Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as Bosna i Hercegovina (pronounced "bôsna i xrtseoina]) or B&H (pronounced "bôsna i xrtseoina]) is a country in the Balkans at the intersection of south and southeast Europe. It is also sometimes referred to formally as Bosnia. Serbia is to the east, Montenegro is to the southeast, and Croatia is to the north and southwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The town of Neum is surrounded by a 20-kilometer (12-mile)-long, narrow Adriatic Sea coast in the south of the country. The country's inland region, Bosnia, experiences warm summers and cold, snowy winters thanks to its moderate continental climate. The country's geography is mostly flat in the northeast, moderately hilly in the northwest, and mountainous in the central and eastern parts. The country's smaller southern region, Herzegovina, is mostly mountainous and has a Mediterranean climate. After Banja Luka, Tuzla, and Zenica, Sarajevo is the country's capital and largest city.
Although evidence suggests that permanent human settlements were established during the Neolithic period, including those belonging to the Butmir, Kakanj, and Vuedol cultures, human habitation in the region that is now Bosnia and Herzegovina dates back at least to the Upper Paleolithic. Numerous Illyrian and Celtic cultures settled the region following the first Indo-Europeans' arrival. The nation has a long and varied history, both culturally and politically as well as socially. From the 6th to the 9th century, the South Slavic peoples that make up the region today arrived. The Banate of Bosnia was established in the 12th century; This had developed into the Kingdom of Bosnia by the 14th century. It was annexed into the Ottoman Empire in the middle of the 15th century, and it remained under Ottoman rule until the late 19th century. The Ottomans introduced Islam to the area and altered a significant portion of the country's social and cultural outlook.