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Information about Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Information about Bosnia and Herzegovina

Facts about Bosnia and Herzegovina

The (national) flag
Official name Bosna i Hercegovina
In English: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Surface 51,200 km²
Inhabitants 3.86 million inhabitants (2016)
Population density 75 people per km²
Capital Sarajevo
Currency 1 Bosnian Mark (BAM) = € 0.52; € 1 = 1,93 BAM (2017)
Road network The roads are in relative good shape, but in mountains we have met lots of dangerous drivers who don't respect traffic rules.
Fuel prices For actual fuel prices in all European countries see Autotraveler.ru.
Code licence plate BiH
Telephone countrycode 387
Internet countrycode .ba
Time difference GMT+1; the same time as in the Netherlands

Geographic data

With 51,129 kmē, Bosnia and Herzegovina is slightly larger than the Netherlands. Bosnia and Herzegovina borders on Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro and has a very small stretch of coastline on the Adriatic Sea. Bosnia covers 80% of the country and is formed by the north while Herzegovina covers the south with Mostar as the capital. The country is mainly mountainous.
More information on Wikipedia.

PopulationNaar boven

Due to the last war (1992-1995), major changes have taken place in the distribution of the population. More than a million people fled within the country itself, and more than a million went abroad. Where previously the various population groups lived together, there is now a clear segregation, that is to say that the population groups clump together and have little or no contact with others. It will probably take generations for the effects of the ethnic cleansing to disappear.

LanguagesNaar boven

Since 1991 there have been three official languages: Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian, all three variants of Serbo-Croatian, which hardly differ from each other, but don't say that to a resident, some of them get really mad!
More information on Wikipedia.

HistoryNaar boven

The oldest finds of human occupation indicate that people lived in the area around 200,000 years ago.
As in so many regions in the Balkans, those in power often changed. In 1180 Bosnia gained independence for the first time and in the 14th century, Herzegovina was incorporated. A century later, the country was swallowed up by the Ottoman Empire.
After the decline of the Turkish empire, a noisy time dawned for Tito until after the Second World War it took over in Yugoslavia and the country with its many ethnicities became one. After his death, however, the unit turned out to be a long way off and a disorderly civil war broke out. There is peace now, but the question is whether the country will ever be divided again.
We have decided not to write a detailed history anymore, since we would have to cite other sources that are often on the internet already. Instead a few links with more information about Bosnia Herzegovinan history:

Wikipedia, A short overview of Bosnia Herzegovinan history until 1995
Kakarigi.net, A Brief History of Bosnia-Herzegovina
Friendsofbosnia.org, History of the war in Bosnia

ClimateNaar boven

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a continental climate with warm summers and cold snowy winters. And that looks more like the climate of continental Europe than the Mediterranean climate of nearby countries such as Italy or Greece. Cold or hot outliers can easily occur in the spring. Moreover, the weather can also vary considerably per region. The south has a more Mediterranean climate.

Flora and faunaNaar boven

Bosnia and Herzegovina has around 3500 plant species and has many woods, about half of the country is covered with forests. They are mainly pine, beech and oak forests. Fig and cypress trees also occur in Herzegovina. Common plants and shrubs include jasmine, oleander and juniper. The forest areas can be divided into three zones. Up to 750 meters in the north of the country, on the sunny slopes, there are mainly oak forests and on the shady slopes beech forests. Further south (up to 1500 meters), in the middle of the country, the oaks are being replaced by beech, elm, ash, spruce and pine. The third zone, above 1500 meters, is characterized by spruce, pine and other conifer species. Chestnuts, aspen, willow, birch, alder, juniper and yew trees are found in all three zones. Rowan, hazel and wild fruit trees (including pear and plum) are found mainly on the lower slopes.

Animal life:
There is a rich and varied animal life in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are wolves, wild boar, lynx, wild cats, otters, foxes, golden jackals, badgers, falcons and a few bears. Furthermore, many sheep are kept and the Lipizzan horse was imported from Austria in the 19th century. The poisonous horn viper and the European viper are dangerous. Common birds are eagles, hawks, pheasants, wild ducks and storks.

EconomyNaar boven

Bosnia and Herzegovina has long been a backward area in economic terms. Bosnia and Herzegovina was a country of farmers, with many small, hardly viable businesses. Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with Macedonia, were among the poorest countries of the former Yugoslavia. Only after the Second World War did the economic situation improve due to the strong promotion of industry and the exploitation of mineral resources such as coal, lignite, lead, silver and manganese.
Due to the civil war, the economy was completely destroyed again. Ca. 80% of the industrial potential was destroyed and in the countryside large areas of land became unusable for agriculture by mines. Moreover, the infrastructure had largely disappeared and almost half the population had fled.
Immediately after the Dayton agreement in 1995, however, the reconstruction was started again, greatly aided by international donors. They made 1.5 billion dollars available for projects. Despite this strong support, the economy continued to struggle, not in the least because of the constant smuggling practices and corruption at all levels of society. The tense situation between the various population groups prevents successful cooperation, which is necessary to bring the economy back on track. As a result, almost half of the labor force is still unemployed and an even larger percentage of the population lives below the poverty line. The only bright spot in this situation is that many of the unemployed participate in the informal economy, where a lot of money is spent. The government now has the task of integrating all those jobs into the formal economy, so that the economy can pick up again.

TourismNaar boven

Bosnia and Herzegovina is not yet a holiday destination that attracts tourists en masse, but the country is becoming increasingly popular, because it has a lot to offer in terms of nature and culture. Winter sports enthusiasts can also visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, because there are plenty of modern winter sports facilities around the capital Sarajevo. But rafters, canoeists and mountain climbers will also find what they are looking for in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Several cities and towns are worth a visit, like Sarajvo, Mostar and Pocitelj and there are several national parks. The Sutjeska National Park is home to one of two European primeval forests, called Perucica.

The actual weather

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