If you are visiting Banja Luka, one interesting thing to do is to visit the Trappist Monastery. Trappists are an order of Catholic Monks. The facility and church are gorgeous and peaceful, on the outskirts of Banja Luka. It as pretty impressive. I was amazed that the city of Banja Luka does virtually nothing to emphasize one of the few touristy things the town has to offer. The monks used to run the brewery, and I loved this old advertisement for the Trappist Beer. This smiling monk would be a fun marketing image for the city. The monks used to do a wide range of things, including woodworking. Attached is a photo with one of their chairs. Unfortunately, there are now only two monks left at the Monastery. Before WWII there were some 260. As they explained to us, they lost most of their properties and facilities to the Communists after that war, but one of them still makes Trappist cheese. We bought cheese from the monk. The contact person if you want to arrange a tour is Pater Zvonko Topic: 051-300-951. Otherwise just show up for mass on Sunday mornings at 10 am. We did, and they were so thrilled to have foreign visitors, they offered us a full tour (which was fascinating).
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