8 things you must know if you are travelling to Herzegovina
Those who watch tennis probably know about one of the most famous ‘Herzegovinian sons’ Marin Čilić, a great tennis player on the world list. He is a native of Medjugorje, most probably one of the most famous places in Herzegovina. We are known as part of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but Herzegovina itself has much to offer and to see. In the past, it was also called Zahumlje or Hum. If you yourself have begun to think about visiting this part of the state, then it is time to find out some facts about it that you might not have known yet. So let’s move on.
Important thing No.1 – Medjugorje
This part of Herzegovina is especially famous for religious tourism. It is visited by about one million tourists every year, and the first apparition of the Virgin Mary, for which it became popular, occurred in 1981.
Today, Medjugorje is among the most frequented places in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But there is still much of the original charm that many other places in the world where religious tourism practiced had lost. For example, believers always gather in the church of St. Jacob, which is in the center of the place, and many say that they are all saluting with great peace and serenity. Medjugorje is located in the southern part of Herzegovina and has a Mediterranean climate, which is an extra plus for visiting this sacred place. The Hill of Appearances, the Blue Cross, the Cross of Jesus, the Blue Cross, are only some of the places you must see in Medjugorje. Today, there is a multitude of hotels and other accommodation units, and everything else needed to make tourists who come there feel as relaxed and enjoyable as possible to stay as long as their inner voice propose.
Important item No.2 – currency
The official currency in Herzegovina as well as throughout the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina – is the convertible mark. The abbreviation is officially BAM, although KM often appears. Currently, the exchange is about 0.50 euros for one convertible mark, but we know that the situation on official exchange rates is always changing and this fact needs to be checked before the trip. Also, in many border areas with the Republic of Croatia, and Herzegovina is surely possible, it is possible to pay many things in Croatian kunas, but of course you have to check it in the store or cafe you are entering in.
Important thing No. 3 – Mostar
Today, there is almost nobody who did not hear about Mostar or at least his most famous part – the Old Bridge over the Neretva River. The bridge is famous for its bravery jumpers in the cold Neretva, but also by the fact that it was built by a great Turkish leader Sulejman Majestic in 1566. At that time it had the largest porthole in the world. The arch is 4 meters long, 30 meters long and 24 meters high, with one tower on each side. In the old times, customs officers who were charging bridge toll were situated in these towers and that is where from the city of Mostar got its name.
And today, there are many data on the construction of a bridge that remained a true mystery, so it can be said that it was the architectural wonder of that era. Unfortunately, the bridge was demolished during the war in 1993 and later built again. Apart from the Old Bridge Mostar offers many other things worth visiting because it is the cultural and economic center of Herzegovina and also the largest city in the region.
Important item No. 4 – enjoy the Herzegovinian wines!
Herzegovina is famous for its karst (and karst people, of course) so it does not have to be surprised that some of the most enduring grape varieties that produce quality wines grow there. The region is best known for its autochthonous varieties of Blatina and Žilavka (it seems that the name beautifully describes them, right?), and for its large vine plantation called Stone Vineyards.
Namely, there are about 300,000 seedlings planted on 10 hectares of bare stone. From here comes the so-called stone wine which is for many of the best varieties of Žilavka that exists and this wine has been rewarded countless times.
Important item No. 5 – Bon appetit with Herzegovinian prosciutto!
Let’s turn to the delicious story of the Herzegovinian prosciutto. It is known that two major winds meet in Herzegovina: called bura and jugo. Experts say that is why Herzegovina has the best prosciutto (because we know that the wind is a very important item for creating good prosciutto!). Also, it is smoked on beech and hornbeam wood scorched on high mountain ranges, and pigs used to make prosciutto are fed only by natural food, such as potatoes, figs, and even rods. Also, a lot of wild grasses growing everywhere in Herzegovina are used for spicing the meat, and very important addition is the climate that does not know the frost of winter or moisture in the morning in the warmer part of the year. Herzegovina has to be visited, if for nothing, then for prosciutto!
Important item No. 6 – Herzegovinian cheese from wheat
And as if there were not enough stories about the food and the good drink from which the saliva grows and grows, we need to present another specialty of this gorgeous karst region, which is – cheese from wheat. Namely, Herzegovina is the only place in the world where this cheese is made, and its composition goes far back in history although nobody really knows when the whole story has begun. This is actually about preserving food because there were no refrigerators in the past. The milk would be mildly heated and after two days this cheese would be drenched using stone plates. Then it would be put in the cleaned sheep’s skin and kept there for about two months, and the result at the end is an indigenous product, the pride of every true Herzegovinian family.
Important item No. 7 – Waterfall Kravica
Herzegovina and Medjugorje, and what bonds them more together? Exactly the waterfall of Kravica! It is located about 10 kilometers from Medjugorje, in the place called Studenci, located near Ljubuški. The waterfall belongs to a river with a very unusual name – Trebižat and is high about 28 meters and is as wide as 120 meters. In the past, there were numerous mills on this river and near the slopes, as well as roller coats (canvas). It is interesting that this river flows peacefully through rocky Herzegovina, but it suddenly changes just by creating this waterfall. It is visited by up to two thousand people a day, and during the drought, the large waterfall is divided into smaller ones and bathers use them as showers. Waterfall Kravica is a place that will delight you!
Important item No. 8 – Celtic Neretva
Herzegovina is famous for its beautiful river – Neretva. But what is less known to many is an old Celtic legend which ends our journey through this region. Legend has it that Celts when they saw Neretva, how the gorgeous canyon develops in its emerald color, and energizes the adjacent fields and gives them life, exclaimed: ‘Nera – Etwa!’, Which means “Divinity which flows! ‘
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