About Bosnia and HerzegovinaThe heart shaped land
Bosnia and Herzegovina is the heart shaped land that lies in the heart of southeast Europe. It is here that eastern and western civilizations met, sometimes clashed, but more often enriched and reinforced each other throughout its long and fascinating history. Bosnia and Herzegovina has been populated for more than 1oo,ooo years. Cave drawings near Stolac and numerous remains, exhibited in the National Museum in Sarajevo, are a testament of these ancient civilizations. It is presumed that the name Bosna comes from Ilyrian tribes, considering the fact that in their language the word “bos” signified water. At the same time, Bosna is also the name of one of the most important rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ilyrian tribes who ruled over the entire Balkans lived to see their final fall in the battle against the Romans in the Vranduk Fortress, near Zenica around 6m century BC.The Romans ruled this region until the division into the Eastern and Western Roman empires.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a long name for a country that measures just over 50,000 km2. Bosnia covers the north and centre of the country with its name probably derived from 'bosana', an old Indo-European word meaning water, which Bosnia has no short of.
The southern region of ancient Hum, ruled by Herceg Stjepan (Duke Stjepan),was later named Herzegovina after the region was conquered by the invading Ottomans. Perhaps what is most important for the visitor to know today, though, is that Bosnia and Herzegovinais a stunningly beautiful country with a vast array of landscapes, cultures, traditions and people. And as the old cliche goes 'people make the place' – and BiH prides itself on its hospitality and treating our guests as if they were family members. And family we take to heart.
Bosnia has five main cities (Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Mostar and Zenica) and numerous smaller towns. In the course of recent decades the population underwent a decisive shift towards industrialization and urbanization, producing in the main cities a vibrant, sophisticated, and highly educated population. Some of the most successful firms in the former Yugoslavia were located in Bosnia-Herzegovina, while the Winter Olympics, held in Sarajevo in 1984, lifted Bosnia and its capital to a special status.
In the countryside, a more traditional rural lifestyle continues to exist. Bosnia is a country of exceptional natural beauty, with dramatic mountains and turquoise rivers, and striking contrasts between the green wooded hills of Central Bosnia, the bare limestone landscapes of Herzegovina and the fertile agricultural flatlands in the north.
It is no surprise, then, that Bosnians around the world are proud of their birthplace, which means there is a wealth of on-line resources about Bosnian people and places.