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BANJALUKA
Banja Luka is the biggest city of the Republic of Srpska and the second biggest in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The city represents the administrative, economic, cultural, and university centre of the Republic of Srpska.

It was as early as the Middle Ages that Banja Luka was desribed as "a paradise valley", with its orchards, beautiful countryside and courtyards taken care of with taste.

The natural resource of particular importance is the Vrbas River, Banja Luka`s main stream.
The Vrbas is a river adequate for practicing water sports such as kayak, rafting and sport fishing.
A special boat to be seen only at this river and called "dayak" gives the river a special appeal. Very important resources of the city are thermo-mineral springs, whose healing power was exploited as early as the Roman period.
Three of them are situated in the very vicinity of the city.

There are numerous cultural and historic monuments that bear witness to the past times and human creativity. One of the most famous among them is the Kastel fort, situated in the very city center.
Banja Luka is a city of various religios communities and their temples. Particularly interesting are Christ the Savior Orthodox Church, situated in the city center, and a Cistercians Monastery in Trapisti.
Pope John Paul II visited Banja Luka in 2003, which was his last visit paid to a country or a city.

There are many cultural and sports events that traditionally take place in Banja Luka throughout the year. These are „Ljeto na Vrbasu" ("Summer at the Vrbas River"), „Kočićev zbor" (an event taking place at birthplace of the famous Serbian writer from the region, Petar Kočić), „Banjalučke ljetne igre" ("Banja Luka`s Summer Games"), „Neofest" („International Summer Peace Festival"), „Kratkofil" („International Festival of Short Film").

Banja Luka also hosts many national and European championships, and in 2009 the city will be hosting the World Rafting Championship.

The surroundings are very attractive with its natural and cultural heritage, like the Vrbas canyon and the plateau of the Manjača mountain, situated not more than 12 kilometers away from the city center.

More information can be found if you visit web site Tourist organization of Banjaluka.

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