An introductory note about the Bosnian town of Dubrovnik can start with a statement about the scarcity of source materials, which is common in medieval history. According to what is known, this town was only mentioned once during the medieval Bosnian state, on June 11, 1404, as one of the destinations of the Ragusan caravan (in Doboruonich). It is located on a very steep and craggy outcrop of the Hum hill, which rises above the confluence of the Zenika stream and the Misoča river, which flows into the Bosna river, not far from the village of Kopošići in the municipality of Ilijaš.
According to the tale mentioned by the Ragusan chronicler Jakov Lukarević, followed by Ivan Franjo Jukić in a somewhat modified form, the town of Dubrovnik was built by two Ragusan merchants to whom Ban Kulin gave Bosnian mines to use. Of course, this tale cannot be trusted and it is much more likely that the town was built, most likely in the 14th century, by members of the noble Radojević-Mirković family. There is no doubt that the county of Dubrovnik existed in this area, or perhaps under a different name. This assumption is supported by the fact that during Ottoman rule there was a nahiya Dubrovnik, since the Ottomans adapted their administrative structure to the situation on the ground after the conquest. It should be noted that the sub-town of Dubrovnik had no significance in the medieval Bosnian state’s economic life.
There is little preserved information about the Bosnian noble family Radojević-Mirković, whose origin is from Upper Bosnia and who most likely ruled the town of Dubrovnik. A record of the activities of its most important members Jurša Radojević, Mirko Radojević and Batić Mirković can be traced in written sources from 1353 to 1420. Sources offer only two pieces of information about Jurša Radojević, he was mentioned as a witness in two charters of Ban Tvrtko issued to Prince Vlatko Vukoslavić in 1353. There are more sources about the next member of this family, Mirko Radojević, who is known to have held the title of court prince, so his activities can be traced from 1380 to 1404/5. Prince Mirko performed important diplomatic tasks during King Tvrtko’s reign, such as negotiations between the Bosnian ruler and the Ragusan government during the crisis that broke out in Bosnian-Ragusan relations due to the king’s decision to sell salt in the newly founded town of Sveti Stefan. This Bosnian nobleman also participated actively in the successful diplomatic mission from 1389, which was sent from Bosnia via Ragusa to Zeta to Đurađ Balšić. During the following period, Prince Mirko appears as a witness in the charters of the Bosnian kings. His son Batić Mirković held the title of prince of Bosnia during King Tvrtko II’s reign, and several charters of Bosnian kings from 1405 to 1420 testify to his activity in the life of the medieval Bosnian state, where he was mentioned as a witness.
The Ottomans most likely captured Bosnian Dubrovnik in 1463 when Bobovac and Visoki were captured. It appears numerous times in Ottoman sources during the 16th and 17th centuries, thus it is well known that the nahiya of Dubrovnik was also located in this area.
Due to its type, Dubrovnik near Ilijaš is different from the typical Bosnian fortifications. It is a fortified castle that was gradually expanded to become a fortified town with many regular geometric shapes. Located at an altitude of 882 meters above sea level, the town is well adapted to its surroundings. Upon careful analysis, several stages of construction can be observed, whereby the fortification expanded from west to east. Originally, the town consisted of a fortified court measuring 17×9.4 m, a defensive rampart that moved from the north-western corner of the court to the west and finally fell almost at a right angle to the south, and a square tower with sides of 5.6 m whose purpose was to provide protection from the east. Later, in two more phases, an enclosure with two rampart towers was built and a smaller enclosure was added, which at its end has an octagonal rampart tower with a diameter of about 6 m. The thickness of the walls and towers is from 1 to 1.6 m. In total, the Dubrovnik fortification spans 72 meters east-west, and the width varies from 9 to 13 meters.
In the mentioned village of Kopošići, there is a medieval necropolis of the same name with stećak tombstones. The necropolis is located at the foot of the Hum hill and is about 1 kilometer aerial distance from the town of Dubrovnik. There are more than 30 stećak tombstones, arranged in several groups. In the first and most important group, made up of 8 stećak tombstones, which is located within the modern Catholic cemetery, there is also the stećak of Batić Mirković, prince of Bosnia. The text of the inscription on the stećak has also been preserved, where it is written, among other things, that Prince Batić rests on his “noble” and that his wife Vukava erected his tombstone with other members of his family. During 2015, thorough archaeological research was conducted at the necropolis in Koposići. On that occasion, the grave under the stećak of Prince Batić and the adjacent grave, assumed to belong to his wife Vukava, were opened. Considering that both graves had been previously robbed, no archaeological material was found. The graves of other individuals who are presumed to have been members of the noble family Radojević-Mirković were also opened, but their identity remains unknown for now. In one of those graves, archaeological remains of a brocade mantle were discovered, which certainly represents a significant discovery.
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