World War One Sites - The NETWORLD Database

The Franciscan Monastery of Fojnica, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Franciscan Monastery of Fojnica is located in central Bosnia, between Sarajevo and Bugojno (airline). The monastery was next to the busy road, and when the friars could no longer take the noise and traffic, they moved to the higher ground over Fojnica, on the hill Križ, and started building the new monastery in 1502. Today’s monastery is in this place. In 1524, in Fojnica, the monastery and the church were destroyed. The Franciscans build new ones, at the same location and the same dimensions (approx. 31x10 m). In 1664, in the great fire, everything was burned, and the Franciscans move to Lučina, near Jajce, where they collected money for fines and permits, and in 1668 they immigrated to the new monastery and in 1669 to the new church. In the 18th century, the buildings were restored; in 1801 the first organs were procured in Bosnia. In 1830, the church and monastery were renewed, and the school for Franciscans were opened. In 1884, the Franciscans built a new mastery, and the Church became first catholic church with cupola in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the First World War Church and Monastery were damaged by detonation and infantry armament. However, there was no major demolition. There are two libraries in the monastery; one is a library of newer books, and those books were published since 1850, and those books were meant for writing diploma papers, for children’s school readings, for students, for research etc.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fojnica

Type of WWI-heritage

  • Non-Military Site of World War One Relevance


approx. 31x10 m

State of repair/preservation

Well preserved.

Historical WWI Context

Even during the war period, the Monastery was focused on helping the local people and the friars that lived in it to survive hunger and poverty. They also contributed in the battle field when necessary.  As such, Monastery had two purposes.

Firstly, it served as a post office, where all the information about soldiers who were on the battle field was received daily, and provided information about those who died.

Secondly, besides giving loans of money to the state, the Monastery was ordered to provide materials that would be used by the soldiers in the war. As the order came from Government that they make pots from copper and yellow brass and those pots and dishes need to be passed over to army authorities. The Monastery also had to give the church bell for war purposes and collected all metals that could be used for army necessities. The authorities wanted to pay money for buying new bells but they refused it.

State of legal protection

It is protected by the law of the state Bosnia and Herzegovina.


This constructional/architectural World War One heritage is owned by the Franciscan monastery and Holy Spirit church.

Kind of cultural use of WWI

No information available.


No information available.

Entrance Fee

No information available.

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

Architecture and artistic monuments from the socialist period of the former Yugoslavia on Smetovi; Fortress of Vranduk near Zenica; The Old City of Travnik; Kraljeva Sutjeska in Kakanj, ancient city of Bobovac; on old “Ćiro” train in Begov Han; tombstones called “Stećci” near Radimlja close to the city of Stolac.


No information available.

Public Transport

No information available.

Further information sources

No information available.

Museums Private Collections

The Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo;

City Museum of Zenica;

Museum in Travnik,

Guča Gora Monastery,

Kraljeva Sutjeska Monastery


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