VLASIC

VLASIC

Vlašić is a mountain in the very center of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its peak is called Vlašićka Gromila and has an elevation of 1,969 meters above sea level. The mountain is a major center for winter tourism due to its excellent accommodation for skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports. It is also a popular destination for summer and eco tourism with many hiking trails and undisturbed wilderness areas. It is closest to the Bosnian town of Travnik although lodging is available on the mountain itself.

The mountain gets its name from the Vlasi (as are called the Vlachs in Bosnia), who lived there attending their sheeps since the fall of the Roman Empire. They lived there until the end of the XIX century. Academics like prof. Mark Vego say that the nomadic Vlachs -romanised descendants of the ancient Romans and the ancient Illyrian people-brought one of the trademarks of Mount Vlasic: Vlasic cheese, from one of their endless journeys around the year 1000 AD. Vlasic cheese is one of the best sheep cheeses stored in brine. It is originally made from fresh sheep milk, but also cow milk, and then left to ripe for two to three months. By perfecting the cheese making recipes, the Vlachs passed on the tradition to the cattle breeders from the surrounding mountains. Today, Vlasic cheese is produced throughout the area thus becoming its original traditional product.

In addition to the Vlasic cheese, there are two other trademarks of Mount Vlasic: Bosnian and Herzegovinian shepherd dog and Pramenka sheep. The shepherd dog of the Vlasi has been living in this area for more than 1000 years, defending the sheep during grazing: Vlašić is said to be one of the places of origin of the Bosnian mountain dog or "Tornjak" ('torni acca' = 'turn here' in old neolatin Vlach language), bred to guard livestock from wolves and bears. The last trademark is "Pramenka", Bosnian and Herzegovinian indigenous breed of sheep.