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Balkan Highlights: Exploring Five Nations of the Former Yugoslavia

Program Number: 15878RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/16/2014 - 10/2/2014; 5/11/2015 - 5/27/2015; 9/14/2015 - 9/30/2015;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: Montenegro/Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina/Serbia/Slovenia
Price starting at: $4,390.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 43; 15 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 14 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Salt; Vegetarian; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

While they share the same ethnic background, deriving from seventh-century Slavic tribes, Bosnians, Croatians, Serbians and Slovenians have since lived under very different circumstances. All were once united as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which was later destroyed. The second Yugoslavia formed after World War II, but disbanded after the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s. Focus on the rich past and future of these five nations of the former Yugoslavia, seeking to be reunited as members of the European Union.




Highlights

• Admire the impressive Dinaric Alps en route from Sarajevo to Belgrade.
• Enjoy a boat excursion on the beautiful Adriatic Sea.
• Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mostar and its reconstructed Old Bridge, a symbol of reconciliation.



Activity Particulars

Walking through city streets; cobblestones and many stairs.




Date Specific Information

9-16-2014, 5-11-2015, 9-14-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Herceg Novi (Montenegro), 4 nights; coach to Split (Croatia), 2 nights; coach to Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina), 2 nights; coach to Belgrade (Serbia), 3 nights; coach to Zagreb, 2 nights; coach to Ljubljana (Slovenia), 2 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Herceg Novi (Montenegro)
4 nights

One of the smallest and newest countries in Europe, Montenegro regained its independence in 2006. Lectures introduce the two Balkan republics of Montenegro and Croatia and an excursion to Dubrovnik introduces the Pearl of the Adriatic. Explore the medieval architecture in Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



Coach to Split (Croatia)
2 nights

In Croatia’s second-largest city, discover the summer residence of the Roman emperor Diocletian, now a living museum of Classical and Medieval architecture. The palace has been absorbed by the city and people have lived among its walls for more than 1700 years.



Coach to Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
2 nights

Local experts focus on the history of and present-day life in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Muslims, Jews and Christians once offered their prayers in harmony. The Bascarsija bazaar evokes the city’s Ottoman past and the former Jewish quarter offers another perspective on the city’s history.



Coach to Belgrade (Serbia)
3 nights

In the former capital of Yugoslavia, discuss Serbian history and life in the modern Serb capital. Above the city, the ancient Kalemegdan Citadel keeps watch over the city and whose long history, beginning in the third-century B.C., reflects that of Belgrade itself.



Coach to Zagreb
2 nights

Marvel at the riches in the vibrant capital of European Union candidate Croatia before venturing to explore the nation’s natural wonders. In Plitvice Lake National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hike amid the park’s crystal clear lakes, waterfalls and idyllic cascades.



Coach to Ljubljana (Slovenia)
2 nights
Departure

As you acquaint yourself with the delightful capital city of Ljubljana, expert scholars consider the reasons for Slovenia’s success. A member of the European Union since 2004, Slovenia boasts a robust economy while its capital city boasts marvelous Art Nouveau architecture.




Accommodations
Herceg Novi: Resort by seaside promenade. Split: UNESCO-protected hotel with Diocletian's palace. Sarajevo: Hotel near historic Bascarsija section of town. Belgrade: Eclectic hotel with local flare in heart of city. Zagreb: Three-star hotel in city center. Ljubljana: Three-star hotel in heart of town.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hunguest Hotel Sun Resort
  Herceg Novi, Montenegro 4 nights
   Hotel Slavija
  Split, Croatia 2 nights
   Hotel Bosnia
  Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina 2 nights
   Design Hotel Mr. President
  Belgrade, Serbia 3 nights
   Arcotel Allegra Zagreb
  Zagreb, Croatia 2 nights
   City Hotel
  Ljubljana, Slovenia 2 nights
 Hunguest Hotel Sun Resort
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Hunguest Hotel Sun Resort is pleasantly situated by the seaside promenade. The heart of the historic downtown is a 5-minute walk away from the hotel.
  Contact info: ul. Sveta Bubala
Herceg Novi,  85340 Montenegro
phone: + 382 31 355 006
web: www.hunguesthotels.hu
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, hair dryer, mini bar, air conditioning and free wireless Internet access.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers two restaurants, a bar, café, lounge, laundry, fax, pay phone, Jacuzzi, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, wellness center (solarium, Finnish and infra sauna, massage rooms, manicure-pedicure), hairdresser, and an Internet corner.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404

 Hotel Slavija
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Hotel Slavija is in the core of the old town, a 5-minute walk on cobblestone streets to the airport bus terminal, the train, and the bus station. Due to its location within Diocletian's palace, Hotel Slavija is under the protection of UNESCO as an international monument of culture. The building was built above western Diocletian baths and can be traced back to the late 16th and early 17th century. The bus can stop approx. 300 meters from the hotel and participants must walk to the hotel.
  Contact info: Buvinina 2
Split,  21000 Croatia
phone: +385 21 323 840
web: www.hotelslavija.hr
  Room amenities: Each room has air conditioning, floor-heating, satellite/cable television, telephone, high speed Internet access, and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers laundry service, air conditioning, room service, safe-deposit box at the front desk and wireless Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hotel Bosnia
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Hotel Bosnia is located in the city center in the vicinity of the historic Bascarsija section of town. It often hosts major political, cultural and educational events.
  Contact info: Kulovica 9
Sarajevo,  71000 Bosnia-Herzegovina
phone: +387 33 567 010
web: www.bosniahotels.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a telephone, satellite television, hair dryer, mini bar and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, café, tavern, summer garden, lounge, meeting rooms, laundry, wireless Internet access, fax, and pay phones.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Design Hotel Mr. President
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of Belgrade, the Design Hotel Mr. President is a luxurious hotel that boasts unique local flare. Sculptures, paintings and modern art pieces by local artists adorn the interior of the hotel, and in each of the hotel's 61 rooms hangs a portrait of one of the world's presidents. Enjoy nearby restaurants and shops, along with the modern comforts and eclectic style of this Design Hotel.
  Contact info: Karadordeva 75
Belgrade,  11000 Serbia
phone: +381 11 360 22 22
web: www.hotelmrpresident.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, laundry services, air conditioning, mini bar, safe, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, lounge, air conditioning, laundry services, currency exchange, airport shuttle and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Arcotel Allegra Zagreb
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Arcotel Allegra Zagreb welcomes guests to the heart of the city. Located in the newly constructed Branimir Center, the hotel combines style, the best of Mediterranean cuisine and modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay for all travelers.
  Contact info: Branimirova 29
Zagreb,  10000 Croatia
phone: +385 1 4696 000
web: www.arcotelhotels.com/en/allegra_hotel_zagreb
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, manual temperature control, safe, mini bar, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, lounge, 24-hour front desk, air conditioning, business center, laundry services, currency exchange and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 City Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Rebuilt in 2007, the three-star City Hotel offers all modern amenities with a cheerful design and staff. It is located in the center of Ljubljana.
  Contact info: Dalmatinova 15
Ljubljana,  61000 Slovenia
phone: +386 1 239 00 00
web: www.cityhotel.si
  Room amenities: Each room has a hair dryer, air conditioning, television, telephone and free wireless Internet access.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, lounge, air conditioning, laundry service, fax machine and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Herceg Novi, Montenegro. 6:00 PM Welcome Dinner in hotel dining room. You will be staying at Hunguest Hotel Sun Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Ljubljana, Slovenia. After breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at City Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Ferry, bus and train also operate in the region, more exact details can be found on www.croatia.hr, www.slovenia.info, www.visit-montenegro.com
To Start of Program
  Location:  Herceg Novi
  Nearest city or town:  Dubrovnik (Croatia)
  Nearest highway: A1
  Nearest airport:  Tivat (25 km), Dubrovnik (29 km)
  Transportation to site: The hotel offers transfers from Dubrovnik and from Tivat as well. The price depends on how many people travel at the same time: 1-3 persons costs 40 Euro for one car; 4-15 persons costs 150 Euro for a minivan. Contact the hotel to book.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Ljubljana
  Nearest city or town:  Ljubljana
  Nearest highway: A1, A2
  Nearest airport:  Ljubljana Airport
  Transportation from site: Take the airport shuttle. The trip is approx. 45 minutes, and the shuttle runs every hour. Alternatively, you may wish to take a taxi which takes approx. 30 minutes and costs 35 Euro/car.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: In Transit
(Monday, May 11)
   
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight to Dubrovnik.

Day 2: Welcome Dinner / Orientation
(Tuesday, May 12)
   
 Afternoon: Arrival. Transfer from the airport in Dubrovnik (DBV) to the hotel in Herceg Novi. Orientation meeting at 5:30 PM.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hunguest Hotel Sun Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Herceg Novi
(Wednesday, May 13)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Boat excursion on the Adriatic in Herceg Novi Bay.
 Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant in Herceg Novi.
 Afternoon: We will enjoy a guided walk in Herceg Novi. Founded in 1382, this medieval town was formerly known as Castel Nuovo, because of its many fortresses. Explore the winding streets, the Forte Mare, and the port of the city. Some free time to relax or explore. Then take in a lecture on the history and present day life of Montenegro.
 Dinner: Buffet dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hunguest Hotel Sun Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Kotor
(Thursday, May 14)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We have an excursion in Montenegro's coastal town of Kotor. A World Heritage Site, Kotor is situated at the head of Southern Europe’s deepest fjord, nestled at the foot of a high cliff. We explore its labyrinthine streets and piazzas.
 Lunch: Lunch in Kotor at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Kotor before returning to the hotel for the remainder of the afternoon.
 Dinner: Buffet dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hunguest Hotel Sun Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Dubrovnik
(Friday, May 15)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We will walk through the beautiful town of Dubrovnik, a World Heritage Site.
 Lunch: Lunch in the old town.
 Afternoon: Free time in Dubrovnik to explore on your own or walk along the walls. Return to Herceg Novi.
 Dinner: Buffet dinner in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: Lecture on the present day life of Croatia with a special focus on Dalmatia.
   
Accommodations: Hunguest Hotel Sun Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Cetina Valley / Split
(Saturday, May 16)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We travel to Split along the beautiful seafront, enjoying the view of the picturesque islands and the rich Mediterranean vegetation.
 Lunch: We will have lunch en route at a local restaurant in Omis.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Cetina Valley during a boat ride along the river. Then take a walk in Omis before continuing to Split.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Slavija
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Diocletian’s Palace
(Sunday, May 17)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We enjoy an excursion to Diocletian’s Palace in Split (World Heritage Site). The palace is a living showcase of 1700 years of history.
 Lunch: Lunch in the old town of Split.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon in Split. You may want to see the Gallery of Ivan Mestrovic, the best known Croatian born sculptor.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Slavija
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Mostar
(Monday, May 18)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We travel to Sarajevo. In the late morning, we stop in Mostar (World Heritage Site) and take a guided walk. The old bridge of Mostar symbolizes the unity of the different nationalities living in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The bridge was destroyed in the war, but was rebuilt in its original shape in 2004.
 Lunch: We will enjoy a lunch en route, in Mostar.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time in Mostar. Continue to Sarajevo.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Bosnia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Sarajevo
(Tuesday, May 19)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture on the history and present day of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
 Lunch: Lunch in the hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: We take a guided excursion in Sarajevo. We will see such sights as the "War Tunnel" which kept the city alive during the war, the former Austro-Hungarian area, the Bascarsija bazaar and the former Jewish quarter. Some free time to explore on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Bosnia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Dinaric Alps
(Wednesday, May 20)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We travel to Belgrade. During this journey, we will cross the impressive Dinaric Alps.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant en route.
 Afternoon: Lecture on historic as well as current life in Serbia.
 Dinner: Buffet dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Design Hotel Mr. President
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Novi Sad / Fruska Gora
(Thursday, May 21)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Full day excursion to northern Serbia, where we will explore the city of Novi Sad. We also have the opportunity to visit Fruska Gora, a tranquil national park filled with monasteries and vineyards.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue our excursion. Visit the Krusedol Orthodox Monastery, and experience a wine tasting in the beekeeping museum, before going back to Belgrade.
 Dinner: Buffet dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Design Hotel Mr. President
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Belgrade
(Friday, May 22)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: An exciting excursion through Belgrade. We will see the old Kalemegdan fortress, St. Sava Church, and the main pedestrian street, Knez Mihajlova, which is always alive with activity.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant on Skadarlija Street in the bohemian quarter of Belgrade. Enjoy live music with dinner.
   
Accommodations: Design Hotel Mr. President
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Zagreb
(Saturday, May 23)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We travel to Zagreb. Along the way we will cross the northeastern part of Croatia, the “bread-basket” of the country.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch en route.
 Afternoon: A guided excursion in Zagreb – we will see the Cathedral as well as St. Mark’s Church.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Arcotel Allegra Zagreb
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Plitvice Lake National Park
(Sunday, May 24)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: An excursion to Plitvice Lake National Park (World Heritage Site). Plitvice is the most beautiful national park of Croatia, with crystal clear lakes, amazing waterfalls and cascades. We will hike a few hours in the park.
 Lunch: Enjoy a unique trout lunch in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Drive back to Zagreb, some free time in the city.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Arcotel Allegra Zagreb
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Ljubljana
(Monday, May 25)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We travel to Ljubljana. On our way, we will cross the rolling hills of the Dolenjska region.
 Lunch: Hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: A guided excursion through Ljubljana by bus and on foot. We will explore the diplomatic area of the city by bus, and walk through the charming downtown to appreciate its unique character designed by the famous architect, José Plecnik.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: City Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Lecture on Slovenia
(Tuesday, May 26)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture on Slovenia and discussion to wrap up the program.
 Lunch: Lunch in the hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner with folklore program at a restaurant.
   
Accommodations: City Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Departures
(Wednesday, May 27)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to the Ljubljana/Slovenia (LJU) airport for departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Split Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum, located north of the Old Town, has a large stock of archaeological objects from prehistoric times; from the period of the Greek colonization of the Adriatic and from the Roman, Early Christian and early Medieval ages. It is the oldest museum in Croatia. For additional information, visit www.mdc.hr/split-arheoloski
  The Split City Museum
Within the complex of Medieval buildings is the Gothic palace of the Papalic family, designed and built by the native master Juraj of Dalmatia and his stone carvers. The museum shows artifacts from the medieval period of Split. For additional information, visit www.mgst.net
  Zagreb Croatian History Museum
Located in a beautiful 18th-century Baroque palace, this museum houses more than 140,000 artifacts from the cultural and national heritage of Croatia from the Middle Ages to the present day. Everything from stone monuments to fine art, and religious artifacts to heraldry is on display.
  Croatian Museum of Architecture
Founded in 1995, the museum holds a collection of about 18,000 copies of various archival materials including plans, drawings, models, photographs, slides, correspondence, and other documents related to the history of Croatian architecture.
  Ljubljana Food Market
Explore how Slovenians do their daily shopping at the old food market in Ljubljana.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers, 1804-2011


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Balkan Ghosts, A Journey through History


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Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia


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Description: First published in 1941, this monumental work explores the complex history of Yugoslavia, its heroes, politics and culture. It's a big, challenging book -- some call it the best ever written on the Balkans.



How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed


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Description: These short essays capture the absurdity, struggle and day-to-day reality of being a woman in Yugoslavia under Communism. Drakulic is an award-winning Croatian journalist and novelist.



Lonely Planet Southeastern Europe


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Description: A compact, practical guide to the region from Slovenia and Croatia, to Bosnia & Hercegovina, Serbia & Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania, as well as Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.



Montenegro, A Novel


Author: Starling Lawrence


Description: Steeped in atmosphere, this compelling tale of intrigue set in turn-of-the-century Montenegro evokes the tangled politics of the region -- Muslim, Turk and British. Lawrence follows the adventures of a reluctant British spy, Harwell Auberon, from the Adriatic to mountain villages, capturing the essence of the people and the land.



Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of the Balkans


Author: Dennis Hupchick


Description: The changing borders and complex history of the Balkans are clearly and concisely shown through 50 double-page maps and accompanying essays, organized chronologically.



Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Yugoslavia, Macedonia Map


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Description: A handy, folded regional travel map (at a scale of 1:1,000,0000), covering former Yugoslavia.



Spies of the Balkans


Author: Alan Furst


Description: A master storyteller, Furst places senior police official Costa Zannis at the center of this taut World War II thriller, his eleventh. The action (and there is plenty) plays out against a backdrop of the Nazi occupation of Salonika.



The Balkans in World History


Author: Andrew Wachtel


Description: A professor at Northwestern University, Wachtel focuses on the traditions and contributions of overlapping cultures in this lively short history.



The Balkans, A Short History


Author: Mark Mazower


Description: With eloquence and clarity, Mazower addresses the issues of geography, nationalism and nation in this indispensable survey.



The Balkans, From Constantinople to Communism


Author: Dennis Hupchick


Description: Hupchick looks at European, Orthodox Christian and Muslim influences in the Balkans from early kingdoms through the 1990s in this important survey.



The Bridge on the Drina


Author: Ivo Andric, Lovette F. Edwards (Translator)


Description: These linked stories by the Nobel Prize-winning author capture the history and complexity of Christian and Muslim relations during Ottoman occupation. Hewn of stone, the bridge dividing the town of Visegrad was Andric's inspiration.



Yugoslavia, Death of a Nation


Author: Laura Silber, Allan Little


Description: Called "one of the finest volumes to come out of the war" by the New York Times, this book combines eyewitness reports, political commentary and documentary photographs to elucidate the origins and aftermath of the breakup of Yugoslavia.



Zagreb, A Cultural History


Author: Celia Hawkesworth


Description: An illuminating account of the tumultuous but vibrant history of Croatia's capital, with a strong focus on the art and architecture of the city.





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