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While there is no official border distinguishing it from the Bosnian geographical region, it is sometimes asserted that the borders of the region are Dalmatia to the southwest, Montenegro to the east, Mount Maglić to the northeast, and Mount Ivan to the north.The terrain of Herzegovina is mostly hilly karst with high mountains in the north such as Čvrsnica and Prenj, except for the central valley of the river Neretva River.The Candian War of 1645 to 1669 caused great damage to the region as the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire fought for control over Dalmatia and coastal Herzegovina.As a result of the Treaty of Karlowitz of 1699, the Ottomans gained access to the Adriatic Sea through the Neum-Klek coastal area.Čapljina and Ljubuški are known for their history and their rivers; the village of Međugorje has religious importance for many Catholics.In the modern Bosnian-Herzegovinian state, Herzegovina is divided between two entities, Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The upper flow of the Neretva River lies in the northern parts of Herzegovina, a heavily forested area with fast flowing rivers and high mountains. The Neretva rises on Lebršnik Mountain, close to the border to Montenegro, and as the river flows towards west, it enters Herzegovina.
The Ottomans were the first to begin officially using the name Herzegovina (Hersek) for the region.
The Bosnian beylerbey Isa-beg Ishaković mentioned the name in a letter from 1454.
The last pre-war census in 1991 recorded a population of 437,095 inhabitants. What later became known as Herzegovina was divided between Croatia, Zachlumia and Travunija in the Early Middle Ages.
Parts of the region were later ruled by various medieval rulers, with the eastern part mostly within Medieval Serbia, and the western part in the Kingdom of Croatia.