Banja Luka Local Customs

  • Happy holiday, Banja Luka!
    Happy holiday, Banja Luka!
    by Odiseya
  • Starica prede vunu
    Starica prede vunu
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  • Banja Luka at night
    Banja Luka at night
    by Odiseya

Best Rated Local Customs in Banja Luka

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    Hand-made wool

    by croisbeauty Written Nov 12, 2004

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    Hand-made spinning wool is an very old tradition in Bosnia. Unfortunately, this kind of handicraft barely can be seen in today's Bosnia. I was lucky, in occasion of a business trip to Kneževo nearby Banja Luka I saw this old lady and she proudly posed me for a picture.

    Starica prede vunu
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    Coffee in Gospodska Street

    by Prasnjavi Updated Mar 11, 2004

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    Having a coffee in some of very nice coffee bars in main, Gospodska Street is tradition here. It is pedestrian zone passing by Banski Dvor, National Bank, City Hall and Church of Holy Trinity. You can have your coffee and enjoy watching beautiful women passing by.

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    Working hours during winter holidays

    by Odiseya Updated Dec 24, 2015

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    Winter is time of biggest celebration and interesting cultural events and manifestation. This is also and time of official public holidays and that is also and non-working days.

    Usually there is limitation of working hours for restaurants and cafes and even night clubs.
    There is officially permitting of city major and local Assembly that working hours of all restaurants, clubs, pubs and cafes in the city can work longer than the hours prescribed by the decision of the city, until 14 January 2016.

    Note for visitors of Banja Luka in January 2016:
    - on 1st, 2nd, 7th and 14th January - restaurants and cafes can work limitless,
    - rest of days till 14th January (except on days wrote previous) - restaurants and cafes can work one hours later then usually on following terms:
    • restaurants, catering services for food and drinks and cafes:
    - during week from 7 am till 1 am
    - on weekends from 7 am till 2 am
    • restaurants awarded with quality mark "golden spoon":
    - during week from 7 am till 2 am
    - on weekends from 7 am till 3 am
    • Night clubs (disco-bars, disco-clubs / discos and night clubs):
    - 7 pm to 4 am,
    - 7 pm to 5 am, on weekends (Friday and Saturday).
    • Salons for special occasions (wedding salons, etc.):
    07:00 to 04:00 hours.
    - on 9th January (St. Stephan Day or Day of Republika Srpska) butcher shops can work from 8 am till 13 pm and flower shops from 8 am till 8 pm and discount stores from 8 am till noon.

    Happy holidays!

    Banja Luka
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    Ascension Day

    by Odiseya Updated May 28, 2015

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    The Patron Saint-day (Serbian Cyrillic: слава, read: slava) of Banja Luka is Ascension Day (Serbian Cyrillic: Спасовдан, read: Spasovdan). This holiday take place 40 days after Orthodox Easter.

    Ascension Day is important holiday for Banja Luka and big public celebration.

    The public celebration starts with Holy Liturgy that was held in Christ the Savior Cathedral church in heart of City. It was held by leading bishop, with the help of numerous clergy of the Diocese of Banja Luka.
    After the Holly Liturgy, witch is attended by officials of the city, and many of the faithful and citizens of Banja Luka, is consecrated Slava grain and cake. Then followed the Ascension Day procession. That custom is official started here in 2010. Procession walk around church three times.

    This celebration jointly organized the City authority and Serbian Orthodox parish and church community of Banja Luka.

    Ascension Day is also main fest of Christ the Savior Cathedral church.

    Christ the Savior Cathedral church
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    New Year atmosphere in Banja Luka

    by Odiseya Updated Dec 28, 2014

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    Period of winter holidays in Banja Luka are festive days but here it start about middle December till middle of January following year. Why? Since most of Banja Lukas inhabitants are Christian Orthodox and the Serbian Orthodox Church follow old Julian calendar. That means that all official holidays are 13 days later then official international Gregorian calendar. In fact, New Year fest here is 13th January and Christmas is on 7th January. Official international New Year celebration on 31 December is still a great celebration. Center of Banja Luka is very illuminated by holidays decoration and on very end of New Year (both times) are a big musical manifestation and fireworks.

    Due to specific tradition and fest in January and December there is all over center a specific small stands with decoration.

    Last year (2013) that Banja Luka official set trend of embracing mainly western tradition about Christmas fairs. Here it call "Zimzograd" (literary translation is "winter city"). Not like a fair in Vienna of course, but the square of Krajina is gain a specific look from 15th December 2013 and it will last till 15th December 2014. I enjoy in my visit the "Winter city" and this year and I am glad that become a tradition and it is expand all over country (fist and only in Teslić).

    So, enjoy in long holidays season in Banja Luka.

    Banja Luka at night New Year atmosphere in Banja Luka Zimzograd
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    Memorials and memories

    by Odiseya Updated Jun 22, 2015

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    Memorials in Banja Luka is not only related to historical events significant for the city and its inhabitants as well as in all other places around the country. I notice here and memorials on walls some buildings that is not related to its presents function. It is some kind of memento on what is was in past in Banja Luka. I found several places in city where you can see memorial plaque to significant persons, buildings and activity trough some form of club or society.

    On Banski dvori (from one side) you could find plaque that indicate that here used too be place of Klub akademičara Banja Luka or short KAB (meaning "Club of academics of Banja Luka"). From inscription you can learn that in this building was active KAB from 1956 till 1974. It was club of notable students and youth of Banja Luka active in its cultural, sports and intellectual life and its recognition on national level (Yugoslavia) for its achievements. It was founded in 1954 and this plaque was unveiled for its jubilee of 75 years (in 2009).

    In new Business center (SPSO) on gate from pedestrian zone call Parkić (that follow Gospodska street) on right side plaque dedicated to memory on first permanent cinema in Banja Luka (20 May 1911). On this spot was building of "Electric cinema" of Mr. Moritz Gottliebb. Interesting is that this plaque is bilingual in contrary to fist I describe.

    Noticeably memorial plaque is big plaque or memorial on wall of Boska shopping center dedicated to memories on devastated earthquake from 1969.

    Memento to recent past is big isolated sign of Kozara cinema witch is closed several years back.

    At the beginning of famous Gospodska street across to city administration building you can find plaque that indicate that on this spot used too ware house of notable Banjalukian Veselin Masleša. One of interesting stories is that actually Gospodska street is now Veselin Masleša street but still its is known by its old name.

    Close to its plaque, almost across in other side of Gospodska street buildings line is one passage call Bata passage (Batin prolaz). This is also one of Banja Lukas memories - there was a store of Bata shoes long time ago.

    For curious and very good observers Banja Luka offer some sort of time travel experience. Walking to Banja Luka and experiences its present you can learn about its past.

    Kozara cinema sign Memorial plaque in SPCO
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    Wild chestnuts

    by Odiseya Updated Nov 6, 2015

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    Banja Luka is famous for its wild chestnuts, only in Western part of country. This unusual treat warm hands and soul in the chilly autumn and winter days. Had it by the girl or boy, and the paper bags excavated and eating hot chestnuts youth and all whose feel youth relaxing by walking trough downtown. It is mostly sweet and inexpensive.

    Mostly chestnuts was origin from some surrounding villages like Motike or from Kostajnica in Republika Srpska and from Kostajnica in Croatia.

    Prices for 1 kilo various from 12 till 15 KM. Smaller packages is from 1 or 2 KM.

    Locations:

    Roasted chestnuts can be purchased at several locations within city, which is the city administration allocated on the basis of a public announcement:
    1. Boulevard Zivojin Misic
    2. Gundulićeva street
    3. Majke Jugovic street
    4. Corner C. Lazarus and S. Zlopogleđe
    5. Dragiša Vasić street
    6. King Peter II street
    7. Skender Kulenovic street
    8. Corner of King Petar I Karadjordjevic and Patra
    9. Teodora Kolokotronisa street
    10. Corner of Jug Bogdan and Cer

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    Light a candle at Safikada's Tomb

    by Odiseya Updated Dec 14, 2014

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    I heard about this legend and custom from my uncle who went to high school here before Banja Luka earthquake (1969).

    Safikada's Tomb is place where lovers let's light a candle in her memory to show love to each other.

    This place is located near city bridge Patria, next to Ferhadija mosque and across street from second enter to Kastel fortress.

    Safikada is Banja Luka's "Juliet". One of many worlds heartbreaking stories.

    There is many variation of this story about this forbidden love that I find out. On plaque you will read popular version.
    Safikada, nice Muslim girl felt in love with an Austria-Hungarian soldier (enemy) and they pledge their undying love for one another.
    When she find out that he died on some European battlefield she was devastated.
    Safikada is in the most beautiful wedding outfits hurried in front of cannon from Kastel fortress, which is signified noon every day, and so went to their deaths and to be forever with their loved ones.

    Safikada Safikada's Tomb
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    Day of Banja Luka

    by Odiseya Updated Dec 25, 2013

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    Banja Luka have a many official holidays and celebration but one date have a special attention of local government, locals and visitors. That date is 22th April. On that date in 1945 Banja Luka was completely liberated after occupation in WWII.

    During World War II, Banja Luka was the 1941st occupied by the German army, and he entered into the composition of the Independent Croatian State. At the same time the city became one of the main centers of partisan resistance to 22nd April 1945th the city was completely liberated.

    This celebration take several day and it have a rich cultural program. Events are promotion of cultural, spiritual, sporting, scientific and achievements and results of our fellow citizens and institutions.

    Happy holiday, Banja Luka!
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    Places for adds

    by Odiseya Updated Sep 15, 2015

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    If you planning to stay in Banja Luka for longer period of time - useful adds (rent place, shopping, nightlife, etc.) you could find on six official location:
    1. Petar Prvi Karađorđević street (main street, aka Imperial road), at the government building and tobacco factory
    2. Aleja Svetog Save, at Archive of Republika Srpska (aka Imperial house);
    3. at Bulevar vojvode Živojina Mišića street,
    4. near Elementary school “Branko Ćopić”,
    5. in Ranko Šipka street, across industrial complex “Rudi Čajavac”,
    6. in Gavro Vučković street, next to bridge Venice (Venecija most)
    There you could put your adds too.
    There are and online and printed resources too.

    For entertainment and education you could find adds at all cultural institution, next to two University campus, on information board in and outside of every school, college, faculty, gym, seat of nongovernmental organisation, youth center and cultural clubs.

    Ask in touristic offices too and for shopping on or in shops.

    If you planning to put your add - ask to officials. I read that the penalties provided for under the Decision on advertising in the city are in range from 1000 to 7000 BAM for a legal entity, and the responsible person from 300 to 1800 BAM. When it comes to entrepreneurs, fines are in amount to 200 to 1000 BAM, and the penalties for individuals are from 100 u to 1000 BAM.

    After the performed audits officials issued the decision on removal or obtaining the necessary approval. The persons who have issued the decision have 15 days to obtain permission or remove advertisements.

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    FREE WIFI ZONE IN BANJA LUKA

    by Odiseya Written Jul 12, 2015

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    1. Main city park Petar Kočić - across main square
    2. cafes - ask password
    3. near student campus, cafe call Šestica (six) ave and its computers you can use, there is close and internet cafe.
    4. try withing high building
    5. next to some business centers like some companies
    6. square of Krayina (main square)
    7. Parkić, lower part of Gospodska street, downtown with lots of cafes.

    Petar Kocic Park
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    Working hours during Easter holiday

    by Odiseya Written Apr 11, 2015

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    Easter is biggest holiday for Christian but also and time of official public holidays and that is also and non-working days for entire Republika Srpska. All students are on spring holidays.

    Here officially Christian holidays are follow according to Julian calendar like Serbian Orthodox church who is dominant here.

    Note for visitors of Banja Luka in April 2015:
    - non-work days for official institution and city administration are 10th April (Great Friday) and on 13th April (Easter Monday).
    - on 11th April city administration had limited time,
    - some city and suburban bus lines on 10th, 12th (Easter) and on 13th will work limited and according to holiday works schedules.

    Happy Easter!

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    Banja Luka book fair

    by Odiseya Written Jan 22, 2016

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    This is biggest festival of book in Republika Srpska and one of leading book fair in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    It is annual fair and it had 20 years long tradition. It usually start in third week of September. It last 8 days and open ceremony held in Saturday. It is open for visitors from 10 am to 10 pm. Fee is only 1 BAM (around 0,50 euros).

    At first it held in big space outside of downtown call Banjalučki velesajam but in last few years it held in Sport hall Borik.

    Organizer is Glas Srpske, popular newsletter from Republika Srpska.

    Banja Luka Book Fair
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    City of Banja Luka

    by Odiseya Updated Mar 12, 2015

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    Banja Luka is second largest City in Bosnia and Herzegovina (after Sarajevo). Banja Luka is also and biggest city in Republika Srpska, one of two entity in country.

    Today is administrative, cultural, economic center and de facto capital of Republika Srpska, one of two entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Banja Luka is the centre of the government for the Municipality of Banja Luka.

    Flag with coat of arms
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    Female Chamber Choir "Banjalucanke"

    by Odiseya Updated Nov 7, 2015

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    Female Chamber Choir "Banjalucanke" is very famous brand of Banja Luka known world wide. Here on World Ranking they are currently (2015) 19 on world.
    Its conductor is Mladen Matović. He is famous as author of official anthem of Republika Srpska (yes, we have that).

    The latest success of the choir's gold medal at the World Choir Olympics in Riga, Latvia in the competition with 500 choirs from 80 countries in 2014. Also, in 2015 on just completed the European Choir Championships in Magdeburg, they won the gold medal in the highest ranks of the competition - the Grand Prix of Nations.

    I saw their performance during celebration of Victory Day, 9th May 2015 in Banja Luka.

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Banja Luka Local Customs

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Banja Luka looks almost like a small town from Central Europe. After devastage earthquake (1969) city develops in modern city with specific cultural mix of culture of South Slavic (especialy...

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