque views of the city of Ljubuški and learn all about its rich history? Contact our partners - ERO Travel Tour Agency.

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