March 1 – Bosnia and Herzegovina's Proclamation of Independence Day

Posted on March 1, 2014

In the early 1990s, one nation “died” while six nations were born. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the nations that broke away from Yugoslavia (which then ceased to exist), declaring its independence on this date in 1992.

It wasn't a very nice breakup, to say the least. War broke out between various ethnic groups, and by the time a peace agreement was finally reached in late 1995, thousands of people had died and millions had been displaced. The Bosnian War was the most devastating war in Europe since World War II.

The capital city of Bosnia-Herzegovina is Sarajevo, famous for hosting the 1984 Winter Olympics and then, less than a decade later, undergoing the longest siege in the history of modern warfare during the Bosnian War!

I was surprised to learn that, even though this horrific war was pretty recent, Sarajevo is listed as one of the top 50 cities in the world and one of the top 10 cities in Europe to visit. (Remember, Europe has cities like Paris, London, Prague, and Rome!) And Bosnia-Herzegovina itself has the third highest tourism growth rates in the world! The people of this nation tend to be highly educated, literate, and long-lived. It's a pretty spectacular comeback!

Every time I read about Bosnia-Herzegovina or Sarajevo, I keep seeing mentions of the diversity of cultures, religions, and peoples. Of course, that diversity probably caused the war, but in times of peace, that diversity attracts interest and tourists. People go to see the architecture, listen to the music, taste the cuisine, and participate in the festivals.

Umm...yeah! That's pretty beautiful!
The country is also known for its natural beauty. It has one of just two primeval forests in Europe (“primeval” means untouched by humans or resembling ages of the far past), the deepest canyon in Europe, and so much wildlife, so many waterfalls and rivers and lakes, and undiscovered regions in the Alps, Bosnia-Herzegovina finds its way onto lists for adventurers, bicyclists, hikers, and whitewater rafters.

Really, really beautiful!
According to Bosnia Travels, one of the unique museums tourists can visit in Sarajevo is the Tunnel of Hope. This tunnel was built under the airport runway—and through it the people of Sarajevo received food and other supplies and medicine during the Bosnian War.

Also on this date:

National Pig Day

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