All year destination
Umoljani village is another interesting and attractive highland village on Bjelašnica mountain about an hour drive from Sarajevo. It is not as picturesque as Lukomir, but the surroundings are breathtaking. Also, you can visit Umoljani throughout the whole year and enjoy a wider choice of accommodation and food.
Umoljani as a starting point
Umoljani is a great launching spot for several of Bjelašnica’s best hikes. It is a good starting point for a day hike to Lukomir through the entrance to the Rakitnica Canyon , one of the most unexplored canyons in southeast Europe. There is also an easier circuit hike through Studeno Polje for a view of the 22-cascade waterfall that plunges 400 meters into the Rakitnica River.
There is an old legend about the origin of the name Umoljani (‘in prayer’). Legend has it that a dragon was terrorizing the local shepherds and eating their sheep. Villagers pleaded with the holy man to help them and he agreed, asking the villagers to help by praying. On his way to confront the holy man the dragon carved out the serpentine stream called Studeni Potok with his tail. When the holy man met the dragon he froze him into the stone with a prayer. A red-tail-like swirl can be seen on the rock faces near Gradina, the summer shepherd village in Studeno Polje just above Umoljani.
A mysterious and ancient mosque
There is a little something for everyone here, from one of the oldest highland mosques in the entire country and organic honey production, to superb walking and hiking. This mountain mosque is a National Monument of BiH and 20 medieval Bosnian tombstones (stećci) are built in its foundations. Some claim that, during the Second World War, these very same foundations provided shelter for the Jewish Haggadah. To further add to its mystic properties, it was the only object left standing in the entire village during the last war (’92. – ’95.).
Katun – authentic summer shepherd’s cottage
Katuns are temporary shepherd’s settlements in the mountains where they take their livestock to graze in the summer. You can find some of them still in use in Gradina, above Umoljani. Shepherds sleep upstairs above the livestock.
UNESCO heritage site
Around 1,5 km before the entrance into the village you can find one of the necropolis of Stećci – UNESCO world heritage site since 2016.
Google maps: Umoljani Mosque