Zenica is a city in the Zenica-Doboj Canton and represents the economic center of Central Bosnia. Zenica is known as a city of music, art, theater, and many other artistic activities.
In the area of Zenica, traces of former antique settlements have been found, and the name of the city was first mentioned on March 20, 1436. During the Middle Ages, Zenica shared the fate of many Bosnian cities, and it fell under the rule of the Ottoman Empire in the period from 1463-1878. During the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Zenica was a kasaba, with several mosques, medres, and various nishans (Bosnian Muslim gravestones). In 1697, Zenica was described as a place where melons sprout, “and the neighborhood itself is very tame”. When the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy occupied the country, the construction of facilities of great importance for the social and economic life of Zenica began. A railroad from Bosanski Brod to Zenica, Coal Mine, Paper Factory, Steelworks and the Criminal Institution was built. The twentieth century carried with it industrialization and urbanization, and the number of inhabitants in Zenica has increased several times.
Just 10 kilometers downstream of Zenica, there is the Old Town with the Vranduk fortress, built in the 14th century. Vranduk Fortress was the first ban’s and then the Royal City, the residence of King Stjepan Ostoja and later Stjepan Tomaš. Vranduk proved its power during the advent of Eugen Savoy, who by destroying almost the whole of Bosnia, languished in front of the fortress. Today there is a tunnel, built in the Second World War, located below Vranduk. The fortress has been restored and turned into a museum in recent years. It was proclaimed a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Museum in Zenica was built after the war and tells us the story of Zenica and its tumultuous past. The Museum has archaeological, ethnological, historical and art collections as well as a library with over 2,000 titles.
You can use your free time in Zenica in many ways. Someone will find pleasure in walking through the city and the čaršija, and one can indulge their adventurous spirit in one of the nearby mountains. Special attention is drawn to Smetovi, one of the most visited excursions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Smetovi represents a very popular tourist destination during all seasons and is only 8 kilometers away from the city center. For recreationists there are paths for walking, mountain biking, horse riding can be arranged, and paragliders with expert assistance can be rented.
Zenica can certainly boast a wide selection of specialties of both domestic and international cuisine. From the menu, you can find everything from barbecue to the Mediterranean, Italian and Eastern European cuisine on the menus of restaurants in Zenica.
You can spend late night hours enjoying your favorite cocktail or beer at one of the nearby cafes and bars, and Zenica also took care of all Jazz music lovers.