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Foča (Фоча), known from 1992 to 2004 as Srbinje (Србиње), is a town in southeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina near Drina river, in the Herzegovina region of Republika Srpska entity. It is now populated mostly by Serbs, however the 1991 census data shows that 40% of the town's population (52% in the municipality ) were Bosniaks. In 1991, it was populated by 12570 people (census data).
The town was known as Hvoča (Хвоча) during medieval times. It was then known as a trading centre on route between Ragusa (now Dubrovnik) and Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey). The Ottomans left Foča a marvel of architecture, the Aladža Mosque, claimedly one of Europe's most beautiful.
In 1992, all the Bosniaks were forced to leave the city. On April 22 1992, the Bosnian Serb Army blew up the Aladža Mosque. Eight more mosques, from the 16th and 17th centuries, were also damaged or fully destroyed. The city was renamed Srbinje, literally place of the Serbs (from Srbi Serbs and -nje which is a Slavic locative suffix). In 2004, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared the name change unconstitutional, and reverted it to Foča, until the National Assembly of Republika Srpska passes an appropriate law.
It houses some faculties (including the Medical faculty) from the Srpsko Sarajevo University . It is also home to one of five Serb Orthodox seminaries in the Balkans, the Duhovna Akademija Svetog Vasilija Ostroskog and was until 1992 the home of one of Bosnia's most important islamic high schools, the Madrassa of Mehmed-Pasa Kukavica.
Foča is the capital of the Foča Municipality and of the Foča Region.
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