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Shrapnel-strafed buildings in the Dobrinja neighbourhood of Sarajevo

Bosnia-Hercegovina is a crossroads country. Sandwiched between Croatia and Serbia, it's been a zone of contention since Occident and Orient first began arm-wrestling for it. It's been through Christian, Muslim and Orthodox hands; for a while its people seemed to enjoy their multi-cultural milieu.

Then in 1992, after a disputed vote for independence, Bosnian Serb nationalists shattered social harmony with the help of the federal army and Serb officials. The resulting three-way civil war pitted Muslim Slavs, Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats - all former neighbours - against one another.

The war devastated the country's infrastructure and already deflated economy, left refugees numbering in the millions and gave its partisans the ignominious distinction of having introduced the phrase 'ethnic cleansing' into modern parlance. Although travellers are beginning to return to Bosnia-Hercegovina, especially the gorgeous Sarajevo, it will be many years before the scars heal and the country again boasts a significant tourist draw.

Facts for the traveller
Money & Costs
Off the beaten track
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