10 Best Attractions in Bosnia and Herzegovina That You MUST SEE
Covered with an abundance of gorgeous lakes, waterfalls and rivers, the heart shaped country of Bosnia and Herzegovina actually wins over the heart with the warmth of its people and all the beautiful sights it offers. The capital Sarajevo was nominated the “best in travel” by Lonely Planet for the year 2010. The country is also well known for its Film Festival as well as for hosting many international sporting events including the Winter Olympics in 1984.
The Bosnian war had placed the region in the thick of chaos and many people lost lives and limbs. Significantly, the country hosted the 2004 Summer Paralympics and won the volleyball tournament with participants who had lost their limbs during the Bosnian war. The country attracts a large number of visitors from all over the world, and it is not a wonder owing to the bevy of marvelous natural wonders and delightful attractions that it offers.
Best Bosnia and Herzegovina Attractions
1. Stari Most
The Stari Most is a bridge with epical value in Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its origin can be traced back to the Ottoman era, when the Turk Mimar Hayruddin designed it and Suleiman the Magnificent completed the construction during his regime in 1557. It crosses the Neretva River with towers that protect its entrances.
This beautiful bridge was destroyed by the Croatian Army in the Nov of 1993 during the Bosnian War. The beauty of the bridge has since been restored with the original stones that were salvaged from the river. The river at its deepest point is where the local youngsters show off their courage. Visitors can take part in bungee jumping activity here, as it has been instituted on this bridge.
This bazaar in Sarajevo has its origin in the year 1462, when it was built under the regime of Isa-Beg Isaković of the Ottoman clan. Other buildings of importance had also been constructed around this market and can still be seen by visitors. Baščaršija symbolises the commercial prosperity this region had experienced.
Baščaršija has also withstood devastation by major earthquakes and fires that ravaged the structure in history, signs of which can still be noted. Sarajevo itself had been ravaged by troops of Prince Eugene of Savoy in 1697. Another major fire struck the market in the 19th century and gutted quite a large part. What can be seen today is the leftover of these testing tumultuous times in the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while still holding its own.
3. Kravice Waterfalls
Along the course of the river Trebižat, that passes through the Herzegovinian region, the Kravice waterfalls is a natural beauty and phenomenon that holds visitors in awe. The waterfalls vary in height between 25 and 28 meter, with the terrain being so formed due to the high content of calcium carbonate in the river water. The deposit, termed as tuff, is what creates the waterfall effect.
Another peculiar natural phenomenon of this waterfall in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the different shades of colour it acquires, depending on the time of the year. The waterfall ends into a pool which also has its own exquisite look and feel and can be swum across. Kravice can be termed the hidden beauty of Europe as not much of commercial activity has touched the spot yet. This makes it a serene tourist attraction in Croatia, where one can enjoy nature at its spectacular best.
Kravice Waterfalls are near the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina and easily accessible from there.
4. Vrelo Bosne
Vrelo Bosne gets its name from being the spring of the river Bosna. Its relaxed surroundings and natural set up, makes it the perfect place to be, far from the maddening crowd. Located in the Sarajevo region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this natural setting has gained tourist credibility due to the view which meets the eye. There are pools in the park and quaint natural path that leads into it. Visitors will enjoy the walk along these trails and time will literally seem to fly.
5. Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque
The Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque in Bosnia and Herzegovina has its history dating back to 1530 and is the most important building of the Islamic ages in the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a contribution of the Ottoman era, with Adžem Esir Ali being the man behind its design and construction. He was a Persian by origin and had been taken captive by Sarajevo during the Ottoman attacks in Persia. The intricate art and sculpture on the inner walls as well as the design of the 45 feet high minarets holds spectators in wonder. The Bosnian war had claimed some of the beauties of the mosque and only with extensive restoration work could the damage be repaired.
Another remains and signature of the Ottoman times is this public fountain in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Ottomans usually constructed their public fountains in the main intersection of the town roads which ended in some public square. The material they used was stone and wood. The Sebilj was built according to these architectural principles of the Ottomans. It stands in the middle of the Baščaršija square. There is a replica of the Sebilj in Belgrade, Missouri and a life size interpretation was also created in Birmingham, showing the popularity of its traditional design.
7. Svrzo House
This is the oldest house ever from the Ottoman era that can be seen in the Sarajevo region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The house belonged to a family called Svrzo, who lived during that era. It was later handed over to the government to be turned into a museum. The courtyard and the layout of the house give a close insight into the Ottoman times even now.
Visitors will note that the house is made of wood and natural stone with a L shaped design, which was typical of residential constructions then. The storage space of the house and the servants quarters were on the ground floor, and so were the barn to keep food cool and preserved. The owner of the house and their family used to occupy the upper storey which had the main living quarters. Descendants of that family still live in quarters alongside the museum today.
8. Vrelo Bune
Wikimedia/Talha Şamil Çakır
The Bune or Buna River in Bosnia and Herzegovina originates from a karstic spring and that is just the beginning of this short river and its natural wonders. The spring itself is renowned as the most beautiful one in all of Europe. Visitors get to experience natural wonders both above ground and underground. There is a pretty Sufi monastery close to this spring, called Blagaj Tekke. The rooms of the building will leave you enthralled with their majestic setting. The old and historic bridges built in this area are also of interest for travellers to the area.
9. Una National Park
The Una National Park was officially formed in the Una‐Sana Canton region only in 2008, when the region between the rivers Una and Unac was converted into an area of touristic value. The Una River itself, from which the park gets its name, is the most beautiful river in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Waterfalls like the Martin Brod and several others mark the beautiful path of the river along the park. A regatta event held in this river is also of great interest and has a history of taking place for some 40 years now. The park is a must visit place for tourists, due to its spectacular historic and heritage sites.
10. Sarajevo Tunnel/Tunnel of Hope (Museum)
The Sarajevo Tunnel in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Tunnel of Hope has a historic tale to convey to its visitors. During the years 1992 to 1995, Sarajevo had been surrounded by Serbs and this tunnel was the only link to the outside world for the trapped populace. The tunnel runs under a runway which was under UN control. Crossing via the runway had its own risk to life and this was the reason for digging a tunnel underneath it.
Today the tunnel does not exist in all its length. There is however a section where visitors can enter, and get a feel of how the people during the war torn times would have survived with the help of this tunnel. It has been turned into a museum now with maps and video‐shows depicting those troubled times.