Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Cultural Highlights @ Limkokwing University of Creative Technology

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Cultural Highlights

28 June 2017

Bosnia and Herzegovina boasts centuries of artistic culture adopted from Balkan, Asian and European influences.

The country’s history is marked in its old architecture, literature, visual arts, music, cinema, sports and cuisine. Turkish influences are evident in aspects of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s culture as the country was occupied by the Ottomans for almost 400 years.

People and Religion

Bosnia and Herzegovina has three main ethnic groups. With approximately 3.8 million people, Bosniaks make up 50.1% of the population, Serbs 30.8%, Croats 14.3%, and other 2.8%.

The three major ethnic groups share the same South Slav heritage but differ in religious origin or affiliation. Bosniaks are associated with Islam, Bosnian Croats with the Roman Catholic Church, and Bosnian Serbs with the Serb Orthodox Church.

Muslims make up 51% of the population, Orthodox 30.7%, Roman Catholic 15.2%, atheist 0.8%, agnostic 0.3%, and other 1.2%.

Art and Architecture

Religion had a major influence in the art and architecture of Bosnia. The country has more than 60,000 medieval tombstones of the Bosnian Kingdom located in over 2,600 sites.

Art in the form of early church paintings and carved panels showcases several religious icons of biblical study and saints associated with Catholic and Orthodox churches, synagogues, and mosques. Bey’s Mosque is the largest Islamic monument and landmark in the country.

Literature and Visual Arts

Bosnian literature can be traced back to the ancient monasteries and churches. Matija Divković, Bosnian Franciscan and writer is considered to be the founder of the modern literature of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ivo Andric is a famous Bosnian novelist who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1961. Prominent poets include Antun Branko Šimić, Aleksa Šantić, Jovan Dučić and Mak Dizdar.

In 1919, the National Theater was founded in Sarajevo. It was directed by the famous Branislav Nušić.

The Europe Cities site states that Bosnia and Herzegovina has also produced many distinguished films. A peak in Bosnian cinema included the production of the film No Man’s Land, directed by Denis Tanovic. In 2002, the film won an Academy Award.


The economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina is reliant on the export of metals, energy, textiles, and furniture as well as on remittances and foreign aid.

According to the World Factbook, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s top economic priorities are: acceleration of integration into the EU; strengthening the fiscal system; public administration reform; World Trade Organization membership; and securing economic growth by fostering a dynamic, competitive private sector.

This article is part of a series highlighting the unique cultures featured in the recently concluded Limkokwing International Cultural Festival 2017.

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