Bosnia (region)

Bosnia (region)

Historically and geographically, the region known as Bosnia (natively Bosna; Cyrillic: Босна) lies mainly in the Dinaric Alps, ranging to the southern borders of the Pannonian plain, with the rivers Sava and Drina marking its northern and eastern borders. The southern, Mediterranean, region of the country is Herzegovina.

The area of Bosnia comprises approximately 41,000 km², and makes up about 80% of the territory of the present-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are no true borders between the regions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and, unofficially, Herzegovina is south of Ivan-planina.

The two regions have formed a geopolitical entity since medieval times, and the name "Bosnia" commonly occurs in historical and geopolitical senses as generally referring to both regions (Bosnia and Herzegovina). The official use of the name including both regions started only in the late period of Ottoman-rule.


Inhabited by tribes since the 7th century, different areas of today's Bosnia were part of different Croatian, Serbian, and independent Bosnian states. The first Bosnian state was established under the ban Kulin in the 12th century. It was at its strongest under the king Tvrtko in the latter half of the 14th century. From then on, the Bosnian kingdom included most of the territory of today's Bosnia and of what would later become known as Herzegovina.

After losing its independence to the Ottoman Empire in 1463, Bosnia (including Herzegovina) was a state ("sanjak") within the empire for four centuries. The area acquired the name of "Bosnia and Herzegovina" in 1853 as a result of a twist in political events.

Austro-Hungarian Empire occupied it in 1878 and formally annexed it in 1908.

After the First World War, which started around a crisis involving Bosnia, it became a part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During the Second World War, from 1941 to 1945, Bosnia was a part of the fascist puppet Independent State of Croatia, but large areas of Bosnia were controlled by Partisan or Chetniks resistance forces. After the war Bosnia and Herzegovina became a constituent federal republic of socialist Yugoslavia.

During the breakup of Yugoslavia, in 1992 Bosnia and Herzegovina proclaimed independence. Many Bosnian Serbs opposed this and proclaimed their own Republika Srpska on the territories they controlled. A bloody war ensued in which Serbs were disproportionately stronger. The war ended with the 1995 Dayton Agreement establishing Bosnia and Herzegovina as comprising of two constituent territorial 'entities' -- the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, and three constituent peoples -- Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats.


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