Slatina (Laktaši)

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Slatina is a populated place and spa resort in the Republic of Srpska, BiH. Slatina is a famous spa resort, with a tradition since 1870s.



The priest, Stevan Davidović (1856-1900) mentions: " ... Slatina has got its name after a gold mine, from which gold was mined; firstly, it was Zlatina (zlato - serbian for gold), and from there it later became Slatina". Research did not confirm there was any gold mines in Slatina. The famous serbian linguist, Vuk Karadžić mentions: "Slatina is a place where the slaty and sour water springs, so the cattle come and lick it and that is why the villages are so named."

Geographical position

Slatina is located at about 15 km to the north-east from the city of Banja Luka|Banjaluka. The main road connection to the city of Banjaluka represents a regional road via Krčmarice Mountain pass|Pass. The central part of Slatina is located on a plateau and Slatina is divided into six fractions, most of which are located at a higher altitude than the centre of Slatina.


Relief of Slatina is hilly, with an altitude increase towards the mountain Crni Vrh (546 m). The centre of Slatina, as well as the spa complex are located at a plateau. Mountain Crni Vrh and other hills overhang Slatina.


There is a small river Slatina, which flowes through Slatina. Other watercourses are smaller, seasonal Stream|streams. A great wealth of drinking water sources was very significant for the life of the residents of Slatina in the past.


Slatina belongs to the Köppen climate classification|temperate-continental climate and also characteristic for the place is its sunshine, which is about 1800 hours a year.[1]


Ancient times

The area of Slatina was populated in the Roman Empire|Roman times. According to the material evidences, found on the archaelogical sites on the localities of Babića brdo, Ciganska glava, Janjića brda, the hills in the villages of Blaško and Šušnjari, on Dvorine, Klepala, Joldžića brdo, Stražbenica and other, it is reliably known that this area was populated even in the ancient times.[1]

Discovery of the thermal and healing water sources in Slatina

Thermal and healing water sources were discovered in the ancient times and material evidents for that are Roman coins, found in the thermal pools.

Middle Ages

The Slatina Region, after the arrival of Slavs, was a part of the province of Panonia, under the rule of Ljudevit (Lower Pannonia)|Ljudevit Posavski. It is assumed that it was later a part of Župa Vrbas and later of Župa Vrbanja. From the material evidents from that period, the most important is a tombstone, found in 1830s, near the Old Church in the village of Malo Blaško, near Slatina. The Marl Board has engraved decorations and an inscription in Glagolitic script|Glagolitic in three rows (here in Cyrillic script|Cyrilic): Мартин лежи Василев син се писа Миле с(и)н. This tombstone belongs to the period of the XIV and XV century. It is known, that there were about 20 Stećak|stećaks (medieval tombstones), which were destroyed through the time, as well as on the cemetery in the nearby village of Jaružani.

In the period of the Ottoman Empire|Ottoman rule, it is known that there were great oppression of the local people and well-known families of landowners were Karabegović and Silahić, especially a man, Mehmed Čardžić stood out.[1]

According to the Extensive census of the Bosnia Eyalet|Bosnian Sandžak, from the year of 1604, it is known that place had 36 houses, which paid a total tax of 8.090 Akçe|akča.[2]

In that time, there was no organized usage of Hot spring|thermal water, so Slatina was for centuries, just a small settlement in the hills.

The beginnings of spa resort

The development of the modern Slatina Spa beginns in the end of the Ottoman Empire|Ottoman rule - in 1870s. According to the records of the priest, Stevan Davidović: "A Turk, Mehmed Čardžić, came from Banjaluka and for one night, he fenced a huge space around the spa which raja (oppressed local people) later cleared and he appropriated it to himself, without any rights, so that now entire that land around the baths (thermal pools) is his".[1]

From this text, as well as from many other, it is known that there was a spa in Slatina (the spa facilities), since the Roman Empire|Roman times. It was later destroyed, due to the dilapidation.

So the foundations of the modern Slatina Spa (to differ from the Roman spa) were laid, as well as the spa resort.

With the arrival of the new, Austria-Hungary|Austro-hungarian rule, in the period 1880-1890 started the building of the first clear thermal water pool and the mud pool with the thermal water and the thermal water source was arranged.

The first thermal water analyses were done by an Austro-hungarian chemist E. Ludwig in 1888.

In 1909 started the building of Volksbad - the public pool with the separated entrances and locker rooms for men and women.

From the other parts of the Austro-hungarian Monarchy, in Slatina arrive many families of experts, so in Slatina lived several Czechs|Czech, Russian, Slovenian and Ukrainian families.

The hard life of the local people did not changed, all the huge taxes remained, but that has also started to change in the beginning of the 20th century.

In that period, the first Hotel|hotels were built - Mehmed Čardžić's, Luka Kuruzović's, Đorđe Avdalović's and more modern The State Hotel with a restaurant (1897), the first Postcard of Slatina (1900), the school (1912), Serbian cultural and educational Association Prosvjeta from Sarajevo Board - Blaško-Slatina (1913), as well as a weather station (1905, worked until 1934).

Slatina becomes a famous spa resort

The period of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia remained remembered as a Golden Age of Slatina, flourishing of the development of Slatina and its placement into the famous spa resorts in Europe.

In 1922, the bus transportation started in Slatina, on the line Slatina - Banjaluka, as well as transport by the luxurious vehicle (car) - from the Divjak brothers. In the first Guide book|tourist guide book (1938) is mentioned, that there is a good bus transportation from Banjaluka (the city) via Slatina to Klašnice, Bosanska Gradiška, Bosnia and Herzegovina|Gradiška (Bosnian Gradiška), Okučani or Prnjavor, Bosnia and Herzegovina|Prnjavor, Derventa, Bosanski Brod, Bosnia and Herzegovina|Brod (Bosnian Brod), as well as to Jajce and Sarajevo.

In 1925, first Slovenes|Slovene families arrive to Slatina. Local people welcomed their arrival. Slovenian families moved to Slatina in three waves and the reason for their moving to Slatina and Banjaluka (especially in the years before the World War II) was oppression in areas, which were then under the rule of Italy. Except for Slovenes, in that time, several Czechs|Czech, Ukrainian, Karavlah and Russian families arrive to Slatina.

In 1929, a municipality was established in Slatina and it included, except for Slatina, 10 surrounding villages (Aleksići, Boškovići, Dovići, Jaružani, Kadinjani, Priječani, Ćetojevići i Šušnjari) and it functioned until its abolishment in July, 12th, 1955.[2]

In 1930s, Slatina got new spa Pavilion|pavilions and accomodation capacities, plumbing system (1931), power plant (around 1933), The rules of spa, the new clear water indoor spa pools (1936), the first tourist guide book Slatina Ilidža (1938), infirmary and by the decision of the Vrbas Banovina|Vrbaska banovina, for the permanent spa doctor is appointed respectable doctor Slavko Pišteljić.

Tourism and number of visitors in Slatina growed in that time, so after the importance, Slatina was among the most visited places in Vrbas Banovina|Vrbaska banovina. A significant number of tourists was from abroad, the most numerous were German, Austrian, Czech and English, and in a smaller number the French and Greek.

In terms of the Culture|cultural life of Slatina, significant contributions were given by two teachers, in school in Slatina, Anton Seibal and from the school in Kadinjani, Svetozar Mitrović, as well as municipal notary Stevo Šteković. The choir Soča was formed, with the most numerous Slovenes, as well as a theatre company, which prepared, except for smaller and shorter scatches, also the whole-evening programmes, with a help from the director of the Bansko pozorište (the Ban theatre) from Banja Luka|Banjaluka. A large number of the playing orchestras was formed by the local people and when it was organized, there were parties in all of the hotels in Slatina. Cultural programmes and theatre shows were performed on the stages and in the winter period in the hotel. Musical orchestras played in the cafés, Restaurant|restaurants, Hotel|hotels and especially in the musical pavilion, which had been known as Lusthaus by the locals, the favourite meeting point of the young people.[1]

World War II

In the Slatina Spa, county of Banjaluka, curing and bathing was forbidden for the Serbs, Jews and Roma.[3]

In the municipality of Slatina, county of Banjaluka, the Serbian Orthodox Church was burned by Anton Petelin.[4]

Afterwar Period

The period after the World War II was marked with a stagnation in Slatina. The municipality was abolished in 1955 and during the war, many of the spa facilities and tourist facilities were destroyed and never again built. The devastating earthquake in 1969 additionally weakened Slatina, destroying some of the last standing old and historical buildings, very few of which remained standing and undamaged today.

The period 1982-1992 was marked with a rapid economy and tourism growth in Slatina, known as The Decade of The Redevelopment. A textile factory Slateks was opened, which, in its period of the largest success, empolyed 952 employees. In the cultural centre, there were parties organized and the cinema functioned on every Sunday. In that period, a small zoo was founded in Slatina. The Slateks factory was, one decade later, made into an elderly home and in 2017 completely closed its door.

21st century

Slatina entered in 21st century with solid tourist capacities, although the weakening of the tourism is visible, comparing with the Golden Age in 1930s. Between 2013 and 2018, there was a completely new and modern spa complex opened, so the total number of the hotel beds reached 492, disposed into hotel rooms and apartments in six accomodation facilities (hotels and pavilions). The Slatina Forest Park, the new and contemporary recreation area, opened in 2021, is the biggest in Slatina, with an area of 35,73 ha. With the arrival of the new decades of the 21st century, tourism in Slatina, as well as the spa resort itself, is revitalising and becoming one of the leading ones of its sort in the Republika Srpska|Republic of Srpska.

Slatina Spa

The Slatina Spa is the main tourist point of Slatina, the basis of the tourism in the Slatina and the backbone of development of the Destination spa|spa resort. Thermal and healing water was discovered by the Romans, the modern Slatina Spa was founded in 1870s.

Today, Slatina Spa is counted into the leading and renowned spa resorts in the Republika Srpska|Republic of Srpska, it is also in the top of the best rheumatism health resorts in the region. The spa hospital is equipped with the contemporary equipment, where experts of balneology, Physical therapy|physiotherapy and other medical sciences are employed. The new spa complex was opened in 2018.


Slatina is well-known also for the Old Church, which is located just 1,8 km from the centre of Slatina, in the village of Malo Blaško. A legend tells that the church appeared itself on a hill, in the time of the Ottoman Empire|Ottoman rule. Every year, on the Christmas and Easter, hundreds of believers gather there. The church is built of wood and it is small, so you have to bend down to enter in the church.

The church is built around the year of 1750 and it is consecrated by the Arsenije IV Jovanović Šakabenta.


The beginnings of the education of the local people and surrounding villages were marked by the opening of the Public Elementary School in 1912. The school was completely destroyed in the devastating earthquake in 1969.

With the help of a journalist from Rotterdam, the Netherlands and his charity work in the Netherlands, the school is reopened on December 8th, 1973 and today it has new name - Holandija (the Netherlands in serbian language), in honor of the people from the Netherlands and their charity work.


Slatina has a reputation of a tourist place and Spa|spa resort, ever since the opening of the modern Slatina Spa in 1870s and it is counted into the best rheumatism health resorts in the region. Slatina is characterized by unpolluted nature, numerous Picnic|picnic areas and recreational areas, the biggest of which is the Slatina Forest Park.

Through its history, tourism was, beside the agriculture, the backbone of the economy in Slatina and was rapidly developed since the municipality was established in Slatina in 1929. In the year of 1936, Slatina was visited by more than 3.500 tourists, large number of which was from the Central Europe|Central and Western Europe|West Europe and Slatina was ranked in the leading tourist destinations in Vrbas Banovina|Vrbaska banovina (an administrative county in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia). Tourism and number of tourist visits in Slatina growed, so that in 1938, Slatina was visited by 5.000 tourists, and in 1939 by 6.500 tourists.

The biggest events in Slatina are Petrovdanski zbor (St. Peter's Day Gathering), which is a public gathering of all of the residents of the Slatina Region and tourists, it was for the first time in 1925 (it is the Saint Patron's Day of the church in Slatina and Slatina - Saint Peter's Day - July, 12th), the Strawberry Day - organized in honor of the traditional and successful cultivation of Strawberry|strawberries in the Slatina Region and the Slovenian Day, organized for the first time in 2009, in honor of the numerous Slovenes|Slovenian families, who moved to Slatina in the period between the two world wars.


Nationality[5] 1991 1981 1971 1961
Serbs 1.031 (89,41%) 1.049 (88,89%) 1.103 (92,84%)
Yugoslavs 83 (7,19%) 60 (5,08%) 1 (0,08%)
Croats 9 (0,78%) 10 (0,84%) 18 (1,51%)
Muslims (people)|Muslims 1 (0,08%) 2 (0,16%) 4 (0,33%)
other and unknown 29 (2,51%) 59 (5,00%) 62 (5,21%)
Total 1.153 1.180 1.188


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Popović, Vaso (2002). Slatinski kraj u prošlosti. Laktaši: Prosvjeta. ISBN 86-7524-005-8. OCLC 813621277.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Vujić, Živko; Вујић, Живко (2013). Laktaška župa : prošlost i sadašnjost (Prvo izdanje ed.). Laktaši. ISBN 978-99955-57-94-2. OCLC 919356626.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  3. Врањешњвић, свештеник бања Слатина (срез бањалучки) 21. VIII 1941.
  4. Највећи злочини садашњице : (патње и страдање српског народа у Независној Држави Хрватској од 1941-1945), Др. Драгослав Стрaњаковић, Горњи Милановац Дечје новине 1991. стр. 172
  5. Савезни завод за статистику и евиденцију Социјалистичка Федеративна Република Југославија|ФНРЈ и СФРЈ: Попис становништва 1948, 1953, 1961, 1971, 1981. и 1991. године.

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