Stjepan Tomasevic (1461-1463)
Stjepan was the last
Bosnian king. He was captured by treachery (the name of the traitor is
still remembered in Bosnia) and decapitated by Turks in his Royal city of
Jajce. His daughter and son were taken in slavery to Istanbul's court and
there forced to convert to Islam.
Stjepan's wife was Katarina Vukcic-Kosaca (1424-1478), the last Queen
of Bosnia, and an ardent Catholic. She is still one of the most beloved
personalities among the Croats living in Bosnia.
When Bosnia fell under
Ottoman rule in 1463, Katarina lost her husband and both children. With
the help of some Bosnian nobles, she managed to escape to Dubrovnik, and
then to Rome, where she had been deeply involved in the humanitarian
activity of the Franciscan community (Aracoeli) becoming Franciscan
Tertiary herself, to help the Bosnian Croats under the Turkish rule.
built a church of St Katarina in the picturesque Bosnian city of Jajce
(which unfortunately was destroyed by the Serbs in 1993). Despite her very
difficult position, she had always been treated as a Queen of Bosnia in
official circles. Tormented by the tragedy of her homeland, the lawful
queen bequeathed her Bosnian Kingdom to Pope Sixto IV and the Holly See in
1478 ("...in case that my Islamised children are not freed and
returned to Catholic faith").
The queen is remembered in Bosnia up to the present day as the Black
Queen, "black" in the sense of unfortunate or "Sad
Queen." Even today all the women, including the very young, from the
small town of Kraljeva Sutjeska (King's Canyon) in the area where Stjepan
Tomaševich was captured (not far from Sarajevo), cover their hair with
black scarves on their heads as a sign of mourning for "Our Queen Katarina," five and-a-half centuries after Katarina's death.