A taster of the beauty of Bosnia.
Photo by Michał Huniewicz
The Great Balkan Ride beings in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, on August 5th. This selection of photos will convince you that this underrated country is an essential destination, and perhaps will persuade you to arrive early enough to more fully explore its wonders. Here is the Beauty of Bosnia.
For many, Sarajevo is all they will see in Bosnia. While this is unfair to the rest of the country, it’s certainly a wonderful city. Different eras of history collide; memories and monuments mesh intoxicatingly with modernity.
Different sites in Sarajevo evoke dramatically different histories: the abandoned bobsleigh track built for the 1984 Winter Olympics reminds visitors of the traumatic break-up of Yugoslavia, while the Latin Bridge marks the spot of Franz Ferdinand’s assassination, and thus the setting in motion of events which led to the First World War. Baščaršija, pictured, provides a sense of Ottoman legacy. This is the old bazaar quarter, with the Turkish-style fountain, the Sebilj, at its heart.
On the outskirts of Sarajevo, in the suburb of Ilidža, is “Rimski Most”, a picturesque Roman bridge. Crossing the Bosna river, it was in fact built in the 16th century albeit using genuine Roman stones. Such is Bosnia: a beguiling mosaic constructed from pieces of the past.
South of Sarajevo, close to the borders of both Croatia and Montenegro, is Trebinje. Just one of many historic towns in Bosnia, its relaxed pace is a world away from the hectic capital.
Only 50km from Sarajevo is charming Konjic. Set among deep woods and surrounded by mountains, its stunning setting makes up for the fact that much of its traditional old town has been reconstructed rather than preserved.
One of the most unexpectedly beautiful spots in the Balkans, let alone Bosnia, is the dervish house at Blagaj. Pictured here in autumn, summer provides bright colours which contrast with the 600 year-old monastery.
To have concentrated so much of towns and cities is criminally neglectful of Bosnia diverse and wonderful countryside. Rarely can one find so much variety of climate and scenery in such a relatively small country. This picture was taken in the South, home to a Mediterranean climate, unlike the more typical continental climate of the mountainous North.
Finally, we bring you a photo from a town that encapsulates the history and beauty of Mostar. The famous bridge was destroyed during in wartime, in 1993, but has since been reconstructed. Nowadays, in addition to photographers capturing its beauty, when summer comes young people are known to dive from the bridge into the Neretva river below.