Location of Banja Luka (municipality) within Republika Srpska
|Country||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|o Mayor||Igor Radoji?i? (SNSD)|
|o City||1,238.91 km2 (478.35 sq mi)|
|Elevation||163 m (535 ft)|
|Population (2013 census)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Area code(s)||+387 51|
Banja Luka (Serbian Cyrillic: ? ?; pronounced [ba l?:ka]) or Banjaluka (Serbian Cyrillic: ), is the second largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the de facto capital of the Republika Srpska entity. Traditionally, it has been the centre of the Bosanska Krajina region, located in the northwestern part of the country. According to the 2013 census, Banja Luka has 185,042 inhabitants.
It is home of the University of Banja Luka as well as numerous state and entity institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city lies on the river Vrbas and is well known in the countries of the former Yugoslavia for being full of tree-lined avenues, boulevards, gardens and parks.
The name "Banja Luka" was first mentioned in a document dated 6 February 1494, by Vladislav II. The name is interpreted as "Ban's meadow", from the words ban ("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 "Lukácsbánya", i.e. "Luke's Mine", which is also the meaning of Slovak "Banja Luka". In modern usage, the name is pronounced and usually declined (u Banjaluci) as one word, and often written as such; the citizens reportedly prefer the form with inflected adjective (u Banjoj Luci).
Banja Luka covers some 96.2 km2 (37.1 sq mi) of land in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the Vrbas River. The city is located at . Banja Luka's downtown is at 163 m (534.78 ft) above sea level, surrounded by hills.
The source of the Vrbas River is about 90 km (56 mi) to the south. The tributary rivers Suturlija, Crkvena, and Vrbanja flow into the Vrbas at Banja Luka. Banja Luka has also a number of springs close by.
The area around Banja Luka is mostly woodland, although there are mountains a little further from the city. The city itself is built in the Banja Luka valley, which is located at the transition between high and low mountain areas. The most notable of these mountains are Manja?a (1,214 m), ?emernica (1,338 m), and Tisovac. These are all part of the Dinaric Alps mountain range.
The city of Banja Luka (aside from city proper) comprises the following settlements:
Banja Luka has a moderate humid subtropical climate with mild winters with frequent frosts and warm summers. The warmest month of the year is July, with an average temperature of 22.8 °C (73.0 °F). The coldest month of the year is January, when temperatures average near freezing at 1.7 °C (35.1 °F).
Annual precipitation for Banja Luka (is about 1,037.2 millimetres (41 inches). Banja Luka has an average of 104 rainy days a year. Due to the city's latitude, it snows in Banja Luka almost every year. Strong winds come from the north and northeast. Sometimes southern winds which bring hot weather are also prevalent.
|Climate data for Banja Luka|
|Record high °C (°F)||22.3
|Average high °C (°F)||6.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||1.7
|Average low °C (°F)||-2.1
|Record low °C (°F)||-22.8
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||71.7
|Average precipitation days||8.9||9.7||9.4||9.2||9.8||8.1||7.9||5.8||7.9||8.9||8.1||10.2||104.0|
|Average relative humidity (%)||82||80||73||69||71||71||70||73||78||82||84||83||76|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||54||71||125||158||206||222||272||238||186||133||70||46||1,781|
|Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst (temperatures, 1992-2016, extremes 1973-2016, precipitation, 1926-2016, precipitation days, 1992-2016, humidity, 1973-1991 and sun, 1961-1990)[a]|
The history of inhabitation of the area of Banja Luka dates back to ancient times. There is a substantial evidence of the Roman presence in the region during the first few centuries A.D., including an old fort "Kastel" (Latin: Castra) 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, which split into provinces of Pannonia and Dalmatia of which Castra became a part. Ancient Illyrian maps call the settlement in Banja Luka's present day location as Ad Ladios, a settlement located on the river Vrbas.
Slavs settled in the Balkans in the 6th century. Medieval fortresses in the vicinity of Banja Luka include Vrbas (1224), ?upa Zemljanik (1287), Kotor Varo? (1323), Zve?aj (1404), and Bo?ac (1446). The name "Banja Luka" was first mentioned in a document dated 6 February 1494, by Vladislav II.
Banja Luka fell to the Ottomans in 1527. It became the seat of the Sanjak of Bosnia some time prior to 1554, until 1580 when the Bosnia Eyalet was established. Bosnian beylerbeys were seated in Banja Luka until 1639.Ferhad Pasha Sokolovi?, a relative of Grand Vizier Mehmed-pasha Sokolovi?, had upon his return to Bosnia in 1574, begun the building of over 200 buildings ranging from artisan and sales shops to wheat warehouses, baths and mosques. Among more important commissions were the Ferhadija and Arnaudija mosques during which construction a plumbing infrastructure was laid that served surrounding residential areas. This stimulated the economic and urban development of Banja Luka, which soon became one of the leading commercial and political centres in Bosnia. It was also sanjak centre in Bosna Eyalet. In 1688, the city was burned down by the Austrian 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 migrated to the city in the 19th century and contributed to the early industrialisation 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 modernised until Austro-Hungarian occupation in the late 19th century that brought westernisation to Banja Luka. Railroads, schools, factories, and infrastructure appeared, and were developed, which led to a modern city
After World War I, the town became the capital of the Vrbas Banovina, a province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The provincial capital owed its rapid progress to the first Ban Svetislav Milosavljevi?. 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 "Pelagi?" association and the Students' Club. Banja Luka naturally became the organisational centre of anti-fascist work in the region.
During World War II, Banja Luka was part of the Independent State of Croatia. Most of Banja Luka's Serbs and Jews were deported to concentration camps such as Jasenovac and Stara Gradi?ka. On 7 February 1942, Usta?e paramilitaries, led by a Franciscan monk, Miroslav Filipovi? (aka Tomislav Filipovi?-Majstorovi?), killed more than 2,300 Serbs (among them 500 children) in Drakuli?, Motike and ?argovac (a part of the Banja Luka municipality).
The city's Orthodox church of the Holy Trinity was totally demolished by the Usta?e, as was the Church of St. George in Petri?evac. The Bishop of Banja Luka, Platon Jovanovi?, was arrested by the Usta?e on 5 May 1941, and was tortured and killed. His body was thrown into the Vrbanja river. The city was liberated by the Yugoslav Partisans on 22 April 1945.
On 26 and 27 October 1969, two devastating earthquakes (6.0 and 6.4 on the Richter scale) damaged many buildings in Banja Luka. Around 20 to 23 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.
During the 1990s, the city underwent considerable changes when the Bosnian War broke out. Upon the declaration of Bosnian-Herzegovinian independence and the establishment of the Republika Srpska, Banja Luka became the de facto centre of the entity's politics.
Nearly all of Banja Luka's Croats and Bosniaks were expelled during the war and all of the city's 16 mosques including the Ferhat Pasha Mosque were destroyed. A court ruling resulted in the authorities of Banja Luka having to pay $42 million for the destruction of the mosques. Later, an estimated 40,000 Serbs from Croat- and Bosniak-dominated areas of Bosnia, having been exiled from their homes, settled in Banja Luka. 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.
On 7 May 2001, several thousand Serb nationalists attacked a group of Bosniaks and members of the diplomatic corps attending a ceremony of marking the reconstruction of the historic 16th-century Ferhadija mosque. There were indications of police collaboration. More than 30 individuals were injured during the attack, and on 26 May, Murat Badi?, who had been in a coma after the attack, died from head injuries. Fourteen Bosnian Serb nationalists were jailed for starting the riots.
|Serbian Orthodox Church||168,985||90.25%|
|Roman Catholic Church||4,842||2.62%|
|Census of the municipality of Banja Luka|
|year of census||2013||1991||1981||1971|
|Serbs||165,750 (89.57%)||106,826 (54.61%)||93,389 (50.86%)||92,465 (58.25%)|
|Croats||5,104 (2.75%)||29,026 (14.83%)||30,442 (16.57%)||33,371 (21.02%)|
|Bosniaks||7,681 (4.15%)||28,558 (14.59%)||21,726 (11.83%)||24,268 (15.28%)|
|Yugoslavs||0.00 (0.00%)||23,656 (12.08%)||31,347 (17.07%)||4,684 (2.95%)|
|others||3,437 (1.85%)||7,626 (3.89%)||6,714 (3.65%)||3,948 (2.48%)|
|City of Banja Luka|
|year of census||1991||1981||1971||1879|
|Serbs||70,155 (49.03%)||51,839 (41.82%)||41,297 (45.46%)||1,893 (19.8%)|
|Bosniaks||27,689 (19.35%)||20,916 (16.87%)||23,411 (25.77%)||6,474 (67.7%)|
|Croats||15,700 (10.97%)||16,314 (13.16%)||17,897 (19.70%)||1,006 (10.5%)|
|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%)||187 (2%)|
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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 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 (formerly the National Bank of Republika Srpska). Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Serbia, the United Kingdom and the United States maintain diplomatic representation through consulates-general in Banja Luka.
In 1981 Banja Luka's GDP per capita was 97% of the Yugoslav average.
Although the city itself was not directly affected by the Bosnian war in the early 1990s, its economy was. In this period 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. 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, Rafinerija ulja Modri?a, Banjalu?ka Pivara and Vitaminka are all listed on the exchange and are traded regularly. Investors, apart from those from Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, now include a number of investment funds from the EU, and from Norway, the United States, Japan and China.
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.
The following table gives a preview of total number of registred employed people per their core activity (as of 2016):
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing||573|
|Mining and quarrying||71|
|Distribution of power, gas, steam and air-conditioning||844|
|Distribution of water and water waste management||817|
|Wholesale and retail, repair||12,305|
|Transportation and storage||2,578|
|Hotels and restaurants||3,146|
|Information and communication||2,965|
|Finance and insurance||3,192|
|Real estate activities||319|
|Professional, scientific and technical activities||3,592|
|Administrative and support services||1,124|
|Public administration and defence||8,695|
|Healthcare and social work||5,658|
|Art, entertainment and recreation||1,498|
|Other service activities||1,892|
This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. (December 2015)
The Museum of Republika Srpska inherited the Ethnographic Museum established in 1930, and broadened its setting with collections of archeology, history, art history and nature. The Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska, also called MSURS, the Museum of Contemporary Art, displays exhibitions of both domestic and worldwide artists.
Banja Luka is home to the National Theatre and National Library, both dating from the first half of the 20th century, and of numerous other theatres. The headquarters of the Archives of Republika Srpska is situated in the building known as Carska ku?a or Imperial House, built around 1880. It has been in continuous public use longer than any other structure in Banja Luka.
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Banja Luka has one major football stadium and several indoor sports halls. The local handball, basketball and football teams bear the traditional name Borac (fighter). The three football teams from Banja Luka are Borac Banja Luka (2010/2011 season champions of Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina), BSK Banja Luka, and Omladinac Banja Luka (both in the First League of the Republika Srpska), FK Naprijed Banja Luka and FK Vrbas Banja Luka
Borac Banja Luka is the most popular football club in the Republika Srpska. The club has won several major trophies in its history such as trophies as a champion of Mitropa Cup, Yugoslav Cup, Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Cup, First League of the Republika Srpska, Republic Srpska Cup. They have participated in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
The city has a long tradition of handball. 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 has taken on a bigger role in the city. The local tennis tournament, "Memorijal Trive Vuji?a", has become professional and has been awarded ATP status in 2001, with the rank of a Challenger. The Banja Luka Challenger takes place in September each year. In 2005, the European Championships in Rafting were held on the Vrbas river. In 2006, the Davis Cup matches of the Europe/Africa Zone Group III took place in the city. Since 2015, the city hosts the Banjaluka Half-marathon.
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Public transportation within Banja Luka is exclusively operated by the bus services. Over thirty 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. The expressway E-661 (locally known as M-16) leads north to Croatia from Banja Luka by way of Gradi?ka, near the Bosnian/Croatian border. 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, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland and Slovakia.
Banja Luka is the hub of the railway services of ?eljeznice Republike Srpske, comprising one half of the railway network of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Services operate to most northern Bosnian towns, and two modern air-conditioned 'Talgo' trains run to Sarajevo every day. However, services are relatively slow and infrequent compared with neighbouring countries.
Banja Luka International Airport (IATA: BNX, ICAO: LQBK) is located 23 km (14 mi) north of Banja Luka. The airport is served by Air Serbia, which operates flights to Belgrade and summer charters to Antalya, while Ryanair operates flight to Brussels, Memmingen and Stockholm. There is also Banja Luka Zalu?ani Airfield, a small airstrip.
? ? ? ? 1554 ? 1580 ? ? ?. ? ? ? ? 1639.