The Rakitnica Village on the Bjelasnica Plateau: Living on the Way of Sustainability
- Author(s): Ahmet Hadrovic
- Social Studies
Paper ID: UIJRTV3I10011
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Bjelasnica Mountain occupies a central place in the geographical area of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Due to this fact, its altitude (2067 m), it is the border between Bosnia, on the one hand, and Herzegovina, on the other, and the border between the changed mediterranean and continental climates (while Bjelasnica itself has a mountainous to alpine climate). Due to these natural inputs, Bjelasnica is a „rain and snow catcher”, and because of its geological structure (mostly limestone), it is also the largest reservoir of water in B&H. That is why Bjelasnica is considered to be the „mother of B&H”, since at its base there are springs of two of the most important rivers in B&H (Bosnia and Neretva), and on its own (Bjelasnica plateau) a large number of springs, watercourses, permanent lakes and bars. Natural conditions have been a magnet for inhabiting the Bjelasnica Plateau, from prehistory to the present. Due to its specific natural values, in a combination of favorable social environment, Bjelasnica (with Jahorina, Trebevic and the city of Sarajevo itself) hosted the 14th Winter Olympic Games (1984) and subsequently hosted several FIS races. The Rakitnica village (Geographic coordinates: 43°39’25.69’N; 18°16’23.85′ E; about 1165 meters above sea level) is located on the plateau of Bjelasnica, along the river Rakitnica, which divides the area of the Bjelasnica and Treskavica mountains. The village belongs to the municipality of Trnovo (about 13.8 km by air line). Due to the abundance of natural resources (water, arable land, meadows, pastures, forests) the area of the village of Rakitnica is constantly inhabited, from prehistory to the present. The presence of people in this area is witnessed by many cultural and historical monuments, the medieval necropolis of stećak tombstones. Until the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1991-1995), the village lived in a more or less traditional way, within its traditional physical structure. During the war the village was flooded and its population was exiled. After the war, the village was quickly rebuilt, but in changed socio-economic circumstances, and with architectural structures that in all respects reflect modern life.
The Rakitnica village on the Bjelasnica plateau is an exemplary study of the metamorphosis of settlements (driven by the changing social environment), in the rich natural environment where they continue to live, partly in the traditional way, and partly in the contemporary way, therefore in the way of sustainability.