Eight wonders of Bosnia – Osam bosanskih cuda


Eight wonders of Bosnia – Osam bosanskih cuda

Christian Kallen Christian Kallen – Fri Jul 21, 5:47 pm ET (Yahoo News)

The country of Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of Yugoslavia for almost half a century, and emerged following a bloody war with its independence in 1995.  Today, the heart-shaped country on the Balkan Peninsula of southern Europe is struggling to build the foundations of a modern Bosnia. Adventure Beat producer Julia Romano takes us on a tour of the eight wonders of this reborn land, in conjunction with Richard Bangs Adventures’ expedition Bosnia: Rebirth of a Nation.

1. A city built and rebuilt – Sarajevo

Since its official Ottoman founding in 1461, Sarajevo has been considered one of the most important cities in the Balkans, and hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics. But it will always be infamous as the site of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, sparking World War I. Read more on Wikipedia.  

2. Bridge over troubled waters – Stari Most Mostar

Mostar‘s bridge across the Neretva River survived half a millennium of earthquakes, floods, and two world wars. Then, in 1993, it crumbled into the river, victim at last of the heavy shelling of modern warfare. Rebuilt in 2004, the bridge symbolizes Bosnia's rebirth. The UNESCO World Heritage Site  is also the jumping-off point for bridge divers, or "Mostaris," who have been taking the 90-foot plunge for centuries.  See the view from a live webcam.

3. Europe's last forests – Poslijednja evropska prasuma Perucica

Once famous as a World War II battleground, Sutjeska National Park now is the scene of a different kind of battle, one pitting preservation against development. The 17,500 hectare stretch of wilderness includes Perucica, one of the last two remaining primeval forests on the European continent.  Healthy populations of brown bear and wolf, some of the last in Europe, still roam. But post-war development threatens this nature preserve. See Flickr photos of Sutjeska.

4. Pyramids of Bosnia – Bosanske Piramide

Is Bosnia home to Europe's first pyramids? Last year, a Bosnian explorer and pyramid buff announced that a hill in Visoko, about 20 miles from Sarajevo, was in fact an ancient man-made structure. That claim has faced much criticism from archaeologists around the world. Locals haven't taken the criticism to heart, and Visoko is becoming a popular tourist destination. Here's what Archaeology magazine has to say about the matter.

5. Dinaric Alps – Dinarske Alpe

Formed largely of sedimentary rock, cemented into place by prehistoric seas and lakes, and pushed and molded by seismic pressures dating back some 50 to 100 million years, the Dinaric Alps stretch up the Balkan peninsula across six nations — Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania. The mountain chain is described by some as a necklace across the landscape, its jewels the waterfalls and wildflowers which cascade across the slopes. See a map of the Dinaric Alps, and look it up on Wikipedia.

6. A medieval village – Srednjevjekovno selo – Lukomir

At 4,822 feet (1,469 meters), Lukomir is Bosnia's highest settlement, perched at the end of the road in the Dinaric Alps. Although the altitude makes for harsh winters, the medieval village's remoteness is its greatest asset; Lukomir was the only village in the region spared during the battles of the 1990s. Villagers still live in the "old way," a semi-nomadic lifestyle of shepherding and organic farming, and still wear the traditional dress of Bosnia past. While other villages in Rakitinca Canyon had to be rebuilt after the war, Lukomir's cherrywood roofs and stone walls tell another story, one that outside eyes easily romanticize, but cannot easily forget. More about Lukomir online.

7. Tombs of the Gods – Stecci

Throughout Bosnia, tombstones called stecci mark the graves of the early Slavic warriors. Decorated with Christian and pagan carvings, they are evocative of a mysterious medieval world. There are thousands of them, and they are found all over Bosnia and Herzegovina, mute yet telling reminders of an earlier age. Learn more about the stecci.

8. Apparitions of the Virgin – Ukazanje Gospe – Medjugorje

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first sightings of the Virgin Mary in the small Bosnian village of Medjugorje. On June 24, 1981, the Virgin Mary appeared to six young inhabitants of this tiny rural village. Sightings have continued through the years, making Medjugorje one of Bosnia's most popular destinations.Visit the BiH tourism page on the visions of Medjugorje.