Jajce Catacombs - Atlas Obscura

Jajce Catacombs

Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina

A tiny chapel and burial site lurk underground in Jajce. 

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Constructed in 1400 to provide a burial place for the Bosnian nobleman Hrvoje Vukčić, who founded the small but historical city of Jajce, this little church has lost much of its original detail but holds many secrets. 

The structure has two levels. The upper level can be accessed via a flight of stairs that takes visitors through the narthex of the chapel. On either side of the doorway, eagle-eyed visitors can make out the remains of two relief sculptures depicting male and female figures.

Upon entering, travelers can explore the half-light corners of the roughly-hewn upper chamber. Further exploration will take visitors into the lower chamber with its large sculpted central cross, complete with rare examples of the Islamic influence on Bosnian Christian burial rituals in the form of sun and moon emblems cut into the rock.

Furthermore, the cave-like chapel played a more modern historical role as it is said to have provided a hiding place for General Tito during 1943, and was the location in which he signed documents from the second AVNOJ meetings, wherein it was established that Yugoslavia would become a multi-ethnic federal state.

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October 9, 2023

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