Katarina Kosača-Kotromanić

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The oldest representation of Katarina Kosača-Kotromanić, drawn from the tombstone in 1677.

Katarina Kosača-Kotromanić (* 1424 in the fortress Stjepan grad , today Blagaj (Mostar) , Herzegovina ; †  October 25, 1478 in Rome ) was the penultimate queen of Bosnia . Katarina was the daughter of Stjepan Vukčić Kosača and Jelena Balšić , and her father's family was traditionally Roman Catholic .

Katarina is a blessed member of the Roman Catholic Church . Their feast day , October 25th each year, is celebrated by the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina . In honor of their queen, the women of Kraljeva Sutjeska and Vareš still traditionally wear a black headscarf and traditional costumes from the Renaissance ; Another sign of worship are black cross-shaped tattoos on the body. A folklore festival is also celebrated in honor of Catarina at the end of November each year.


Queen's tomb slab in the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli , Rome (2016).

With her husband Stjepan Tomaš Kotromanić , the king of Bosnia , she had two children, the son Šimun and the daughter Katarina. Until the end of the Bosnian kingdom she resided in Kraljeva Sutjeska. In 1463 her stepson Stjepan Tomašević , the last king of Bosnia, submitted to the Ottoman Empire . After his execution by the Ottomans in Carevo Polje near Jajce in 1463 , Queen Katarina fled to Rome. Their two children were taken prisoner by the Turks.

Queen Katarina came to Kupres on her escape . There she gathered forces again for the fight against the Ottomans. During this time she had the Church of the Holy Trinity built in Vrila (today Otinovci ). After a short time Katarina also had to flee from Kupres via Konjic and Ston to Dubrovnik on the island of Lopud . There she left the saber of Stjepan Tomaš Kotromanić with the request to keep it for her son Šimun until he was released from captivity, so that he could free his hereditary lands from the Ottomans with his father's saber in hand.

When the city of Dubrovnik was also in danger of becoming part of the Ottoman Empire, the queen left the city around 1465 and came to Rome . There she worked for the liberation of her kingdom until her death . Her brother, Prince Vlatar Pećanač, drowned in the Adriatic Sea in 1469 . His wife and daughters fled and were captured by the Ottomans. Katarina spent her twilight years as a religious sister or nun of the Franciscan monastery Ara Coeli in Rome.

Without ever acknowledging her deposition as queen , Katarina Kosača-Kotromanić died on October 25, 1478 in Rome. Her body rests in the Roman church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli . In her will she left Bosnia to her children in case they returned to the Roman Catholic faith; otherwise their land should fall to the Holy See, i.e. the Vatican . As the only legitimate heir to the Bosnian crown, Kosača-Kotromanić determined Pope Sixtus IV and his successors as heirs of Bosnia and the Bosnian throne in her legacy of May 20, 1478 .


Katarina was very pious and helped the Bosnian Franciscans in their work.


As the Bosnian queen, she donated several churches. Examples are the Church of St. Mary in Greben near Krupa na Vrbasu , the Holy Trinity in Kupres (1447), St. Mary near Kotor Varoš and the Church of St. George ( svetog Jurja) in Jezero . On the foundation of the Church of St. Katharina in Jajce (which the monarch herself raised) a mosque was later built.

Contacts with the Vatican

In December 1458 , Katarina Kosača-Kotromanić wrote to the Holy See in Rome, asking for her Church of St. Katharina, where there was a Franciscan monastery and the seat of the Vicariate of the Bosnian Franciscans . Pope Pius II. Responded with a bull that on Dec. 13 is dated the 1458th In this act, the Catholic head mentioned the Church of St. Katharina in Jajce and explicitly claimed that this church was built by the Bosnian queen, who at that time was still the wife of Stjepan Tomaš . In addition, Pius II granted in this document to every indulgence that would pay a visit to this church at Christmas , Easter and other holidays.

In the above-mentioned will of May 20, 1478, the deposed Queen wished that the “holy powers of the Franciscan Church of St. Lower Catherine in Jajce ”( “ svete moći predaju franjevačkoj crkvi sv. Katarine u Jajcu ”) . The listed papal bulls and the will attest to the existence of the churches. In addition, this is also a confirmation that these are Catholic churches.


Katarina had two brothers:

The father Stjepan Vukčić Kosača married Barbara in 1455 and Cecilija in 1460 , with whom he had the children Mara and Stjepan .

Tribe list

Genealogy according to Schwennicke (direct line)

1. Vuk (wolf) from the house of Kosača

2. Hranja Vuković (Kosača) , Großvojvode (Grand Duke) of Bosnia, Patarene ( Pataria ), 1378, ∞ Anka, † after 1410
3. Vukać Hranić , Knez (prince), 1404/20 hereditary patrician of Ragusa ( Dubrovnik ), 1423 patrician of Venice , † VI. 1432, ∞ Katarina Tasch (?)
4. Stefan Vuksić Kosača , Knez von Drina, Großvojvode of the Bosnian Empire, Lord of Zahumlje and Primorje (Litorale), 1435/48 under Turkish rule, 16. IX./17. X. 1448 Herceg od Svetoga Save (Dux Sancti Savae, Duke of Saint Sava), 1448 recognized by Hungary, 1463 Herzegovina until Narenta and Castelnuovo ( Herceg Novi ) to the Turks lost hereditary patricians of Ragusa, 1423/11. XI. 1455 patrician of Venice, Patarene * 1405, † 22./23. V. 1466; I.∞ XI./XII. 1424 Jelena Balša, r./k., Cast out in 1451/53, then reconciled, † X. 1453, daughter of Duke Balša (III) of Zeta ; II.∞ III. 1455 Varvara (Barbara), † VI. 1459, filia Ducis Payro (del Balzo); III.∞ before 1460 Cecilia, German from Barlet, home in 1466, † after 1474
Daughter from first marriage with Jelena Balša:
5. Katarina (Kosača) , heiress of the Kingdom of Bosnia in partibus infidelium, * as patareness 1424, † (r./k.) Rome 25 X. 1478, ∞ April 1448 Stefan Tomaž, 1443/1461 King of Bosnia (Kotromanids, Kotromanići), † 10. VII. 1461

Katarina's brother Vlatko married before 2. III. 1455 N. von Cilli, daughter of Count Friedrich von Cilli from the connection with Veronika von Desenic .

See also


  • Ibrahim Kajan: Katarina, kraljica bosanska [Katarina, the Bosnian queen] . 2004.
  • Ibrahim Kajan: Tragom bosanskih kraljeva: Putopis [In the footsteps of the Bosnian kings - A travelogue] . 2003, ISBN 978-3-939407-37-9 .
  • Mijo Šain: Katrina Vukčić Kosača Kotromanić: 1424-1478 . Kraljeva Sutjeska Online, 2004 ( kraljeva-sutjeska.com ).
  • Detlev Schwennicke: European family tables . Volume III, sub-volume 1. Marburg 1984, ISBN 978-3-87775-016-2 , plate 178: The Dukes of Saint Sava of the Kosača tribe, eponymous for Herzegovina (Herzegovina) .
  • Dubravka Zrnčić-Kulenović: Čijom je naša kraljica? [Who does our queen belong to?] SARTR, 2005.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Franz Babinger: Mehmed the Conqueror and his time: Weltstürmer a turning point . F. Bruckmann, 1953.
  2. a b c d e Katharina Kosača-Kotromanić - Ecumenical Lexicon of Saints. Retrieved January 2, 2018 .
  3. a b c d e Kotromanić, Katarina | Hrvatska enciklopedija. Retrieved August 31, 2017 .
  4. a b c Crkva sv. Qatarines | Franjevački samostan Jajce. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on August 31, 2017 ; accessed on August 31, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / franjevackisamostan-jajce.ba
  5. Otkada se slavi sv. Ivo | Franjevački samostan Jajce. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on August 31, 2017 ; accessed on August 31, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / franjevackisamostan-jajce.ba
  6. a b Kosače | Hrvatska enciklopedija. Retrieved September 2, 2017 .