The Cathedral of Saint Bonaventure in Banja Luka is one of three Roman Catholic cathedrals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the seat of the Banja Luka Bishopric currently led by Bishop Franjo Komarica.
The first cathedral was built in gothic style from 1885 till 1887, but was severely damaged when a terrible earthquake occurred in Banja Luka in 1969, and it became necessary to demolish the building. A new one was built in 1972-1973 in modern style in the form of a tent, like the Old Testament meeting place of those who believed in God. The tent-like shape of the new cathedral would also be a reminder of the months following the tragic earthquake in Banja Luka, when many of those whose homes were destroyed were forced to live in tents. The bell tower, close to the cathedral, contains five bells and a clock, and was built in 1990. The cathedral that was recently finished and radically renewed was dedicated on December 1, 2001, on the 120th Anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese.
Mons. dr Franjo Komarica, Banja Luka’s Bishop, was born on February 3, 1946. He was ordained a priest on June 29, 1972, and was consecrated a bishop on January 6, 1986 in Rome. He has administrated Banja Luka Diocese from July 15, 1989, taking the place of retired bishop Alfred Pichler. Currently, he is President of the Bishop’s Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Episcopal house close to the cathedral was built in 1885. It was enlarged several times, and some years ago was refitted to be the Caritas medical centre, which serves numerous very poor people, regardless of national or religious affiliation.
The priestly nursing home, built in 1989, serves as the Episcopal residence. The ordinariate offices are inside, as well as dwellings for the Bishop and his closest coworkers, and for the elderly and sick priests. Many Diocesan offices and institutions are within this building: Iustitia et Pax, Catechetical office, the Diocesan archive, library and so on.
The Cathedral was built in honor of Saint Bonaventure, a Franciscan theologian from the Middle Ages. It was constructed by Alfred Pichler in the 1970s after the original had been damaged in an earthquake.
The building suffered damage in the Bosnian War, but was reinaugurated in 2001 after the completion of repairs.
Architect Alfred Pichler
Banja Luka Catholic Cathedral - Cathedral of Saint Bonaventure
The Banja Luka Cathedral of St. Bonaventura - God's Tent. This wonderful building has been projected in 1960s by Miroslav Matasović, Croatian architect.