Bosnia

June 8, 2011


The famous Stari Most (Old Bridge) of Mostar, dating from the 1500s, was destroyed
in 1993 during the Croat-Bosniak War, but was rebuilt as an exact replica in 2004.

The Dayton Accords ended the Bosnian War in 1995 by creating two mostly autonomous entities within the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina ("Bosnia" for short). To keep it confusing ― and the whole arrangement is one of the most complex in the world ― the name of the nonSerbian part sounds like the name of the whole country.

The two sections of the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina are:
  • Republika Srpska (Serbs) and
  • the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Croats and Bosniaks).
I spent a more time in the Federation area (mainly in Mostar and Sarajevo), but I did get to visit Republika Srpska with a day trip to Višegrad.

MOSTAR

Mostar is still divided between Bosniaks (Muslim) and Croats (Catholic), although I'm
told that they are not totally segregated on opposite sides of the river as often claimed.


Many building have been rebuilt but scars remain.

SARAJEVO

The corner in Sarajevo where Archduke Ferdinand
was assassinated, triggering World War I.

Sarajevo is the capitol and largest city of the country of "Bosnia and Herzegovina," and also the capitol of the "Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina" (the nonSerbian part of the country).

Sarajevo today is predominantly Bosniak (Moslem), like my guide above.

White is under siege.


REPUBLIKA SRPSKA

My time in Republika Srpska was in Višegrad.

 Višegrad was the scene of brutal events of the Bosnian War too horrible to recount here. Today its famous Ottoman bridge dating from the 1500s is still standing. This was the setting for Nobelist Ivo Andrić's famous older historical novel Bridge on the Drina.