The painting of Csontváry Kosztka Tivadar (1903)

Jajca (Jajce, meaning “egg”) is a city in Bosnia-Hercegovina and it is famous for its huge castle and for the Hungarians, for its siege of King Matthias Corvinus. Its huge castle is situated near the great waterfalls which were painted by Csontváry Kosztka Tivadar.

Jajca was first built in the 14th century and served as the capital of the independent Kingdom of Bosnia during its time. The town has gates as fortifications, as well as a castle with walls that lead to the various gates around the town. The first references to the name of Jajca in written sources are from the year 1396, but the fortress had already existed by then.

Photo: Milo van Kovacevic

It was Lord Tallóci Matkó (Matko Talovac) who took it in 1434 for the Hungarian King Zsigmond but it returned to King Stjepan Tomasevic (István Tamás) of Bosnia before 1449.

Photo: Julian Nyca

Jajca was the residence of the last Bosnian king Stjepan Tomasevic; the Ottomans besieged the town and executed him in 1463 but King Matthias Corvinus took it back on 25 December of the same year, during his Bosnian campaign.

The town belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary between 1464 and 1527 and it was the center of the Dukedom (Bánság or Banovina) of Jajca. The Ottomans besieged it again in 1464 but they were defeated by King Matthias Corvinus. The next siege took place in 1501 when Skenderbeg Mihajlović besieged Jajce in the year 1501 without success, and the next was in 1502 but it was relieved by the troops of Prince János Corvin, the natural son of King Matthias.

Photo: Julian Nyca

As the castle was a key strategic point of the southern line of the Hungarian Borderland chain at that time, the Ottomans wanted to get it by all means. Yet, they were repelled in 1516 by Lord Zrínyi Miklós (Nikola Subic Zrinski, the great-grandfather of the poet-warrior Zrínyi Miklós who died in 1664) and by Lord Frangepán Kristóf in 1524.

Photo: Julian Nyca

Eventually, in 1527, Jajca became the last Bosnian town to fall to Ottoman rule after being taken by Gházi Huszrev. The town then lost its strategic importance, as the border moved further North. There are several churches and mosques built at different times by different rulers, making Jajce a rather diverse town in this aspect.

Enjoy the video of Jajca Castle:


Here is an educational video about the year 1463 that might be interesting as well:



Photo: Julian Nyca

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Photo: Julian Nyca

Here are a few more pictures of Jajca: