Vjerski turizam

Religious Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina

On a small territory with a small number of people of Slavic origin who speak the same language, three Mediterranean civilizations met - of Western Europe in the form of Catholicism, Byzantium in the form of Orthodoxy and the Ottoman Empire in the form of Islam. When the Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal at the end 15 century the Turks offered them asylum and since they have been the fourth cultural component in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Despite all the human, inter-religious and inter-ethnic conflicts, and temptations, different cultural systems inherited for generations were just the ones who created this kind of Bosnia and Herzegovina in which the people have an innate consciousness and pride, regardless of their religion or ethnicity.

The turbulent past and the events of the past centuries have led to the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the creation of an environment in which different religions co-exist, interact and complement each other. So in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Sarajevo which is its capital city, it is possible to visit various religious shrines in a ten minute walk - shrines of Muslims - Ghazi Husrev Bey Mosque, Orthodox - Congregational Church, Catholics - the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, and the Sarajevo synagogue.

After the appearance of the Virgin Mary, Medjugorje in the last twenty years has become a modern center of religious tourism and destination of many pilgrims from all over the world. Medjugorje - in addition to Lourdes and Fatima - has become the most famous Marian shrine in the world. Groups of pilgrims come from all over the world every day, and the rough statistics show that Medjugorje is visited by more than a million worshippers every year that have approximately 15,000 beds available in hotels and family pensions adjusted to modern requirements of religious tourism.

Apart from Medjugorje, the most attractive destination on the map of BIH religious tourism is Ajvaz dedina cave, i.e. the Muslim religious and cultural event in Ajvatovica at Prusac. Ajvatovica is the famous pilgrimage site of Bosniaks in Bosnia and tens of thousands of Muslim pilgrims from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the world come every year to Ajvatovica to study the "rain prayer" for Allah's mercy and for a successful new year.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is decorated with many objects of religious and cultural significance of the worshippers of the Orthodox faith, which represent true national shrines.

Notable are also monasteries dating from the 13th and 15th centuries: Tvrdoš, Dobričevo Dobričevo, Ozren, Gomionica, Liplje, Moštanci, Dobrun and a church in Čajniče, which stores the miraculous icon of the Virgin, which, according to tradition, from Three Hands, was painted by the Apostle Luke.

Among the most attractive destinations of religious tourism in BIH are also: Olovska Gospa, Monastery Žitomislići, Kraljeva Sutjeska, Humac Herzegovina, House of Peace Prozor - Rama, and the Maiden cave and the pilgrimage site in Brateljevići at Kladanj.

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