Banja Luka bny lo?ok [key], city (2013 pop. 150,997), in NE Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the Vrbas River. The capital of Bosnia's semiautonomous Serb region, it is a government and financial center with food processing and the manufacture of machinery, paper, and appliances. Banja Luka was captured by the Turks in 1528 and was (1583?1638) the seat of the pashas of Bosnia. Later (1878?1918) a part of Austria-Hungary, it passed to Yugoslavia after World War I. Bosnia and Herzegovina splintered along ethnic lines in 1992 and erupted in civil war, Banja Luka fell under Serb control and much of the minority population was driven out. The city has Roman ruins and the 16th-century Ferhat Pasha Mosque (rebuilt after being razed in 1993 by Bosnian Serb forces); the Arnaudija Mosque (1594) was also razed.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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