The town of Kučlat is located south of Zvornik, on a cliff about one hundred meters high that falls almost at a right angle towards the mouth of the Jadar in Drinjača. There is no doubt that this is one of the most inaccessible Bosnian towns, whose builders made full use of the terrain in such a way as to make it virtually unconquerable without a long-term siege. Apparently, the county of Podrinje or Sapna existed in this area from the earliest times, which was divided into three parts: Kučlat, Zvornik and Sapna, at the latest in the first half of the 14th century. In a broader territorial sense, the town of Kučlat belonged to Usora, a territorial-political entity that represented one of the constituent parts of the medieval Bosnian state. The oldest preserved mention of the town of Kučlat is the one from 1346, where it can be seen from a Ragusan document that the famous Ragusan goldsmith Dobro Bevenjutić resided there on business. Furthermore, in 1363, there was a goldsmith in Ragusa who had arrived from the town of Kučlat.

Below Kučlat, a sub-town developed – Podkučlat (sub Chucullatti), which appears under that name in 1396, when two of its inhabitants, the Matulinovićs, were accepted as citizens of Ragusa. In this sub-town, a customs house and a Ragusan colony developed, so sources can trace the appointment of two judges and the election of a permanent consul for Ragusan citizens and merchants living there. As early as 1398, Rafael Gučetić was appointed to serve as the consul for Srebrenica and Podkučlat. The fact that local people, the already mentioned the Matulinovićs, have received Ragusan citizenship is indicative of their economic activities. It should be noted, however, that Kučlat and its sub-town were more important to the Ragusans as a transit point towards Zvornik, Srebrenica, and even Serbia. Thus, in 1396, the Ragusans recommended their merchants to Stefan Lazarević and his mother, who went in the direction of Podkučlat. The strong economic development of neighboring Srebrenica did not favor Kučlat’s economy either. The silence in sources about this town from the end of the 14th century is therefore not surprising. Although the beginning of the 15th century represents the peak of Ragusan’s activity in Podrinje, it had almost no significance for Kučlat.

Who were the lords of the town of Kučlat? It seems that one of them was Duke Purća Dabišić, a member of the noble family Dabišići from central Bosnia, whose activity in the area of Srebrenica, Kučlat and Ludmer can be seen in 1359 and 1363, and for whom Mavro Orbini states that together with his brothers he had “vast lands on the Drina River, in Bosnia and Usora”. However, the Dabišićs soon disappear from the political scene, they were probably destroyed by Ban Tvrtko due to the rebellion in which they participated together with ban’s brother Vukić, Dabiša Kotromanić and Sanko Miltenović, so all traces of this noble family are lost in historical sources. Nothing is known about the court prince Nikola Kučlatović, mentioned in a charter of the king of Ostoja from 1417, whose surname clearly refers to the town of Kučlat. It is not excluded that Kučlat was once ruled by the famous lineage Zlatonosović from Usora.

Certainly the most famous Bosnian nobleman who ruled the town of Kučlat was the Grand Bosnian Duke and Herzog of Split Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić. After king Ostoja was overthrown under his command in 1404 and Tvrtko II Tvrtković was brought to the Bosnian throne, this Bosnian nobleman expanded his power outside his home territory and thus, guided by economic and geostrategic interests, brought Srebrenica and Kučlat under his control. After that, Duke Hrvoje built two more fortresses nearby – Brodar and Susjed, whose locations are unknown. But as early as 1410, wanting to appropriate the Bosnian crown for himself, the Hungarian king Sigismund undertook a military campaign in Bosnia and on that occasion appointed his great ally Hrvoje Vukčić as the viceroy of Bosnia. As an ally of the Hungarian king Hrvoje, probably according to an earlier agreement, on the eve of the main military attack on Bosnia, ceded his cities to him: Srebrenica, Kučlat, Brodar and Susjed, whose names are also mentioned in the text of the treaty in Tata in 1426.

The further fate of the town of Kučlat is not known in detail and remains in the realm of speculation. Namely, until the Ottoman conquest, the area of Usora was divided between three states: Bosnia, Hungary and Serbia. The only reliable thing is that between 1411 and 1413, the Hungarian king ceded Srebrenica to Serbian despot Stefan Lazarević.

The archaeological remains of the town of Kučlat do not leave much room for a more detailed reconstruction of its medieval appearance. The oldest description of this town is offered by the famous travelogue writer Evliya Çelebi, who points out that it is a round stone town, with hard bastions and a small gate on the southeast side. According to him, the town has no moat and is surrounded by an infernal abyss. Outside the town, a steep road led to a cistern that could only be accessed from one side. The north side walls are visible today as an irregular polygon with straight sides. There are also the remains of a tower whose floor plan cannot be determined in detail, but it can be assumed that it was pentagonal. It appears that the ground plan of the town resembled a broken ellipse, which led Evliya Çelebi to mistakenly conclude that the town was round in shape. Today, there is a mosque in the town that once served the military troops.


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