The Municipality of Visoko
Despite only being a 20-minute drive from Sarajevo, Visoko falls politically under the Zenica-Doboj Canton in central Bosnia. The town is best known for its leather smiths, whose craft has been practiced for over 500 years.
High-quality, reasonably priced leather goods can be purchased in the old carsija. KTK Leather Company is the largest factory of its kind in the country. Their products can also be found in Sarajevo's carsija but you're likely to pay more than if you bought them here. The old part of Visoko is a mini version of Sarajevo's Bascarsija. Visoko reached the peak of its development during the late Middle Ages. It became a strong social, political and economic centre and had the status of a royal town.
Its name was recorded for the first time in 1355, in a chart issued to the merchants of Dubrovnik by ban Tvrtko I. On the vast plain near the town were the residences of the bans and the kings. Foreign envoys were received and state assemblies of all Bosnian territories were held in Visoko.
Visoko was also an important trading centre and, like many central Bosnian towns, had a considerable colony of merchants from Dubrovnik. The numerous charters and letters issued and registered in Visoko or its surroundings show the significant role of the town at that time. Today its main role is that of a small industrial and trading town.
This, however is starting to change with a new archeological discovery in the summer of 2005. Semir Osmanagic, a Bosnian born specialist in pyramids who lives in Houston, USA, has claimed to have discovered Europe's first pyramid. Visocica hill, home to the medieval Bosnian fortress, is now believed to be a man-made, perfectly symmetrical structure – namely a pyramid. Archeological digs have given great legitimacy to this claim as experts and media from around the globe continue to keep their eye on this most miraculous discovery.
The traditional Visoko conviviality and tolerance was proven a myriad times and is well-known across the Balkans. Local population has always been friendly to newcomers regardless of their religion. This is confirmed by the centuries-long coexistence of different nations and religions and the existence of their religious and educational institutions which have been preserved to this day.
The town of Visoko is traditionally a sports town. The first sport societies were founded in the first decades of the 20th century, and the first football club was founded in 1992 and was named "Jadran (Adriatic)". Visoko athletes achieve outstanding results in certain disciplines, at both national and international level. It deserves to be noted that, besides the professional amateur sports, Visoko nourishes and takes care of sports among the handicapped.
Sport-related activities in Visoko, football and handball being the most popular, take place in the open-air and closed spaces suitable for organizing big events, which has been proven many times. Visoko also has high-quality sport facilities, which can be significant for tourist offer.
The complex of "Luke" town stadium, with the main auxiliary football field, athletic track, handball, basketball and volleyball fields, bowling playground and areas suitable for other sports, has the total area of over 27,000 m2 and can house 5,000 visitors. "Mladost" centre for culture and sports - a hall with accessory facilities, occupies the area of 3,500 m2 and can house 3,000 visitors. "Partizan" hall is traditionally mostly used for gymnastic activities, the most important being rhythmical section for girls of different ages. Open-air tennis playgrounds in Visoko surroundings offer remarkable potential both for the recreational and of the professional tennis.
The tradition of medieval squares and fairs, and the market day during the Ottoman and then Austro-Hungarian administration, which include elements of modern trade fairs, have been transformed by Visoko people into the "Days of Trade, Culture and Sports" manifestation better-known as "Visoko Summer". This manifestation, primarily of tourist character, resulted from the mass gathering on "Alija's Day" better known as Alidun (from Arabic word 'Alija = Sublime Powerful, Noble and Turkish word gun = day). This gathering has over 250 years old tradition and takes place regularly, on August 2nd every year. To their business partners and tourists, skilful artisans can offer varied kinds of products of exceptional quality, and the offer is the richest in the high quality footwear, ready-made cloths, haberdashery etc.
Visitors and tourists can also enjoy the offer of fishing and hunting, mountaineering and skiing tourism. The pleasant stay with suitable accommodation is provided by a number of hotels and motels, bed & breakfast accommodation, and mountain hostels on the Zbilja and Gorani, as well as hunting and fishing hostels. Rivers and beautiful terrains around Visoko and in Visoko itself allow the development of recreational activities and country tourism, which is certainly and advantage in the light of growing tourists' interest in collecting medicinal plants.
Parallely with the development of handicrafts and other industries, Visoko has always nourished a distinctive relation towards culture. The best known institution in the field of culture is the Home Museum founded in 1953. Its holdings include over 32,000 inventory units arranged in the following collections and funds: arts, ethnological, numismatic, historical, archaeological, geological and pantheological collection, archives from the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian period, professional library and photographs library. City Library with its holdings of over 50,000 books is a cult spot of Visoko people's spiritual culture. The professors' library and the collection of items located in the collection of stone monuments of Franciscan monastery also deserve to be mentioned. The "Total" amateur theatre is well-known to broader audience and has been awarded a number of prizes for their work. A great contribution to Visoko culture is provided by students and teachers of the "Avdo Smailovic" primary music school. Visoko is also the home of a research, archival and cultural institution unique in Bosnia and Herzegovina, known as "Sevdah Institute" (sevdah = love yearning).
Visoko is famous as town of businesspersons and traders, which "know their works". Nested at the mouth of river Fojnica into the river Bosnia between the hills Visocica and Pljesevica from where spread green valley of fruitful fields where hard working people produce healthy food. Many traditional and national restaurants in the town centre offer to their visitors specialities of old Bosnian cuisine.