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Banja Luka

city in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Banja Luka
Kastel fortress (on Vrbas)
Banja Luka Municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Banja Luka (Бања Лука), or Banjaluka is a city in the western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, located on the Vrbas.[1] It is the second city in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and many consider it to be one of the country's most beautiful cities.[source?] It is the administrative center of the Republika Srpska, and the economic and cultural center of this part Bosnian Krajina.[2][3]

Its elevation is 163 m, and total area 1,238.91 km2. According to the 2013 census, the City of Banja Luka has 185,042 inhabitants.

In the 1st century AD, Romans won the area of Banja Luka, which was then inhabited mainly members of Mezeji, a Illyrian teribe. This area was completely within the Roman privince Illyricum, and today the city of Banja Luka was located on the roadthat led from Dalmatia to Pannonia, or of Salona to today's Bosanska Gradiška. Today's citadel Kastel in the city center at that time was used as a Roman military fortress.

Slavs settled Balkans and all of the current Banja Luka in the sixth and 7th century in, and this time, of which there are generally very few written records, was built several fortresses in the valley of the river Vrbas. The earliest Slavic settlement called also ‘’Vrbas’’, which was first mentioned in 1320 and Banja Luka as a town under the name first mentioned in 1494, by Croatian-Hungarian King Vladislav. The very name comes from banjaluk that is the Turkish-Bosnian sleng means "spaing". This is in association with hot water for baths that still exist in today's oldest settlement Gornji Šeher/Upper Seher.


  1. "Nezavisna Agencija za Statistiku Bosne i Hercegovine, Službeni grad Banja Luka". Retrieved 24. 11. 2015. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. General information about Banja Luka,
  3. Mučibabić B., Ed. (1998): Geografski atlas Bosne i Hercegovine. Geodetski zavod BiH, Sarajevo, ISBN 9958-766-00-0.