My name is Željka Kočić and I live in Banja Luka. I am a master of economics by profession, and in my heart, I am a lover of travel, photography and writing. I run my travel profile @whitepearltravel on Instagram, a place where I united my three passions. I use my profile to promote the tourist potential of our country, as well as to share its natural beauties with the world.

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The easiest for me would be to write about my city, my Banja Luka. After all, it’s dearest to my soul. However, that would be one long story, and it still wouldn’t feel enough. Besides, Banja Luka must be one of the most visited cities in the country, which is why I believe most of the readers have been here at least once. But the surroundings of Banja Luka offer so many amazing places to be seen and experienced, one of them being Krupa na Vrbasu.

Krupa na Vrbasu is a settlement located 25 km away from Banja Luka, on the Banja Luka – Jajce road. The road to Krupa na Vrbasu is an experience for itself. Going through the canyon of the Vrbas river, you will see huge rocks rising above the river and the road, creating an amazing sight which you’ll enjoy as much as the destination. Krupa is the first place I’ll take my guests who never visited Banja Luka to. Why? Because there is so much to do and so many locations to visit. Some of them are: river Krupa with its picturesque waterfalls and watermills that are still in use today; landscaped walking path along the crystal clear river and beautiful forest; Monastery of St. Ilije dating from the thirteenth century; the remains of the old town of Greben; a lookout point with a spectacular view of the Vrbas and the whole destination; the spring of the river Krupa as well as its confluence with the Vrbas; a stone bridge – a geomorphological wonder of nature, ‘Strikina’ cave, an old church … So let’s start from the beginning.


CASCADES OF KRUPA: Certainly, one of the biggest treasures of Krupa na Vrbasu are the cascades of the river Krupa, mesmerizing you with their beauty, whether you’re local or visiting from the other side of the world. Next to the waterfalls, there is a picnic area along with a few watermills where you can buy freshly grounded flour. If you cross the wooden bridge, the road will take you through the forest where you will see the next treasure of Krupa na Vrbasu – the Krupa Monastery and the church of St. Ilija.


KRUPA MONASTERY. The monastery church St. Ilija, known as Ilinka, dates from the end of the 13th century and it was most likely built during the era of Nemanjići. The monks of Krupa na Vrbasu also built the Krupa Monastery near Obrovac in Dalmatia in 1317. The monastery was devastated during the Turks in the 16th century, only to come to life again at the end of the 19th century, more precisely in 1889, when it was rebuilt. The monastery was destroyed and burned by the Austro-Hungarians for the second time in 1914, then it was destroyed again during World War II. It was also damaged in a strong earthquake that hit Banja Luka in 1969, after which it was rebuilt again. It was given back the status of a monastery only after 1989. In the period between the destruction of the monastery by Turks and its reconstruction in 1889, a wooden church was built which served as a replacement for the monastery. The church still exists today, but in a different location.



A WALK BY THE RIVER. The river Krupa can best be experienced by taking a stroll along its entire course. It might sound like it, but it’s not a very demanding activity, considering there are only 2 kilometres from the cascades upstream to the river spring. The road along this green beauty is neatly landscaped with benches as well as canopies suitable for picnics. For the most part of the river course, you will see private cottages, which is why this area is so tidy, neat and beautifully landscaped. But be careful, there are some amenities that are privately owned and are not for common use.



OLD TOWN GREBEN. Above the Tijesno canyon, on steep cliffs, are the remains of the medieval town of Greben, a protected cultural asset. This city was first mentioned in written documents in 1192. The path leading to the Greben is quite inaccessible and often times and you might have to tread it on your own. Once you get to the destination, the view will make it worth your while. Anyhow, if you decide to embark on this adventure, you need to be super careful.



THE STONE BRIDGE. The stone bridge in Krupa (to be more precise, in the village of Krmine) is a geomorphological natural wonder, known as ‘prerast’. You can see it from the main road Banja Luka – Jajce. When you see it, you should park your car at the first stop you see and cross the nearby suspension pedestrian bridge. The path to the bridge is 2 kilometres long and it’s nicely marked. If visiting the bridge during the summer, you have to be extra careful about snakes. There are also sign warnings placed under the stone bridge.



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