Herzegovina, Or Hersek a province of European Turkey, forming the S. W. part of the vilayet of Bosnia, bounded N. by Turkish Croatia, W. by Dalmatia, S. by Montenegro and the gulf of Cattaro, and E. by Bosnia proper; area, 6,420 sq. m.; pop. about 290,000, of whom 180,000 belong to the Greek church, 48,000 are Catholics, and 62,000 Mohammedans, many of whom are renegades. They are chiefly of the Slavic race, and speak a Slavic dialect kindred to that of Dalmatia and Croatia. The province is covered by a branch of the Dinaric Alps, and slopes toward the Adriatic. It is traversed by the Narenta and its tributaries, which flow into the Adriatic. The products are tobacco of a very fine quality, rice, millet, and grapes. The most notable manufactures arc hydromel or mead, a favorite popular beverage, and sword blades. - The province formerly belonged to the kingdom of Croatia, and was often called the country of Chulm, and by the Venetians the duchy of St. Saba, in honor of that saint. Annexed to Bosnia in the early part of the 14th century, it was wrested from it by the emperor Frederick III. (about 1450), who disposed of it in favor of Stefan Hranitch and his descendants, as an independent duchy.
Hence the name of Herzegovina, the title of Herzog (duke) having been borne by its princes before the Ottoman conquest, which took place in 1467 under Mohammed II. After various contests, the Turks were confirmed in its possession by the treaty of Carlovitz (Jan. 26, 1699), excepting the former capital, the fortified town of Castelnuovo, in the gulf of Cattaro, and a small territory which had been held by the Venetians since 1682, and which now forms part of Dalmatia. Capital, Mostar.