Međugorje is a town located in Herzegovina, 25 kilometres away from Mostar, near the border with Croatia. Međugorje, together with the villages Bijakovici, Vionica, Miletina, and Šurmanci, forms a Roman Catholic parish where about 5,000 inhabitants live. Known as the city vision of the Virgin Mary, Međugorje represents one of the most important Marian shrines in the world.
In the Međugorje region, remains of the late antique basilica were found, and Međugorje as a city was first mentioned in 1599 in historical documents. Međugorje shared the fate of Bosnian-Herzegovinian cities and ended up under the centuries-old power of the former Ottoman Empire. In 1878, Bosnia and Herzegovina was occupied by the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and in 1882 a railway was built between Mostar and the Adriatic coast of Dalmatia through which the village gained access to the railway network. The present parish was founded in 1892 and is dedicated to St.Jakov, protector of pilgrims. Like the rest of Herzegovina, this region has been marked by permanent migrations of citizens, especially during the time of the first and second Yugoslavia. In 1981, Međugorje became known as the city of alleged apparitions and messages from the Virgin Mary. The news of the apparition of the Virgin Mary echoed the world, and from 1981 until today, 30 million pilgrims have visited Međugorje.
Međugorje is one of the most famous sacred places in the world. It all started in 1981 when Virgin Mary allegedly appeared to a group of children in the village. According to the testimonies of the children, Virgin Mary didn’t speak during her first encounter, but soon after that she reappeared and presented herself as the “Queen of Peace,” and all subsequent messages to the people were dedicated to peace in the world, faith, fasting, and prayer. Every year, thousands of believers come to Međugorje in the hope of sacred rendering, and many messages of the Virgin Mary are preserved and translated into the most famous languages of the world.
Every year in Međugorje from 31.07. to 06.08, one of the biggest and most famous festivals in the city – the Youth Festival, takes place. Over 50,000 young people and over 500 priests from all over the world come to Međugorje to find spiritual peace through prayer, testimony, music, adoration, and dance. The festival was founded by the late Father Slavko Barbarić, a priest, a visionary and a tireless advocate of world peace.
Međugorje is a city famous for creative combinations of traditional and modern cuisine, where you will have the opportunity to enjoy original recipes and delicious bread. Međugorje cuisine does not lag behind the world’s gastronomic trends, and dishes are always served in accordance with the season. On the menu, you will find the most delicious prepared meats, pasta, pizza, and wines known for their quality! Međugorje restaurants serve both international and local flavors.
There are rumours that there are as many accommodations in Međugorje as there are in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so finding one should not be something to worry about. You can choose between simple pilgrimage homes, hotels in Međugorje and even staying in one of the villagers’ houses! If you opt for the last option, you will surely get to know the way of Međugorje life as well as some of the most delicious local specialities of Međugorje.