Country - Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina Country Information
Bosnia is also known by the joint name “Bosnia and Herzegovina”. Except a few kilometers, say 20km, on its southern tip more specifically called Herzegovina which is bordered by the coast line of Adriatic Sea, almost the entire frontier of the country is land-locked. Bosnia is a country in southeastern Europe. Its eastern border is shared by Serbia and the south eastern border is shared by Montenegro. The major part of its entire border in north, west and south is embraced by Croatia. Sarajevo is the capital and the largest city of Bosnia.
Human presence in Bosnia was traced from the times of Neolithic age, more particularly between the fourteen years beginning from 8 B.C. and 6 A.D. Since then, Bosnia had undergone cultural and social changes due to the oppression of the local people called Illyrians by Roman settlers who dominated till about 400 years. After several changes of rule by subsequent conquerors, Bosnia underwent a prolonged phase of Ottoman rule between 1463 and 1878 which left an everlasting impact on its culture noticeable even today. One of such cultural changes is forcible conversion of churches into mosques and the pre-existing Orthodox and Catholics were referred to as gebir or kafir, meaning heretics. Later, Bosnia came under the Austro-Hungarian rule. One of the reasons that kick started the World War I was the assassination of the likely Austro-Hungarian successor Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a rebellious Yugoslav youth Gavrilo Princip in 1914. Soon after the WWI, Bosnia was brought under the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovens which came to be known as Yugoslavia. During the World War II, the kingdom of Yugoslavia was captured by Nazi forces. The central geographical location of Bosnia was the reason for build-up of large military industrial base which was also one of the causative factors for subsequent split within the nation in 1990s. Surprisingly, amid frequent bouts of turmoil, a greater part of Bosnia within Yugoslavia began to flourish and prosper well with high employment, robust industrial growth and substantial export-related revenue. Towards the end of 1990, parliamentary elections were held wherein the communist party was replaced by tri-ethnic coalition. However, the tenure of the coalition was short lived with the formation of the Assembly of the Serb People of Bosnia and Herzegovina in October 1991. Following the referendum in 1992, though boycotted by a majority of Serbs, Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia and joined as a member of the United Nations in May 1992.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is not yet tailor-made for international tourism. Its unpreparedness to entice foreign visitors makes it more genuine, cultural and authentic. The political and social ravage in the recent past must have made it to focus more on its internal affairs rather than sprucing up the external façade.
The capital city Sarajao which bore the major brunt in the not-so-distant strife ridden past is a testimony showing to visitors the bullet-pierced exteriors in the classical monuments. Slowly recovering from the devastating past, Bosnia is home to people who are non-violent and harmless to outsiders.
The Srebrenica Genocide Museum in Sarajao hosts a collection of numerous photos of the victims of racial massacre. The city Mostar holds out the iconic hallmark Old Bridge (Stari Most) which was destroyed in the war but renovated to its original glory. Kravice waterfalls make another luring place where waterfalls plunge down from craggy heights forcing their way through dense vegetation.
One more modest town Pocitelj has an old watchtower which can be climbed to have an aerial view of the surrounding water bodies, thickets and the distant hills. The stone-studded curved wall joining the old edifice extends outward and separates the natural ambience into two distinct parts. The Blagaj Dervish House Monastery situated at the base of a cave is an indispensible spot to make visitors’ tour really complete. The adjacent stream of river continues to allude the onlookers about the source of perpetual water flow. The 15th century castle, famously known as Travnik Castle, is an authentic memory of the erstwhile Ottoman empire.
Bosnia and Herzgovina is certainly a nation that remains as one of the off-the-beaten-track destinations for international tourists.