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The Story About Last Bosnian King

Stephen Tomašević was the last sovereign from the Bosnian Kotromanić dynasty.

Like all Bosnian kings before him, Stephen Tomašević bore the name Stephen. His predecessors, with the exception of his uncle Stephen Ostojić, took the name Stephen upon accession as an honorific that signified their claim to the throne of Serbia, whose Nemanjić rulers had first adopted it

Upon his father’s death Stephen Thomas in 1461, Stephen Tomašević ascended as King of Bosnia, a kingdom whose existence was being increasingly threatened by the Ottomans. He desperately tried to secure help from Pope Pius II, King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and monarchs of other neighbouring countries. Confident that they would come to his aid, Stephen refused to deliver the customary tribute to Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror and thus provoked the invasion that cost him his life. In 1463, Mehmed marched into Bosnia, meeting little effective resistance, and captured Stephen, who was then beheaded. The execution marks the fall of the Kingdom of Bosnia to the Ottoman Empire.

Contrary to Stephen Tomašević’s expectations, Bobovac fell within days. The King had already realized that he had no choice but to take refuge in the neighbouring Croatia or Dalmatia. Angelović tirelessly pursued him, and caught up with him in Ključ. The Ottoman army was reportedly about to pass the city’s fortress, not suspecting that the King was hiding within its walls, when a local man revealed his whereabouts in return for money. A four-day-long siege of the fortress ensued. Eager to capture him, Angelović had his messengers solemnly promise the King that he would be done no harm if he surrendered, and sent him a document guaranteeing him freedom. With food supplies and ammunition running short, Stephen decided to surrender himself and his garrison to Angelović. Angelović, in turn, brought him, his uncle Radivoj and 13-year-old cousin Tvrtko before Mehmed in Jajce. The King brought Angelović’s document,[but Mehmed’s mullah, Ali al-Bistami, issued a fatwah declaring that the Sultan was not bound to keep the promise made by his servant without his knowledge. As if to demonstrate the validity of his fatwah, the elderly mullah took out his sword and beheaded Stephen in front of Mehmed. The execution of the King, his uncle, cousin and two noblemen took place in a field next to Jajce, which has since been known as Carevo Polje (“the Emperor’s Field”). Stephen Tomašević was buried on a hill near Jajce.

In 1888, the Croatian archeologist Ćiro Truhelka excavated bones in a settlement close to Jajce known as Kraljev Grob (King’s Tomb) and found the skeleton of a decapitated adult male. Though there is no direct evidence that these are the remains of Stephen Tomašević, folk tradition and circumstantial evidence have led to the conclusion that they are. The bones were placed in a glass coffin, and have since been housed in the Franciscan monastery in Jajce. You can visit Bosnia and see the town Jajce, town full of history and final resting place of the last Bosnian King.




General Manager at Invicta Travel Website

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