+387 57 230 919   4. juni bb, 71420 Pale
Facebook You Tube Instagram


Pale a long time ago

The area where the municipality of Pale is located today was partially inhabited, probably from the early prehistoric period.

This area has always been an important traffic link between west and east (Sarajevo valley and the Drina river). Thus, two important ancient road communications passed through Pale – the trade route through Mokro and Romanija, and the road through the valley of the river Prača to Ranjen, Goražde and further. In Roman times, a Roman road passed through Pale, and there was a Roman station in Pale. In the time of Rome, such stations were in places where one passes from the plains to the mountainous regions, in order for travelers to rest or spend the night.


The period of the Middle Ages was much richer for the area of the municipality of Pale, so there are several archaeological finds from this period, such as necropolises of medieval stećak tombstones. The Pale region belonged to the noble lineage of the Pavlovićs. They built at least three or four fortified towns here – Pavlovac near Prača, Gradina in Gornje Pale (at the spring of the Miljacka river), the Old Town of Lipovac (at the confluence of both Miljackas) and Hodidjed. The Pavlovićs’ estates stretched from today’s Sarajevo (Vrhbosna) in the west to Dobrun in the east.

The infamous fall of the Pavlović family began with the fall of Bosnia in 1463. In that period, the feudal estates of the Pavlovićs were divided into 11 nahiyahs, and the whole area was named after them – Vilajet Pavli. When the Turks first enumerated the population, Pale appeared under the unusual Turkish name Bogazi Yumru as the seat of one of the 11 nahiyahs. The period of Turkish rule was difficult for the Serbian people, and there were no data on the urbanization of the area of today’s Pale from that period.

Grb Pavlovića

The data we have about this area in that period are those from epic poems about the famous Starina Novak, who in this area caused trouble to the Turks (the Novak’s cave is today a tourist and historical attraction on Romanija). The former feudal estates of the Pavlovićs were called Vilajet Pavli until the beginning of the 19th century. In that century, the name Pale first (officially) appeared on a map from 1877. It should be noted that on that map the whole area is marked under the name Pale.

With the arrival of the Austro-Hungarian occupier to Pale, strong industrialization began – the construction of communal facilities, railways and roads. The Austro-Hungarians exploited Pale’s natural resources – primarily forests and ores. Due to its natural resources, Pale was becoming an important center of the wood industry. In that period, in accordance with the aforementioned, more intensive settlement of Pale began.

At the end of the 19th century (1895), the Austro-Hungarians organized a census according to which Pale, with the surrounding villages, had a total of 483 inhabitants, of whom 440 lived from agriculture and deforestation, while 27 lived from service. In 1909, the people of Pale built a church dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

As the industry developed (as early as 1879, there were two European style sawmills), so did shops, inns and the like. When the railway on the route Sarajevo – Višegrad was built in 1905, Pale received a railway station due to its importance, and thus forestry and industry received a new impetus. In that period, there was a greater investment of foreign capital in the economic development of Pale.

The people were generally dissatisfied with the Austro-Hungarian annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1914, the First World War (the Great War) broke out, and the people of this area suffered a lot in that war. They were exposed to the terror of the Shutzkorps, over 50 people were publicly hanged, part of the population was expelled to concentration camps, and Pale was completely burned and devastated at the end of the war. However, after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian occupier, Pale began to renew – the destroyed settlements were rebuilt and the economy was awakened, the basis of which, as before, was a great forest wealth. As early as 1939, 14 sawmills operated in Pale.

Between the two world wars, a stronger education of the population began, as well as the development of cultural and sports life (the “Vihor” football club was founded and a football field was built, a ski club was also founded and the first ski jump with a wooden structure was built). Pale was slowly gaining the appearance of a small and beautifully landscaped place, and due to the cleanliness and favorable climate, a large number of intellectuals and influential people from Sarajevo and other parts of the country built their summer houses in Pale.

Already in 1923, the first lovers of natural beauty came to the mountain Jahorina and brought the first skis. That year, the “Šator” hotel was built, and there were about 70 beds in the hotel. The hotel was reached by a forest road. The first road to the top of Jahorina was built along the railway line in 1925. The center of cultural life in Pale was the House of the Victims of the First World War, built in the fall of 1928. Within the House, there was a large gymnasium with all the necessary gymnastic equipment, and from time to time various events and parties were held in it. An important role in the cultural life of the place was played by the amateur drama group and the folklore section.

The economic and cultural development of Pale was interrupted by the Second World War. The Ustashas in Pale primarily demolished and desecrated Orthodox churches, and demolished the monument to the victims of the First World War. The people of the region of Pale and Romanija did not tolerate that, and rose up in an armed uprising, which neither the Ustashas in their terror, nor Germany in their retaliation managed to quell. As the natural wealth of the municipality of Pale was preserved, so immediately after the Second World War, the renewal of the economy and social development began. The metal industry also developed. New settlements were built, Pale expanded spatially, and in 1968 the Military Repair Institute Koran entered the metal industry corporation “FAMOS” and organized itself as a metal industry company “Famos – Koran”.

The tourist activity was also developing. Burned and demolished buildings were rebuilt on Jahorina, and in 1947 electricity was brought. Underground cables for electricity and telephone connections were installed. Intensive construction of numerous hotels began. In 1952, the first cable car was opened on Jahorina, the length of which was 1.050 meters. The second cable car was opened in 1965, and the third in 1971. Due to favorable sports conditions and a good tourist offer, Jahorina was the epicenter of events for the 1984 Olympics.

During the Defense and Patriotic War from 1992 to 1995, Pale was the temporary capital of the Republic of Srpska. All the most important political and legal institutions were located in Pale (the Government and its bodies, the Assembly of the Republic of Srpska, etc.). Also, Pale was an important cultural and information center. At that time, important information units were established and located in Pale, such as the “SRNA” News Agency, the Television Studio “KANAL S”, the newspapers “Javnost” and “Ognjišta”. After the Defense and Patriotic War, Pale became a university, cultural, sports and tourist center. Municipal and the Saint Protector day of the municipality of Pale is the Assumption.