Located on the banks of Oćevica river oćevija village is the most famous and only place in the Europe today where iron is melt and processed in a medieval pre-industrial way. Here you can find and see the old technique of forging steel with the help of water power. Oćevija is far from major roads and road communications which is the main problem why this magical village is not one of the main tourist attractions in our country.
"Oh Che Via"
An old story tells that Oćevija was named this way because of it's remote location. Story tells that an Italian traveled from Kraljeva Sutjeska over Vareš to Olovo. On his way he stopped at the place of village and started repeating "Oh Che Via" (What a road) thinking how hard it is. That way Oćevija got it's name.
Village in the heart of the mountain
Oćevija village is located 18 kilometers from Vareš and 14 kilometers from Olovo. There is an effort for building a new asphalt road from Vareš direction that stopped at 4 kilometers far from Oćevija. We hope that road building will continue and that this action will move this area toward a better future in terms of tourism. Whole region of Zvijezda mountain is an perfect example of mountain ecological tourism location and this would be a nice place to complete this picture with some historical and cultural background.
Water, fire and iron
Waterfall on river Oćevica
Powerful river Oćevica that flows through the village is a tributary of the river Krivaja. The blacksmith shops called "majdan" are built on it's banks. In that way the power of the water could be harvested and used to run heavy hammers. Blacksmith skill with the help of water power produced different kinds of agricultural tools, cooking utensils, axes, hoes and other tools that was widely known even in Egypt and Asia. According to the writings of Franjo Franjković until 1887 there was 127 blacksmith shops in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a big part of this number in Vareš region was active 48 blacksmith shops - 6 of it in Oćevija. With the opening of the furnace for iron melting in Vareš 1891 most of these shops was closed, but even today 3 blacksmith shops are still active in Oćevija.
Village on the verge of disappearance
Today most of the tools is replaced by more modern tools produced by factories so these shops have a hard time in selling their products. The village is relatively empty and most of it's residents migrated to the towns. There is no younger generations in the village ready to learn the blacksmith skills inherited and passed down from the prior generations. Those are the reason that give us a fear that this historical place will stop with it's work. Government should recognize the value of Oćevija village, should build a decent road to it and help the work of locals so this historical wealth would not disappeared.