Saturday, August 13, 2011

Banja Luka walking tour...

Last night I walked home from the IHTUS Centre and happened to have my camera with me, so I decided to take pics of Banja Luka on my way home, and show you all a little bit of this wonderful city! Here is the IHTUS Centre to start:
And a picture taken from the same spot so you can see how close we are to the river ;-)
And again from the same spot, showing a typical Banja Luka sight: the 'dajak' (or 'punt'): And just like in English the 'dajak' refers to the pole and not the boat! I was just lucky that at the moment I was taking photos this man happened to punt by!!
As I walked over the bridge into town, and see this new Orthodox church still being completed, but almost done...
The next sight is the 'Kastel' Fortress: so beautiful!

And then I discovered that they have put signage up at Safikada's 'grave':
Here is the legend in English:
Up the street and to the reconstruction site of the 400 year old Ferhadija Mosque which was blown up during the 1992-1995 war, but is being faithfully reconstructed using as far as possible the original stones.

And then onto the main road and past our tourist information office: proof that we have quite a lot of tourists ;-)
I like this shot - Boska (our newly refurbished shopping mall) and one of the better city buses...
And taken from the same spot in the other direction - the Music Pavilion and the lovely Park dedicated to the poet "Petar Kocic".
On the Boska side of the road: the 'krivi sat' ('crooked clock') which commemorates the 1969 earthquake which destroyed much of Banja Luka and killed 15 people. There were a couple of quakes, but the biggest one took place at 9.11 in the morning on the 27 of October 1969.
And then from the same spot in the other direction is "Gospodka Ulica" or "Lord's street". It is a walking street only and is always full of people walking - especially in the evening!
Halfway down Gospodska is the newly rebuilt Orthodox Church (opened in 2006). The church that was here before was destroyed in the II World War by the Germans.
To the left is the Municipal building (City Hall):
And to the right is the "Banski Dvor" (Mayor's Palace) which is now a Cultural Centre:
Across from the Banski Dvor is the Presidential Palace:
And on the other side of the main road is the memorial to fallen II World War soldiers. The sign says "Glory to the fallen soldiers, for the freedom of the fatherland, for brotherhood and a better life for our peoples": Good Communist propaganda: The motto of Yugoslavia "Brotherhood, Unity" brought all the different peoples together as one nation. Only with the breakdown of Communism did the nation completely fall apart and the fighting that happened during the II World War amongst the people reignited!
As we continue down the main road, we see another little city park:
And the National Theatre of the Republic of Srpska:
And the Catholic Cathedral:
And finally, the new Government Buildings, finished in 2008: very fancy shmancy...don't ask how much they cost, my mind doesn't comprehend the figures... but the idea is to build a business park behind and attract businesses to the region thereby growing the economy: but unfortunately the world recession started just after these were finished, so not sure what is going to happen now!
And then to end off, one of my favourite signs: BEWARE OF  EXPLODING CHILDREN!! 
I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Banja Luka!!


Shilo said...

I did enjoy it, thank you! What a lot of beautiful buildings! Looks like a neat place to visit.

Going Dutch said...

Hey Belinda!

Thanks for the walking tour of Banja Luka! I really enjoyed it, your city looks lovely!

I am sorry to read that your Gran passed away recently. That is very sad. You have some lovely photo's and memories of her though =)

Enjoy your Mom visiting soon! I hope you have a great time together =)

Love Bron


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