Bosnia & Herzegovina

I traveled to Bosnia & Herzegovina from Dubrovnik, Croatia on a day trip in 2012, visiting the cities of Medujorje, Mostar, and Pocitelj. Bosnia suffered quite a bit from it's recent civil war and is just starting to recover. My trip to Mostar was heartwarming as I got to see how the Bosnian people rebuilt a 500 year old bridge to it's exact specifications after it was destroyed during the war.

Bosnia & Herzegovina became part of the Roman Empire in the first Century BC.  In 455, the Ostrogoths conquered the area. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Byzantine Emperor Justinian conquered the area in the 500's, but soon after, the area was invaded by the Slavs and Bosnia & Herzegovina became independent for 300 years.

In 1102 Hungary conquered part of the area, then between 1463 and 1482, the Ottoman Empire followed, taking all of the area and then some. The importance of the Ottoman conquest was that it brought Islam to the area as many Bosnians  converted from Christianity and a number Turks also moved to the area.

In 1878, was taken over by the Empire of Austria-Hungary as the Ottoman Empire shrank. It was this event that was one of the reasons for the start of World War I as Serbia always believed that Bosnia & Herzegovina should be part of their country due to the number of Serbs living in the area. It was the assignation of the Arch Duke Frances Ferdinand in Sarajevo that  was the spark that started the war.

After World War I, Bosnia and Herzegovina became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, later to be called Yugoslavia. When the Germans occupied the area during World War II, the region became part of Croatia for a short period of time.

In 1989 riding a wave of nationalist sentiment, Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic took power. In 1991, after a referendum, Bosnia & Herzegovina declared independence and a brutal
civil war erupted, during which a number of Bosnians were massacred at the hands of the local Serbs. This brought NATO into the war. The final peace agreement was signed in Dayton, Ohio in 1995, bringing an end to the war.

Medujorje 2012

Mostar 2012 (Note the war damage in some of the photos)

  Mostar 2012

 Pocitelj 2012