A few kilometres far from the 1984 Olympic Mountains, Lukomir is the highest village of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here houses have a typical wood-and-steel structure, and villagers can reach the rest of the country only by a 13 kilometres gravel road. That’s probably why in the Nineties Lukomir was the only village to be saved from the bombings of Jugoslavian war.
Built at 1.425 metres above sea level, Lukomir is only 70 kilometres far from Sarajevo, the Capital. The town counts more than 80 buildings, even if only 30 inhabited. The little houses are very small, the roofs sharpened in order to contrast the strong wind and the heavy snowfalls. Winter is harsh on these mountains, and the village remains almost inaccessible for up to 4/5 months. Nowadays only 10 people live here all throughout the year. Even if it might appear quite abandoned, Lukomir is teeming with life: all the elders walks on the streets, women knit and men pick up hay; the rhythm of life is gentle and relaxed. A little niche of mountain tourists and hikers is slowly discovering this place, and the few villagers are learning how to taking advantage of it.
“Merja, an old lady who lived all its life in Lukomir, shows me her little house making a typical Bosnian coffee. On the walls, two beautiful pictures catch my attention: the first one is a photo of La Mecca’s Ka’ba during the Hajj pilgrimage, the other one is a black and white print of her son dressed as a soldier. Got used to the proverbial Balkan hospitality, I feel quite upset when she asks me some money for the coffee, but I could consider it like a reward for an entire life lived in this inhospitable and wonderful place”.
Lukomir is slowly becoming uninhabited due to the hard living conditions, especially during winter. On the other hand, its remoteness is probably the only recipe to carry through the authenticity of this piece of heaven stopped in time. Tourism might be a resource or a sentence for Lukomir. It will be all up to what a paved and fast road would bring to its equilibrium.