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History and Culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina

History and Culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Even though it’s a very small country, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has a great history and culture, which had a big impact on the other countries of Balkan. Bosnia has produced some great writers, musicians, movie directors and painters. Sarajevo was the capital city of Bosnia through whole history of the country and it is the biggest city in the country, but also one of the most beautiful cities in the region.

Origin and History

Capital and largest city in Bosnia- Sarajevo.

The first known inhabitants of todays Bosnian area were Illyrians,
but when Roman Empire split into West Roman Empire and Byzantium, Bosnia played an important role. This small country was the limiting line between these two sides, with river Drina dividing them. Next inhabitants of this region were Slavs and they brought some cultural and architectal skills with them. There are proofs that date from this era, for example rock-carving, which is very well preserved and these monuments are kept in museums throughout whole country. First written mention of Bosnia was in 10th century by Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, but even then, Bosnia wasn’t an indepent country. Bosnia will become indepent in 12th century, when Bosnian ban Kulin wrote the act “Povelja Kulina Bana” in which he accepts trade in good between Bosnia and Dubrovnik. Later, Bosnia will be part of great Ottoman Empire and after it will bi annexed by Austro-Hungaria. In the 20th century, Bosnia was part of great Yugoslavia republic which included several countries: Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Slovenia and Macedonia. At the end of 20th century, Bosnia became an independent country.

Cultural Aspect

As said before, Bosnia created some of the greatest artists in the region, especially in the field of music, movie and literature. So let’s see some of the most important historical and cultural figures in this country.

  • Literature: in this segment we have to mention a lot of names, which include: Ivo Andrić, Meša Selimović, Isak Samokovlija, Petar Kočić, Hamza Humo, Branko Ćopić, Musa Ćazim Ćatić, Jovan Dučić and a lot more.  The most important one of them all is Ivo Andrić who claimed the Nobel prize for his masterpiece “Na Drini ćuprija” in 1961. He is the only writer in the Balkan who won this prize and it certainly gave some prospect for this small country.
  • Filmography: the most important event in movie industry is “Sarajevo film festival” which dates from 1995. The festival gathers some of the most important people in movie industry and it also shows some of the best movies which were produced throughout the year. Movie director Danis Tanović claimed an Oscar for his movie “Ničija zemlja” in the category for “The Best Foreign Movie” in 2002.
  • Architecture: there is a variety of different styles of architecture in Bosnia because of all invasions and occupiers through the years. Also, there are 3 dominant religions in Bosnia and because of that there is a lot of different religion sights and different types of buildings. Sarajevo is the only city with Jerusalem who has Orthodox church, Catholic curch, mosque and synagogue in the range of 100 meters.
  • Museums: the most important museum is in the capital city, Sarajevo. It is called “Zemaljski muzej” and the most important possession of this museum is “Sarajevska Hagada”. It represents a jewish book which was brought from Spain. Other important sights include museum from Neolithic era in Tuzla, memorial complex in Jablanica, “Zavičajni muzej” in Travnik.

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