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Bosnia and Herzegovina s religious heritage

In few places has history created out of a single geopolitical unit, such an unusual cociety tying centuries long contacts od different peoples, cultures, religions and customs togther. In the Illyrian-Classical, pre-Slavic period, the cults of the East, Roman Pantheon and young Christianity met in a very creativ way. The wealth of archeological remains, the shrine to the god Mitras, and early Christian basilicas are evidence of this.

The Middle Ages were a culturally prolific period in which elements of East and Weast met and interwined. There was Catholicism and Orthodoxy versus the Bosnian Church; the Cyrillic, Latin, and Glagolithic writing versus the Bosnian Cyrillic writing (Bosancica). Byzantine Serbian fine arts, Western European Romanesque and Gothicism art brought via Croatia met the native artistic traditions like the handcraved tombstones that line the countyside (stecci).

One of the most predominant spiritual characteristic of this time was the Bosnian churc. research to date has not fully clarifed the theology, doctrine, ritual, character and organization of this church. However, the transition initiated by the Franciscan order starting in 1340 illustrates with what influence and strenght the Bonian Church head instilled Christian doctrines into medieval Bosnia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

After the fall of Bosnian Kingdom and the inclusion of Bosnia nad Herzegovina into the Ottoma Empire, some farreaching strctrual changes occured. The spread of Islam made the strongest mark. A completely new spiritual and cultural framework was created. In a small territory and among a small number of inhabitans, all speking the same lnguage and all of similar Slavic origin, the tree great Mediterranean civilziations met: Western European in the form of catholicism, Byzantine in the form of Orthodoxy, and Islam in the form of the Ottoma State. Where the Jews were banished from Spain and Portugal at the 15th century, the Ottomans offered asylum. They introduced a fourth cultural component to Bosnia nad Herzegovina.

Notwithstanding inter-religious and inter-ethnic temptations and conflicts, the diverse cultural system inherited throughout the generations created a Bosnia and Herzegovina in which the people have maintained a native consciousness and pride regardlss of creed or ethnic background.

Bonia and Herzegovina s religious traditions are testament to a rich cultural heritage. It is here that you find the mystical and quaint Ortodox monasteries in pristine natural surroundings, the Franciscan monks serving their communities in the same fashion as their medieval predecessors, the beautiful Ottoman style mosques and minarets that dot the skyline and the small but significant influence of the Jewish settlers and their ancient trades. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a magical mix of the great Mediterranean civilizations. One that you can only experiance here. One that will fascinate and inspire you!