Kupres from ancient times to the present days

The first traces of human life in the Kupres area date back to the Neolithic. It is not known to which people these natives from the ancient past, from three thousand years BC, belonged. Certain signs of their existence are the remains of several old forts. Kupreški Poganac and Grad above Ravno are typical examples of these forts. In addition to the forts, only a few stone tools have been preserved to this day and are now housed in the Sarajevo Museum.

Illyrian period

In the period after the Neolithic, when people began to exploit metals, until Roman rule, this area was inhabited by members of the Illyrian tribe Delmati and Celts, who invaded this area in the early IV. century BC Kr. The Celts were much more advanced and skilled metallurgists, especially in bronze and iron.

Until then, the Illyrians knew neither letters, nor money, nor private land ownership, and women cultivated their land. Pushed by the Greeks, Celts and finally the Romans, they spread to other nations, leaving some traces in the nomenclatures and small remnants of the language, preserved in the language of an Albanian tribe.

Roman times

By the same time, Octavian (as Emperor Augustus) broke into the interior of Illyria from the north and conquered the remaining Illyrian tribes, including the Delmatians themselves (28 BC). Then, after the suppression of the great Baton uprising (9 BC), Roman rule was finally consolidated.

The long reign of the Romans (until the year 476), then the most cultured people in the world, could not remain without visible traces on Kupres. They were the first to know how to exploit the country’s natural treasures, especially ores. As this was not the case in Kupres, they took advantage of the abundance of wood and cattle, which was of great need to this warlike people to supply a large army with meat, dairy products and wool. The Romans also built the first roads that crossed the Kupres area in four directions.

After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire (476), Bosnia fell under Byzantium for a short time, and at the end of the 5th century under the Eastern Gothic king Theodoric, who ruled it for only 40 years. When the twenty-year war between the Goths and Byzantium was planned (535-555), the Byzantine emperor Justinian expelled the Goths from our region in 537. During this war, a new element of conquest emerged, the Slavs, which until recently affected much of the northwestern Balkan Peninsula, especially the provinces of Pannonia and Dalmatia.

Turkish era

When Jajce fell in May 1463 and the king was executed, Sultan Mehmed II. The conqueror moved back with the majority of the army, handing over a part of the army to the Thessalian Sandzak Omer-beg with an order to conquer Eastern Bosnia. The second part was handed over to Mahmud-pasha, who headed west. Thus, Mahmud-pasha occupied Banja Luka in Krajina, Prusac (Biograd) and Vesela Straža in Uskoplje, and Livno, Glamoč and Duvno on the western sides, then Rama with Prozor, and then Ljubuški and Imotski. That is how the Kupres region fell under the Turks.
In the liberation raid of the Croatian-Hungarian king Matijaš Korvin in the autumn of the same year, Kupres was happily liberated. Kupres then belonged to the Jajce Banovina, which together with the Srebrenica Banovina formed the so-called Croatian Bosnia, unlike the part of Bosnia that remained under the Turks and was called Turkish Bosnia. After the fall of Jajce in 1528 and Bihać in 1592, the consciousness that the land between Una and Vrbas was Croatian was not lost until the Turks conquered it, so these areas were called Turkish Croatia, unlike Christian Croatia in Prekosavlje and Dalmatia. The name Turkey Croatia became widely used throughout Europe in diplomatic and scientific circles, so it was used by those writers who wrote about Bosnia. This lasted until the annexation of Bosnia to Austria-Hungary in 1878.


By the decision of the Berlin Congress in 1878, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy was put in charge of the administration over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Two years earlier, at a meeting in the Reichstadt, Russia recognized the right of Austria-Hungary to annex most of BiH, only to gain a free hand against Turkey in the war on the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. Turkey and Serbia were too weak to stand up to European powers in Berlin. All over Bosnia, Turks gathered to revolt against the new administration. It was at this time, with the weakening of the Turkish central government, the oppression of the serfs and the inhumane treatment of them by the ags and beys, of course not all without distinction, for there were both good and just, that they reached their peak. The local population could hardly wait for some change, so they refused any call for help in the resistance, and Austria-Hungary soon established full administration over Bosnia.

The Austro-Hungarian monarchy was a renowned European power with an excellent administration, which soon brought order and peace, so it was easier to breathe. Public peace and security have been established. The standard of the poor world began to improve. Several buildings were erected in Kupres itself: the weapons station, the branch office building, the school, the forest administration and other public and private sector buildings.

However, great disappointment followed. The people rejoiced most in the new order in the hope that they would abolish serfdom, that is, solve the agrarian question, which would finally rid the exiled people of tyrannical feudalism. Not only was this issue not addressed immediately, but it was not thoroughly addressed in all 40 years of Austro-Hungarian rule. He was bothered by the state agreement with Turkey on guarantees for the Muslim population and his own feudal organization of the Monarchy.

The origin of the name

There are several theories about the origin of the name “Kupres”. The first is that the root of the name is derived from the Latin noun Cupressus  which means cypress. Perhaps in the distant past, someone mistakenly replaced spruce forests (Picea sp.) With cypress, but this is unlikely, given that cypress is a tree that grows exclusively in coastal areas. Another theory is that the name Kupres is derived from the Latin noun cuprum  which  means copper, as there is a possibility that the Romans exploited copper from these areas. The third theory is that the origin of the name Kupres comes from the Illyrian words  kupe ( read: kup)  which means  bowl, and Rrash  (read: raš)  which means  flat, so in translation Kupres would mean “flat bowl” because the whole Kupres area resembles a bowl whose bottom is flat (Kupres field) with slightly raised edges (surrounding mountains).


source: opcinakupres.ba