Bosnia & Herzegovina – The Hajduk Republic of Mijat Tomić is a self-proclaimed micronation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, spread over a territory between the mountains of Vran and Čvrsnica, in the Blidinje Nature Park in western Herzegovina.
History and name origin
The republic was founded in 2002 and got its name after the famous hajduk Mijat Tomić, who had its hiding place in the nearby caves. “Hajduk” is a historical term most commonly used to describe highwaymen or freedom fighters in Central and Southeast Europe. In the Balkans, they were known as hero figures that fought against Ottoman or Habsburg authorities. Tales about them were comparable in a way to the English tales of Robin Hood.
The republic’s namesake – Mijat Tomić, was a folk hero remembered in Croatian history and folk epics as the leader of hajduks. Not much is known about his life but the fact that he died on or around 20 July 1656 (on the feast day of St. Elijah) in Doljani, a settlement near Jablanica in present day Bosnia and Hercegovina.
Founding of the republic
The founder of the republic – Vinko Vukoja, wanted to solve a bureaucratic issue that resulted in being unable to connect his motel to the main power supply net. The problem was that the motel sat on land previously unclaimed between three municipalities (“Posušje, Tomislavgrad and Jablanica – couldn’t agree for years under whose responsibility the area fell, and whenever the motel owner asked any of the municipalities to solve its problem, they rejected him, saying it is not their problem, and referred him to one of other two municipalities“). After all this trouble, the issue was finally resolved once Vinko decided to invest his own money.
This is how Hajdučka Republika Mijat Tomic came to be and how it was proclaimed in 2002. As is common for a republic, this one also has its own Constitution, flag, passport, territory and borders. One of the main rules in the constitution is that formation of political parties is strictly forbidden, as well as dealing with any political matters.
Over time, the motel itself became one of the most popular tourist sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina, due to its rich ambiance and beautiful scenery surrounding it.
Sadly, in 2009 President Vinko Vukoja passed away due to a car accident. His daughter Marija then inherited his position and the title “harambaša” (meaning chieftain). The republic today has its consul and portparole and celebrates its statehood day on June 5.
The seat of the Republic – motel Hajducke vrleti is a very popular destination among tourists and ski enthusiasts, for its interesting history, but also many attractions that Blidinje Nature Park has to offer, like a vast number of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s stone trademarks – stećci.