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Herzegovina
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Herzegovina

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Herzegovina is the southern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The name Herzegovina comes from the medieval duchy of Stjepan Vukčić Kosača, who took the title Herceg [duke] of Saint Sava; hence the later name Herzegovina ‘land of the Herzeg’.

The largest city is Mostar, in the center of the region. Other larger towns include Trebinje, Stolac, Široki Brijeg, Posušje, Ljubuški, Grude, Konjic, and Čapljina.

The Neretva River  flows through the town of Konjic towards northwest. The river enters the Jablanica Reservoir (Jablaničko jezero), one of the largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The lake ends near the town of Jablanica. From here on, the Neretva turns southward continuing its course towards the Adriatic Sea.

Mostar is the best known and the unofficial capital. It is also the only city with over 100,000 citizens. There are no other large cities in Herzegovina, though some have illustrious histories. Stolac, for example, is perhaps the oldest city in Herzegovina. There have been settlements dating from the Paleolithic period (Badanj cave). An Illyrian tribe lived in the city of Daorson. There were several Roman settlements alongside the Bregava River and medieval inhabitants left large and beautiful stone grave monuments called stećak in Radimlja. Trebinje, on the Trebišnjica River, is the southernmost city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, near the border with Montenegro. Čapljina and Ljubuški are known for their history and their rivers; the village of Međugorje has religious importance for many Catholics.

In 1482, the lands of Stefan Vukčić’s successors were occupied by Ottoman forces. 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. In the Ottoman Empire, Herzegovina was organized as a sanjak, the Sanjak of Herzegovina, within the Bosnia Eyalet.

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