This unique jewel of history lies 10 kilometres away from Mostar, on the Buna River. Blagaj is a quaint town from which the present-day Herzegpvina developed in the mid-15th century. The walls of the mediaeval Old Fort of the Land of Hum, perching on the impressive cliffs above the Buna River spring, have a commanding view of the beautiful scenery of the Nertva River.
The biggest attraction is the Blagaj Tekke (Dervish Monastery), built by the cliffs of the Buna source around 1520. Tekkes were always sunk deep in the natural environment, to which they were completely open.
Many fishfarms and restaurants are sited alongside the Buna River offering both domestic and international dishes.
Much like the necropolis in Radimlja, the Boljuni necropolis is a location of great significance for the history of our country and region of Herzegovina. The necropolis is located in the hamlet Boljuni, which is a part of the village Bjelojevići, 15 km southwest of Stolac, and is divided into two groups some 400 meters apart. The necropolis in Boljuni numbers 274 tombstones, 92 of which are decorated and 19 of which have inscriptions, making it one of the country’s few large necropolises. With its number and the forms of tombstones, their ornaments and symbols, and a relatively large number of inscriptions, the necropolis in Boljuni provides valuable historical data and rich visual material.
The river Neretva is home to many gems of both natural and cultural beauty, some of them being more hidden than others. Two of such gems are Konjic and Jablanica, small towns one passes through on the road between Sarajevo and Mostar.
Konjic is one of the oldest towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the area being populated for the past 4 millenia. However, the most important era in the development of Konjic as a town was the era of the Ottoman Turks. They developed Konjic into an important stop in their trading route between the inland and the coast. As a result of this, the Ottomans also built one of the most iconic symbols of the town, the Stara Ćuprija bridge on the river Neretva. The 17th century bridge was destroyed at the tail end of WWII, and rebuilt between 2003 and 2009. Konjic was also the location of Yugoslavia’s best kept secret – ARK D0, a nuclear bunker built for over two decades that was supposed to shelter 300 top Yugoslavian officials in the case of a nuclear fallout. While Konjic is perhaps best known for its gorgeous natural heritage, it’s also home to one our country’s most important pieces of cultural heritage – woodcarving. Woodcarving is an ancient tradition in Konjic, and has evolved significantly over the last several centuries. Today, woodcarving in Konjic is so renowned and revered that it’s a candidate for UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The craftsmen in Konjic never stop evolving though, so
Jablanica’s history is perhaps more recent, but maybe even more turbulent than the history of Konjic. Nestled between the mountains Čvrsnica and Prenj, Jablanica’s urban development truly began in the 19th century with the arrival of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. However, the most important events in the history of Jablanica happened several decades later, during WWII. One of the most famous battles, the Battle for the Wounded (also known as the Battle on Neretva), took place in and around Jablanica. This was one of the most crucial battles for Tito and his partisans, and its legendary status was further cemented by the 1969 movie “Battle on Neretva“. Today, visitors can learn of the details of the battle by visiting the “Battle for the wounded“ museum located right above the river Neretva.
One cannot tell the story of Herzegovina without telling the story of its wines. Earliest mentions of wine production (and consumption of course) in the region date back to over 2 millenia ago. Since then, wine production in Herzegovina had to face many challenges, before flourishing in recent times. The main protagonists of the wine story in Herzegovina are its two autochtonus wine sorts: Žilavka and Blatina.
Everybody experiences the Žilavka wine in a personal and individual way. It with its singularity and peculiar qualities, particular fragrance, roundness, and strength typical of southern wines. It bears the impression of Herzegovina. The beautiful crystal clear yellowgreen hue, specific aroma, harmonious proportion of alcohol and acidity, and a rich extract, distinguish Žilavka from all other wines. It’s a strong wine with 12 to 14 % of alcohol, 5 to 6 g/l of total acidity, with a total extract of 20 to 27 g/l. It gains its genuine plenitude and features the longer it is aging in the bottle. Inhabitants of Herzegovina drink Žilavka with boiled or grilled lamb, eel and other fresh-water and sea fish, as well as with cheese from sheep skin sack and ham. It is best served refrigerated at 10 to 12 °C.
Blatina is a strong and fresh dry red wine with 12 to13.5 % of alcohol, 5 to7 g/l of total acidity and 25-32 g/l of extract. It has a dark ruby red colour, particular and characteristic aroma, as well as a full and harmonious taste. As a southern wine it has a satisfying concentration of acid. It is good to let it age for several years in wooden barrels, even more, the quality is the highest, they say, with up to 5 years of aging. It is recommended to drink Blatina with intensively flavoured meals, meat from game, especially roastmeat, fish stew, and beef ham. It is drunk slowly, undiluted, on 18 to 20 °C, from nicely shaped glasses, and in a rural ambience from a wooden jug.Beware of its strength though! It condenses the sun and all of the Herzegovinian summer heat.
Today, Herzegovina has around 60 commercial wine producers, and our company cooperates with the very best in the business!
The franciscan order has a history in the Ljubuški region that dates back all the way to the 15th century, when the first monestary was built, before being destroyed by the Ottomans in the mid-16th century. The current monestary and church at Humac were built in the late 19th century, and have gone through several expansion and renovation projects since. Today, its not only a church and monastery, but a seminary as well.
Within the complex of the monestary, we find the oldest museum in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Museum Humac, founded in 1884. The museum is host to objects found in the region of Herzegovina, some of which date back to the early paleolithical era. It also displays the Humac tablet –the oldest written document in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Galerija Majka“ (“Art gallery Mother“ in English) is also part of the monestary complex, and it hosts one of the most impressive and valuable art collections in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Located some 40 kilometres south of Mostar, the Kravica waterfalls is one of the most precious gems the region of Herzegovina has to offer. Fueled by the cold water of the river Trebižat, the waterfalls are approximately 25 meters high, and at its base it forms a lake about 120 meters in diameter. Whether you just want to behold their sheer beauty, or want to go for a swim underneath the falls themselves , visiting Kravica waterfalls is a breath-taking experience.
The historic Old Town of Mostar, spanning a deep valley of the Neretva River, developed in the 15th and 16th centuries as an Ottoman frontier town and during the Austro-Hungarian period in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mostar has long been known for its old Turkish houses and Old Bridge, Stari Most, after which it is named. In the 1990s conflict, however, most of the historic town and the Old Bridge, designed by the renowned architect Sinan, was destroyed. The Old Bridge was recently rebuilt and many of the edifices in the Old Town have been restored or rebuilt with the contribution of an international scientific committee established by UNESCO. The Old Bridge area, with its pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and western European architectural features, is an outstanding example of a multicultural urban settlement. The reconstructed Old Bridge and Old City of Mostar is a symbol of reconciliation, international co-operation and of the coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities.
The Old Bridge of Mostar is the city’s most recognizable symbol, and one of the most famous historic sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For centuries, the bridge and its towers have watched over the city and witnessed its turbulent history.
To realize the true importance of the Old Bridge, one needs to understand the historic importance of bridges for the development of Mostar as a town. It was a small, wooden suspension bridge (that pre-dated the Ottomans) that originally allowed Mostar to prosper as a stop for caravans on a very important trading route. Since the wooden structure was of dubious stability, and it “…swayed so much that people crossing it did so in mortal fear”, the sultan at the time, Suleyman the Magnificent, commissioned the building of a new bridge made of stone.
The bridge was originally designed by Mimar Hayruddin, one of the most renowned Ottoman architects of his time. The bridge itself is 28 meters long and 20 meters high, with the length of the arch being 40 meters, making it the biggest man-made arch in the world at the time of its building. The bridge stood for 427 years, until November of 1993, when it was destroyed during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The reconstruction project started in 1997, and the goal was to build a bridge that would be identical to the original one, using the same materials and building techniques. The reconstruction project also had a social aspect to it, helping to mend ties broken during the war itself. Some even dubbed the newly constructed bridge „The Bridge between people“, highlighting its importance in the peace-building process. The Old Bridge was officially reopened on July 23rd of 2004 by Prince Charles of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Today, the Old Bridge is seen as a symbol of peace and unity, and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, who come to marvel its beauty and learn of the turbulent past of Mostar itself.
Built on a rocky cliff sloping steeply down to the bank of the Neretva River, 26 km south of Mostar, Počitelj is one of the most picture-perfect architectural ensembles in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the town was firstly mentioned in 1444 in written documents, historians date it back to the end of 14th century. Architecturally, the surviving stone-built parts of the town are a fortified complex, in which two stages of evolution may be observed: mediaeval, and Ottoman.
The most iconic building is the Gavran Capetan tower, built between 15th and 18th century and the Hadži Alija Mosque from 16th century, which is ‘one of the finest achievements of the classical Ottoman style of single-room domed mosques in BiH’ according to UNESCO.
Počitelj is a national monument of BiH. This site, where the stone town meets the astonishing nature, has been an inspiration to artists from all over the world.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a long history of cultural and religious diversity, and one of the biggest pieces of evidence to support that claim are „stećak“ tombstones. Their origins and siginificance are still a topic of hot debate among historians, but what is certain is the fact that they are unique monuments of a time that is often forgotten in the collective minds of today’s population. The necropolis in Radimlja, near Stolac is one of the biggest and most important locations for the „stećak“ monuments. The location itself has 133 tombstones, most of which are dated between the 13th and 15th centuries, and contain unique markings that depict various symbols and scenes typical for the era. As such, it’s one of the most important sites for preservation of the history and culture of the entire country.
The Catholic Church, and the Franciscan order in particular, has had a turbulent history in Herzegovina. Between the mid-16th and mid-19th century there had been no Catholic churches or monasteries in this region, and the monestary of Široki Brijeg was the first one built after this difficult period for Christianity. The first part of the monestary was finished in 1848, and many additions and upgrades had been built over the following decades. Since their arrival, the franciscan order had worked tirelessly to improve their surroundings and communities. Unfortunately, tragedy befell the monestary at the end of WWII, when the monestary was subject to sensless destruction. Several priests were murdered, and many historical records, artefacts and artwork had been destroyed. The monestary has been restored since, and is today host to one of the most revered art galleries, with an incredibly rich collection of art spanning several centuries.
Trebinje is the southernmost city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and among those with the most sun year round. It is only 28 km away from Dubrovnik. Owing to its rich history and cultural heritage, the pleasant climate and proximity of the Adriatic coast, along with its easy going lifestyle, Trebinje is becoming a very popular summer destination.
The most beautiful part of Trebinje is its central square shaded with plane trees, with the Oriental-Mediterranean style features. The square hosts the traditional market place in the open, where local vendors sell locally grown fruits and vegetables, delicious domestic cheese and honey. It is lined with cafes and restorants, the parks and a promenade.
Trebinje is famous for its wine production. The Tvrdoš Orthodox Monastery produces wine according to a recipe kept for more than 400 years.
Vjetrenice is one of the most valuable geomorphological and biological locations in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Located in the south of Herzegovina, some 80 km south of Mostar and 12 km by air from the Adriatic sea, it offers an insight into a world radically different than the one we live in.
The total length of all the channels of the cave is approximately 7 km, while there is around 1800 m of cave paths arranged for visitor purposes. The first mentions of the existence of Vjetrenica date back to the 1st century AD, and first systemic research has been done in the second half of the 19th century. The cave structures are mostly made up for limestone and dolomite, and features one of the most biodiverse faunas found in caves in the whole world. There are nearly 200 different species of animals found in Vjetrenica, out of which 37 have been discovered and described in Vjetrenica for the first time, and many of which are endemic to this particular cave.