LUKOMIR – the highest and most isolated village in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Lukomir

At almost 1,500 meters above the sea level, there is the highest and most isolated village in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Lukomir. This village belongs to the municipality of Konjic, it is located about 50 kilometers away from Sarajevo and represents a symbol of the historical, cultural, architectural, and environmental heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It is unique for its old stone houses, which are about 200 years old and covered with cherry wood shingles, as well as for its traditional clothes, women today wear knitted garments that have been worn centuries ago.

According to the stories of the locals, the village is more than 300 years old, and the origin of the name is not known. It is speculated that i tis the combination of words harbor (luka) and peace (mir), and this village is that indeed. However, the tombstones at the edge of the village say that the village was inhabited in 14th and 15th century.

BOSNIAN HIGHLANDERS

A version of history of today’s Lukomir gives plenty of evidence that the population descended from Podveležje in Herzegovina. These semi-nomadic tribes, due to a lack of water during the summer months, would move to Bjelašnica. Podveležje, dry plateau above Mostar, did not provide sufficient plants during the summer months so that the tribes could survive.

For reasons not fully familiar, many of the inhabitants of Podveležje permanently settled in the canyon, and later at the place where village is now located. Families Čomor and Maslešawere and still are most numerous families in Lukomir.

Between Bjelašnica and Visočica there is a canyon of the river Rakitnica, village Lukomir is set on the edge of the canyon and then there si the abyss 800 meters deep. At the edge of the village, there is a lookout over the canyon, with a view to the east, to the beginning and to the west, towards the end of the canyon.

Traditional way of life of the Bosnian highlanders is still practiced here. Gumption and courage of the inhabitants of this village is Robinson like. They built mills on the river streams and certain currents of Rakitnica, leaning those on the relatively unstable blocks. Grassy slopes were so exposed that they tied themselves to trees, and unfurled a rope from tree, bit by bit, in order to mow, thus conquering meter by meter of meadows.

The road from the village Šabići to Lukomir is paved, but the last 11 kilometers is a winding dirt road that first leads through the bare karst landscapes, and then through a landscape with flower meadows. Hiking through high mountain pastures below the highest peaks of the mountain is a unique experience. During winter, this road is covered in snow and one can reach village, on the border of controlled adventure, only by using skis.

NATIONAL MONUMENT

The cultural landscape – Lukomir was declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Objects located in the village of Lukomir are 96 facilities, of which 46 residential buildings, 49 industrial facilities and the building of the former school, a necropolis with 18 tombstones at Vlaško cemetery and necropolis with nine tombstones at Jezerine.

Life in Lukomir depends of the season. From late April until September people are doing mainly animal husbandry and agriculture. When winter comes, most of the inhabitants move to lower altitudes.

Besides houses of locals and idyllic picture of life, there is the ethnographic house, where one can spend the night. Each year the village is visited by more and more tourists, and locals in Lukomir are kind and hospitable. They will offer you a cup of coffee or homemade tea, make Bosnian pie, tell legends and folklore of this region and introduce you to their life, which is the same as it used to be hundreds of years ago.

To what extent this village is lively and interesting speaks the fact that movies “Silent Gunpowder“ and “Skies above the Landscape“ were filmed there.

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