Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is the heart shaped land that lies in the heart of southeast Europe. It is here that eastern and western civilizations met, sometimes clashed, but more often enriched and reinforced each other throughout its long and fascinating history.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is an almost landlocked country – it has a narrow coast at the Adriatic Sea, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) long surrounding the town of Neum. It is bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast. In the central and eastern interior of the country, the geography is mountainous, in the northwest is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland, Bosnia, is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The southern tip, Herzegovina, has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography.

History

Bosnia and Herzegovina traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age, during and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally, politically, and socially, the country has a rich history, having been first settled by the Slavic peoples that populate the area today from the 6th through to the 9th centuries. In the 12th century the Banate of Bosnia was established, which evolved into the Kingdom of Bosnia in the 14th century, after which it was annexed into the Ottoman Empire, under whose rule it remained from the mid-15th to the late 19th centuries. The Ottomans brought Islam to the region, and altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country. This was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I. In the interwar period, Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, it was granted full republic status in the newly formed Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the republic proclaimed independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995.

Tourist attractions

Some of the tourist attractions in Bosnia and Herzegovina include:

  • Sarajevo, the "Olympic City" or "European Jerusalem"; the scientific, cultural, tourist and commercial center of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Vratnik old town and Bijela Tabija fortress in Sarajevo
  • Shrine of Our Lady of Međugorje, with Annual Youth Festival; the site of a Marian apparition and subsequent Catholic pilgrimage destination
  • Mostar, the "City on Neretva" or "City of Sunshine"; the location of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Stari most and old-town Mostar
  • Višegrad, location of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge
  • Banja Luka, the "Green City", with sights such as the Kastel fortress and Ferhadija mosque
  • Bihać and the waterfalls of the river Una within Una National Park
  • Jajce, city of the Bosnian kings and the place where the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was founded, Pliva lakes and waterfall
  • Prijedor, featuring its Old City Mosque, Kozara National Park and, at Mrakovica, Bosnia's largest World War II monument
  • The salt-lakes of Tuzla, birthplace of Meša Selimović
  • The Neretva river and the Rakitnica river canyons in Upper Neretva
  • The Trebižat river and its waterfalls at Kravica and Koćuša
  • The Buna with its spring and historic town of Blagaj
  • The Lower Tara river canyon, the deepest canyon in Europe
  • Sutjeska National Park, featuring the ancient forest of Perućica (one of the last two remaining primeval forests in Europe) and the Sutjeska river canyon
  • Počitelj historical village
  • Mount Bjelašnica and Jahorina, sites used during XIV Olympic Winter Games in 1984
  • Neum, the only coastal city in Bosnia and Herzegovina with direct access to the Adriatic Sea
  • Doboj and its 13th-century fortress
  • Stolac, featuring the Begovina neighborhood and Radimlja tombstones
  • Visoko, city of the Bosnian nobility and monarchy, historical capital of the Kingdom of Bosnia and the site of the alleged Bosnian pyramids
  • Prokoško Lake in Fojnica
  • Tešanj, one of Bosnia's oldest known cities
  • Bijeljina, known for its agriculture and ethnic village Stanišić
  • Lukavac, featuring Modrac Lake, the largest artificial lake in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Travnik, the birthplace of Ivo Andrić and once the capital city of the Bosnia Eyalet
  • Jablanica, Museum of Battle of Neretva and Old bridge destroyed by Yugoslav army in Second World War
  • Ostrožac Castle, a 16th-century castle built by the Ottoman Empire and later expanded by the House of Habsburg
  • Konjic, featuring Tito's underground nuclear bunker

Capital city

Sarajevo

Important telephone number

Country code +387 Information Center 121

Conutry code +387
Information center 121
Police 122
Fire 123
Emergency 124

Time zone

UTC+1 (CET)
Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)

Currency

Convertible mark (BAM)
1 EUR – 1.95 BAM

Official languages

Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian