Srebrenica tour: Worst European atrocity since WWII

A version of this article by the late Graham Jones first appeared on CNN.com in 2006. “It is now remembered as the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.” – CNN –

In a five-day orgy of the slaughter at Srebrenica in July 1995, up to 8,000 Muslims were systematically exterminated in what was described at the U.N. war crimes tribunal as “the triumph of evil.” Ratko Mladic former Bosnian Serb commander-in-chief who is accused of direct involvement in the genocide at Srebrenica was arrested on Thursday after more than 15 years on the run. Srebrenica was designated a U.N in 1995 as a “safe area.”

Srebrenica tour - cemetery
Srebrenica tour – Potočari cemetery

A judge at The Hague tribunal was later to describe what happened there as “truly scenes from hell written on the darkest pages of human history.” Thousands of Bosnian Muslims had sought refuge in the spa town of Srebrenica in 1995 as the Bosnian Serb army marched towards them. Protected by just 100 lightly equipped Dutch peacekeepers – who proved no match for the advancing, heavily-armed Serb army.

Even if perhaps more than any other city in post-war Europe, Srebrenica became a global symbol of suffering and genocide. In this small place, there are many attractions worth of visit, and our Srebrenica tour will help you.

Srebrenica mineral water is known as healing water from the time of the ancient Romans. They called it sources Domavija, and the whole area in this beautiful corner of Eastern Bosnia – Argentaria. And during the reign of the Turks, the fame of the healing water from the source of Javor Mountain spread. Interestingly, today’s name of Srebrenica’s spa dates from these times. Turkish soldiers came to Srebrenica to be treated for leprosy, hence the name “Guber”.

Srebrenica tour
Srebrenica tour – Guber – source: Furaj.ba

Srebrenica municipality is located in the northeastern part of the periphery of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Inside of a large middle course bend of the river Drina. The first time Srebrenica is mentioned in Dubrovnik sources is in 1352, and then again in 1376. To the present day, the municipality of Srebrenica has always been very interesting.

Illyrians, Romans, and Slavic tribes

Let’s learn some of Srebrenica’s history with the Srebrenica tour. Evidenced by the remains of material culture from prehistoric times (Bronze and Iron Age). The centuries-old residence of the Illyrians in this area, and the early arrival of the ancient Romans. Also, it was settled by the Illyrian tribe Dindar. The exploitation of lead and silver, started by Illyrians, was the main motive for the arrival of the Romans in Srebrenica. The Romans built originally ‘Flavius town Malvesiatium’ upstream Skelani near the Drina.

Later they built the famous Domavia in Sase at the junction of the Mejdanski stream and river and Saška. With the arrival of the Slavic tribes in the sixth century, and at the beginning of the collapse of the Roman Empire, Domavija lost its significance. All the ancient cities were demolished. In this way, the epoch of advanced ancient life in these areas had ended. It is important to mention the presence of Franciscans in our city.

The Franciscans came to Bosnia in the late thirteenth century (1291). Later afterward they build their first monastery in Srebrenica and by which later their monastery state was named Bosnia Srebrenica or Bosna Srebrena (Latin: Bosna Argentia). In the beginning, members of the Franciscan order were mostly foreigners (Germans, Hungarians, Italians). Later, owing to the demands of the Bosnian aristocracy, a local clergy became predominant.

In the municipality of Srebrenica 47 necropoleis were recorded with over 850 tombstones. With later studies in this field revealing the existence of another 6 necropolises which is to say the number of tombstones in this area is significantly higher. Tombstones are usually related to Bogomils – members of the Bosnian church, residents of the medieval Bosnian state.

Old Town of Klotjevac

No one is speaking about locations like this right? That is why we decided to write Srebrenica tour and to meet you with what Srebrenica has to offer.

Located on a cliff above the Drina, is the medieval town of Klotjevac. Both towers and the canvas that connects them are well preserved, as well as the building on the terrace, the so-called stables. On a hill called Jatara, in the area of the city, a dozen stećak tombstones have been preserved. Since most of the medieval Bosnian towns were built on hills, this town also had a defensive character. He had a good view of that part of the Drina canyon.

The fact that only 7 kilometers downstream there is another medieval fortress – the medieval town of Đurđevac, shows the historical importance of this area. The necropolises of stećak tombstones scattered in that area of the Srebrenica municipality, which gravitate around the town of Klotjevo, such as Mramorje near the villages of Ljeskovik, Zaelisije, Urisići, Lubničko Brdo, and others, show the continuity of life in this area for a long time. In the later period, Klotjevac was known for tanning leather that was sold and processed in Srebrenica. (Source: putovaobih.com)

Srebrenica tour
Srebrenica tour – Old town of Klotjevac source: www.putovaobih.com

Srebrenica Fortress

The old town of Srebrenik is one of the best-preserved and best-located old towns in the vicinity of Srebrenica. It is located directly on the eastern hill above Srebrenica. It dates from the 12th century, and archaeological research has shown that it was demolished and built several times. In 2006, the old town of Srebrenik was declared a national monument of the first category. On the mountain slope, which gradually descends from the east towards the main settlement, on separate terraces, there are the remains of two fortresses.

The lower town is dominated by better-preserved architecture of the Turkish era, while the upper or Old Town is all in ruins: the torso of the main tower and several smaller buildings are recognizable. The construction technique is undoubtedly medieval. It is not mentioned so often in written sources, but it is known that it served as a protection for the town of Srebrenica, which dates to the 14th and 15th centuries. was the most developed urban settlement in Bosnia. In 1776, the fortress of Srebrenik or the lower town was repaired. (Source: putovaobih.com)

Srebrenica tour
Srebrenica tour – Srebrenica fortress source: www.putovaobih.com

Srebrenica tour is dedicated for anyone who wants to learn about the history and genocide that teared up our country and from which we still haven’t recovered completely. Life goes on that is the fact, and citizens of Srebrenica can confirm that. That is the reason why we dedicated a majority of the Srebrenica tour to the things for which we can guarantee you a lot of people even from Bosnia and Herzegovina do not know they even exist. There are a lot more sights about which we will write more about in the next chapter of our Srebrenica tour posts.

The main idea behind the Srebrenica tour post was to switch the focus from genocide and to speak about beautiful things that are situated in the area of the city and to present you a history of the city for which now you know it lasts from the bronze age.


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