Novi Grad is located in the far northeast of the Republic of Srpska, in the border part with Federation BiH and Croatia, and is one of the oldest and most picturesque Krajina towns on Una River.
This was one of the biggest railway and road traffic hubs in former Yugoslavia (the first railway in Bosnia-Herzegovina was built in 1873 – Dobrljin – Banjs Luka railway which now connects the Republic of Srpska, Croatia, Federation of BiH, and wider. Novi Grad is 135 km away from Zagreb, 90 km from Banja Luka, 320 km from Sarajevo and 396 km from Belgrade.
The natural potentials of the municipality include the thermo-mineral spring Lješljani, rivers Una and Sana, with tributaries where are organized sports and recreational activities on water and various events (the most important is the “International Una boat regatta down the Una”, cross-border project of BiH and Croatia, which has been held since 2012).
The source of thermo-mineral water Lješljani
Photo by Mladena Bolta, www.facebook.com/BoltaPhotography
Surrounded by hills and meadows filled with deciduous and evergreen trees, this pearl of nature is located at a distance of 18 km from Novi Grad in the north-western part of The Republic of Srpska.
The healing properties of “Lješljani ” were discovered in the Roman period, and the proof of its oldest application dates back from 1878. When the Austro-Hungarian miners first tested this mineral water in Vienna. Numerous legends among the locals are evidence about the multi-use of healing waters in the treatment of various forms of illness, one of which is bound to the extraordinary discovery of the healing properties of this spring.
Locals believe that the discovery of healing waters is bound to an anecdote of a local, which occurred in the distant past. The villager left its sick horse, because of the inability to find a suitable remedy to give him, in the forest of Potkozarje. However, after a few days of bathing and staying in the healing mud of “Lješani” the horse returned completely healthy.
Scientific analyses, which confirmed the people’s beliefs, were conducted in 1990 by drilling deep up to 672 m. Research has shown that the amount of water is nine liters in a second, and constant temperatures from 31 to 35 degrees Celsius. These characteristics have not changed until today. Natural water from the spa belongs to sodium chloride, hydrocarbonate, hypothermal alkaline water with a PH value of 11.85. This miraculous water cures increased gastric acid, ulcer, bile disease, and bile passages, affects the reduction of cholesterol in the blood, and facilitates pain due to rheumatism and vein disease.
A recent investigation of gases and isotopes in hyperalkaline waters of B&H in 2016, conducted by the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology of Italy in cooperation with the Federal Geological Survey-Sarajevo has shown that the methane in Lješljani deposit is produced in the serpentinization processes of peridotites (Etiope et al., 2017). Lješljani aquifer has the highest CH4 concentration (2706 µM) and pH (12.8) ever reported so far in peridotite-hosted hyperalkaline waters (Etiope at al., 2017). The water of this deposit occurs on two springs and a drillhole SB-1 (672 m) with a total yield of about Q≈7 l/s. This water is characterized by Cl-OH-Na type, high conductivity EC=3,98 – 5,18 mS/cm, water temperature 13,1-30,5°C and pH=12,0 – 12,8, as well as CH4 (with its higher homologues) and N2 free gasses composition. Waters issue from outcrops of tectonized greywacke sandstones of volcanic sedimentary (diabase-chert) formation rocks (Miošić and Sofilj,1989).
Potentials of the Location and investment opportunities
In search of a medicine for skin diseases, especially psoriasis, many people from the entire region come to the village of Lješljani for years. Many visitors, who after learning about the beauties and benefits of the region, are witnessing the miraculous effects of the springs and muds of the Lješljani from the south-western slopes of Kozara Mountain.
In the next period, in cooperation with investors, the government of the Republic of Srpska plans to build a spa-recreational complex, which will represent a sanatorium and excursion site. Furthermore, due to mineral waters, which are solely a gift of nature, and the specifics of the terrain, nature, and greenery, this area attracts domestic and guests from neighboring countries. The plan is not to spoil natural beauties but to build a functional sanatorium, as well as an oasis for all nature, peace, and tranquility lovers.
Due to the proximity of the mountains Kozara and Grmeč, and the River Una, which its fascinates visitors with beauty, this area is very appealing to tourists.
In addition to the effective treatment of diseases, the spa water is also efficient in agriculture, and there is a possibility of using it for spraying fruits and vegetables. For these reasons, research is still in the plan in order to serve the farmers.
Investment project: Construction of tourism resort “Slаtinа –Ljеšlјаni” for spa, rehabilitation, recreation and sports tourism
Rivers Una and Sana
River Una, www.facebook.com/castrum.novum.35
Rivers Una and Sana are significant water potential of this region. The total length of Una river is 207 km, and with its length of 35 km, it flows through Novi Grad . With the whole part of its flows through Novi Grad, Una runs as a border river between the Republic of Srpska (B&H) and Croatia. The largest tributary of Una in this area is Sana river. Novi Grad lies at the confluence of the Una and Sana river, and it is known for its scenic quay (three kilometers and stone-built coastal fort), a promenade which spreads all along with Novi Grad and without it, this town would not be so attractive. Just on the place where Sana flows into Una, there is a peninsula “Ada” which represents the main beach in the town.
Una with its beauty and exoticness leaves no one indifferent. It is known for its attractive green-blue color, as well as natural waterfalls. That is why it is attractive for many water-lovers. There are many beaches in Una, in the town and in rural localities. People from nearby towns often spend their vacation on Una`s beaches. This river is also attractive for water-sports lovers. Una is especially favorable for rowing. Some of the world-famous rowers are from our town. Rafting, very popular sport lately, is also organized on this river- “International Una regatta – across Una by boat“.
International Una regatta – across Una by boat, photo by Boris Kovačević, www.facebook.com/a.joker.joker
Sana river springs up near Medna in Ribnik municipality and it flows into the Una river in Novi Grad municipality. A legend says that the name has its origin in Latin word „sana“ meaning healthy. Its 16 km long flow through Novi Grad region, starts near village Ahmetovci, parting this region on Podgrmec and Potkozarje. In its upper and central flow, Sana is fast and full of gorges and ravines. In its lower flow, from Prijedor to Novi Grad, Sana is much calmer what makes it very attractive for fishing.
The Event “Days of Sana River” is a traditional event taking place on the World Environment Day ( 5-6 June) in all seven cities that Sana river runs through. The aim of the event is to preserve and protect Sana river and its tributaries, raise awareness of the importance of keeping the environment.
The Event lasts two days, i.e. it starts in Mrkonjić Grad- Ribnik where water is taken at the spring of the Sana river, then an ecologic cup with spring water, symbolically goes through all municipalities of the Sana basin (Mrkonjić Grad, Ribnik, Ključ, Sanski Most, Oštra Luka, Prijedor and Novi Grad), i.e. spring water is running out in Novi Grad at Sana river mouth. Every year one of the municipalities prepares a central event with an appropriate cultural artistic and ecological program.
Rivers Una and Sana with their tributaries are also very attractive for fishing. More information: Sport-fishing society of Novi Grad.
Days of Sana River, www.facebook.com/opstinanovi.grad
CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL POTENTIALS
The cultural and historical potentials of the municipality include: the old City Hall (which is registered as a national monument of BiH), Heritage Museum, the National Library, The memorial “Majka Partizanka” (Partisan Mother), etc.
The ethnic-social potentials of the municipality include folk dances, songs, costumes, handicrafts, domestic gastronomic products, old autochthonous houses of Potkozarje and Podgrmec, etc.
Photo by Boris Kovačević