Bosnia and Herzegovina
One of many advantages of traveling to Croatia is its proximity to many important sites in neighboring countries that are so easy to reach. High on the list is magical Bosnia and Herzegovina, the heart of the Western Balkans.
Bosnia covers the north and center of the country with its name probably derived from ‘bosana’, an old Indo-European word meaning water.
Much of Bosnia and Herzegovina are mountainous. The long chain of the Southern Alps – the Dinaric Alps – stretches from northwest Slovenia through the heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina and into Montenegro, and finishes in the Prokletija Mountains on the Albanian border.
Herzegovina hosts the highest and wildest part of this mountain range, which for centuries provided the population protection from Roman invaders, and which slowed the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia. The central belt of Bosnia has both rocky mountains and green, rolling hills covered with conifer forests and lined with countless freshwater streams and rivers.
Good to know
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian
The Bosnian Convertible Mark
Being in Mostar lets you experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of the ancient Ottoman Empire while still being in a European city. The beauty of its architecture and its picturesque setting along the banks of the colorful Neretva River are compelling. The crown jewel of Mostar is its 500-year-old world-famous bridge – Stari Most. Commissioned by the most famous Turkish Great Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent in 1557, it took the designer Mimar Hayruddin 9 years to complete. It’s entirely made of local stone known as “tenelija”. During the 1990’s war in Bosnia Herzegovina, the bridge was destroyed and reconstructed afterward. While in Mostar you may sometimes see local divers who jump off Stari Most. As you walk through the fascinating Old Town, Old Bazaar, the Turkish House and the many stunning mosques which have stood in this city for hundreds of years, you will understand what makes Mostar so unforgettable. The markets are a great place to find many outstanding Turkish handicrafts – coffee and tea sets, copperwork, rugs, slippers, and even traditional fez hats. The culinary delights of Mostar are Bosnian – burek (meat or cheese-filled pastry) or ćevapčići (the typical everyday meal of grilled minced meat with lots of different spices served with pita and onion).
Međugorje is the place of apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1981. The once sleepy village has been transformed into one of the most important Catholic destinations in the world, with more than 1 million pilgrims making the journey each year.
The town itself is located in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, around 25 km (16 mi) southwest of Mostar and close to the border of Croatia.
Sarajevo is the capital and the largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here you can find traces of the Neolithic Butmir Culture, Illyrians, Romans, Slavs, the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Socialistic Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Over the past 100 years, Sarajevo has found itself a member of six different states and has witnessed the Sarajevo Assassination that led to WWI, the First and Second World Wars, the XIV Winter Olympic Games and sadly, the longest-running siege of any town in modern history.
Sarajevo is one of those rare cities where, during a ten-minute walk, you can see places of worship for the world’s most important monotheistic religions: Orthodox and Catholic churches, synagogues and mosques. All of these traditions have given Sarajevo a specific aroma and a particular cultural mix.