Lukomir – the last Bosnian village

The village of Lukomir is situated along the southern ridge of Bjelašnica and, at 1,495 m, it’s the highest inhabited settlement in BiH and the only one above 1,300 m.

The village lies within Konjic Municipality and it can be reached from either Konjic (ca 30 km) or Sarajevo (45 km). A drive along the road from the center of Sarajevo, which passes over Babin Do to Bjelašnica, takes about 90 minutes. Most of the road is paved and the final stretch of 11 km is a windy gravel road that takes you through a barren karst region, as well as flowery meadows.

Lukomir can also be reached via two mountain paths that lead from the village of Umoljani on Bjelašnica.

A living ethnological museum

Lukomir is like a living ethnological museum, where the customs of nomadic tribes and Dinaric highlanders are still practiced. It’s an important part of BiH’s historical, cultural and architectural legacy and provides a unique “heritage atmosphere”. Also, the stećci scattered about the village indicate that it was already inhabited by the 14th and 15th centuries.

The residents of Lukomir come from Podveležje, an arid plateau in Herzegovina. The semi-nomadic tribe of shepherds would move here during the summers with their large flocks in search of water that could be found on Bjelašnica’s rich pastures. Most of them settled permanently in Rakitnica Canyon and then later in what is now Lukomir.

With the establishment of a seasonal settlement, which would later grow into a proper village, most of the members of the Čomor and Masleša families relocated and they are now the only ones in Lukomir.

At first there was only Donji (lower) Lukomir, which was about 3 km from the current village.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Gornji (upper) Lukomir was mentioned as a summer village where residents of Donji Lukomir would bring their flocks to graze. Offering a better connection to the rest of the world, they had moved to Gornji Lukomir by 1950.

The village is unique for stone houses that are covered in oak, fir and beech shingles. The homes have a place for a fire in the center and the stone walls have small windows. The residents built homes that were suitable to the special terrain and inhospitable mountain climate.

Life on a seasonal basis

For a few years now, the residents have been living here on a seasonal basis. From May to October the villagers work the land and tend their flocks, but they leave Lukomir during the winter because the meter-high snowfalls make it inaccessible.

Of the 50 homes, 21 are inhabited during the summer and up to 4,000 sheep can graze in the surrounding meadows when the weather is good. They are kept in stone enclosures at night and guarded by Bosnian sheep dogs.

The village has all of the necessary amenities – telephone, electricity, water and a sewage system. There is also a cemetery and the residents built a mosque in 1969, which was renovated in 2014.

A vantage point above the village provides a view of the Visočica Mountain chain, which drops 800 m to meet Rakitnica Canyon, the deepest canyon in Europe after Tara River Canyon.

Lukomir is now a top rural tourism destination.

There are a few places where visitors can enjoy some hospitality and traditional specialties and they can also buy items made by the hard-working villagers as mementos of time spent in Bosnia’s last village.