|Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Where East meets West,
where mountains meet the sea,
where many cultures have built one,
a country where adventure is the rule...
Since ever Bosnia-Herzegovina has been specific such as its tradition. There are a few countries that have so difficult, often unhappy, but still interesting past as it is a case with Bosnia-Herzegovina. At crossroads of the worlds, this country remembered unbelievable overlapping of civilizations. It has kept the memory to splendid years of the Bosnian progress and saved from forgetting many cultural achievements. Manny people in contemporary world should be reminded of the fact that Bosnia-Herzegovina was rather developed and modern European country that inherited tradition of the East and the West during certain periods of its rich history. The West and the East were stopped here...» was recorded by one old travel-novel. A lot of beautiful things have been retold about Bosnia-Herzegovina in songs, novels immortalized by paintings, stored in yellow books of history. It would be very difficult in short terms, to represent cultural heritage of the entire Bosnia-Herzegovina. We will try to do so by Sarajevo as its capital city and cultural center through past centuries, who symbolizes and illustrates the whole country.
Even in 16th century, Sarajevo was the most important trade center at the Balkans. Famous Bey-mosque (1530), a memorial of Gazi Husrev bey, the ottoman regent, is a biggest Islamic sacral object in this part of the world and a masterpiece of classic Istanbul architecture. Gazi Husrev-bey constructed Medresa (1537) as a first high school in the Balkan part of the Ottoman Empire.Even then, five centuries ago, Sarajevo was a big city in relation to actually known European cities. Throughout five hundred years, mosques, synagogues, Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches have been constructed existing next to each another. Sarajevo is the unique city in the world in which three biggest religions and respective architectures come together in the region of about hundred meters (Islamic mosque, Catholic cathedral and Orthodox church). Citizens of different nationalities and confessional orientations in entire Bosnia-Herzegovina live and work together constructing cities and their style of unity, with no respect to conquerors and centers of decision making that were exchanging one another, faster or slower, depending on geo-politic circumstances and interests. One of the most valuable Jewish exhibit illustrated Hebrew codex called "The Sarajevo Hagadah", is kept within the National Museum of Bosnia-Herzegovina confirming traditional tolerance and mutual respect of different nations in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
More than five hundred years ago (1461), the first Sarajevo water-supply system was constructed and seven years later Gazi Husrev Bey water-supply system was completed being the biggest one within the period of the Turk Empire rule. It was 55 kilometers long supplying 156 public drinking fountains. By the end of 16th century Sarajevo had 7 public Turkish baths and big number of cobble-stoned streets. In comparison to that time Europe, Sarajevo enjoyed significant cultural prestige.
Only thirteen years upon the first electric power plant in New York, a part of Sarajevo streets was lightened by electric power (1895). In the same time the electric tram was introduced, being the first in the Balkans and in the Middle Europe.
In modern history, such Bosnia and Herzegovina born many world famous persons as it follows: Nobel-prize winners Ivo Andric (Nobel prize for literature in 1961) and Vladimir Prelog (for research within chemistry 1975).
21st started with exceptional achievement of Danis Tanovic, who is actually the only winner of the Oscar from this region (2002) for the best movie in the category of non-English speaking countries. Enormous is the number of novelists, artists, sportsmen and others whose works have overcame local frames and got world recognition so it would take lot of time to mention all of them.
By perfect organization of the 14th winter Olympic games in 1984.,citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina showed that they could do much more that it is commonly understood.
Creativity of this people has been approved many times by winning international awards for innovations and patents. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most rewarded countries in this domain per capita.
As an European country with rich cultural tradition, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1949 founded University in Sarajevo and in 1966 Academy of Science and Arts. In 1951 Sarajevo had 10 museums, 40 scientific institutes, 4 theaters, art galleries.
Unfortunately during the war, through culturecide and urbicide many institutions were damaged or destroyed. But after the war in difficult circumstances, majority was reconstructed.
Bosnia and Herzegovina could be again a beautiful country of happy people, but whether it will be so depends mostly on us.
For the first time Bosnia was mentioned in the 10th century. In the middle of the 11th century the creation of state organization was completed and the authority represented by ban of Bosnia was constituted. In the middle of the 15th century, as a consequence of the expanding Ottoman Empire, middle age Bosnian state fell and Bosnian Sanjak was founded. In 1580 Bosnian "eyelet" was established (bigger administrative unit within the Ottoman Empire) including seven sanjaks.
On the basis of the Berlin Congress decision (in 1878), the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy got the mandate to govern over the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. By this act, the era of forty-year Austrian-Hungarian rule over Bosnia-Herzegovina started. In 1908, Austrian-Hungarian annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 1914, Austrian-Hungarian heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo being the cause for the beginning of the 1st World War.
Since 1918, Bosnia-Herzegovina was in composition of a new-formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians.During the 2nd World War, at the Constitutional Assembly of the Antifascist Council of the Peoples Liberation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Mrkonjic-Grad on November 25-26th 1943, Bosnia-Herzegovina was constituted as one of equal federal units of the New Yugoslavia.
At the end of 1992, a referendum on independency of Bosnia-Herzegovina was organized when over 65% of population with the right to vote came out for independency and sovereignty of the state. On April 6th 1992, Bosnia-Herzegovina got the international recognition and on May 22nd of the same year it became a full member of the Untied Nations.
From 1992-1995, there was a war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.General framework peace-agreement was initialized in Dayton, on November 21st, and was signed in Paris on December 14th 1995. Besides other issues, it defined the two entities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, out of which one is Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Once upon a time a worthy caller asked:
Who is that what is that forgive
Where is that
Whence is that
Where to is
And the questioned gave then a prompt reply to him:
Bosnia forgive there is a land
Both barren And barefoot forgive
Both cold and hungry
And even more
Mehmedalija Mak Dizdar, Inscription of a land.
|BiH your tourist destination:
Bosnia and Herzegovina represents an interesting tourist destination. It is a result of its geographic location, extreme natural beauties, cultural and historical values and mild climate conditions. Through the centuries, different cultures, religions and traditions have mixed within this region giving added value to the creation of a specific tourist product. Bosnia and Herzegovina has natural possibilities for different tourism segments development such as:
Mountain: Olympic mountains Bjelasnica, Igman and Vlasic near Travnik are great resources for winter tourism and development of sport activities
Spa: spa Ilidza near Sarajevo, the spas in Fojnica, Kiseljak, Tuzla, Olovo present the richness of thermal sources of radio active and mineral water that in early historical period were subject to exploitation for medical purposes
Maritime: Neum with 270 sunny days a year is the Bosnia and Herzegovina access to the Adriatic Sea that with its surrounding (Mostar, Ston bay, Hutovo blato) offers unique chances for rest and recreation
religious: Medugorje has upon the appearance of Virgin Mary became a modern center of religious tourism with constructed capacities, infrastructure and other possibilities; Prusac, Jajce, and other sacral and cultural monuments of four religions existing within this region in perfect harmony during the centuries (Islam, Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Judaism), make the Bosnia and Herzegovina extremely interesting destination
Hunting and fishing: preserved nature, richness of rivers and lakes, different sorts of game, represent tourism attraction
Congress tourism: Sarajevo, Zenica, Tuzla, Bihac, Mostar and Neum
Many of the Bosnia and Herzegovina valuable natural wealth remained preserved. Those are canyons of the rivers Rakitnica and Krusnica, birds reservation Hutovo blato, lakes like Prokosko and Boracko, waterfalls Kravice and Skakavac, the Una river with its cascades, upper flow of the Neretva river, the Buna spring.
Up to 1992 important tourist capacities, infrastructure and transport network were constructed making solid basis for future development of this branch. Expert cadre proved their value and got new experiences through organization of the XIV Winter Olympic games in 1984, and other international sport, cultural and economic manifestations. From 1992 to 1995 there was a huge destruction of tourist capacities.
But today, great number of the tourism offer facilities is in the function again.
With the activities of the formed tourism associations, associations of tourism within chambers of commerce, many high quality tourist agencies, mostly privatized companies and support of the competent governmental bodies, tourism of the Bosnia and Herzegovina may become one of the main activities that will in the same time promote this entity in entirely new light.
Area: 51,233 sq. km, slightly smaller than West Virginia.
Cities: Capital Sarajevo (est. pop 387,876); Banja Luka (220,407); Mostar (208,904); Tuzla (118,500); Bihac (49,544).
Terrain: Mountains in the central and southern regions, plains along the Sava River in the north.
Climate: Hot summers and cold winters; areas of high elevation have short, cool summers and long severe winters; mild, rainy winters in the southeast.
Nationalities: Bosniak (Muslim), Bosnian Croat, Bosnian Serb.
Population (July 2002 est.): 3,964,388 (note: all data dealing with population are subject to considerable error because of the dislocations caused by military action and ethnic cleansing).
Population growth rate (2002 est.): 0.76%.
Ethnic groups: Bosniak 48.3%, Serb 34.0%, Croat 15.4%, others 2.3%.
(Source: UNDP Human Development Report 2002--Bosnia-Herzegovina) Religions: Muslim (40%); Orthodox (3 1%); Catholic (15%); Protestant (4%); other (10%).
Languages: Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian (formerly "Serbo-Croatian")
Education: Mandatory 8 years of primary school, 4 years in secondary school, and 4 years in universities and academies. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are 407 primary schools with 250,000 students, 171 secondary schools with 80,000 students, 6 universities in the major cities Sarajevo, Mostar, Banja Luka, Tuzla, and Bihac and 6 academies 4 pedagogic and 2 art academies.
Education: Adult literacy rate (%) male 94.1, female 78.0.
Health: Infant mortality rate 23.53 deaths/1,000. Life expectancy male 71.0, female 75.0.
Work force (total): 633,860.
Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Constitution: The Dayton Agreement, signed December 14, 1995, included a new constitution now in force.
Independence: April 1992 (from Yugoslavia).
Branches: Executive Chairman of the Presidency and two other members of three-member rotating presidency (chief of state), Chairman of the Council of Ministers (head of government), Council of Ministers (cabinet). Legislative bicameral parliamentary assembly, consisting of National House of Representatives and House of Peoples (parliament). Judicial Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, both supervised by the Ministry of Justice.
Subdivisions: Two entities: Muslim/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (divided into 10 cantons) and Republika Srpska.
Political parties: Party of Democratic Action (SDA); Croatian Democratic Union of BiH (HDZ-BiH); Serb Democratic Party (SDS); Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina (SBiH); Civic Democratic Party (GDS); Croatian Peasants' Party of BiH (HSS); Independent Social Democratic Party (SNSD); Liberal Bosniak Organization (LBO); Liberal Party (LS); Muslim-Bosniak Organization (MBO); Republican Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RP); Serb Civic Council (SGV); Social Democratic Party (SDP); Socialist Party of Republika Srpska (SPRS); Democratic Socialist Party (DSP); Social Democrats of Bosnia Herzegovina; Party for Democratic Progress (PDP); National Democratic Union (DNZ); Serb National Alliance (SNS); Coalition for a United and Democratic BiH (coalition of SDA, SBiH, LS, and GDS).
Suffrage: Universal at age 18.
GDP (2001 est., purchasing power parity): .7 billion.
GDP growth rate ( 2001 est.): 2.3%.
Income per capita (1997 est., purchasing power parity): 1,800 (note: figure heavily depends on the population and does not account for the gray economy).
Inflation rate (2001 est): 5.0%.
Natural resources: Coal, iron, bauxite, manganese, forests, copper, chromium, lead, zinc.
Agriculture: Products--wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables,livestock.
Industry: Types--steel, minerals, vehicle assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, tank and aircraft assembly, domestic appliances, oil refining.
Trade (1995): Exports--$1,003 million.