Italian church

After the great natural disaster of 1882, floods that hit the Italian regions of Trento, Veneto, Friuli, the water torrents took away not only the houses, but the whole estates, leaving behind only a wasteland. Several dozen families from the surroundings of the city of Trento decided to look for a better future in the area north of Banja Luka, in the village of Mahovljani. The first Tyrolean Italians arrived in Mahovljani on September 20, 1883, and formed the Tyrol colony.


The settlers formed agricultural holdings in which they cultivated vegetables, fruits and vines, and made famous wines from grapes. According to the 1921 census, 538 Italians lived in the Tyrol colony in Mahovljani.


Parish church dedicated to HolyFrancis of Assisiwas built in 1902 instead of the temporary church, which immediately after their arrival in Mahovljani, was built by Italian families for their religious needs. A Roman Catholic Primary School was opened within the church led by the Sisters of the Precious Blood of Jesus.


The church is a one-nave building with an elongated rectangular altar which is one meter from the church's shaft. Alongside the altar there are two lower wings - the northern sacristy, the south funeral chapel, and the high bell tower is located along the southwest corner of the facade. The interior is covered with a wooden ceiling, the floor is newer (from the renewal of 1992 and 1998), there is a choir above the nave, and wooden statues of Christ and the Virgin of the 19th century are placed on the sides of the altar. Church of Holy Francis of Assisi is a monument under the protection of the state.


In the yard of the church there is a monument that was built in 2013 by the descendants of the Italians from Mahovljani. The monument is in the shape of three spiky mountains, and the surnames and years of birth of all immigrants are written on the monument. Also on the monument there is a cadastral map carved with the possession of all Italian families living in Mahovljani.


In 1939, most of the Italians who lived in the area ofLaktaši moved, except for several families whose descendants are still in Laktaši today.
In the surroundings of the church, which is located on a beautiful viewpoint, there is a large church vineyard and winery "Podrumibanjalučkebiskupije" that produces quality varieties of wine "Bonaventura". This place is very much visited by tourists and other visitors, and recently byorganized groups who are offeredto taste the wine and famous cheese "Trapist".

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