This is certainly one of the places to see when you visit the northeast of Bosnia. On the River Gradisnica, between the mountains of Majevica and Trebava, lies the beautiful town of Gradacac.

This town holds great historical significance for Bosnians. Husein Kapetan Gradascevic was a ruling beg during Ottoman times. He was a warrior and leader, highly respected and feared throughout the region, who posed such a tangible threat to Ottoman authority that he could bargain for more autonomy, self-rule and land rights. There are several versions of history but the common one is that he and his army were able to defend the territories of the northeastern frontier when the Ottomans could not.

He was greatly feared by the Ottomans, and when the rebellious Dragon of Bosnia (as he was called) decided to confront the Ottomans, he marched his army all the way to Kosovo in 1831. The Dragon’s army defeated the Ottomans and further destabilised the empire’s hold on Bosnia. This rebellious spirit proved contagious among the local pashas and ruling families, and sparked many more rebellions. Gradascevic was later betrayed and forced to flee across the Sava to Austria. The numerous buildings bearing his name attest to his role in the history of the town.

Hazna & Vidara lakes

The story of Gradačac would not be complete without mentioning its two water pearls – Hazna and Vidara lakes. They are both artificial lakes created to save this place from the heavy floods. Apart from that, they became green oases and favorite summer destination for the locals and visitors. Like in Tuzla with its Salt Lakes Trio – Pannonica, Hazna and Vidara lakes are offering a range of water activities, including swimming and fishing. And if you happen to be in Gradačac in August, you will have a chance to visit their traditional plums fair. Actually, this region is well-known for its high-quality plums, and consequently, they are organizing an excellent fair for already 45 years. So, what to expect before you explore Gradačac, the home of Dragon of Bosnia? An explosion of history, colors and tastes. One thing is sure – this visit will make you discover the glorious era of the region whose legends still live.

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