Once again summer rocked in and just as other travel I was planning my vacation, I had many destinations to choose from but not enough time. My friends had told me about the Balkans and about a country that counts roughly 3.5million citizens. The hidden treasure in the Balkans they said… to those of you that don’t know what country I’m talking about: Bosnia and Herzegovina.
sarajevo

Of course, the first thing I looked up was its capital city, Sarajevo. The mini Jerusalem, they call it. I hadn’t realized how right they were until I actually walked through this beautiful city. You turn one corner you have one of the oldest mosques in Sarajevo dating back to the Ottoman empire, take a left and you see the Jewish Synagogue. Turn around walk down the beautiful pedestrian street of Sarajevo and you will find the beautiful Catholic cathedral, take a left from there and you will have a beautiful Orthodox church. Yes! All of this in a city and on the Balkans!

sarajevo

If I had to pick one of the best things that I saw during my stay it would definitely be a struggle, I am a foodie and food is always number one on my interiray but oh man, this country stole my heart. I basically fell in love with the city and with the people and the food is just amazing.

Sarajevo is literally a city that is indescribable, you can definitely enjoy your summer here. Given the fact that the temperatures rise up to 35 degrees! So you can have a lot of fun in the sun!

I was planning my trip to Bosnia, when I realized that I hadn’t seen much of Herzegovina and that this time around I should visit Herzegovina. A town a friend had told me I should someday visit is Stolac. I had never heard of Stolac before and honestly I was kind of hesitating weather to go and visit Stolac or not, I mean it is a city that I had never heard of before and it wasn’t on the regular tour guide sites or books. But I mean the prettiest things are always hidden, aren’t they?

I decided to do some research on Stolac. Stolac is situated in Herzegovina, in an area known as the Humina. According to the info I found online and pictures I had seen, Stolac was a beautiful city. So I added it on my list and by no time it was time for me to go to Bosnia.

Of course I had booked a tour and we had a tour guide in English. I had no idea that there had been settlements that have been dated a long 16,000 BCE. Only three kilometers west of Stolac are home an impressive stećak dating back all the way to the 15th century. These stećak tombstones are carved with epitaphs, detailed portraits of the deceased, and motifs such as grape vines, hunting scenes, and wild animals.

stolac bosnia

Stolac even though a small city, contains unique cultural and aesthetic values. Stolac’s historic core is truly one of a kind. It is full of culture and heritage from four empires: The Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian and three kingdoms Bosnian, Hungarian and Yugoslav. The historical core of Stolac is coherent and harmonious cultural-historical monument with individual properties grown together into one beautiful. Stolac has a beautiful old town and it has a beautiful fortress that you can visit.

Stolac is a city that I need to revisit because even though it is a small city it is full of life and soul.

 

I was tired of walking through the cities and I needed to see some nature, I mean everybody told me that Bosnia and Herzegovina had so much to offer. I had visited some of the natural parks and some beautiful springs. A friend of mine that I met at the local coffee shop told me I should visit Vjetrenica. I knew that vjetar meant wind so my first questions was does it have something to do with wind. I know, how geeky. Vjetrenica means wind cave or blowhole.

vjetrenica cave vjetrenica cave

He told me that it was the largest and most important cave in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is also considered to be one of the most important caves in the Dinaric Alps mountain range. The cave is located in the western part of Herzegovina.

Off we were to Vjetrenica, it is located in Popovo Polje, meaning priest’s field.  Popovo Polje is also famous for its Trebišnjica River.  It is also has a large channel, roughly around 2.48 KM long.

We decided to pack up some lunches in our bags and head off to the cave. It was such a beautiful day, the tour guide explained to us along the way, all the herbs you can find in the fields to the Vjetrenica. It was beyond beautiful, we entered the cave, and to be honest I was scared to death but wow, it was beautiful. This is a place you definitely need to check out! I’m going to visit this cave on my next trip again.

 

When you think of astronomy, NASA is the first thing that comes to mind, that is NASA and the United States. When I arrived to Sarajevo, I had a local tell me that I had to go up to Trebević. Trebević is  a mountain that is probably well known to us tourists because it is home to abanonded bob sledge track from the 1984 winter olympics. They told me that this was not the reason why I should go up there, yet because of the astronomical observatory that was located on Trebević- wait obsevatory? In Bosnia? But how and why?

Unfortuantely, the observatory was completey destroyed by the invadors during the war in the 1990s. Prior to the war, Bosnia had a rich history and tradition of astronomy, this was the first time I heard this because honestly, I didn’t think Bosnia cared about the stars, planets and what not. Astronomy education and astronomical research was well developed prior to the war. The first astronomical society in Bosnia was founded in 1963, and it was called the Academic Astronomy Club. Astronomy was taught in secondary schools and universities. The Bosnians then decided to build an observatory with modern and up to date instruments. The observatory was built in the old Austro-Hungarian fortress on top of mount Trebević.

After the siege of Sarajevo and the horrible war that left hundreds of thousand people dead, the war destroyed everything including this great observatory. Today the locals tell me that this is the place to go to at night to watch the stars. There is no air pollution and the city lights are not in your way. This was a goal of mine before I leave Sarajevo, I must go up there.

 

It was the third day in Bosnia and I thought I could not fall in love wiht more than I already did. Boy was I wrong. We were on our way to Jajce. I had seen pictures of Jajce before because it is home to a beautiful waterfall located just in the center of the city. The waterfall is where the two rivers meet- the Pliva and the Vrbas. Another interesting fact is that the city of Jajce was the capital of the Bosnian kingdom during the 14th century.

Hidden from blind sight, you will find the beautiful watermills near the Pliva lake. The Pliva lake is located some 5km away from Jajce, and are home to a beautiful national monument, a beautiful ensemble of watermills. Yeah you read that right, watermills are a national monument.

jajce

This does not surprise me though because the first watermills to have been built here date all the way back to the Austro-Hungarian period. Each of the mills are almost identical and how amazing is that.

Once we arrived to the watermills, I was amazed by the beautiful nature that surrounded it. You basically had a beautiful park full of trees and the green grass. And then you look up and you can see 19 identical watermills that were renewed. Unfortunately, the watermills can not be used yet they are just there to show tourists and any visitor what a watermill looks like because after all the Bosnians used them throughout the years.

Visit the northeastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina and you will find you the town of Srebrenik. It is also the country’s third largest city. You’ve probably never heard about this city before, you can call it the hidden jewel of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has a lot to offer from sports to history.

It is home to one of the best preserved mediaeval castles dating all the way back to 1333. It is nicely hidden in the outskirts of a town. Because the city of Srebrenik was occupied by the Ottomans just as the rest of the country was.

Srebrenik

The international festival of Sarajevo’s winter will start on the 7th of December it will be held until the 21st of March. The festival is nothing new because it’s been held since the 21st of December back in 1984. In the course of 29 years festival has become something that everyone looks forward to. The Festival has seen or more than 3 million visitors throughout the years. And believe it or not the Siege of Sarajevo did not stop the act from going on because even then the festival went on.

Since then it has become a symbol of freedom of creativity and play for diverse cultures and Civilizations to come together as one. As you may have noticed 1984 was a very special year for the city because even the 1984 Winter Olympics were held this year as soon as Sarajevo has become a very special City offering everything to those who seek it.

Almost every night that you were her but cultural events happening throughout the city in for example on the 9th of February you are going to have the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra playing in the National Theatre. Then something I will not be missing is on February 10th so you will have a performance called once you are not a stranger once again in the National Theatre. Sarajevo is a place to see different cultures emerged together as one it is a place that you have to feel because it has sold because of his love and because of his heart.

 

I know where I will be there this winter. What about you?

33 years ago Sarajevo was the center of the world. Sarajevo held the 1984 winter Olympics. And it was something unbelievable. My mom remembers the exact date when they announced that Sarajevo will host the winter Olympics.

February 8th 1984, marked the opening of the 1984 winter Olympics, thousands of people gathered in Sarajevo for this beautiful event.

A interesting fact, that I actually did not know was that the days leading to the Olympics Sarajevo had no snow what so ever and believe it or not the night before the opening ceremony, Sarajevo was covered in snow! How unbelievable is this?

Winter Olympics

Sarajevo has beautiful mountains surrounding it, they were home to the skiing games during the Olympics. Even today on Bjelašnica, Jahorina, Igman and Mt. Trebević, you can go and see the Olympic sites. Mt. Trebević is special because it is home to the Bobsleigh track and you can actually go and visit it today. It is a beauty!

The Olympics brought a lot to Sarajevo and to Yugoslavia at that time. A lot of investments were made at that time, which even exist today. That day Sarajevo was the center and you had to be here.

Here is a video of the opening ceremony:

 

 

It was my first trip discovering the northeastern part of Bosnia. To be more exact I was in the city of Bijeljina. The tour guide mentioned something about an ethno village, I was intrigued- ethno what? Village what? I want more details. He then told me that not too far from the city you can visit this beautiful ethno village. I had to see this- I thought to myself, Take me there! That’s exactly what happened. He drove us to the ethno village Stanišići.

It had been snowing the previous day- and as soon as we exited the car I stood there in amazement. It looked like a real winter wonderland. I didn’t know where to look and what to look at.

ethno village Stanišići

The tour guide told us that this village was founded in 2003. The founder was Boris Stanišić, hence the name Ethno Village Stanišić. He roamed all of Bosnia looking for older houses to remind him of his childhood. He then decided to create this beautiful village. The village is divided into two parts. One of the parts of the village shows secular life and contains many beautiful wooden houses and cottages. On the other side you have the more religious part of the village, full of medieval stone architecture. It has a few replicas of important historical and religious buildings.

We sat inside this restaurant for some traditional Bosnian food- I had to try the pizza because the pizza dough was made out of buckwheat flower and I must admit it was delicious! I walked around the ethno village for what seemed like hours, it has soul and it has something that not many places has- peace. I felt at ease and perfect here. If you’re ever in the mood to relax and leave all your problems aside then you definitely need to visit ethno village Stanišić. You will never regret it!

Once a proud feature of Sarajevo’s 1984 Winter Olympic games, the bobsleigh track has since fallen into ruin after being the victim of military actions.

The Bob Sleigh track was one of the most important things that we have in Bosnia. It is a site that is definitely worth checking out.

The 1300-meter concrete track was completed in 1982 and featured a total of 13 turns for the lugers to navigate. The expensive public work paid off for the country after the events around the site during the Olympics garnered enormous crowds. The track was able to be reused during World Cup competitions in later years following the winter games and it appeared that the long track would continue to pay dividends. Unfortunately when the Yugoslav Wars began in 1991, the track, like the rest of the country, became embroiled in the fighting. The curled turns were used as defensive positions for Bosnian forces, and the whole of the track became pocked with bullet holes and other wounds.

bobsled track sarajevo

Even though it has been destroyed because of the previous war, it is an attraction that is on my top 5 things to do in Sarajevo. The Bob Sleigh track is located on Mount Trebević, from Trebević you get a beautiful view of the whole city. Mount Trebević was also a very important front line during the war for the Bosnians.

The track today stands as one of the most favorite spots for local graffiti artists who have decorated the Bob Sleigh tracks.

Do not wander around this area alone or without a local who knows it perfectly – there are still many unexploded mines littering the hillside. Never go off the established paths. Rather book your tour with Sarajevo tours ASAP!

When you think of the city of Mostar, you immediately think about the old bridge, jumps from that sam bridge and the beautiful river of Neretva. Although many people do not know about Rujište.

Most of you have probably never heard about Rujište, I hadn’t heard about it before either. Rujište is a beautiful mountain located near Mostar (yeah Herzegovina has its ski resort as well!) Rujište is a beautiful ski resort in the municipality of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is actually located on the mountain of Prenj. It has an altitude of 1,703 metres (5,587 ft).

Rujište is in between the mountains of Prenj and Velež. It is situated 1050 meters above sea level. And believe it or not it is said that it has the most oxygen on this part of the world.

The prices on Rujište are really affordable and it’s literally a hidden gem in Herzegovina. My first time visiting Rujište was actually with my boyfriend. When we started driving down south I thought they were taking us to Mostar, I mean where else?  But trust me this place is worth visiting. Rujište is suited for everyone and any time of the year! You can go up there and ski, sledge or even snowboard! I tried out the snowboarding because, well I had never tried it before. I was amazed by the adrenaline that it provided with me. I can’t wait to go snowboarding again, definitely better than skiing at least for me!

 

Are you heading out to Herzegovina? Mostar? Or just down south? Well Rujište is the place to be!

Travnik is a city full of history. It is situated in the valley of the Lašva River and borded on the north with the mountain Vlašić and to the south Mount Vilencia. Travnik first appeared in 1244. Although remains from these centuries do not show the wealth the valley had known in Roman times, the era did have its share of castles and mansions. The Travnik Fortress was the most impressive fortress at the time, and still stands out as the best preserved of them all. This era gave Travnik its name.

travnik

 

The Ottoman era renewed the glory of Travnik. It was the principal city and military centre of the Ottoman Empire. It was from here that the Ottomans planed their invasions further towards the southwest. They brought mosques, religious schools, roads and water systems. They fortified the medieval fortress and built a mini-city within its high stone walls. For over 150 years, the vizier – the Ottoman Sultan’s representative in Bosnia – had his headquarters in this town, attracting both consulates and trade. Travelers visiting Travnik in this era were impressed by the town and called it the European Istanbul and the most oriental town in Bosnia.

travnik

Once you enter Travnik, you definitely won’t know where to turn your head and look. One of the things that I loved the most in Travnik was the colorful mosque, or the ornamented mosque. It dates all the way back to the second half of the 16th century.

Travnik will definitely take you back in time and therefore it is a must visit on your next trip to Bosnia!

Bosnia is a country that definitely offers something for everyone. With having said this, winter is the best time of year- everything is covered with beautiful snow and it’s definitely worth checking out. Its winter and you don’t know what do to? Don’t know where to spend your winter holidays? Bosnia it is! Skiing on the Olympic Mountains, is truly amazing way to spend your winter.

If you are alone or in a group, if you are just beginner or expert mode, with family or friends, we have great set of activities to make this skiing trip to Bosnia truly memorable experience.

Bosnia and Herzegovina over the years has been home to around 12 ski resorts over the years unfortunately we don’t count that many at the moment, because many have been destroyed during the last war, due to the fact that they were part of battle fields.

Bjelašnica is home to our highest peak in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located some 30 mins from the capital-Sarajevo. Bjelašnica’s tallest peak, by which the whole mountain group got its name, rises to an elevation of 2067 meters (6782 feet). Other notable peaks are Krvavac (2061 m), Mali Vlahinja (2055 m), and Hranisava (1964 m). On Bjelašnića you can even rent a 4×4 and go crazy on the snow. How great does that sound? Sounds amazing to me.

places to ski

Jahorina, in my opinion numero uno. Jahorina is a mountain in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located near Pale in the Dinaric Alps. It borders Mount Trebević, another Olympic mountain. Jahorina’s highest peak, Ogorjelica, has a summit elevation of 1,916 metres (6,286 ft), making it the second-highest of Sarajevo’s mountains, after Bjelašnica. Mount Jahorina hosted the women’s alpine skiing events of the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Vlašić is a mountain in the very center of Bosnia. Its highest peak is Paljenik with an elevation of 1,943. It is famous for its pastures, cattle-breeding and cheese.It is closest to the town of Travnik, which it overlooks.

Bosnia is, as you can see ready for the winter sports! But, just in case you can’t ski don’t worry you can always sledge!

Whichever mountain you pick for your winter holidays it is sure to deliver.

 

Maglić is a beautiful mountain, but it is also a special one as well. It is the highest peak in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Maglić is the highest peak at an elevation of 2,386 meters (7,828 ft). Maglić is situated in an amazing surrounding, it borders Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. It also lies within the Sutjeska National Park, which was established in 1962. The park is drained by the Sutjeska River, resulting with the watershed of the river you have the canyon part of the Maglić Mountain.

Maglić consists of two peaks, the Veliki Maglić (in translation the Big Maglić), which is in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the second peak is Crnogorski Maglić (Montenegrin Maglić in translation) which is in Montenegro. The rich forests on the mountainside consist of the Perućica forest, a protected reserve within the Sutjeska National Park, which is the oldest and one of the two last remaining primeval forests in Europe.

This beautiful mountain definitely has so much to offer. I went there a few weeks ago, and damn! I was amazed by the beautiful nature that you can find all around. I actually spent two days hiking around the National Park and the beautiful Mountain. Unfortunately, I didn’t hike all the way up but it is a goal of mine! What are you waiting for?

This month throughout our blog we will give you a few stories about the beautiful mountains that are situated in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first mountain I will tell you guys about is Jahorina. Jahorina belongs to the Dinaric mountain system.  Bosnia is abundant with many mountains, each and every one special in its own way. Jahorina borders with another Olympic mountain: Mount Trebević.

Jahorina’s highest peak is Ogorjelica, standing tall at 1,916meters (or 6,286ft). This makes it the second highest of Sarajevo’s mountains. Jahorina is only 30km from Sarajevo. A great thing about Jahorina is that no matter what the season be, you can always visit it. During the summer the mountain is covered with grass and is a great place to go for a family trip or for a picnic.

jahorina-mountain jahorina

Jahorina has 20 miles of trails for alpine skiing and gentle slopes, it is one of the best places to go and ski in Bosnia. During the 14th winter Olympics that were held in 1984 in Bosnia, Jahorina hosted the ski disciples for women. It is a beautiful mountain that is suited for any of your needs. Just think about it you don’t need to go west to ski, you’ve got it all here-in Sarajevo, in Bosnia.

The river of Vrbas, is probably a river you’ve never heard before, but trust me it is a beauty! The Vrbas is a hidden jewel in Bosnia- just waiting to be explored.

The Vrbas is a long river that stretches to the length of 235 kilometers in the western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The banks of this river are located in the beautiful city of Banja Luka. It is a right tributary of the river Sava. The Vrbas river appears at the southern slope of the Vranica mountain near the town of Gornji Vakuf, at around 1,530 meters above sea level. Another cool fact is that the word, Vrbas, in Bosnian is a hollow tree.

vrbas-river-7 Vrbas

If you are on your way to visit this great river, make sure to make a detour and visit the city of Donji Vakuf, it is home to a little village called Semesnica. It offers a beautiful get away and it is located right by the river Vrbas.

The Vrbas River is also a great place to go rafting. In 2005, the Vrbas River was home to the 2005 European Whitewater Rafting Championship. The canyon of Vrbas is great for hiking, walking, camping and even fishing.

Oh the great Neretva. Neretva is trully one of my favorite rivers, when I think about it I don ’t know  where to start. I believe the one thing that blows everyone away is the color of this beautiful river- it offers a unique turquoise blue-green color.

The Neretva is the largest river of the eastern part of the Adriatic basin. It is home to four HE power-plants and enormous dams (in order to provide the citizens with flood protection, power and water shortage and water shortage).

???????????????????????????????????? neretva

The Neretva flows through Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and is the largest karst river in the Dinaric Alps in the eastern part of the Adriatic basin/watershed. The total length for this river is around 230 kilometers. The Neretva flows two countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

The Neretva is home to many fish! Mostly Trout! But Oh my! The trout is soooo delicious, especially if you have dinner in Herzegovina at a restaurant that serves fresh trout-yum! I’m already sooo hungry.

The Neretva is a very cold river although it is an amazing site for rafting during the summer. I’ve done it a few times and trust me, I still haven’t had enough! The river Neretva runs through Herzegovina, and it is located under the beautiful old bridge in Mostar. If you get a chance the river Neretva must be on your bucket list!

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country that is abundant with beautiful rivers. Throughout this month I will give you a look at four of Bosnia’s beautiful rivers. This blog’s river is the river Drina, probably one of the most famous rivers in all of Bosnia.

Before going into greater detail about this beautiful review, let me give you the facts that you should know. The drink is a 346 kilometer long river, it forms a large part of the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The Drina is formed by the confluence of two other rivers: the Tara and the Piva (interesting that these two rivers flow through the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro). The origin of this beautiful river is located between the slopes of the Maglić and Pivska mountains.

The Drina runs through many Bosnian cities, lets name a few: Foča, Goražde, Višegrad, Srebrenica, Bratunac, Zvornik and Janja.

The city of Višegrad, is famous for it’s beautiful stone bridge (as shown on the first photo), this bridge was originally built from 1571-1577, as a , a foundation of Mehmet Paša Sokolovic, the Ottoman Grand Vizier, a son of Bosnia. The bridge is built with eleven arches on the so-called Istanbul road that connects Bosnia with Istanbul. It represents one of the most monumental works of architecture and it is a national monument of Bosnia. Together with the area of the Old Bridge in Mostar and stecak, a original Bosnian tombstone, the Old Bridge in Višegrad is also in list of the Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Rafting, kayaking and fishing are the most attractive sports on it. Drina Regatta is the event that takes place in the second Saturday of July each year.

The river Drina is also famous for the great historical novel that was writted by Ivo Andrić- The Bridge on the Drina. (The book talks about the Drina River and stands as a silent witness to history from its construction by the Ottomans in the mid-16th century until its partial destruction during World War I. The story spans about four centuries and covers the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian occupations of the region, with a particular emphasis on the lives, destinies and relations of the local inhabitants). Many people will agree that the river Drina is bloody, unfortunately it has witnessed a lot of wars and many people were thrown into their death.

drina-river-house-52 Drina

The river Drina is mentioned in a traditional Bosnian saying: ‘You can not set straight the curvy Drina’- in translation this means you can not try to correct something that can’t be corrected.

Have you ever visited a town that isn’t large in size but seems to carry so much with it? Trebinje is definitely a city that has so much to share with it’s visitors. Throughout this blog I will let you guys in on one of the most beautiful buildings Trebinje is home to- Tvrdoš Monastery.

Near the beautiful city of Trebinje, in the heart of Herzegovina you will find the Tvrdoš Monastery. It is a 15th century Serbian Orthodox Monastery. This Monastery is also home to foundations of the first Roman Church dating all the way back to the 4th century. The Orthodox monastery was established there in the 15th century, with a cathedral constructed about 1508 and painted with murals by Vicko Lavrov from Dubrovnik in 1517.

27-08-2012-169 tvrdos monastery trebinje

The monastery remained a seat of the Metropolitans of Herzegovina until the Venetian Empire destroyed it in 1694.

The current building of the monastery was constructed in 1924.

This beautiful monastery is located in Trebinje. Trebinje is a beautiful city in Herzegovina.

church_in_tvrdos_monastery_near_trebinje tvrdos monastery trebinje

The river Trebišnjica flows right through the heart of this beautiful city. This city is a city that is full of history. The old town’s quarter dates all the way back to the 18th century Ottoman Empire. Aside from seeing this beautiful monastery you can also visit the beautiful Arslanagić Bridge

Buna River – the hidden diamond below the cliff.

Let’s go and swim a little bit.

Did you know that the source of the Buna is one of the largest and most beautiful in Europe?!

This is the finest example of an underground karst river. The underground river flows out of a 200 meter cliff wall and forms the Buna River. There is no surprise that the Ottoman sultan was impressed, and ordered a tekke (tekija – Dervish monastery) to be built right next to it.

This house/monastery from 16th century  was built for the Dervish cults and is still one of the most mystical places in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is open to visitors all year round and you can enjoy cold drinks, tea and tTurkish coffee in a beautiful garden overlooking the mouth of the Buna River.

Meanwhile Blagaj is a nearby village-town (kasaba) in the south-eastern region of the Mostar basin, in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Above the village towers the old Blagaj fort (Stjepan grad) which is the birthplace of Bosnian queen Katarina Kosača-Kotromanić. Unlike other fortifications serving as residences in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Blagaj fortress is located on a natural level area above steep cliffs to the south, west and north. The walls have survived for much of their length to a height of 12 or 14 m. The interior defended area is relatively small, similar to that of the fortress in Jajce.

It’s that time of year already! Time for Red Bull’s cliff diving competition and yet again they’re back in the beautiful city of Mostar!

The beautiful city of Mostar is situated in the heart of Hezegovina. This city has a diving tradition that can be dated back more than 430 years. Till this day, you can visit Mostar and see some divers getting ready to jump off the bridge. The bridge that the divers jump off was originally built in the 16th century. And the city itself, got its name due to the bridge, Mostar (‘most’ in Bosnian means bridge). Believe it or not the first larger bridge to be created was ordered by Sulejman ‘The Magnificent’, in 1557.

Last year Mostar held the Red Bull cliff diving competition and it was something you had to watch. Although, I must admit that it’s not the same watching this jumps from the tv screen apposed to watching them in person. Who knows, maybe you might even get splashed from the river Neretva.

Where to start with the river in general, the Neretva flows through parts of Herzegovina and it is one of Bosnia’s longer rivers. It is unique because it has a particular, turquoise green color. Not many rivers can offer you this. Although don’t think the Neretva is a joke because the water is very cold. And only professionals should be jumping into her!

Gary Hunt of Great Britain dives from the 28 metre platform on the Stari Most bridge during the second training session of the sixth stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 14th 2015. red bull cliff diving mostar
Gary Hunt of Great Britain dives from the 28 metre platform on the Stari Most bridge during the second training session of the sixth stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 14th 2015.

This year on September 24th, Mostar will once again host the Red Bull cliff competition. Great athletes from around the world will come and try their best-you never know who can become number one! Last year, Jonahtan Paredes took the win- and no one saw that coming! Perhaps, a female can take the win this year? You got to be there to see it!

I know I will be in Mostar on the 24th! I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

The town of Trebinje in on our radar because it looks to be off the tourist trail – a nice, undisturbed town – a contrast to the ultra-touristy Dubrovnik nearby. And it has a beautiful old stone bridge.

The  bridge was originally further from town, but during the Yugoslav years the river was dammed and the bridge flooded; eventually is was dismantled, put aside, then moved and carefully re-assembled in its present location. It seems that moving old bridges is fairly common in Europe. One thing that is striking is how much less prosperous the town seems than anywhere in nearby Croatia or even Montenegro. It seems like a fairly poor town, even though, supposedly, it has been one of the more prosperous towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

trebinje_1

You can hike up to Arhangel Mihailo Church, a brand new church with excellent views back over the town and the surrounding hills and walk along the Trebišnjica River to get to the beautiful double-backed Arslanagic Bridge, Trebinje’s most famous landmark.

Then you can climb up Hercegovacka Gracanica hilltop for yet more great views and to see the imposing Presvete Bogorodice Church.Trebinje’s walled Old Town is attractive but far smaller than Dubrovnik’s, with an unpretentious, very much ‘lived in’ feel. The town’s Bosnian-Serb population might help you get a greater understanding of events in the history of the 1990s conflict. Many streets and monuments commemorate local hero Jovan Dučić (1871–1943).

Počitelj is a beautiful medieval town situated 30 km from Mostar, on the left bank of the river Neretva. This stone town was built on a hill that dominates the riverbed of the Neretva River.

In the middle ages, Počitelj was the administrative center and center of governance of Dubrava župa (county), and its westernmost point, which gave it major strategic importance. It is supposed that the fortified town and its attendant settlements were built by Bosnia’s King Stjepan Tvrtko I in 1383.

Pocitelj

The walled town of evolved over the period from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Architecturally, the surviving stone-built parts of the town are a fortified complex, in which two stages of evolution can be seen: the medieval, and Ottoman. With the establishment of Austro-Hungarian rule in BiH in 1878, Počitelj lost its strategic importance and began to deteriorate rapidly. The loss of the town’s strategic role helped to safeguard the original urban architectural ensemble, so that the town has been preserved in its original form to this day. During the 1992-96 war in BiH the entire historic urban site of the city and all its various buildings suffered extensive war damage. In 1996, Počitelj was named by World Monuments Watch as one of the world’s 100 most endangered cultural heritage sites, as proposed by the University of York, United Kingdom, and the University of Sarajevo, in light of its outstanding value.

Počitelj can be compared with some of the world heritage sites as: Old Bridge Area of the City of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), City of Safranbolu (Turkey), Museum-City of Gjirokastra (Albania), Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), etc. The layout of Počitelj, its architecture and use of materials put it into the group of Ottoman Mediterranean types of small settlements.

We would love to bring you the story and history of the historical town Višegrad.

Višegrad is one of the oldest settlements in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in the far east of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the banks of the river Drina and the river Rzava. It is famous for its old bridge, built in 1571.  With its numerous cultural, historical and natural attractions, Visegrad has always stood for an interesting tourist destination. The Dobrun monastery, 12 kilometers far from the center of the town, is one of the most interesting tourist localities in Višegrad.

The bridge on the Drina is a heritage of the great vizier Mehmed paša Sokolović (in Turkish Sokollu Mehmet Paşa, 1505. or 1506-1579). He is one of the great Ottoman war generals who originated from Bosnia. He was born in the village of Sokolovići near Rudo in 1505. or 1506, and was a child of Orthodox parents.

At that time there was a tradition and custom known as Devširma, or „The contribution in blood”. Orthodox Serbian children would be taken away to Turkey where they would be converted to Islam and taught in their military schools to become Janissaries, the elite soldiers of the Turkish Empire. Bajica Sokolović was one such child, taken from the surroundings of Višegrad at a young age and given the name Mehmed.
The bridge is deservedly on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It used to connect the route from Bosnia to Constantinople (Carigrad – Istanbul) and today it is a place visited by many tourists, passengers, artists, admirers of history and architecture. The bridge is among the most significant national monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a beautiful sight to behold.

 

Prokoško Lake – a gem on the mountain Vranica.

In this post we bring you great story about lovely Prokoško Lake.

Prokoško Lake is located on Vranica mountain between Debelo brdo (1858 m), Glavičice (1691 m), Trbević i Ćosa (1864 m).

The surface area is 48.000 m2 and the lakes maximal depth is 13 meters.

The formation of the Prokoško Lake was strongly influenced by fluvial, gravitational and other processes. Glacial processes didn’t have a big impact on the morphology of the terrain as the circumstances weren’t ideal for forming glaciers.

Prokoško Lake is a nature monument declared by law as of 2005, including it’s protected surroundings.

It was declared a nature monument because of the great number of endemic species of animals and plants and because of the water richness of the surrounding area.

Prokoško Lake is home to an endemic subspecies of the Tritius alpestris reiseri. It differs from the typical species with its un proportionally large head.

It was discovered in 1891. by Othmur Reiser and described in 1902. by Werner.

The small Tritius alpestris reiseri reaches a maximal length of 12 cm and lives in shallow waters and on the lake banks. It feeds on insects and snails that it finds in the water.

 

Unfortunately, recently the Lake has been loosing its original beauty due to illegal buildings, houses and sewage system, which are really harming the lake and its natural surrounding.