Set on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina is an exquisite country widely known for its intriguing history and architectural treasures. Inhabited by Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats, the country puts on display a cultural spectrum for the tourists to experience and admire. Bosnia and Herzegovina also presents stunning mountainous landscapes in addition to a wealth of Ottoman and Hungary styled structures.
Let us walk you through some interesting facts about Bosnia and Herzegovina you probably don’t know yet:
1. Bosnia comes from the Bosna river:
Theories of many scholars and linguists claim that the country gets its name from the Bosna river that flows across its heart. While some others claim that it was actually the Proto-Indo-European term “bros” or “bogh” after which the country came to be called Bosnia since it is replete with waterfalls, lakes, and rivers. The term translates to “the running water”.
2. The history of Bosnia and Herzegovina goes back to the Neolithic Era
Turns out Bosnia is way older than you can imagine. The region has plenty of evidence to support the theory that the region of the present day Bosnia and Herzegovina has been inhabited by humans since the Neolithic Era. Then, by the later part of the Bronze Age, the Neolithic population was replaced by the Indo-European tribes called Illyrians.
3. Heart Shaped Land
If you look at the map of Bosnia and Herzegovina, you will realize that the shape of its territory somewhat resembles a human heart. Hence, the term “Heart Shaped Land” is often used by many to refer to this country.
4. Among the oldest tram networks in Europe
Became operational in 1885, the tram network of Sarajevo is one of the first in Europe. In its initial phase, trams were pulled by horses. In 1895, horse trams were replaced by electric trams.
5. One of the few Muslim majority countries in Europe
If you thought Turkey was the only European country to have Muslims in majority, you ought to know 51% population of Bosnia and Herzegovina follows Islam. In addition to Muslim Bosniaks, the country is inhabited by Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats.
6. First mosque to use electricity is here
Built in the 16th Century, Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque located in Sarajevo is claimed to be the world’s first mosque to use electricity in 1898. This mosque is a significant complex in the cultural heritage of the country representing the Ottoman Architecture.
7. Marka cannot be bought or exchanged anywhere else
The currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is called ‘Marka’. One interesting fact about Marka is that it cannot be exchanged or bought anywhere outside the country.
8. Caffeine addiction is high here
The Ottomans brought the coffee culture to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the country now claims the 10th position in terms of the highest coffee consumption per capita in the world. The most popular variety of coffee consumed in the country is Turkish or Bosnian Coffee.
9. There is no official language here
Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian, usually associated with their respective ethnic groups, are the most popular languages spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina and are used for all the official communications. However, till date there is no official language stated in the constitution of the country.
10. Home to the ‘lungs of Europe’
Bosnia and Herzegovina is blessed with the best of nature in the form of the Perucica Rainforest, which is the last remaining primeval forest in Europe.
11. First socialist nation to hold Winter Olympics
By hosting the Winter Olympics of 1984, Bosnia and Herzegovina became the first country ever to host the event of the Winter Olympics.
12. The ghost of the wars still haunts the country
Whether you talk about the world wars or the Bosnian War, Bosnia and Herzegovina has endured years of severe violence. With estimated 200,000 land mines yet to be cleared, the country continues to live with the terror of the civil war that scarred this little piece of heaven.
13. The only tower that keeps lunar time
Bosnia and Herzegovina houses the only clock tower in the world featuring a lunar clock — the Sarajevo Clock Tower. Located beside the famous Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque in the old town section of Sarajevo, this tower is also the tallest among all the clock towers in the country, boasting a height of 30 metres.
14. It is pretty mountainous!
The geography of Bosnia and Herzegovina is dominated by mountains and valleys. The breathtaking mountainous landscape of the country makes it a popular choice among tourists.
15. One of the most popular film festivals
Founded in 1995 during the Siege of Sarajevo, Sarajevo Film Festival has now become one of the largest film festivals in the entirety of Europe. The festival is attended by over 100,000 visitors including renowned cinema figures every year.