Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country of long and rich history. The whole cities are memorials to past times, such as Jajce, Kraljeva Sutjeska, Bobovac, Vranduk, Počitelj, Prusac, Mostar, Sarajevo , Tešanj, Maglaj, Gradačac, Stolac, and otrs.
The antique villa on Mogorjelo near Čapljina, the late antique basilica in Breza, the complex of Roman buildings in Putovići near Zenica and in Ilidža near Sarajevo, are archeological locations of first degree. Art historians registered around 3,000 items, for which, according to UNESCO standards, conservation and restoration undertakings should be carried out.
If we were to look for an authentic symbol of this country, that would probably be stećak – an artifact of original Bosnian cult art. Stećci (plural of stećak) were first of all tombstones. These massive stones, their relief drawings and their lapidary writings contain symbols of the lost life. Stećci are markings of time and testaments of ancient people who felt the need to share very important things with future.
One can find stećci throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in Radimlja near town Stolac they form a unique necropolis of this kind in the world.
In the National Museum , as maybe its most valuable exhibit, a Hagada is kept, one of the most beautiful books of its kind in the world. This is a written Hebrew illuminated codex on thinned leather, from the late 14 th or early 15 th century, originating from Spain.
Very valuable examples of Bosnia and Herzegovinian literary heritage are Hval's Anthology, Hrvoje's missal, and other ancient church transcripts.
The Gazi Husrev-bey's library owns an exceptionally valuable calligraphic transcript of the Quran, decorated with rich ornamental elements. This unique literary monument was given as a gift to the library by the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire and the benefactor, originating from this region, Mehmed-Pasha Sokolović.
BIH CULTURE LEADING FIGURES
He was born in a village Dolac near Travnik in 1892. After finishing elementary and high school in Travnik, Višegrad and Sarajevo, Andrić continued his studies in Zagreb, Vienna and Krakow.
After receiving a doctorate in Graz in 1923, he joined the diplomatic core of the newly established Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Andrić left his last diplomatic mission, the ambassadorship in Berlin, immediately after Germany attacked and occupied Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941.
After returning to Belgrade, Andrić retired from public life, writing in the isolation of his home some of the best Romanesque, narrative and essay works in Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian language.
During the World War II he wrote his most important book – a novel “Na Drini ćuprija” (Bridge across Drina), for which he received a Nobel prize in 1961.
His other work – Travnička hronika, Gospođica, Pripovijetke, Prokleta avlija, and others belong to the highest category of literary art.
Andrić died on 13 March 1975.
Mehmedalija Meša Selimović
He was born in 1910 in Tuzla. After graduating from the Philosophic Faculty in Belgrade, until the World War II broke out, he worked as a gymnasium professor in his hometown. He was imprisoned in 1942 and in 1943 he joined partisans, the antifascist army of the peoples of Yugoslavia. After the war, he worked for a while as a university teacher in Sarajevo and assumed many important cultural duties. He spent his last years in Belgrade, his wife's hometown.
Selimović is a prosaic writer with variety of themes and genre orientation. His literary opus includes several books of short stories, novels, studies, essays, and polemic writings.
He achieved his biggest success with the novel “Derviš i smrt” (Dervish and death), for which he received all Yugoslav awards. His following novel "Tvrđava" (Fortress) (1970) was also very popular.
Meša Selimović died in Belgrade on 11 July 1982.
Dizdar's most famous poem collection "Kameni spavač; - The Stone Sleeper" (1966), was inspired by the cult traditional art of stečci. Other collections of Dizdar, such as Vidovopoljske noći, Plivačica, Okrutnosti kruga, Koljena za madonu, Modra rijeka and others, are also very popular among poetry lovers.
Vladimir Prelog was born in 1906 in Sarajevo, who was at the time within the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
He finished high school in Zagreb and received his university degree from the Czech Institute for Technology in Prague in 1929.
The university and research and scientific carrier of Vladimir Prelog was closely tied to the great scientist Leopold Ruzicka, who was his professor in the studies.
Ruzicka saved Prelog in the beginning of World War II by inviting him to work in the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), where he completely developed his scientific potential, based on which in 1975 he split a reward for chemistry with the Australian scientist J.W. Cornforth.
Vladimir Prelog died on 7 January 1989.