BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Date of establishment: March 1, 1992

Brief history:

7th Century – The Byzantine Empire ruled the area of present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina.

12th Century – Bosnia became an independent state under the rule of the Bosnian Bans.

1463 – Bosnia was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and after the Battle of Krbava Field in 1493 became a part of the Ottoman Empire.

1878 – After the Russo-Turkish War, Bosnia and Herzegovina were annexed by Austria-Hungary.

1914 – The assassination of the Austrian Archduke in Sarajevo led to the outbreak of World War I.

1918 – After World War I, Bosnia and Herzegovina became a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, later known as Yugoslavia.

1941 – During World War II, Bosnia and Herzegovina were occupied by Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.

1945 – After World War II, Bosnia and Herzegovina became a part of socialist Yugoslavia under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito.

1992 – Yugoslavia was dissolved, and Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence.

1992-1995 – The Bosnian War took place between three ethnic groups: Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), Croats, and Serbs.

1995 – The Dayton Agreement ended the war, and Bosnia and Herzegovina became an independent state with a complex system of government and power-sharing among different ethnic groups.

2022 – Bosnia and Herzegovina was accepted as a candidate for EU membership.

 

International abbreviation: BIH

 

Currency: Convertible Mark (BAM)

It was introduced in 1998, replacing the former currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Yugoslav Dinar. 1 BAM is divided into 100 fenings. Banknotes are available in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 marks.

 

Internet domain: .ba

 

Dialing code: +387

 

Time zone: +1 GMT

 

Geography:

A mostly mountainous country located on the Balkan Peninsula with a very small coastline on the Adriatic Sea. It is situated in southeastern Europe and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the south.

The country is home to many rivers, with the most significant ones being the Sava, Drina, Una, Bosna, Vrbas, and Neretva. The Adriatic Sea coast is 20 kilometers (12 miles) long and is part of the Neum Riviera.

Highest peak: Maglič, at 2 386 meters (7 828 feet) above sea level.

Located in the Maglič mountain range on the border with Montenegro, it is a popular tourist attraction and an important part of the Sutjeska National Park. The summit of Maglič has a round shape with several peaks and is difficult to access for visitors due to unmarked trails and rocky terrain.

 

Climate:

The interior of Bosnia and Herzegovina has a moderate continental climate with mild winters and hot summers. However, the climate in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be influenced by various factors such as elevation, geographical location, and the influence of the sea.

In lower areas, the climate is closer to Mediterranean, while in the mountains, the climate is alpine with cold winters and snow cover. The average summer temperature ranges from around 25-30°C (77-86°F), while the average winter temperature ranges from 0-5°C (32-41°F). In mountainous areas, winters can be very cold with temperatures dropping to -20°C (-4°F).

Precipitation is relatively evenly distributed throughout the country, but it is higher in the mountains compared to lowlands. Average annual rainfall ranges from 600 mm (24 inches) in lower areas to 2,500 mm (98 inches) in the mountains. During the summer months, some areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina may experience drought and wildfires, which can be hazardous for tourists and residents.

 

Fauna and flora:

Bosnia and Herzegovina has diverse flora that exists in various habitats. In the mountains, you can find black pine, Norway spruce, silver fir, and European beech trees. In the lowlands and fertile plains, you can find common and sessile oak, silver birch, lime, ash, poplar, alder, chestnut, and hornbeam trees. Among flowering plants, you can find species such as the Bosnian lily, Bosnian iris, mountain avens, edelweiss, black-eyed Susan, harebell, common poppy, and many others.

The country is home to animals such as brown bears, gray wolves, European lynxes, wild boar, red deer and Eurasian otters. In lower elevations, various rodents like squirrels, rats, and groundhogs are common, as well as various birds such as European bee-eaters, common nightingales, European hoopoes, white stork, common kingfishers, Eurasian sparrowhawks, golden eagles, European honey buzzards, and others. Common fish in rivers and lakes include carp, eel, roach, perch, and pike.

 

Agriculture:

The most significant crops are wheat, corn, barley, oats, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, which are grown in the lowland areas. Livestock farming, including cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry, as well as beekeeping and fishing are also practiced.

There are extensive agricultural areas, especially in the regions of Posavina, Semberia, and Herzegovina. However, agriculture is not highly developed due to a lack of modern technologies and low productivity.

During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995, many agricultural areas were damaged, and many farmers lost their fields, livestock, and equipment. Despite these challenges, agriculture continues to evolve and adapt to modern challenges such as climate change and increasing market competition.

 

Natural resource extraction:

Several important resources are extracted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which are significant for the country’s economy. Among the most important is coal, . Bosnia and Herzegovina has large coal deposits, especially in the Tuzla area. The Tuzla surface mine is the largest coal basin in Tuzla and the largest surface mine in Europe..

Other resources extracted in Bosnia and Herzegovina include iron ore, lead, zinc, copper, bauxite, limestone, marble, and various minerals. Salt is also mined.

The timber industry is also important, as are hydropower and geothermal energy.

 

Industry:

The most important industrial sectors are metallurgy, engineering, construction, textiles, wood processing, food, and mining.

Metallurgy produces steel and other metals, mainly in steelworks in Tuzla and Zenica. Engineering focuses on the production of machinery and equipment, including ships, vehicles, electronics, and many others. The textiles industry produces clothing, fabrics, and other textile products. The food industry is involved in the production of food and beverages.

The mining industry is also essential and focuses on the extraction of coal, and other mineral resources. These sectors are oriented towards energy production and materials for industry and manufacturing.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: tourism and hospitality, services, IT, and road transportation

 

Natural and historical attractions:

The country offers visitors many beautiful natural landscapes, historical and cultural landmarks, and attractions. Among the most significant tourist attractions are historical monuments and cultural heritage sites such as Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque, Mostar with its famous Old Bridge, the Dervish Monastery at Blagaj Tekija, and Sarajevo’s Old Town. Natural beauties such as the Una National Park, Sutjeska National Park, and many others are also popular.

In winter, the Dinaric Mountains are great for winter sports, while in summer, places like the Kravice Waterfalls offer relaxation and natural beauty.

 

 

Form of government: Federal Republic

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a federal republic composed of two entities: the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Additionally, there is a separate district called Brčko, which has a special status.

The Republika Srpska is an entity located in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has its own president, government, and parliament, and enjoys extensive autonomy in the areas of administration, legislation, and judicial power.

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is an entity consisting of ten cantons. It also has its own president, government, and parliament.

The central government of Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral parliament (House of Representatives and House of Peoples), a presidency (made up of three people to represent the various ethnic groups), and a council of ministers chosen by the House of Representatives with a balanced representation of the ethnic groups which has a chairman who is effectively the prime minister. The central government has limited powers and serves more as a coordinating and mediating body between the two entities. The three-person presidency has a chairman who is elected for eight years, and the post rotates between the different ethnic groups.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a democratic country with universal suffrage and ensures equality of all citizens before the law. However, political tensions among different ethnic and religious groups, as well as the influence of foreign powers, continue to pose challenges to the political stability and unity of the country.

 

Capital City: Sarajevo

It is in the valley of the Miljacka River, surrounded by mountains.

The city has a rich history and has been part of various empires in the past, including the Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Yugoslavia. This rich heritage is reflected in the architecture and cultural landmarks in Sarajevo, such as mosques, Christian churches, synagogues, and historical buildings.

Sarajevo was known for its multicultural and multiethnic atmosphere, which survived even during the period of the civil war. The city has become a symbol of suffering and recovery and remains a tourist attraction for many visitors who want to explore its rich history and culture.

Sarajevo is home to numerous landmarks, including historic bridges, mosques, cathedrals, museums, and galleries. The city also offers plenty of entertainment and leisure opportunities, such as restaurants, cafes, clubs, parks, and sports facilities.

Sarajevo also hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1984 and has since become one of the most significant sports centers in the region.

 

Area: 51 209 square kilometers (19 768 square miles)

 

Population: 3 234 000 (2022 estimate)

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a highly diverse ethnic composition. The largest ethnic group is Bosniaks, who make up approximately 50% of the population. Other significant ethnic groups include Serbs, who constitute around 30% of the population, and Croats, who make up approximately 15% of the population. Additionally, there are smaller ethnic groups such as Roma, Albanians, and others.

The majority of the population speaks Bosnian, Serbian, or Croatian, which are essentially the same language with regional variations and names. The religious composition of the population is also diverse, with Muslims constituting approximately 50%, Orthodox Christians approximately 30%, and Catholic Christians around 15% of the population.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 4

 

  1. Ancient Tombstones Stećci Graveyards (2016) – These graveyards date back to the 12th to 16th centuries and are characteristic of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian culture from this period.
  2. Mostar – Old Bridge Area and Old Town (2005) – Mostar is one of the most important cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is known for its historic 16th-century bridge spanning the Neretva River.
  3. Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians (2007) – This complex consists of a network of beech forests that have remained almost untouched by human activity for centuries, representing pristine and ancient ecosystems.
  4. Mehmed Pasha Sokolović Bridge (2007) – Also known as the Bridge on the Drina, it is a historic bridge over the Drina River in the Bosnian town of Višegrad. Built in the 16th century during the Ottoman era, it is considered a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture.

 

National Parks: 4

 

  1. Sutjeska National Park
  2. Kozara National Park
  3. Una National Park
  4. Drina National Park