KRESEVO, Bosnia - Four sisters are building the first Hobbit-style village in southeast Europe in the green hills of central Bosnia, hoping to attract fans of "The Lord of the Rings" books and movies as well as sharing their childhood memories.
"We have often held family gatherings on this hill and discussed what would be the best way to make use of this view for tourism purposes," said Milijana, the eldest of the Milicevic sisters, pointing to the stunning view of a valley and a lake nestled among the hills.
The Kresevo Hobbiton, as the Hobbits' village is called, is located in the village of Rakova Noga (The Crab's Leg) near the old royal and mining town of Kresevo, some 40 minutes drive from the capital of Sarajevo.
Last year Marija, a 28-year-old geology engineer, proposed to her sisters Milijana, Vedrana and Valentina that they build house in the style of the Hobbit homes in J.R.R. Tolkein's "The Lord of the Rings" tales. The "hole houses" are built into the ground.
The sisters decided that their houses must include characteristics of the area where they live and that each sister would decorate one dwelling as she likes.
They have already built two houses and three others are under construction.
The first house, with a round green door and window, was named Lipa after the village where Milijana had spent most of her childhood with their grandparents. Lipa is also the name for the linden tree.
"Lipa is my nostalgia, the memory of a healthy childhood where garden planting was a social game, domestic animals friends and a tin barrel the Adriatic Sea," Milijana said in the wood-decorated house.
The second house is named Ober after a cave in Kresevo. Its ceiling is decorated with stalactites to provide the feeling of being in the cave.
"Ober in history has been the mine from which Kresevo miners had extracted cinnabar and melted it to get gold," said Marija.
Her house's door and window is painted red after the colouring of the cinnabar ore.
The other three houses, which should be completed soon, will also be named after local attractions.
For example Bedem, with towers on its corners, is named after the fortress where Bosnia's last queen, Katarina, had stayed while in Kresevo.
Tourists from across the region and other European countries have already started visiting, Marija said.