Banja Luka is economic, political and cultural center of Republic of Srpska and second largest town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is strategically situated on the two banks of the Vrbas River. On 150 square kilometers live approximately 300,000 inhabitants.
Banja Luka has a continental climate - average temperature in the city is 10, 7 C. The warmest month of the year is July, with an average temperature of 21.3 °C.
Four rivers flow through the city, which its residents call "The Krajina's beauty": Vrbas, Suturlija, Crkvena and Vrbanja.
Banja Luka's friend cities are Patra in Greece, Kaiserslautern in Germany, Lavov in Ukraine, Moscow in Russia, Kranj in Slovenia, Belgrade and Novi Sad in Serbia, Graz in Austria and Bari and Bitonto in Italy.
Banja Luka was once nicknamed the "Green City", due to its parks, and over 10,000 trees. The area is popular among nature lovers, while the city center is attractive to tourists due to its historical structures and many restaurants



The name Banja Luka was first mentioned in the document of Hungarian king Vladislav II dated February 06, 1494. For five centuries the town was under the rule of the Otoman Empire and Austro-Hungarian occupation.
Its rapid progress Banja Luka owe to the first "ban" Svetislav Milosavljević. Thanks to him, Banski dvor and its twin sister the Administration building, The National Theatre and The National Museum were built. Further city growth was stopped by the World War II.
In 1969, a devastating earthquake damaged the city. In spite of the destruction Banja Luka grew rapidly and became one of the leading commercial and political centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina.



The oldest historical monument in the city is the Kastel fortress, ex stronghold of roman army. This medieval castle is one of Banja Luka's main attractions. Located on the bank of the Vrbas river, it gives specific charm to the city.
In overall Banja Luka area there are many medieval monasteries such as Gomionica, Mostanica and Liplje and the Convent of "Marija Zvijezda" founded by catholic monks known as "trapisti".
Orthodox and catholic churches, as well as mosques are located in the town center.
Finishing works on rebuilding one of the most beautiful orthodox shrines, the church of Christ Savior, razed to the ground during the World War Two, are being carried out.
The reconstruction of the Ferhadija mosque is in progress. Bonaventura cathedral is in the immediate area of the orthodox church of Holy Trinity.
The National Museum, The National Theatre, The National and University Library, Banski dvor cultural center, Children's Theatre and Modern Arts Museum are the most important cultural institutions in town.
Hotel "Bosna" is the first hotel in Banjaluka, built in 1885. Reconstruction of the Hotel "Palas", located in the town center has been done on the old hotel building.
There are many Cultural Artistic Associations in the city. The oldest is RKUD "Pelagić" (1927), and it is the oldest institution of its kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The most active cultural and artistic associations beside Pelagic are "Veselin Maslesa", "Cajavec", Serbian vocal group "Jedinstvo", Children's choir "Vrapcici" and other.
In Banjaluka surroundings and in the narrow city area, there are restaurants for luxurious and elite occasions and celebrations, as well as the restaurants which offer authentic environment and rich national cuisine.
Favourite picnic area of the citizens of Banja Luka is Banj brdo which gives the splendid view on the city, cascades of
Krupa na Vrbasu, forests of Manjaca and Kozara and the Vrbas river.
The city and its surroundings abound with the thermal water springs (Laktasi, Seher, Slatina, Kulasi, …), which make Banja Luka region attractive for spa and
recreative tourism.
Banja Luka is important sports center. Its handball and football players, boxers and other sportsmen achived exceptional results in European and World competitions and Olympics.
Also, the city was the host of numerous international sports competitions. For its wild flow the river Vrbas is considered one of the most convenient rivers for rafting in the world and that's the reason why the World Rafting Championship will be held next year in the canyon of the
Vrbas River.
If you happen to be in Banja Luka, you will find in its closest vicinity the spas of Laktasi, Slatina, Srpske Toplice, famous for their successes in treating the cardio-vascular diseases and hypertension problems, unison the method approved by the World Health Organisation.



Public transportation in Banja Luka is exclusively operated by bus services. Banja Luka International Airport is located 23km from the city. Also, Banja Luka is the center of the railway services of the "Railways of Srpska".
A wide range of bus services are available to most neighbouring towns and every city in B&H, and international bus services are available to and from Austria, Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland and Slovakia.

  Copyright © 2009. IFF "Dukat fest"