It is 20 years since the start of the war in Bosnia

I find it very difficult to comprehend that the war in the Balkans could and did happen. It is now twenty years since the war started in Bosnia. When the troubles started in the Balkans and when they ended depends, I guess, a bit on how you want to count.

In 2006 we had the occasion to travel to the Balkans. We were there mainly for the wine of course. We visited Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and Montenegro. It was a fascinating trip – not far away from home counted in kilometres but very far away in culture and history. And yet, not really.

It is also a very beautiful region that should have a great future as a tourism destination.

When we were there in 2006, several years after the troubles and the fighting had ended, much was mended, repaired and renovated. But not all. In some places there were still signs, very real signs, of that there had been a war here not very long ago. It was perhaps most visible in Mostar, a place very much damaged by the fighting.

Somewhat inspired by The Atlantic’s In Focus 20 Years Since The Bosnian War, here are some of our photographs from our visit.

We have many more photos from the region, much of it is on wines, vineyards and wineries of course. Use the image search function to find them.

The border crossing between Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sign saying ‘Welcome’ Klobuk. Trebinje region. Republika Srpska. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

View over the city at sunset. Mosque minarets. Franciscan Monastery and church. Hill with a cross on the hilltop in the background Historic town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

View over the city at sunset. Along The sopping, pedestrian and cafe street Brace Fejica. View of the old shopping centre that was bombed during the war now abandoned. Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. Historic town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

View over the city at sunset. Along The sopping, pedestrian and cafe street Brace Fejica. Mosque minarets. Historic town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

View over the city at sunset. Mosque minarets. Franciscan Monastery and church. Hill with a cross on the hilltop in the background Historic town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A rock inscribed with Don’t Forget ’93 referring to the war on the Onescukova street. Historic town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A man standing on a rock fishing in the river Neretva. Historic town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A view over the vineyards planted on the plain along the river Neretva, in the Mostar Citluk region near the village Zitomislici, with dramatic mountains framing the valley. Zitomislici at bottom. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. An old shopping centre on the Brace Fejica street. An abandoned news stand. A woman walking by. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. An old shopping centre on the Brace Fejica street. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A graveyard with many recent tombs from the war with white tombstones. Along Marsala Tita Tito street. Historic town of Mostar. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. Sign under street light saying ‘Attention. Dangerous ruin. Access to the ruin and vehicle parking forbidden’ Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A graveyard with many recent tombs from the war with white tombstones. Along Marsala Tita Tito street. Historic town of Mostar. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. Apartment block building. Half the building has been renovated and looks in good shape. The other half is not renovated. Contrast. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. A bizarre contrast with a bill board advertisement saying ‘Harmony’ publicity for tissue and toilet paper and showing a happy young child eating ice-cream. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. The Third Primary School building along Ante Starcevica street. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. The Third Primary School building along Ante Starcevica street. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Street scene with commuter bus. Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. Building facade commemorating the reconstruction of the bridge in 2004. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. Mostar’s most prominent Orientalist building Franc Blazek’s Gymnasium built in 1902 with classical proportions and Islamic details. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. Musala area as seen from the west side of the Neretva River. Tito’s Villa (left) and the Neretva Hotel (right) severely damaged. Tito’s villa, restored. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. Mostar’s most prominent Orientalist building Franc Blazek’s Gymnasium built in 1902 with classical proportions and Islamic details. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A young woman with very small shorts looking at a stall selling tourist souvenirs and sun glasses. The source of the Buna river and the house of the Whirling Dervishes, an old Muslim monastery, Blagaj. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A sign saying that almost everything is forbidden: no football or playing, swimming, bicycling, fishing, music, bottles, drinks, wine, dogs, animals, fire, swimming, bathing, kissing, love. Ending with Thank you. The source of the Buna river and the house of the Whirling Dervishes, an old Muslim monastery, Blagaj. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

The source of the Buna river at the old Muslim monastery called the House of the Whirling Dervishes, below an impressive vertical cliff drop. Wide panorama. The source of the Buna river and the house of the Whirling Dervishes, an old Muslim monastery, Blagaj. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

The source of the Buna river at the old Muslim monastery called the House of the Whirling Dervishes, below an impressive vertical cliff drop. Panorama format. The source of the Buna river and the house of the Whirling Dervishes, an old Muslim monastery, Blagaj. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

The source of the Buna river at the old Muslim monastery called the House of the Whirling Dervishes, below an impressive vertical cliff drop. Waterfall. The source of the Buna river and the house of the Whirling Dervishes, an old Muslim monastery, Blagaj. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A view over the vineyards planted on the plain along the river Neretva, in the Mostar Citluk region near the village Zitomislici, with dramatic mountains framing the valley. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Building in Mostar damaged by the war and still not renovated. Ruined by bullet holes, mortar bomb shell grenade damage, very close to the beautifully renovated old town city centre. Along a busy main street in evening light with yellow street light giving an eerie atmosphere. Town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A very wide panorama from the old bridge along the Neretva river. Koski Mehmed Pasha’s Pasa mosque. The busy old market bazaar street Kujundziluk. Sunset. Sun just disappearing behind the rooftops. Historic town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

Panorama of the busy old market bazaar street Kujundziluk with lots of tourist craft and art shops and street merchants. Sunset late afternoon light. View along the river of the old reconstructed bridge. Restaurants cafes along the river bed. Historic town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

View along the river of the old reconstructed bridge. Sunset late afternoon light. Historic town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

View along the river of the old reconstructed bridge. The busy old market bazaar street Kujundziluk with lots of tourist craft and art shops and street merchants. A sign saying ‘don’t forget’ Historic town of Mostar. Federation Bosne i Hercegovine. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A grave yard church yard burial place with many recent graves with narrow and high white grave stones. Trebinje. Republika Srpska. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A panoramic view across the tremendously impressive Orin or Bijela Gora mountain tops close to the border to Montenegro on the road between Trebinje and Niksic. View of the river Trebisnjica in a steep valley.. Trebinje. Republika Srpska. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A panoramic view across the tremendously impressive Orin or Bijela Gora mountain tops close to the border to Montenegro on the road between Trebinje and Niksic. Trebinje region. Republika Srpska. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

A panoramic view across the tremendously impressive Orin or Bijela Gora mountain tops close to the border to Montenegro on the road between Trebinje and Niksic. Trebinje region. Republika Srpska. Bosnia Herzegovina, Europe.

All photographs can be licensed for editorial use or purchased as prints for personal use.

Print Friendly
Share

, , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to comments:

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.