The first written reference to Kozograd appears in a document from Ragusa dated January 17, 1434. On that occasion, the Ragusans sent a summons to the court to their citizen Vukosav Kopilić, who was staying in Kozograd (in Cosao) at the time. After this mention and until the collapse of the Bosnian state in 1463, only two mentions of the town were preserved, both in Ragusan sources from 1444 and 1447. In 1444, King Stjepan Tomaš was preparing for war against Duke Stjepan Vukčić Kosača, and in July he was accompanied by the Ragusan deputies Nikola Đorđić and Marin Restić to whom explicit instructions arrived in Kozograd (apresso Chosno) to accompany the king only to the border, so as not to provoke Duke Stjepan’s anger. The Ragusan delegation then visited the king with requests for the payment of money that was stolen from King Tvrtko II, the abolition of newly imposed customs duties and compensation for the damage suffered by Ragusan merchants in Srebrenica. In the conflict that followed, the luck of the war did not favor King Tomaš and his opponent achieved considerable success by bringing the Drijeva square under his control. The success of Stjepan Vukčić should be attributed, among other things, to Ottoman support, whose military presence compelled the Bosnian king to retreat from Kozograd to Bobovac. Apparently, the retreat towards Bobovac was characterized by confusion and panic, and that the king’s entourage apparently misplaced the charter previously issued to the Ragusans, so the deputies requested a new copy from their superiors. The Ragusan government received letters three years later from Kozograd (in Coza) in which Duke Stjepan guaranteed the settlement of the debt on the condition that the payment deadline be extended. It should be noted that certain assumptions for the mentioned letters assume that they were sent from Foča, considering that it is a town that was under the rule of Stjepan Vukčić, which would ultimately imply that Duke Stjepan resolved his disagreements with Ragusa on his possessions, and not in Kozograd, which was under the direct control of the king. Furthermore, Ragusan documents mention its sub-town (sub castro vocato Chosau) from March 17, 1449, on the occasion of a theft. And finally, when it comes to written sources, it is not out of place to state that in the charter of Stjepan Kotromanić from 1331, Kozal near Suhodol is mentioned, but it is not possible to bring this town into direct connection with Kozograd.
Kozograd was built on the slopes of the Matorac mountain, on an extremely inaccessible cliff at an altitude of 1431 meters. Administratively, the town belonged to the county of Lepenica, one of the most famous Bosnian counties, which was in the possession of the king. There is currently no information available regarding who built Kozograd and when it was built. However, it is generally believed that it was built during the 14th century, when the development of towns and urban life in the Bosnian state intensified. The main purpose of the fortress was to protect not only the sub-town, but also the nearby Fojnica which was extremely economically developed. Fojnica’s proximity to Kozograd had an important impact on the sub-town’s economic development. Ragusan merchants took refuge here in times of danger, usually due to Ottoman incursions in the 15th century. Based on an accidental discovery of stone plastic decoration in the Gothic style, probably from the fortress hall, it is believed that Kozograd was the summer residence of the Bosnian kings.
Kozograd is one of the medieval Bosnian towns around which the people’s imagination has woven a whole series of folk legends and beliefs over time. The Ragusan chronicler Jakov Lukarević wrote down a folk legend claiming Queen Katarina Kosača escaped from Kozograd (Kosalaz, castello di Huoiniza) to Ragusa via Konjic and Ston before the Ottoman invaders. Folk legends about Kozograd, mostly related to the fall of the Bosnian state in 1463, state that Queen Katarina shoed her horses upside down and thus deceived her persecutors. Also, it is believed that the “old Greeks” also lived in Kozograd, who are otherwise a very common motif in this area’s folklore. However, when it fell under Ottoman rule, Kozograd’s further development was abruptly cut off. It seems that after the conquest, the town was destroyed and was never rebuilt.
Kozograd belongs to the group of distinctive Bosnian fortifications with a free floor plan and skillful use of the natural terrain on which it was built. In spite of the modest archaeological remains, one can discern the remains of two towers of different dimensions, an enclosure, a cistern, a protective cut and the former sub-town, known today as Varoš. At the highest elevation, a large round-shaped defense tower was built, popularly known as the King’s Tower, the remains of which can only be seen in the ground plan, while the smaller tower had a square shape. The cistern was dug within the enclosure that protected the town, which was shaped like an irregular triangle. The eastern part of the enclosure was connected to the sub-town by an independent rampart. In most cases, the builders used broken stone during construction, and in very rare instances, finely processed stone. Located next to the western part of the town, there is an inscription carved into a cliff that cannot be read accurately.
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