Međugorje – the tourist phenomenon of Bosnia and Herzegovina
If you are a Catholic then you may have already heard about Međugorje. A small, but a unique village in the center of Herzegovina which won’t leave you indifferent. Međugorje is one of the most famous Catholic pilgrimage destinations in the world. It became so in recent history through the apparitions of the Virgin Mary. It began to appear as a phenomenon in 1981 when the Virgin Mary appeared in front of three little children. According to them, they still experience apparitions once a year.
This event has changed the course of development of this place, so today Međugorje is one of the most visited places in Bosnia and Hercegovina, along with Sarajevo and Mostar. This wouldn’t be strange if we would talk about some city, but Međugorje is a place with around 1300 inhabitants. This fact makes one million number even larger!
Despite this huge number of Catholics from around the world visiting Međugorje every year, be sure that you will find your peace in this place. The heart of the gathering is the church of St. James in the center of town. Around it, you will find many places for peace and prayer. Just behind the church, there is a large plateau where, in the summertime, masses are held.
The place that gives Međugorje a special charm is Podbrdo, a place of apparition. This typical Herzegovinian hill is full of rocks that are worn out and stand as witness to numerous people crossing them. If you are visiting Međugorje, than you should definitely go to Podbrdo too. The trail leading to the top and to the statue of the Virgin Mary is illuminated. That means that you can also visit this holy place at night. Peace, prayer, happiness, determination, faith. These words that can describe the atmosphere at Podbrdo and in Međugorje too.
International youth festival “Mladifest”
One of the main events in Međugorje through the year is a youth festival called Mladifest. This festival is held from 1st – 6th of August each year and it is one of the biggest events in whole Herzegovina. Young people from all over the world with their performances and presence represent the beauty of life, coexistence, understanding, and peace among people. Their performances bring part of their culture and specialty.
As Međugorje is only half an hour away from Mostar, it is really convenient to spend a few nights at this festival. You can enjoy a unique atmosphere and happiness created by young people from all over the world. Besides that, it can be involved in special Hit Booker day trips which will give you the opportunity to visit some historical and natural heritage of Herzegovina such as Kravice Waterfalls or Fortress of Herceg Stjepan in Ljubuški as well.