Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in the Balkans, situated in southeastern Europe. It is home to numerous medieval villages, breathtaking nature, and rich culture. However, it might be perhaps one of the most underrated countries in Europe. In this article, we’re going to look over some interesting and unique facts about Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The neighboring country of Croatia welcomes a rapidly increasing number of more and more tourists each year. But Bosnia, despite being home to a wealth of history, natural beauty, and a small Adriatic coastline, barely has any visitors. So, why is this?
Perhaps one of the reasons is the conflict that took place between 1992 and 1995. The Bosnian war was very violent and marked the first genocide in Europe since World War II. It is also one of the last wars to have occurred on the territory of Europe. Nowadays, over 25 years after the conflict, the country is still recovering.
Contrary to some negative remarks about its safety, Bosnia is in fact completely safe to visit! Surprisingly enough, there are still people who think that there is an ongoing conflict in the country. However, Bosnia is definitely NOT a war zone these days. It is a unique country with a rich history and many wonderful places to offer for a visit.
10. Facts About Bosnia – The City of Mostar
The city of Mostar was a key location during the Bosnian war. That is where some of the most destructive and violent episodes occurred. Even today you can still see the devastation caused by the fighting. Things like shrapnel scars and bullet holes in the walls are common.
Aside from its dark history and eerie atmosphere, you can also see some amazing architecture. Such as the bridge of Mostar, known for hosting traditional diving. If you are curious about more of Mostar’s dark history, check out this article from Reaper Feed.
9. Perućica is one of the last primeval forests in Europe
Located near the Bosnian border with Montenegro, Perućica is one of a kind. It has some of the richest natural habitats in Europe and is one of the only two remaining primeval forests.
Protected by UNESCO, the Perućica rainforest is a preserved national site. Thus, you can only visit it with a local guide. In cause you are up for exploring the closest to jungle that Europe has to offer, be sure to visit it!
8. Facts About Bosnia – It Has Three Official Languages
With a population estimated to be only around 3,301,000, Bosnia has three main ethnic groups. Subsequently, this leads to the country having also three official languages. These are Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian.
7. Bosnia is a Very Religiously Diverse Country
As indicated by the 2013 Consensus, a little over 50% of the population is Muslim, 30% are Orthodox Christians, 15% are Catholic Christians and the remaining percentage are other not so prevalent religions.
As mentioned, Bosnia is home to three main ethnic groups. This is also the reason why the country is so religiously diverse. Most Bosniaks are Muslim, the Bosnian Serbs are Orthodox and the Bosnian Croats are Catholic.
6. The Sarajevo Tram Network is One of the Oldest in Europe
Consisting of seven lines, the Sarajevo train system dates back to 1885. This makes it one of the oldest in Europe. What is interesting about it is that it was initially created as a test line for Vienna’s tram network.
5. Facts About Bosnia – Its Nickname is the “Heart shaped Land”
Due to Bosnia’s interesting geographical shape, resembling a heart, the country is nicknamed the “Heart-shaped land”. It’s true, the map of Bosnia does look a little bit like a heart shape. Interestingly, the country’s name of “Bosnia” also stems from an Indo-European word. The original word, Bosana, translates to water.
4. Bosnia has the 2nd Shortest Coastline in the World
Contrarily to the various jokes on the cirrculating on the Internet, Bosnia does in fact have an access to the Adriatic Sea. Here comes the catch, it is only 20 kilometers long. This makes it the shortest coastline in the world, after Monaco.
While most of Bosnia’s territory is covered by mountains, it also has quite a few beach resorts on its small coastline strip. If you have decided to travel to Bosnia, be sure to visit Neum. It is the only town situated along Bosnia’s coastline.
3. There Are Still Serious Land Mine Problems in the Country
In consequence of the Bosnian war, the country still has a serious land mine contamination. It is so severe, that Bosnia is rated as one of the countries with the most serious land mine problem in the world.
“Due to the country’s lack of resources, the land mine problem throughout Bosnia is likely to persist for years ahead”.
A wide range of government agencies, NGOs and some NATO military units are responsible for clearing the land mines. As of 2017, experts speculate that there are over 80,000 mines to be cleared from Bosnia’s territory. As reported by BHMAC, 673 people were killed and 1,769 were injured from the period between 1996 and 2019.
Due to the country’s lack of resources, the land mine problem might continue to persist for years ahead. Another problem is the lack of information regarding the landmine locations being released by the former forces of the Bosnian Serb military.
2. Bosnian Coffee Culture is Unique
A well-prepared cup of coffee is key for Bosnia’s culture and social life. Although it is prepared in a similar way as Turkish coffee, locals say it differs from it. Just like all Balkan countries, there are various cafes hiding behind every corner.
According to this report, Bosnia is 11th in the world in terms of the highest coffee consumption! Another interesting one of interesting coffee facts about Bosnia is that the majority of adults in Bosnia consume at least one coffee per day. So, if you travel to Bosnia and you are a coffee lover, then you are in luck!
1. Bosnia Translates to “Running Water”
According to the philologist Anton Mayer, the name of the country has Indo-European roots and translates to “running water”. The reason for this is believed to be the many waterfalls, rivers, and lakes that are situated on Bosnia’s territory.
One of the most famous waterfalls in Bosnia is at a place called Kravica. These waterfalls are located on the Trebižat River around 25 miles from Mostar. The height of the Kravica Waterfall is 80 feet. It’s popular amongst locals and tourists alike, especially in the summer when it becomes a swimming and picnic spot.
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In conclusion to our facts about Bosnia, this is a criminally underrated country in the heart of the Balkans. Boasting a range of equally fascinating and harrowing history, it’s an ideal destination for history buffs and those interested in human conflict.
In addition, Bosnia is also home to a plethora of religious sites and natural beauty. Making it a prime place for pilgrimages, hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. Don’t miss out, take heed of our facts about Bosnia and visit Bosnia today!