Bosnia-Herzegovina flagBosnia-Herzegovina <<BOZ nee uh or BAWS nee uh, HURT suh goh VEE nuh or HEHRT seh goh VEE nuh>> is a country in southeastern Europe. It is often called Bosnia. It shares borders with Croatia in the north, west, and south, and Serbia and Montenegro in the east. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city.


The northern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina is covered with mountains and thick forests. The southern part has some rocky hills and flat farmland.

Winters in the area are cold and snowy. Summers are warm in the valleys but cool in the high mountain areas. The far northern part of Bosnia has cold winters and dry, hot summers.

Resources and products

Bosnia-Herzegovina is rich in a number of natural resources. It has vast forests and large sources of iron and coal. During the 1990′s, civil war destroyed many industries, buildings, and roads. The country’s economy has improved since the war ended. However, Bosnia is one of the poorest countries in Europe.


Bosnia-Herzegovina-old-bridgeMore than half of Bosnia’s people live in small villages. The rest live in cities.

Muslims are the largest group of people in Bosnia. Muslims are people who follow the faith of Islam. The next largest group is the Serbs, who are Eastern Orthodox Christians. Croats, another large group, are Roman Catholic Christians. Bosnia also has small groups of Albanians, Roma (sometimes called Gypsies), and Ukrainians. Most of Bosnia’s people speak Bosnian, Croatian, or Serbian.


Bosnia-Herzegovina mapIn the past, several different countries ruled this area. The Turkish Ottoman Empire controlled what is now Bosnia from the 1400′s to the 1800′s. The Turks brought the religion of Islam to Bosnia. Austria-Hungary gained control in 1878.

In 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was killed in Sarajevo by a Serbian from Bosnia. This event sparked World War I (1914-1918).

In 1918, Bosnia-Herzegovina became part of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. This kingdom was later named Yugoslavia. In 1946, Yugoslavia became a country made up of six states called republics. One of these republics was Bosnia-Herzegovina. From 1945 to 1990, Communists controlled Yugoslavia. In 1990, non-Communists won control of the government.

In March 1992, Bosnia became independent. However, many of Bosnia’s Serbian people were against independence, and a civil war broke out. In December 1995, each group involved in the war signed a peace plan.

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