Travnik (Cyrillic: Травник) is a city and municipality in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, 90 km west of Sarajevo. It is the capital of the Central Bosnia Canton, and is located in the Travnik Municipality. Travnik today has some 27,000 residents, with a metro (municipality) population that is probably close to 70,000 people. It is famous for being the capital city of the governors of Bosnia from 1686 to 1850, and its cultural heritage dating from that period.
Travnik is found 514 meters above sea level. Its most distinguishing geographic feature are its mountains, Vilenica and Vlašić. Vlašić, named after the Vlachs, is one of the tallest mountains in the country at 1933 meters (6342 ft).
In the Middle Ages the Travnik area is known as the župa Lašva province of the medieval Bosnian kingdom. The area is first mentioned by Bela IV of Hungary in 1244. Travnik itself was one of a number of fortified towns in the region, with its fortress Kaštel becoming today's old town sector. The city itself is first mentioned by the Ottomans during their conquest of nearby Jajce.
After the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia, much of the local Croatian Catholic population converted to Islam. The city quickly grew into one of the more important settlements in the region, as authorities constructed mosques, marketplaces, and various infrastructure. During 1699 when Sarajevo was set afire by soldiers of Field-Marshall Prince Eugene of Savoy, Travnik became the capital of the Ottoman province of Bosnia and residence of the Bosnian viziers. The city became an important center of government in the whole Western frontier of the empire, and consulates were established by the governments of France and Austria-Hungary.
The period of Austrian occupation brought westernization and industry to Travnik, but also a reduction of importance. While cities such as Banja Luka, Sarajevo, Tuzla, and Zenica grew rapidly, Travnik changed so little that during 1991 it had a mere 30,000 or so people, with 70,000 in the entire municipality.
During the Bosnian War, the town mostly escaped damage from conflict with Serbian forces, but the area experienced fighting between local Bosniak and Croat factions before the Washington Agreement was signed. After the war, Travnik was made the capital of the Central Bosnia Canton.
Croats made 37,29% city population, Bosniaks 35,98%, Serbs 10,11%, Yugoslavs 13,4%, and others 3,22%. Croats made majority in Bojna, Gornji DOlac, Kalibunar and Poirota, while Bosniaks were majority in Centar and Stari grad (old city).
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, very few cities actually have what would be considered "city governments". Instead, the country's municipalities are essentially based from chief settlement to chief settlement. Thus, though Travnik doesn't really have a city government of its own, it is part of "Municipality Travnik" which for all practical purposes is the de facto city government since its area of jurisdiction covers Travnik and the outlying villages and small towns. An exception to this rule are cities so large they cover more than one municipality (for example, Sarajevo).
Asides from being the obvious center of municipality government, Travnik is also the capital of the Central Bosnia Canton, one of the 10 Cantons of Bosnia. Its current mayor is Tahir Lendo;. The municipality government has various bureau's dedicated to help in the running of the region, ranging from the bureau of urbanization and construction, to the bureau of refugees and displaced persons.
Travnik has a strong culture, mostly dating back to its time as the center of local government in the Ottoman Empire. Travnik has a popular old town district however, which dates back to the period of Bosnian independence during the first half of the 15th century. Numerous mosques and Croatian Catholic churches exist in the region, as do tombs of important historical figures and excellent examples of Ottoman architecture. The city museum, built in 1950, is one of the more impressive cultural institutions in the region. Travnik became famous by important persons who were born or lived in Travnik. The most important are Ivo Andrić (writer, Nobel Prize for literature in 1961), Zoran Đinđić (philosopher, politician, prime minister of Serbia 2001-2003), Miroslav Ćiro Blažević (soccer coach of Croatian national team, won third place 1998 in France), Josip Pejaković (actor), Seid Memić Vajta (pop-singer) and Davor Džalto (artist and art historian, the youngest Ph.D. in Germany and in the South-East European region).