From time immemorial, an area where various worlds, cultures and civilizations have collided and merged. Its three religions: Catholic, Orthodox and Islam, have had a tremendous impact on the cultural development of the area. This country is unique in many ways. It is a mosaic of contrast, where the traces of material and spiritual, colours and scents as well as optimism and pride are interwoven.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, although small on the map of the world, is situated at the meeting point of continental and Mediterranean climate. As part of its identity and way of living it has preserved national costumes, music and songs, especially the famous “sevdalinka” type, which represents a “reflection of the soul”, a melancholic love song with a long tradition. There is folk creativity, customs, cottage industry, old crafts, especially filigree work, which requires the precise hand of the master and the patient weaving of fine gold and silver strings, creating exquisite jewellery and other decorative objects that numerous visitors have taken home with them throughout the world as cherished memories of the spirit of this country and its people.
In this manner, Bosnia and Herzegovina opens itself to all, its reality and imagination, the traditional and the contemporary, its yesterday and today, all of which can be felt and seen at every step.
Official name: Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)
Official language: Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
Script: Latin and Cyrillic
Location: BiH borders on the Republic of Croatia to the north, west and south-west (932 km of border) and to the east and south with Serbia and Montenegro (606 km of border)
Population: 3.922.205 (2003)
Area: 51,129 km2
Political System Two entities: Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Srpska and Brcko district.
Coastal length: 24 km
Culture and history: BiH is very much a multicultural society, something that has featured prominently in its development throughout the ages. There are four communities with different religious backgrounds based in the Islamic, Roman Catholic, Orthodox Christian or the Jewish faiths. During the centuries, cultural and religious differences have influenced the overall development of the country and have created the modern lifestyle culture of people.
Religions: Islamic, Roman Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Jewish, or other faiths.
Currency: The official currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Convertible Mark (Konvertibilna Marka or KM). It is officially abbreviated as BAM. This currency is tied to the EURO. Many private companies such as hotels, restaurants and other salesmen (street vendors, taxis etc) accept EURO (â‚¬) for payment, but it is always good to ask beforehand to avoid surprises. Occasionally, other currencies are accepted as well. Expect your change in KM however. Convertible Mark KM (1 KM = 100 phening). There are 5, 10, 20, 50 phening coins; 1, 2, 5 KM coins and 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 KM banknotes.
Foreign currencies: can be exchanged at banks, exchange offices, post offices and at most tourist agencies, hotels. Banking hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays banks are open until 1 p.m.
Credit cards: Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa). Cash dispensing machines are ubiquitous.
Electricity: Voltage of city power grid 220V, frequency 50HZ
Water: Tap water is potable throughout BiH
Population: 3.922.205 (2003)
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