The coat of arms of the Princely House of Bulat
The Princely House of Bulat (Bullath, Bulath, Bullat, Bulliath) is the oldest noble house with the title katunar (Vlach count) from the Cetina region in Dalmatia. The progenitor of the noble house of Bulat was Bulat Kustražić († 1440) who was ennobled by prince Ivan VI Frankopan († 1436) on 18th March 1436 at the castle Klis. Bulat Kustražić died in battle during the conquest of Omiš and Poljice in service to grand duke Stjepan Vukčić Kosača († 1466) and is buried at the necropolis in Trilj. He received his name from a type of steel called bulat which was used by medieval knights for swords.
The family descends from a parent house called Kustražić and prior to that another one called Radulović which arrived in Dalmatia in 1322 in service to ban Mladen II Šubić of Bribir. Throughout its long history, the family established itself as one of the finest houses of military nobility, having served 27 rulers with the title of ban of Bosnia and after that of Croatia from the Middle Ages to 1873 when the Military Border of the Habsburg Monarchy was abolished.
The earliest mention of the medieval Vlachs is from the Charter of Ban Matej Ninoslav († c. 1250) “Da hode Vlasi svobodno, ih dobit’k, tako kako su u bana Kulina hodili” (Old Slavic: For the Vlachs to walk freely with their gains, as they did during the time of Ban Kulin) which means the Vlachs were already nobleman during the time of ban Kulin († c. 1204). This freedom was again later confirmed on several occasions, but none of the Vlachs enjoyed as much privileges as the ones who were the allies of the Princes Nelipčić.
The descendants of Bulat Kustražić settled in Zaostrog after the fall of the Duchy of Saint Sava where the oldest mention of the House of Bulat is found in the Franciscan monastery of St. Mary in Zaostrog. The necropolis of Cista Provo where the ancestor of Bulat Kustražić, katunar Jerko Kustražić (✶ c. 1323 – † c. 1356) is buried is 45 kilometers from Zaostrog and is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site while his tombstone resides in the Museum of Archeological Monuments in Split, Croatia.
The full history of the Princely House of Bulat can be read here.