July 28, 2017

This is Bosnia and Herzegovina: Travel, Culture, History and Soul


Town of Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Town of Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina

When most people think of Bosina & Herzegovina (BH), images of war and unconscionable suffering still linger in the minds of many. While the scars of this bloody and destructive conflict are still evident and political tensions remain just below the surface, the vast majority of people in this fascinating land are optimistic and steering their country towards a brighter future. This also makes it a great time for travelers to visit Bosnia-Herzegovina.

So, what exactly should you check out should you find yourself in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Glad you asked! The brief list below contains some of the must-see things to experience in this totally cool spot of southeastern Europe.

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Places to to, things to see in Bosnia-Herzegovina

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Sarajevo

The old quarter of Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Locked in the midst of the Dinaric Alps along the Miljacka River, Sarajevo used to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe before the Yugoslav civil war in the early 1990s. During that time, much of the city was obliterated through constant shelling by Bosnian-Serb radicals. Today with the war being over (though the memory of the carnage is still fresh in the minds of many residents), Sarejevo has come back to life and is returning to something close to its former self. Commerce and nightlife have returned and the city has once again become one of Eastern Europe’s hip destinations.

Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

A multicultural city throughout much of its existence, the architecture in Sarajevo is a blend of Ottoman Turkish and Austro-Hungarian with a touch of gothic and local styles blended in. Historically a religiously tolerant city, one can see mosques, Orthodox and Catholic cathedrals, churches and even an old synagogue. The city really comes alive at night with its thriving bar and club scene along with several live music venues. There are also several museums here, many though dealing with the subject of the Yugoslav civil war.

Mostar

Stari Most bridge in the town of Mostar
Stari Most bridge in the town of Mostar

One can’t really describe this place with words; it’s a city and area of Bosnia-Herzegovina that has to be individually experienced. The most famous attraction in Mostar is the 500-year old Stari Most Bridge, the original which was destroyed (and seen in a heartbreaking video) during the Yugoslav civil war. After being rebuilt, the Stari Most has become a popular place for locals and tourists alike to bridge jump into the Neretva River below. The rest of Mostar, with its cobblestone streets and chic but traditional cafés, is also a lot of fun to explore and is accessible by foot.

Počitelj

Pocitelj_001
Počitelj, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Located in southwestern Bosnia along the Neretva River, Počitelj is picturesque little village with a checkered history. It was ruled by local Bosnian dukes until the coming of the Ottoman Turks in 1471. The town remained within Turkish control until 1878 when the Austro-Hungarian Empire took over. Now part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the city was heavily damaged during the bloody Yugoslav civil war. Many of the more historic buildings have been restored or rebuilt and are open to to the public. Popular Počitelj landmarks include the Hajji Alija Mosque and the Gavrakapetan Tower/Kula fort.

Trebinje

Trebinje_001
Photo courtesy of City of Trebinje – http://www.trebinje.rs.ba/

Just about as far south as you can go in Bosnia-Herzegovina is the town of Trebinje (technically you’re in the Republika Srpska, one of the two recognized and legal entities in the country). Politics aside, this is one of the most beautiful areas in the entire country, and that’s saying a lot since most of the country is spectacularly beautiful. Surrounded by the high hills of the Trebišnjica river valley, Trebinje is famous for its 18th-century “old town” district which contains quaint old stone houses and buildings, Byzantine-style churches and the beautifully designed Arslanagica Bridge.

Photo by Isidor Stankov - http://www.istankov.com/
Photo by Isidor Stankov – http://www.istankov.com/

At night, especially during the summer months, Trebinje comes alive with live music events taking place both outdoors and inside its pubs and nightclubs.

City of Trebinje Website

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And that’s just a sample. For more info and details on the country, history and what to see and do, check out some of the following below.

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Further Reading and Resources

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General Information

Bosnia and Herzegovina: CIA World Factbook

Tourism

Bosnia-Herzegovina Tourism

10 Reasons to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina (CNN Travel)

History

The Bosnian Genocide

Genocide in the 20th Century: Bosnia-Herzegovina


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