When Yugoslavia fell apart, Bosnia and Herzegovina was torn to pieces by a bloody civil war. Now the fighting has stopped and peace has returned, still there are not many travellers that make it this way. Still the country has some interesting things to see and do.
Near Sarajevo (capital city of Bosnia & Herzegovina) you can find many interesting tourist places to rest in peace of nature, clean rivers, smaller mountains and have lot of fun. Good place for fishing, hiking, skiing or enjoy night life.
Sarajevo is the capital city of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the years after the split up of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Sarajevo went through a few very rough years. Over the last few years, the situation has become more stable and now it is possible to visit Sarajevo again.
It has always been an important crossways for different cultures of the world. Because of its location on the Balkan diagonal, since ancient times it has acted as gateway for the peoples of Greece and Asia Minor migrating towards the midwest of Europe or vice versa. Sarajevo is also situated on the crossroads which runs along the valleys of the Bosna and Neretva rivers and connects northern Europe with the Mediterranean Sea and its traditions. Thanks to its geographical position, since its origins it has been influenced by a great number of different cultures and civilizations which came together, struggled against one another, but then intermingled and reconciled on this same land.
Sarajevo is currently undergoing major transformation. Schools, facilities, and other objects are being reconstructed, new trees planted, new street lights are being installed, new tram stops, new billboards… Just about everything is to be changed (for better). The Turkish old town also known as Bascarsija is basically rebuilt (except for the National Library).The new town is also being transformed with many rebilt high rises, and restaurants are being opend all over the city, The two tallest towers in the Balkans are currently being constructed. Many religious buildings have also been rebuilt, wich is giving Sarajevo’s old spirit back, of religious tolerance. Many of it’s former Serbian and Croatian residents are moving back to there former homes. Sarajevo, will surely once again become one of Europe’s most beautiful cities!
Mostar is administrative, economic and cultural seat of Herzegovina. The multi-ethnic character has been preserved, in spite of ethnic cleansing which has been effectuated during the war conflicts.
Before the war Mostar was famous an important tourist destination with a large number of cultural-historical monuments, among them the Old Bridge, built in 1566.
In 1993 against Mostar a lot has changed. Numerous structures of exceptional architectural value have been destroyed including the bridge. Slowly the most important structures are rebuilt but it will take a while before Mostar is abck to its old self. Meanwhile the ruins of the bridge remain an important symbol of the war.
Medjugorje is located in the mountains between Mostar and Croatia. The small town is incredibly popular with Catholic pilgrims – millions of pilgrims have visited the site since 1981, when a small group of young people in the village began reporting seeing visions of the Virgin Mary on a nearby hillside.
Hotels and guest houses have come and the street in the centre are lined with cafes and souvenir stands. The church offers masses in a number of different languages, and there are prayer services there every evening.
Even with all the new hotels and guest houses, accommodations in Medjugorje are usually full. Most pilgrims travel to the shrine as part of a group tour, and most fly into Split or Dubrovnik in Croatia, and then travel overland into Bosnia and Herzegovina by bus.
You just have to come and visit the church, the hill…it´s great place for meditation and seeking of inner peace.
Some 150 km northwest of Sarajevo lies Jajce and old walled city of Jajce, where Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was founded in 1943. The Museum of the Second Session of the Antifascist Council of National Liberation used to be one of the big draws. It’s still there but it was derelict in the Civil War. The narrow cobblestone streets, the castle and a Roman temple do deserve your attention, however.
Other amusement are available in the sorroundings of this medieval town. The Pliva lakes, water mills, waterfall and beautiful scenery are still some of the most popular areas in the region.
Located in the heart of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Zenica is situated in one of the largest and most beautiful valleys in the middle part of the River Bosna.
Located in central Bosnia, Travnik is a nice place to visit, although it suffered from the war. Highlights include the Plava Voda (Blue Water), Stari Grad (oldest part), Osoje (traditional architecture).
Travnik is rather small, it takes less than 30 minutes to walk from one part of town to another.
You can visit Travnik all year round. Temperatures are great – no overheating, no winter-cold. A 30-minute drive will bring you to the Mt. Vlasic (2000meters)- great for hiking mountain sports.
Banja Luka is the second biggest city in BiH, and it is important regional center of business, education, arts and culture. It is a city well known for it’s numerous urban green areas : beautiful avenues, alleys and parks. The most beautiful cultural heritage site is the fortress Kastel, built by Ancient Romans and fortified by Ottomans settled next to the green Vrbas River. Vrbas River is perfect for water sports-rafting and kayaking, for example.Numerous cultural events take place in Banja Luka and the most visited and popular are Banja Luka Summer Festival , Kastel Fest, etc. Banja Luka is also one of the 95 places in the world where Trappists, a Catholic holy order founded in France and known for their famous chees, can be found.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons.