World War One Sites - The NETWORLD Database

Fortress Gradina in Maglaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Fortress Gradina consists of 5 towers: Širbegova or Kapi tower, Dizdareva or Southern tower, Defender tower, The Captain's or North tower and the Clock Tower. The exact data that we posses about the construction of the Maglaj Fortress is only about the Clock tower, and all the information on the appearance, construction and dimensions of the other parts of the Fortress are currently unavailable. The Maglaj Fortress Gradina was mentioned for the first time on 18th September 1408 in the Charter of the Hungarian king Sigismund. Although it was made in 14th century to serve in the defence of the Bosnian kingdom, not until the time of the Ottoman rule did the Fortress get its final shape. Fortress Gradina was declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2005.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Maglaj

Type of WWI-heritage

  • Military Fortification


In a horizontal section this tower is a square with a side of 3,07 m; the height of the front is 17,10 m and the opposite is 14,77 m.

State of repair/preservation

The constructional/architectural World War One heritage is in good condition. It is well preserved, but maintenance is mandatory. The site needs more care and preservation, otherwise the weather conditions, the awful conduct of the tourists and local people will lead to its total decay.

Historical WWI Context

The Maglaj Fortress is among the larger and stronger fortification buildings in the Bosna river valley. As a medieval fortress, the Fortress Gradina consists of 5 towers, which were already mentioned. It is believed that in the Clock-tower it was once a gold bell. However, this has never been confirmed. The mosque of Kuršumlija, near Gradina, is one of the most beautiful monuments of the Ottoman period in our country. The mosque was built by Ali Pasha Kalauz, and it is knowby the name Kuršumlija because it is covered with lead. The entrance of the Maglaj old town (The Fortress Gradina) there is a well-preserved clock-tower built on 17th October 1697, which was showed the hours in Central European time. As this tower is built on a cliff, its front side is slightly larger than the opposite side. After 1878, this clock tower received a clock which was purchased in Vienna, and a bell which was bought at a fair in Zagreb in 1923. Today, the clock tower is abandoned, with no clocks and bells.

Fortress Gradina Maglaj has served its purpose for years, primarily as a centre of defence of internal security. Upon concurring of the Austro-Hungarian Army in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878, the fortress lost all military significance, and was abandoned as a military-defence object. The desolation of the Old part of the city becomes even more intense when the people who lived in about 70 or so houses left it.

State of legal protection

The constructional/architectural World War One heritage is protected, according to the national law. Fortress Gradina was declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2005.


The constructional/architectural World War One heritage is owned and managed by the Municipality of Maglaj.

Kind of cultural use of WWI

No data.


No data.

Entrance Fee

No data.

Information regarding cities, villages, other touristic attractions (non-WWI) nearby

In the Municipality of Maglaj, an old Orthodox Church is very interesting to see, than the display of the Old stone balls that were discovered near Zavidovići, that are still not researched enough but are said to be more than 10 000 years old, there is the Vranduk Fortress near Zenica and old World War One bunkers near Želeća and in Žepče.


No data.

Public Transport

No data.

Further information sources

No data.

Museums Private Collections

Museum in Sarajevo has a collection about the World War One heritage because the murder of Franz Ferdinand, that actually was one of the main key points in starting the war in the first place, took place there.









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