Bosnian History

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in Southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Known for its diverse cultural heritage, scenic landscapes, and complex history, it shares borders with Croatia to the north and west, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast. The country is characterized by its mountainous terrain, with the Dinaric Alps running through its center. The capital city is Sarajevo, which is also the largest city.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a unique blend of Eastern and Western civilizations, with influences from the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires, among others. This rich tapestry is reflected in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions. The country is composed of two main entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, as well as the Brčko District, which is a self-governing administrative unit.

Mostar , Bosnia and Herzegovina Spirit Tours

Cultural Heritage and Sites

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country of rich cultural heritage and diverse historical landmarks, reflecting its complex past and the confluence of various civilizations that have influenced its development. Situated at the crossroads of East and West, this country offers a unique blend of cultural, religious, and architectural treasures that tell the story of its multifaceted history.

From ancient fortresses and medieval towns to Ottoman bridges and Austro-Hungarian buildings, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s cultural sites provide an insightful look into its past. These landmarks are not only significant for their historical value but also for their cultural and social importance to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here are some of the most notable sites:

Stari Most ( Old Bridge )
An iconic 16th-century Ottoman bridge in Mostar.
Known for its unique blend of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and modern influences, Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics and is famous for its Baščaršija bazaar and the Latin Bridge.
Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge
A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Višegrad, designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.
Home to the Pliva Waterfall and the medieval catacombs.
Blagaj Tekija
A historic Dervish monastery situated at the spring of the Buna River.


  • Population: Approximately 3.3 million (2023 estimate).
  • Area: 51,197 square kilometers.
  • Ethnic Composition: Predominantly Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs.
  • Language: Official languages are Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian.
  • Religion: Islam, Christianity (Orthodox and Catholic), and Judaism.
  • Capital: Sarajevo.
  • Currency: Bosnian Convertible Mark (BAM).
  • GDP: $19.83 billion (2022 estimate).
  • Climate: Continental climate with hot summers and cold winters, Mediterranean climate along the coast.

Timeline of key events in the history

6th Century
Slavs settle in the region.
958. Year
Bosnia first mentioned in historical documents by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII.
12th Century
Bosnia becomes a Banate (a semi-independent political entity) within the Kingdom of Hungary.
1377. Year
Bosnia becomes a kingdom under King Tvrtko I.
1463. Year
Ottoman Empire conquers Bosnia, beginning nearly 400 years of Ottoman rule.
1878. Year
Bosnia and Herzegovina is occupied by Austro-Hungarian forces following the Congress of Berlin.
1908. Year
Austro-Hungarian Empire formally annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1914. Year
Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo triggers World War I.
1918. Year
After World War I, Bosnia and Herzegovina becomes part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, later renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
1941.-1945. Years
Bosnia and Herzegovina is part of the Independent State of Croatia, a puppet state of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.
1945. Years
After World War II, Bosnia and Herzegovina becomes one of the six republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under Josip Broz Tito.
1991. Year
Yugoslavia begins to disintegrate with the secession of Slovenia and Croatia.
March 1992
Bosnia and Herzegovina holds an independence referendum; a majority votes for independence.
April 1992
Bosnia and Herzegovina declares independence; Bosnian War begins, characterized by ethnic conflict among Bosniaks (Muslims), Serbs (Orthodox Christians), and Croats (Catholics).
1995. Year
The Dayton Agreement is signed, ending the Bosnian War. Bosnia and Herzegovina is established as a single state comprising two entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska.
2001. Year
Bosnia and Herzegovina joins the Council of Europe.
2004. Year
NATO takes over peacekeeping responsibilities from the UN.
2006. Year
The Office of the High Representative, an international body overseeing the implementation of the Dayton Agreement, transfers some powers to local authorities.
2008. Year
Bosnia and Herzegovina signs a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union, a step toward EU membership.
2010. Year
General elections are held; ethnic tensions and political gridlock continue to challenge governance.
2013. Year
The population census, the first since the war, is conducted.
2014. Year
Large-scale protests erupt over unemployment, corruption, and political stagnation.
2016. Year
Bosnia and Herzegovina submits an application for EU membership.
2021. Year
Political crisis deepens as Republika Srpska leadership threatens secession.
2022. Year
General elections are held amid continued ethnic and political divisions.
2023. Year
Bosnia and Herzegovina is granted EU candidate status.
2024. Year
Efforts continue to address political and economic reforms required for further European integration.

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