Historical early area of Donji Kraji, after Mrgić- Radojčić (2002)[1]

Donji Kraji ("Lower Regions" or "Lower Ends") or Hungarian: Olfeld, Latin: Partes inferiores ("Lower Parts"), was a small medieval region in present-day northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the southwestern size of Bosanska Krajina.

Name and geography

At first, Donji Kraji referred to a region around Ključ on the Sana.[2] From the 13th century on, the region was more often called Donji kraji Slavonije than Donji kraji Bosne or Donji kraji Bosanski.[2] The territory of Donji Kraji in the 13th century included the parishes: Uskoplje, Pliva, Luka, Vrbas, Zemljanik (Resnik), Vrbanja, Tribava (Trijebovo), Mel, Lušci and Banjica. During the reign of Hrvoje, Donji Kraji merged with Sana, Glaž, Vrbas (which has since been lost), and briefly Dubica.


Early history

In a bull (decree) by King Bela IV of Hungary dated July 20, 1244, some properties were assigned (giving the right of tithe collection) to the Bishop of Bosnia: Usora, Soli, and Olfeld. This took place during the term of Bosnian Ban Matej Ninoslav (r. 1232-50). Vjekoslav Klaić placed the territory of Olfeld west of Usora, based on the 1244 document and citing Konstantin Josef Jireček, who described it to be in the northwest (of medieval Bosnia), towards Croatia, encompassing Kotor on the Vrbanja, Jajce and Ključ on the Sana.[3]

Hrvatin Stjepanić (Latin: Hrovatinus; fl. 1299–1304) was mentioned as the knez ("count") in "the lower confines of Bosnia" (de inferioribus Bosne confinibus[4]) in 1301, and was a vassal of Paul I Šubić of Bribir.[5][6]

14th century

Donji Kraji, which corresponded to Olfeld, was mentioned in a charter of Stephen II, Ban of Bosnia, dated 1332, and was one of the named lands claimed by all later Kings of Bosnia, as well as Hrvoje Vukčić.[3]

Medieval Bosnian State Expansion

The Bosnian-Croatian border in Donji Kraji remained the same during the time of the Ban Kulin at the beginning of the 13th century. According to contextual sources, Ban Kulin previously ruled the Donji Kraji, as one of four countries reporting to him. In 1406, the Croatian-Bosnian border ran from Grmeč mountain southeast to Skoplje on the Vrbas (today's Lower and Upper Vakuf), from the middle course of the Vrbas (east) to Una (west). That area included several parishes: Pliva, Zemljička, Vrbanjska and Mrenska, ruled by the Trpimirović, with whose time some authors bind the name Donji Kraji (Lower Ends).[7][8]

Ban Matej Ninoslav was inherited after Ban Prijezda, which recognized the supremacy of the Bela IV. Using the charter from 1287, Bela then formed banians Soli and Usora. Prijezda left the entire parish Resnik to his son-in-law, Slavonian ban Stjepan Babonić and at the end of the 13th century, parts of Donji Kraji entered Babonić.

After the collapse of Bribirski (Šubić), Bosnia became stronger and eventually grew into the most powerful state in the Balkans. Ban Stjepan II (r. 1320–53) annexed Hum, the territory of the Neretva to the Cetina, which became part of Bosnia, and is now included in Bosnia proper, Donji Kraj, Usora and Soli. Donji Kraji included the parish of Banica (around Ključ on Sana), Zemljanik (Resnik), Vrbanja (the eponymous river basin), and later Glaž (at the turn of the parish Usora and Soli). In the Donji Kraji parts of the city of Kotor, over the Jajce to Glamoč. A powerful noble family was the Hrvatinić. Founder Prince Hrvatin Stjepanić acknowledged Croatian Ban Paul Šubić, consolidating his rule in Bosnia and extending his family's influence in Donji Kraji, with the title of "Prince of the Donji Kraji of Bosnia". His sons Vukoslav, Pavle and Vukac became their leaders, and the ban of Bosnia, acknowledged Stjepan II Kotromanić, which allowed them to extend their administration to the parish of Zemljanik and Vrbanja. The most powerful figure was Hrvoje, who became the Grand Duke of Bosnia and Duke of Split. In the mid-14th century, Hrvatinić's power weakened and Donji Kraji lost the status of administrative unit in the Banate of Bosnia. The "Prince" title and the status of Donji Kraji were restored after the coronation of King Kotromanić, during which Vukac Hrvatinić was succeeded by his son Hrvoje.

15th century

Even before 1386, it is possible to see the effects of the Ottomans in medieval Bosnia, after numerous raids Events during the 1410s marked the beginning of their active engagement. The Ottoman Empire supported the Bosnian nobility, led by Tvrtko II. After the Lašvanian battle on Lašva river (in 1415), the Ottomans and Hungary became the most powerful factor in the Bosnian state. Navigating between these two forces, Bosnian rulers resisted pressures from both sides. Despite the Ottoman battle success, Company II and his supporters failed to thwart the event in 1415. The bulk of the burden in this conflict was carried by Prince Pavle Radinović, who supported Company II. Pavle was killed, and Company II hold out for awhile. After the death of Stephen Ostoja, rule moved to his son Stjepan Ostojić. Tvrtko II finally retook the Bosnian throne in 1420. Shortly after becoming king, Tvrtko II and Hungary became allies, because he needed help against the Bosnian rebels made up of noble men and Radivoje Ostojić, son of the former King Ostoja. Tvrtko II and Radivoje, with Ottoman support, mastered most of Bosnia from 1433 to 1435. The Company remained in power until his death in 1443. His reign was marked by further development of the cities and the strengthening of the impact of the Bosnian Franciscans.

Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić was one of the most powerful Bosnian nobleman of his time.[9][10][11][12] When Hungarian king Louis I of Hungary died, he joined the dynastic conflicts, helping Ladislas of Naples to become king. He was awarded administration of large territories and the title of Herceg Split Viceroy of Dalmatia and Croatia, the Great Ban of Vrbas Banate and Duke of Donji Kraji. Another pretender to the throne of Hungary, Sigismund of Luxembourg suppressed Ladislas of Naples and dominated Hungary, which significantly weakened Hrvoje influence. Sandalj Hranić Kosača supported Sigismund, who entered in connection with the Ottomans and invited them to help in 1415. Hrvoje died in 1416, after which his possessions disintegrated rapidly, with the bulk of the Donji Kraji going to his cousin Juraj Vojsalić.


Territory and municipalities of modern Bosanska Krajina, including towns historically part of Donji Kraji.

After the fall of the Kingdom of Bosnia under the rule of the Ottomans, Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus occupied northern Bosnia in late 1464, including Donji Kraji, where he formed the Jajce county which was held until 1528. In this period the Jajce county covered the entire area of Donji Kraji, except the parish of Uskoplje, which then was under Ottoman rule. After the fall of the Jajce county, the region became part of the Sanjak of Bosnia.

"Bosanska Krajina" is first mentioned in 1594.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Mrgić-Radojčić, Jelena (2002). Donji Kraji: Krajina srednjovekovne Bosne. Belgrade: Filozofski fakultet. ISBN 978-86-80269-59-7.
  2. ^ a b c Dragomir Vukičić; Nevenka Gošić (1985). Collection of papers and materials of the fifth Yugoslav onomastic conference. Akademija nauka i umjetnosti Bosne i Hercegovine. p. 75.
  3. ^ a b Vjekoslav Klaić (March 1880). "Topografske sitnice (I)". Journal of the Zagreb Archaeological Museum (in Croatian). Archaeological Museum, Zagreb. 2 (1): 68–69. ISSN 0350-7165. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  4. ^ Klaić 1989, p. 193.
  5. ^ Šišić 1902, pp. 7, 9, 243.
  6. ^ Klaić 1989, p. 185.
  7. ^ Mrgić-Radojčić 2002, pp. 156-263.
  8. ^ Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, Ed. (1983): Socijalistička Republika Bosna i Hercegovina – Separat iz II izdanja Enciklopedije Jugoslavije. Jugoslavenski leksikografski zavod/Separate from the Second Edition of the Encyclopedia of Yugoslavia, pp: 76-86. Leksikografski zavod, Zagreb.
  9. ^ Krekić, Bariša (1980). Dubrovnik, Italy, and the Balkans in the late Middle Ages. Variorum Reprints. pp. 286, 260. ISBN 9780860780700. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  10. ^ Krekić, Bariša (1986). "Contributions of Foreigners to Dubrovnik's Economic Growth". Viator — Medieval and Renaissance studies. University of California Press. 9: 387. doi:10.1484/J.VIATOR.2.301557. Retrieved 14 July 2019. In 1399 Dubrovnik granted the rank of hereditary Ragusan noblemen to the king of Bosnia, Stjepan Ostoja, and to the most powerful Bosnian nobleman of the period, Duke Hrvoje Vukcic.
  11. ^ John F. Loud; Z. B. Juricic; Ivo Andric (1991). The Development of Spiritual Life in Bosnia under the Influence of Turkish Rule. e-Duke books scholarly collection: Duke University Press. p. 14. ISBN 9780822382553. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  12. ^ Lea, Henry Charles (2016). A History of The Inquisition of The Middle Ages: The Inquistion in the Several Lands of Christendom. Delmarva Publications, Inc. p. 115. ISBN 9781365355608. Retrieved 14 July 2019.


  • Malcolm N. (1996): Bosnia: A Short History. New, Updating Edition, New York University Press, ISBN 0814755615.
  • Mrgić-Radojčić, Jelena (2002). Donji Kraji: Krajina srednjovekovne Bosne. Belgrade: Filozofski fakultet. ISBN 978-86-80269-59-7.
  • Klaić N. (1994): Srednjevjekovna Bosna - Politički položaj bosanskih vladara do Tvrtkove krunidbe. Eminex, Zagreb, ISBN 953-6112-05-1.
  • Benac A., Ed. (1986): Bosna i Hercegovina / Bosnia and Herzegovia / Bosnien und Herzegowina. Svjetlost, Sarajevo.
  • Enciklopedija Jugoslavije, Ed. (1983): Socijalistička Republika Bosna i Hercegovina – Separat iz II izdanja Enciklopedije Jugoslavije. Jugoslavenski leksikografski zavod, Zagreb.