Nestling among the mountains between Croatia and Mostar is the tiny town Medjugorje. It is the second most significant place of pilgrimage for Catholics. Medjugorje literally means ‘between the hills'. On your travels to Medjugorje be sure to book Medjugorje accommodation from our range of Medjugorje Hotels in the centre of town!
Medjugorje houses the most holy shrine in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for it is here that six teenage children saw visions of Virgin Mary in 1981. The apparitions are supposed to have appeared first on a hill, high above a village called Bijakovo in Podbrdo. This hill, called the Apparition Hill, is the destination of millions of devout Catholics.
It is indeed a humbling sight to see pilgrims trudge up the hill, all year long, day and night, sometimes even barefoot and hardly equipped for the long and arduous climb, but praying all the time, lost in silence and meditation.
Our Medjugorje Destination Guide will tell you all the interesting things to see and do during your travel to Medjugorje. To get to know the place from a local's point of view, we offer you a wide range of Medjugorje Tours!
''To find truth, one needeth not climb the highest mountaintop or swim in the deepest sea, nor readeth not the countless volumes of history, for truth is buried deep within each man's soul; and as he is searching the land, so this truth is seeking him out, but he seeketh not in the true places, but needeth only to looketh within."
Things to See & Do in Medjugorje
Up until the 24th of June 1981, the parish of Medjugorje, was just the villages of which it is comprised: Bijakovići, Miletina, Šurmanci and Vionica, was just like its neighboring area. The villagers worked their land, grew tobacco, grapes and made wine, mainly for their own use, they participated in vegetable farming and kept animals.
A large number of young men and women worked in the cities of Croatia and BiH, while a significant number worked in European countries.
However, on the 24th of June, according to the testimony of six children from the Village Bijakovići, the hamlet of Podbrdo, on this day at about 6 in the evening, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to them.
It was a church holiday, St. John the Precursor. As always on these occasions, children would play in the afternoon or spend time enjoying the outdoors. On this day the children were walking and not far from the houses when they saw a women with a child. After seeing her, the children were frightened and ran away home. They immediately said they had seen Our Lady ("Gospa" in Croatian). However, who would believe children!
The next day they went to the same place again at about the same time and again they saw the woman dressed in white. This time they approached her and prayed with her.
There that day were:
Ivanka Ivanković, Vicka Ivanković, Mirjana Dragičević, Marija Pavlović, Ivan Ivanković and, the youngest, Jakov Čolo.
Since then, Our Lady, the Queen of Peace, (she later told the children to call her this), appeared to them every day.
Kravice Falls is the largest waterfall of Herzegovina. Located about an hour's drive from Mostar, close to Medjugorje, these waterfalls are definitely worth a visit.
The waterfalls are an angler's delight, so you can either settle down to some peaceful fishing or plunge into the ice cold waters!
Bijakovici and Medugorje come under the zone of Citluk. Citluk is spread over an area of 181 square kilometres and has a population of 15,083 inhabitants. The population density of Citluk stands at 83.3.
Medugorje has seen a lot of migration and the number of people has always fluctuated. Lately however, the population has increased steadily and stands anywhere between 3000 and 3500 today. The inhabitants of Medugorje today are all Croatian Roman Catholics.
Medugorje, nestling between beautiful mountains, is full of picturesque forests and beautiful vineyards, quite like the Ireland of the fifties. Walking through the many paths that are enveloped by this serene beauty is a great experience in itself and certainly not to be missed!
The Virgin Mary appeared first on this hill and told six children "I have come to tell the world that God exists...that peace is necessary for the salvation of the world."
A stone path worn down by a million footsteps leading to the Hill of Apparitions, bears witness to the faith, hope and charity of a multitude of pilgrims.
There is not a moment during the day or night that you will not find someone on the hill in contemplative prayer. And truly, here one feels a special kind of peace.
A steep footpath leads from the houses to the site of the apparitions itself, a narrow rocky path widened by the feet of the millions of pilgrims who have visited thes site so that it can now be seen from afar. Numerouse pilgrims, many of whom were born and raised on flat asphalt, often dressed in unsuitable clothes, some even barefoot or on their knees, clim the sharp rocks to the place of the first apparitions ardently saying their rosaries as they go or singing songs to the Virgin.
The site of the apparitions itself is a great bare threshing ground among the rocks, more then hundred metres in diametre, completely trodden down by the feet of millions of pilgrims, without a stem or gras among the rocks, without almost a single loose clod of earth or pebble: long ago the pilgrims took all that home with them as their favourite memory from Medjugorje.
The statue of the Queen of Peace, erected on the 20th anniversary of the apparition, a gift from Korean pilgrims, is a place around which pilgrims gather.
In earlier times, the devotees would congregate at an area just above the road to Apparition Hill, in order to escape being noticed by the Communists. This is the Blue Cross Area, where these days pilgrims congregate for meditation and prayer.
Blue Cross today is a place where Ivan's prayer group meets and where he receives his Friday evening apparition. For those wondering why the cross is blue, actually, there is no significance to the color. Blue paint was the only color available for the wooden cross, to protect it from weather and deterioration.
To the south west of the Apparition Hill lies this haven of serenity, where one is supposed to strictly maintain silence, except in the area where speaking is allowed. Open from 9 in the morning till 4 in the evening, the Oasis of Peace is quite simply an ocean of tranquillity in the midst of the hordes of pilgrims.
Enter through the gate and make your way to the Chapel right at the back, where the Lord is worshipped in the Blessed Sacrament. Be sure to stop by at the speaking area and the water closets close by before entering the Chapel. Near the back gate is a small enclosure for pilgrims to stop by for a brief respite from the heat.
Turn right when you step out of the back gate and take the dirt trail that will bring you to St. James Church. The path from the left of the back gate takes you to Our Lady of Sacred Heart - House of Prayer, a retreat for priests run by Pat and Nancy Latta.
The path veering towards the right from the front gate brings you to Cenacolo, which is a drug rehabilitation centre founded by Sister Elvira.
Twenty five years ago, God's love started the Community Cenacolo and initiated a continuous journey of hope! We began the first steps of this adventure trusting only in God's love, and the hope that we had in our hearts grew and was confirmed as we witnessed the fidelity of God.
Faith in Him has kept the flame of hope alive within us, which has become service through small, welcoming, and loving gestures each day.
Cenacolo, the drug rehabilitation centre, is not open to the public.
But do visit this centre to see the huge statue of Christ pulling out Adam and Eve from the graves, just as He will pull out drug addicts from the hell of their drugs. You can also visit the amphitheatre where the inmates have their counselling sessions, and the gift shop. Proceeds from this gift shop (which incidentally stocks some good music!) are used for the maintenance of the rehabilitation centre.
This is the Mountain of the Cross. In 1933, villagers built a huge cross out of cement to commemorate the 1900 years of the crucifixion. The 30ft Stations of the Cross is atop a steep mountain. The climb up to the Cross is an arduous one and takes anywhere between forty-five minutes to an hour.
Here are a few tips that will go a long way in making the climb an easier and a more satisfying one! Try to start early, preferably when the weather is dry and cool. Use a sturdy pair of walking shoes and a cap as it can get quite hot and sunny during the climb. Climbers have even been known to carry a pair of gloves to enable them to get a firmer grip on the mountain rocks. Use the water closet at the base of the summit before you begin the ascent. Do try to climb in silence, as there will be other pilgrims climbing alongside in prayer and meditation.
Just before you reach the Cross, you could stop by the memorial of Father Slavko Barbaric who dedicated his life to the Lord and died in his service. Father Barbaric took a group of 70 pilgrims up the Hill and led them through a spiritual journey. But on their descent, he succumbed to a heart attack.
You can descend along the same path or take a lesser known trail that starts from the posterior side of the hill leading down to the base. This is a relatively deserted trail as it is steeper than the ascending path. It also has a thicker forest area around it. But since it is less travelled and pilgrims are engaged in prayer this trail is after all not the Path of Silence!
In a forested area on the edge of Bijakovici, is a place of rest, peace and preserved nature - the Garden of St. Francis. Given that St. Francis is the protector of nature, then it is understandable that he should have a garden in his honour and especially one right here in Medjugorje.
Here, visitors will discover beautiful woods and flora, horses, ponies, donkeys and other animals. Children play in suitable playgrounds and once a year artists come to admire this region.
If you visit Medjugorje, make sure you don't miss this place of peace.
Father Barbaric established an orphanage on the northern outskirts of the village. ‘Mother's Village', as this orphanage is called, has a workshop (Queen Katrina's shop) where you can pick up knick knacks and souvenirs. The proceeds from this shop are used to run this orphanage.
Mother's village is an institution for the education and care of abandon and neglected children which has been active since 1993.
The Church of St. James is the symbol and the heart of the Parish of Medjugorje. This world-known, two-tower church, was under construction from 1934 to 1969.
It is located in the center of the village and it is also the center of the liturgical life of the parish. The Church of St. James is spacious and beautiful, and its original size has never been changed.
At the very entrance to the church grounds there is a beautiful Statue of Our Lady, the Queen of Peace. It is a work of an Italian artist Dino Felici, and was a votive gift from a Swiss family. The statue presents Our Lady welcoming all Her children and desiring to take each one of them by the hand and take them to Her Heart, Her Son.
Today, St.James church is the centre and the focus of both sacramental and prayer life, not only for us local parishioners, but also for all pilgrims who visit Medjugorje.
The statue of Our Lady of Grace is found in Tihaljina, in the Church of St. Elijah. This Church gained importance as it was here that Father Jozo was sent, after he was released from prison. As people flocked to see Father Jozo, who had witnessed the apparitions, they were moved by the breathtakingly beautiful statue of Our Lady of Grace. The word spread around and the statue soon came to be identified with Medugorje.
Situated at corner of Hotel Villa Regina
Not open on Sundays and public holidays.
Banking Hours: 08.00am to 2.00pm.
Can be found on following spot's:
-Hotel Villa Regina
-Post office, next to the St James church
Normal business hours are:
Weekdays: 8.00am to 10.00pm.
Open during the week from 8.00am to 9.00pm.
Sundays from 07.00am to 10.00am.
For information go to the B&H Country Guide .
Mid-european time,(GMT+1), Summertime from March to September,the clock moves one hour forward,(GMT+2)
Medugorje has a Mediterranean climate characterised by mild winters and long summers. It enjoys over 2500 hours of sunshine in a year but also experiences strong winds called jugo (pronounced as yugo) and bura. Jugo is damp and warm while bura is dry and cool. Medugorje is not a very humid place, and cloudy weather is a rarity.
Maximum and minimum temperatures in area.
Summer: Max 39°C and Min 20°C.
Winter: Max 20°C and Min 0°C.
In case of emergency, you can always go to the Malteser emergency rooms, on the right side of the St James church.
Open everyday,except on Sunday.
Business Hours: 8.00am to 8.00pm.