Meet Hercegovina

The first traces of life in today's area of Široki Brijeg date from the time of ancient Illyrian town called Zvonigrad. Numerous Illyrians lived here in pre-Roman times, what can be concluded looking at the walls of the large, well shaped blocks of stone that resembles the technique of Illyrian Daors very much. 

From all historical and artistic medieval findings, the most mysterious and the most suggestive ones are certainly stećci - tombstones that can be found throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina (and in Croatia and Montenegro also). Stećak definitely became the most famous symbol of this region. 

The present name of the village Mokro near Široki Brijeg is in connection with the old city Mokriskik, which was mentioned in the second half of the fifth century by Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, in his work "De administrando imperio". 

The Kočerin Stone is the longest and one of the most important medieval stone inscriptions written in Bosancica (the Croatian Cyrillic script). It originates back from 1404 and it is placed as base of the stecak on the Viganj Milosevic’s grave in the necropolis called Lipovci, about a kilometer west of the town Kočerin.

The Franciscan monastery fatally affected the fate of the people in the region, but the educational and cultural aspects of life, too. The old church was the first church in western Herzegovina since the mid-sixteenth century, after the Turks destroyed all the churches and monasteries on the west side of the Neretva.

The construction of the church and the monastery in Široki Brijeg in the nineteenth century created the basic conditions for the procurement of paintings and sculptures. The painting called “Arrival of the Friars”, which was painted in the late summer of 1975 for the monastery dining room by Bruno Bulić, was the first step towards the realization of the idea of the gallery opening. 

The local people are really proud of Academy of Fine Arts, University of Mostar, which has started with its work in 1996. Because of the existence and work of this academy and its students, Široki Brijeg is full of the first-rate cultural events and exhibitions, which are important not only for this city but for the entire region, too. 

Mostarsko Blato is the karst field with the total surface of 3 800 ha, 1 500 ha of which is flooded every year due to heavy autumn and winter rains. The water level sometime reaches up to 10 meters. 

Lištica River, the second coldest river in Europe, is the river that flows through Široki Brijeg and into Neretva River. Due to the insufficient capacity of the abyss, Mostarsko Blato is often flooded, especially in the winter. During the Yugoslavia, the city was called Lištica, after the river. 

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Čapljina
Čapljina is a town in southwest Herzegovina, located on the right bank of Neretva River, with more than 26,000 inhabitants. The important highways and rail routes connecting the Adriatic Sea with Bosnia and with the Central Europe go through this town.
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Neum
Neum is a town in south Herzegovina and the only coastal town in this country, with 24 kilometers of Adriatic coastline. There are around 5,000 inhabitants in this town. Neumene was its historical name, which is first mentioned in 533.
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Medjugorje
Medjugorje is a little town in west Herzegovina, located about 25 kilometers south-west of Mostar and very close to the Croatian border. It is the main spiritual town in this region and the second-largest Catholic pilgrimage destination in the world, with around 5,000 inhabitants.
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Široki Brijeg
Široki Brijeg is the administrative center of the West Herzegovina Canton, located on the banks of Lištica River. It is also cultural and spiritual center of this area, with more than 30,000 inhabitants.
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Mostar
Mostar is the biggest city in Herzegovina, located on the banks of Neretva River. It is also cultural and economic center of this area, with more than 130,000 inhabitants. The city is named after bridge keepers, who guarded numerous bridges at the river, back in the medieval times.
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Ljubuški
Ljubuški is a town in the western parts of Herzegovina, located on the left bank of Trebižat River near the Croatian border and 35 kilometers from Mostar. It was first mentioned in 1444 as the acity of Lubussa.
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Kupres
Kupres is a town in north-western Herzegovina, located in the middle of the Kupres Plain (Kupreško polje), with more than 10,000 inhabitants. It was first mentioned in documents of Kingdom of Croatia.
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