Његово Преосвештенство Епископ бањалучки Г. Јефрем

Епископ бањалучки Јефрем (у свијету Миле Милутиновић) рођен је у селу Буснови код Приједора, 15. априла 1944. године. Шест разреда основне школе завршио је у мјесту рођења, а VII и VIII разред у Санском Мосту, гдје потом похађа гимназију.


Служба Св. Свештеномученику Платону

Храм Христа Спаситеља Бања Лука

Serbian Borough


After the victory over the Austrians, Turkish authorities, bringing Serbs to their homes, allowed them to settle on the left bank of the Vrbas River as well, east of Mema-Mahala, populated exclusively by the Muslim population. Thus, a Serbian borough was founded and it was located between the Serbian Orthodox cemetery and Jelic-polje (in English: Jelic’s Field) from one side, and the today’s Srpska Street from the other.


The Serbs also established their own cemetery, where they still bury people, but they did not have the Orthodox Church. They had to go to the Church of Rebrovac, which miraculously had remained intact after the aforementioned Battle of Banja Luka in 1737.




Along with the commercial and economic development, there was the construction of modern shops, residential houses and other buildings. The town slowly lost its oriental style and seemed more like a progressive, European town. The symbol of that new, citizenish Banja Luka was undoubtedly Gospodska Street (in English: Gentle(wo)man’s street), which has retained the primacy and remained as a hallmark of the city to this day.


Chroniclers note that the name of the street was given back in 1878 when a prominent merchant, Tomo Radulovic, attached a big panel on his house, by then called “Pivara” (in English: Brewery), in the main street, where he had personally hand written “Gospo(d)ska Street” (in English: Gentle(wo)man’s street).


Two master Toma’s houses in Gospodska Street had great significance for the cultural life of the Serbian people in Banja Luka: the first, built in 1855 at the beginning of the street, was at the site of the present City Assembly and the Serbian Primary School was located in it. It is exactly this building where Pelagic’s Theological Seminary worked at the time of its foundation in 1866.


At the other end of Gospodska Street, known as Kastel's corner, Tomo Radulovic built a building called “Albania“ in 1863. On the ground floor of that building, there was a storehouse for goods and on the first floor there was the Kasa's Reading Room where the Serbian intelligence was gathering.


Whatever it was called, Gospodska Street was and has remained the heart of the citizenish Banja Luka, a place where most of the cultural life of the town took place during the Austro-Hungarian rule. There is still a building standing there, the former Serbian Home, as a memory of that time.


The decision on the construction of the Serbian Home was made in March 1907. Due to the lack of funds, the construction did not happen. The idea came to life again in 1936, so the construction began on 1st July 1938, and in June 1939, the new Serbian Home was opened and the Serbian Reading Room was located in it. Soon after that, the Second World War happened and the latter authorities “forgot” who owned the building, which still stands in Gospodska Street to this day.


Hotel “Balkan“


The “Balkan” building, owned by the Church community, was the so called “corner building” (in local: “uglovka”) since its east facade was in Gospodska Street, and the north one linked Gospodska Street with the Imperial Road (in local: Carski drum).


Chroniclers record that the Serbian Reading Room was located under the arches of this building, specifically in the back building of the hotel. Thus, hotel “Balkan” became the gathering centre for Banja Luka’s Serbs, mostly intellectuals and merchants. Among them, there was also Petar Kocic, who used to stay at this elite Banja Luka hotel. A building for the Ban Administration would be built at the site of the hotel in 1930/1931 and it would represent the architectural emphasis of this part of the town.