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Bosnia and Herzegovina - an ajar pearl of the Balkans

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country (and the former republic of the former Yugoslavia) located in southeastern Europe. The country is surrounded by land on all sides, except for the southern border, where the population of the country has free access to the Adriatic Sea. The area is 51,000 km2 - which makes the size of the country slightly larger than, for example, Denmark. About 4.6 million people live in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The capital is Sarajevo with a population of just under 200,000.

The Neretva is unique among rivers of the Dinaric Alps area, particularly concerning its eclectic ecosystems and habitats, flora and fauna, and cultural and historic heritage. One of the most priceless biological resources of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia is in Neretva freshwater. The Neretva basin possesses the most important source of drinking water in the region.

Bosnia and Herzegovina borders Croatia in the western part of the country, with Montenegro and Serbia - in the eastern part of the country. The country is divided into two parts: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is dominated by Bosnian Muslims and Croats, and the Republika Srpska, which is dominated by Serbs. On our website, you can easily find a local private tour guide who will take you around the area and tell you all the historical and other interesting details about the beautiful places of this country and make interesting itineraries covering all the unique corners of the local nature.

Transport

The most common way to travel around the country is by road. In winter and spring, small roads can be blocked by ice and landslides. The road network varies in quality, but roads are often quite good in major cities and surrounding areas. Be very careful if you are driving at night or in winter. Keep to the main roads. If you want to drive your own car, you must have an international driving license.

Kravica Waterfall is a big tufa cascade on the Trebižat River, in the karstic heartland of Herzegovina. Its cliff is about 26 meters (81 ft) and the diameter of the lake at the base of the waterfall is 240 meters (780 ft). Kravica is a famous swimming and picnic spot. The finest time for a visit is during April-May when the cascade is at its fullest and the surroundings are vivid green. Around the Kravica Falls is also a little grotto with stalactites created of calcium carbonate.

Enjoy a wonderful holiday in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which offers many beautiful cities full of cultural attractions and unique natural landscapes with mountains, waterfalls, vineyards, and beautiful beaches on the Adriatic Sea in the southern part of the country. In many places, you can see historical monuments and buildings testifying to the dramatic history of the country.

Buna is a river in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the left tributary of the Neretva, flowing into it about 15 km downstream from Mostar, in the city of Buna. It has a length of 9 km and has two tributaries: Posrt, which is a non-permanent tributary, i.e. exists only in winter, and the Bunica, which is a permanent tributary and flows into the Buna north of the Buna. It is very rich in water: with a flow rate of 43 m3/s, the spring is one of the strongest in Europe. The highest water level is in November and the lowest in July and August. There is a trout factory and a farm directly under the spring in Blagay. It is rich in softmouth trout, and eels are also found in the lower reaches.
At the very source, emerging from a deep cave in Blagay, there is an old dervish tekiya, which was mentioned back in 1664 by the travel writer Evliya Chelebia. Before its source, the Buna flows underground for 19.5 km.

You can choose from a variety of wonderful holiday homes in Bosnia and Herzegovina that suit your needs and from which you can go for a walk in the city or go out into nature outside the cities. If you dream of a big city holiday, you can choose to stay in the capital city of Sarajevo, which offers many exciting experiences.

And why not stay for the night in a log hut in a virgin pine forest and enjoy the closeness of nature and feel like a part of it?

If you want to go on a cultural journey, you can, for example, rent a holiday home in Mostar in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the cultural center of the country. If you want to eat in a restaurant, you can, for example, order the local Ćevapčići (Ćevapi) dish, which is lamb and beef rolls with a lot of spices, and you will be served flatbread, vegetables, and sauce.

Rakija is a strong Balkan alcoholic drink (brandy) obtained by sublimating fermented fruits. The standard strength is 40%, but homemade brandy can be pretty strong - from 50 to 60%. Rakija can be explored as a classic national drink of the South Slavic peoples and Romanians: it is famous in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Crete, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bulgaria. Slivovitz made from plums is extremely common. Other fruits used include quince, juniper, mulberry, fig, cherry, pear, apples, apricots, peaches, and grapes. There is also Rakija, in which various fruits are mixed. Grape and plum brandy are often blended after distillation with other ingredients such as nuts, cherries, honey, anise, and herbs. The main difference from ordinary vodka is the distillation of the final product in oak barrels, which is typical for brandy (cognac).

You can also try the local alcoholic drink Rakija with a sweet taste of 40% ABV. Prices for food and drinks in restaurants and cafes are low, and the portions are large enough to fill up. Of course, you can also dine in your beautiful holiday home and unwind after a busy day.

Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tunnel of Hope

The Tunnel of Hope is a little away from the center. This place was critical to the survival and lives of many of the city's inhabitants during the Balkan War because food, medicine, animals, people, weapons, and other necessities were smuggled in and out of the city during the siege of Sarajevo. In addition to going down a small part of the tunnel, you can listen to a presentation and view an exhibition. We would recommend the trip to anyone who wants to know a little more about the Balkan War.

The Sarajevo Tunnel also known as Tunel spasa (Tunnel of rescue) and Tunnel of Hope, was an underpass formed in March 1993 during the Siege of Sarajevo in the middle of the Bosnian War. It was constructed by the Bosnian Army in order to connect the municipality of Sarajevo, which was completely isolated by Serbian forces, with the Bosnian-held part on the other side of the Sarajevo Airport, an area managed by the United Nations. The tunnel made it possible for food, war supplies, and humanitarian aid to come into the city and let people escape. The tunnel became a primary way of bypassing the multinational arms embargo and supplying the city defenders with weaponry.

Visegrad bridge (Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge) 

The Bridge over the Drina is not only a Nobel book by Ivo Andric but also a real bridge. The bridge over the Drina is located in Visegrad on the border with Serbia and, therefore, has been the center of many wars for a long time. The bridge is beautiful and the scenery is really emotional! The trip from Sarajevo to Visegrad takes an average of 2.5 hours, but the trip is worth it - the bridge is beautiful, and the scenery is really picturesque. The Visegrad Bridge, or the Mehmed Pasha Bridge, is an 11-span stone bridge 200 meters long across the Drina River in the Bosnian city of Visegrad. It is a significant monument of medieval Turkish engineering art. In addition to visual and engineering merits, Visegrad Bridge is known for its rich history.

Andrićgrad and Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge 
Andrićgrad is a building project settled in Višegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina by movie director Emir Kusturica. The town is committed to novelist and Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andrić. The complex of Andrićgrad, also known as Kamengrad (Stonetown) was officially opened on 27 June 2014 and is located a few kilometers from Kusturica's first village, Drvengrad, in Serbia. Andrićgrad is located near the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and extends from the bridge up to the intersection of the Rzav River.  After Drvengrad (English: Woodentown), this is the second town Kusturica constructed from scrape. Andrićgrad is to become the background for Kusturica's new movie Na Drini ćuprija, founded on the novel The Bridge on the Drina by Nobel Prize for Literature laureate Ivo Andrić.

During the First World War, three arches of the bridge were destroyed, during the Second World War, five more spans were damaged. In Croatia, as well as in Bosnia and Herzegovina, starting with the Croatian historian Milan Šuflaj and his work of the 1920s, the thesis that the “border on the Drina” is a civilizational border existed and widespread since antiquity between East and West, Orthodoxy and Catholicism. 

Wine and Rakija - authentic taste!

The soils and climate of Herzegovina are excellent for wine production. It is especially developed in the lower reaches of the Neretva and in the Trebišnica valley, as well as on the low hills near Chitkul. There are also wineries in the northern part of the country, in the vicinity of Banja Luka. Two autochthonous varieties grow in Herzegovina - Blatino and Žilavka, as well as numerous international vineyard varieties. 

The wine of the same name is produced from Blatina grapes. Typically, the wine contains up to 15% of the satellite varieties that were involved in pollination.

Blatina has a rich dark garnet color. The aroma is rich, with fruity and berry notes, and the taste is dense and harmonious. This is a southern wine with a temperamental character. Aged in oak barrels for a year or more, Blatina takes on a palette of prunes, cherries, and chocolate. The alcohol content is 11-12.5 degrees. This wine is supposed to be drunk carefully. It is easy and pleasant to drink Blatina, but behind the external tenderness, the strength of the Herzegovina stone and the heat of the southern sun lie.

Antique wine goblet made of juniper wood with a brass binding and a characteristic smell

Blatina is recommended to be served with meat dishes, especially with meat cooked on an open fire or with game. Beef prosciutto and Kulen, a spicy smoked sausage originally from Slavonia, are perfectly combined as an appetizer with Blatina. Blatina is good with ripe cheese. The combination of wine tannins of Blatina with spicy bagged Herzegovinian cheese is the best. The temperature of the wine when serving for consumption should be 18-20 degrees.

If you suddenly get the opportunity to try Blatina not from a glass, but from a wooden Buсara mug, be sure to agree to this opportunity. Bucara is made of juniper wood and gives the wine a unique tart aroma.

Another famous local grape variety - Žilavka - is grown throughout the lowland Herzegovina: in the Neretva and Trebisnjica valleys, not far from the cities of Mostar, Chitluk, Medjugorje, Chaplin, Lubushka, Stolac, Trebinje. It is believed that its distribution comes from the Brotnjo area in the vicinity of Chitluk, and it was there that its unique features were formed. Žilavka loves a lot of sun and poor stony soils. It will be ideal for it if hot days alternate with cool nights, in this case, the vein acquires a uniquely rich bouquet.

The Halebia Tower on the northeast shore of the Mostar Bridge (Stari Most) and the Tara Tower on the opposite bank has the status of "bridge guardians". The bridge is supposed an illustrative detail of Balkan Islamic architecture and was ordered for construction by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1556. Mostar Diving Club has an office in this building. Stari Most diving is a traditional annual contest in diving arranged every year in mid-summer. It is traditional for the local men to jump from the bridge into the Neretva river. This requires skill and training and is a risky feat as soon as the water in the Neretva is icy even during hot summers. Since 1967 a proper diving challenge became official and annual.

On the gentle slopes of Brotnya, approximately at an altitude of 300-400 meters above sea level, the microclimate is the most appropriate for the tit. Žilavka easily tolerates drought, but an excess of liquid does not suit it at all. During the rainy summer periods, which, fortunately, rarely happen in Herzegovina, abundant harvests are obtained only from the "stone" vineyards, since the stone provides excellent drainage for the soil.

Žilavka ripens at the end of September. Its clusters weighing 150-200 grams are formed from densely collected to rare. One vine can produce one and a half to two kilograms of grapes, which is enough to produce one liter of wine. The winemakers of Herzegovina consider their technical capabilities in this way - the quantity of vines is equal to the volume in liters of wine. The grapes are round, and medium in size, and the color ranges from green to amber.

Wine made from the vine is usually crystal clear and is characterized by a light straw color. Aged for some time, the trim acquires a rich yellow sunny color. The bouquet is characterized by fresh fruit notes: peach, apple, and citruses. A sensitive nose can pick up hints of wild herbs and the slight smell of a sea breeze. The taste of the vein is light and fresh, with a delicate sourness. The wine is exceptionally easy to drink. The strength of the Žilavka varies from 13 to 14.5 degrees.

Sommeliers believe that Žilavka is a wine of “one year”. Usually, by the time a new vintage of wine hits the market, the stocks of the previous year have already been exhausted. Despite this, some Herzegovina wine producers are famous for their barrique trim, aging it for 6 to 18 months in oak barrels. The wine acquires a rich bouquet and an enviable density.

Bag cheese (sir iz mijeha, sir iz mješine) is an authentic product of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Such cheese was made by the cattle breeders of the Thracian camps, who settled in these territories hundreds of years ago. The technology is simple and natural, the cheese is stored for a long time, and it is high-calorie and oily. Baul is a sheep skin - peeled, dried, and smoked. The skin of the bag of cheese should be smooth and resemble papyrus. The size of the bag is determined by the proportions of the sheep from whose skin it is made. The bag can hold from 20 to 60 kg of cheese. Goat skin is sometimes used, but this is extremely exotic, as the aroma of the cheese is striking on the spot. The cheese smell from the bag is sharp, "wild" and powerful - in 60 days the cheese manages to perfectly soak in the smell of sheep's skin. Well, since the skin of the bag is smoked, the background will be a light aroma of smoke.

The cheese is taken out of the bag in the form of slices of different volumes. The color may be yellowish to white. Cheese can easily be crushed with your fingernails. The taste is incredibly salty, seductive, and bright, but not too powerful, as one might anticipate from the smell: it is smoothed out by high-fat content. Cheese is also added to a variety of dishes, which gives them a colorful taste and piquancy. The appearance of milk contributes to the formation of the color of the cheese. If the cow spends time on the farm, the cheese will be white, and if it grazes freely in alpine meadows, it will be yellow. In all Herzegovina supermarkets, cheese from a bag is sold in portioned form. Outside of Bosnia, cheese from a bag is not common, they are not used to it yet.

Žilavka goes well with lamb dishes, white chicken meat, freshwater and sea fish, and a variety of seafood. Herzegovinians love to drink Žilavka accompanied by a classic Herzegovinian snack: prosciutto (cured ham) and cheese from a bag. Žilavka for consumption is cooled to 12 degrees.

Mosque of Koski Mehmed Pasha 

The Mosque of Koski Mehmed Pasha was built right on the banks of the main river of Bosnia and Herzegovina - the Neretva. The construction of the religious building was completed in 1618 by the order of Koski Mehmed Pasha.

The Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque in Mostar symbolizes a monumental, world-known, and remarkable piece of Ottoman architecture in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mehmed Koskija, the originator of the mosque, was the historian of the grand vizier Lala Mehmed Sokolovic. Besides the mosque, he assembled a madrasah too. It has a floor with three domes, and an extraordinarily well-crafted mimbar and mihrab. The harmonies of the Mosque are especially eminent. The location of the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque is absolutely specific as it is set on the precipices of the Neretva River in the city center of Mostar.

During its presence here, passing many centuries, the mosque was repeatedly destroyed during military operations in the area, but each time the mosque and the minaret erected near it were subjected to restoration work. As a result of these processes, the structure was rebuilt in almost every detail. In 2006, the minaret and the mosque were reopened for visiting by local residents and tourists. In the same year, the mosque with a minaret, as well as the Old Bridge, were included in the UNESCO register as a World Heritage Site.

For those who wish, there is an opportunity to climb into the minaret, from where stunning views of the city open up. In addition, an interesting place in this architectural ensemble is a small courtyard outside, in which fountain gurgles and a small garden are laid out. Entrance to the complex is free. The complex is open from 9 am to 10 pm every day except Friday.

Raska Gora

Raska Gora is a village near the city of Mostar with a population of 235 people. The ethnic composition of the village consists of Croats, of which 137 inhabitants, and Serbs - 98 people. The village is located on the banks of the country's main river, the Neretva, next to the Salakovac Hydroelectric Power Station. The surroundings are extremely picturesque. The hill that descends to the artificial reservoir Salakovac, created by the dam, is completely covered with greenery. There are many routes for trekking and cycling in this area. The reservoir is famous for fishing enthusiasts.

The Salakovac hydroelectric power plant was built on the main river of the country, the Neretva, at the exit of the gorge in Bijelo Pole, 17 km upstream from the city of Mostar. The dam is a grand structure 70 meters high with a gravity-type dam and three turbines.

Waterfalls Kravica

Kravica with its waterfalls is located about an hour from Mostar and is a must-visit place when you are in the area. It's really beautiful! The water is perfectly clean, cool, and pleasant for swimming. You can swim behind the waterfall, crawl, and jump from the rocks into the river. You can park right at the entrance and walk approx. 100 steps down to the waterfall in about 10 minutes.

Blagaj – a sanctuary in beautiful surroundings

Try to visit an Islamic temple at the source of the river and take a sip of the sacred river water. 35 km from Mostar is Blagaj - a small town in which an ancient minaret is hidden among the rocks, just where the river flows out of the mountain. It is recommended to visit the National Islamic Monument in this city and take a short boat trip to the grotto under the temple.

The spring of the Buna River is the largest spring in Europe in terms of water volume

Journey to the Middle Ages - Počitelj

Počitelj is a town and historical village in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is an open-air museum. The settlement is located on the left bank of the Neretva River. The earliest record of the Follower can be found in the charters of Kings Alfonso V and Frederick III from 1443 to 1449. However, the village, according to the assumptions of archaeologists, arose earlier than these documents. It is impossible to establish the exact date, but the fortified city, along with the settlements that complement it, was built by the Bosnian king Tvrtko I sometime in the 14th century. 

Architecturally, the stone-built structures of Pocitelj are a fortified complex, two stages of evolution are evident here: Ottoman and medieval. The trekked Ottoman-era bastion townlet of Počitelj is one of the most photo-perfect architectural open-air museums in the country. Topped in a vertical stony amphitheater, it’s a warren of stairways ascending between crumbling stone-roofed huts and pomegranate scrubs. The 16m clock tower stays bell-less, as it has been since 1916. It is believed that it was erected after 1664. It is usual for clock towers in Herzegovina, which appeared under the impact of Mediterranean-Dalmatian architecture. 

Počitelj was considered a point of great strategic importance. In 1470, after a short siege, the city was conquered by the Ottomans and remained part of the Ottoman Empire until 1877. After the establishment of Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1877, Počitelj lost its positional importance and began to fade rapidly along with a decrease in population. But due to this, the original urban architectural ensemble has been preserved so that the city has remained in its original form to nowadays. The entire historic town of Počitelj and its surroundings were substantially destroyed during the 1992–1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the bombing, the sixteenth-century masterpieces of Islamic art and architecture of Počitelj were completely destroyed, and most of the city's population underwent ethnic discrimination.

The prominent Hajji Aliya Mosque was constructed in Počitelj approx in 1564. It was renovated in the 17th century by Šišman Ibrahim pasha. The domed mosque is famous for its unique acoustics. The mosque was repaired in the 1970s, poorly vandalized during the Bosnian War in 1993, and rebuilt again in 2003.

Počitelj represents one of the most important and best-preserved architectural complexes within the city walls in the region. The city can be compared to some of the famous world heritage sites such as the old cities of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Ohrid (North Macedonia), Safranbolu (Turkey), Gjirokastra (Albania). 

Mostar

The story tells to us that Stari Most in Mostar was maintained with steel pins and egg whites, and to this day stays an unusual yet unique design. 

Mostar is the cultural center of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and if you rent a holiday home in the city, there are many exciting cultural experiences waiting for you. The marble bridge across the Neretva River symbolizes the peaceful coexistence of Muslims and Christians. The bridge was dismantled during the civil war of the 90s, restored in 2004, and is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List. While walking around the city, you can, among other things, visit the churches, monasteries, museums, and mosques of Koski Mehmed Pasha. You can also visit the Turkish House and Bunakilden in the town of Blagaj, which is close to Mostar. Try to enjoy a good atmosphere in Mostar's many cafes while drinking coffee and eating cakes, and remember, that you can dine cheaply in restaurants 

Sarajevo 

If you rent a holiday home in Sarajevo, you will live in a beautiful, atmospheric city full of cultural and historical attractions, which at the same time offers beautiful natural surroundings, such as the Miljacka River that runs along the city and the beautiful surrounding Dinaric Alps. Having your own holiday home, you can walk, hike or drive at your own pace and, for example, visit one of the main attractions - the bazaar in the old town of Baščaršija.

Handicrafts of famous local Bosnian chasers who make patterned copper utensils

The other exciting sights are the Latin Bridge, where Franz Ferdinand was shot before the start of the First World War. Visit the Old Orthodox Church, the Jewish Museum, the Imperial Mosque, the Sacred Heart Cathedral, the Sarajevo Historical Museum, or the Market Square with the Sybil Fountain.

Ćevapčići (Ćevapi), kajmak, and aivar

It is better to stand in line at restaurants with a grill or go into smaller bikes, which smell of grilled coals and meat. Because it is here that the food that the locals themselves eat is prepared. For example, a dish such as Ćevapčići (Ćevapi); minced beef and lamb rolls seasoned with onion, garlic, parsley, and a mixture of spices such as cumin, chili, mint, fennel, etc. - depending on the chef.

A simple way to prepare Ćevapčići (Ćevapi) at home:
Ingredients:

  • 500 grams of pork meat from the shoulder
  • 500 g beef leg
  • 2 DCL of carbonated water
  • 3 tablespoons of coarse sea salt
  • 300 g of onion
  • 1 teaspoon of fine black pepper, if it's a lot, reduce the amount
  • 1 roasted and peeled green pepper
  • 2 spoons of coarse crushed hot pepper

Preparation:

  1. Grind both types of meat twice on a meat grinder, or ask the butcher to do it. If you have "your own man" at the butcher, which everyone here at my place does, first ask him to sort and choose the meat for the cevapi, and bring onions to pass it through the machine together with the meat, if not, grind it at home and add it to the mixture
  2. Knead the minced meat with spices, vegetables, and water well, for half an hour at least, with your hands, like a dough.
  3. Leave it in the refrigerator all night, if you don't have that much time, then at least three hours.
  4. With the help of a special device for making Ćevapčići (Ćevapi), or an ordinary funnel, or with your hands, shape Ćevapčići (Ćevapi). In our country, they are made small, like a little finger.
  5. Roast them on the grill until they sizzle and burn a little. It can work on an electric grill, but that's just not it.
  6. Serve them hot, with finely chopped onions, salt, and hot pepper, a hilarious cheese and pounded pepper salad, with scones or some buns. Or even without bread, on a "stick".

If you've heard of Ćevapčići (Ćevapi) in other Balkan countries or Turkey, you're not wrong - it's the same grilled meat, but there is still a Bosnian version served either in a flatbread or on a large platter that usually shares the entire dining table.

For your Ćevapčići (Ćevapi), you get grilled vegetables, onions, a creamy yogurt called kaymak, and dip-ajvar made from apple cider vinegar, garlic, olive oil, roasted peppers, and eggplant.

Homemade Rakija 

Rakija is a local spirit, of which most households prefer the homemade version. It can be bought in many places, in most of the Balkan countries in fact, and has an alcohol content of around 40 percent to start with. But the Balkan guys like to mix stronger.

It is served in small glasses like brandy and similarly produced by boiling with various wines, cherries, or plums. You might think that a slightly sweet, full-bodied drink is suitable for the evening hours, but for locals, breakfast and Rakija often go hand in hand, just as offers of a glass of Rakija can fall at any time of the day.

Blue and red natural lakes Crveno Jezero in Imotski

The small town of Imotski is indeed worth a potential line at the border barrier because here you will stumble upon two multimeter holes in the ground, which are said to have been formed as a result of a huge sinkhole in the land. The so-called "failure".

Red Lake (Crveno jezero) is a freshwater karst lake in southern Croatia near the city of Imotski, located in a deep karst funnel formed during the destruction of an intra-rock cave. The lake is named so because of the red-brown color of the surrounding vertical banks, covered with iron oxide.

One hole is called “red” because of the red walls surrounding it, about 530 m high. At a depth of 220 m, the “blue” hole does not go so deep into the ground, but the lake at the bottom is illuminated by the sun, which makes the water completely blue.

Modro (Blue Lake, Plavo jezero) is a freshwater karst lake in southern Croatia near the town of Imotski. Like the nearby Red Lake, it is located in a deep sinkhole, formed, according to speleologists, as a result of the collapse of a giant underground cave. The maximum depth from the edge of the coast at the top is about 230 meters. The depth of the water depends on the season. In the spring, it can reach up to 90 meters, and in the archives of 1914 it is reported that the water was at the level of 114 meters, flooding the southern bank of the funnel. At the end of summer, the lake can dry up completely. Blue Lake is a popular tourist and sightseeing attraction on the Balkan tourist routes. In 1908, a hiking trail was laid to the surface of the lake. In 1943, seismic movements caused a massive landslide, causing the depth of the lake to shrink significantly.

If a red hole is mostly a view from above and straight into the depths, then a blue hole is an oasis that you can descend into by footpaths. At the end of the paths, there is a lake in which both locals and passers-by bathe.

Princip's Bridge (Latin bridge) on which World War I began when Franz Ferdinand was shot dead in Sarajevo

Shortly after the Latin Bridge was built in 1541, it was demolished as it was made of wood and was uncomfortable. So it was turned to stone. After 200 years, it was completely washed away by water, but, as the oldest bridge in all of Sarajevo, it had to be restored. In itself, it is the central part of the capital and therefore the first communication across the water, but it also has a history that goes beyond the Bosnian borders.

Like many surviving structures, the Latin Bridge is now only for pedestrians. There are enough other modern automobile bridges across the Milyacka River - functional and wide. Near the bridge, there is an excellent Museum of the Latin Bridge, where visitors can learn in detail about what happened on that day, which provoked the beginning of the First World War, which changed the world order of our planet so much and consider artifacts recovered during the reconstruction of buildings in the vicinity of the bridge and at other excavation archaeological sites in the neighborhood.

On June 28, the Hungarian-Austrian archduke, who had just survived an assassination attempt, drove across the bridge in an open car. The 19-year-old revolutionary Gavrilo Princip happened to be there. It was he and his Black Hand organization that failed in their attempt to assassinate the duke on the first try. But now he lashed out and shot and killed Franz and his wife Sophie.

In itself, it was a bloody assassination by the 19-year-old revolutionary Gavrilo Princip, but it subsequently reached new heights when the assassination became the starting point of the First World War. Until 1993, the bridge was called the Princip’s Bridge.

Alois Schönn  - At the Latin Bridge in Sarajevo.
Friedrich Alois Schönn  (1826–1897) was an Austrian history and genre painter. He specialized in oriental historical painting, landscapes, and oriental motifs. He undertook numerous study trips to Hungary, France, the Balkans, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Galicia, Holland, Greece, Syria, and Palestine. In 1848 he belonged to the volunteer Tyrolean company, took part in the fights in Hungary and Italy, was arrested in Komorn, and condemned to death but released by imperial troops.

Currency

Bosnia and Herzegovina use a convertible mark (KM), 1 KM=0,5 euro but often you can also choose to pay in euros. They accept international payment cards in all major cities and there is good access to ATMs. Some banks also exchange traveler's checks. Some shops, restaurants, and cafes do not accept credit cards.

Overnight stay

Sarajevo has a large selection of hotels. Right from small questionable 1-star places to 5-star luxury ones. In smaller cities, the choice is somewhat less. Gradually, however, several small private hotels and motels appeared throughout the country.

Opening hours

Banks are usually open from 8:00 to 19:00 on weekdays and are closed on weekends. Shop opening hours - all working days, from 8:00 to 20:00. Post offices are open from 9:00 to 17:00 on weekdays.

Security

The biggest danger is that there are still landmines in some parts of the country, especially in isolated parts of the country and rural areas.

Freshly cooked rack of young lamb on the grill in a restaurant in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Food and drink

Bosnian cuisine is a mixture of the region's many different cultures. Specialties include:

  • Ćevapčići (Ćevapi) are small sausages made from lamb and/or beef.
  • Burek - a pie with cheese or meat.
  • Bosanski Lonac is a meat stew cooked over an open fire.
  • Filovane paprika - baked peppers with a mixture of meat and rice.
  • Jagnjetina - lamb or lamb roasted over an open fire.

Exceptional wines are being produced in this area (read above).

The Old Bridge site, with its pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean, and western European architectural elements, is an exceptional illustration of a multicultural metropolitan settlement. The rebuilt Old Bridge and renovated the Old City of Mostar are the symbol of reconciliation, global collaboration, and of the coexistence of various artistic, ethnical and religious communities. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a gem in the Balkans that deserves to be discovered. It's incredibly beautiful there. The population is friendly and hospitable. It is easy to get around with a rental car as most of the roads are good (the EU pays for a lot). The price level is very low. Welcome!

 

Read our previous article Montenegro - black mountain and blue sea

Read our next article Ancient Konya and whirling dervishes in Turkey

 

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