During my stay in Croatia in 2007, I had the chance to appreciate many magical places, like the wall of Ston (see article). Nevertheless, being curious by nature, I didn’t just stay on the coast. I took my exploration as far as Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a town located in the south of the country, Mostar!

A cleaved story

The city of Mostar, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, developed around the Neretva River, in a basin surrounded by mountains. The place is beautiful, although it can be stiflingly hot in the middle of summer.

Over the centuries, 2 communities, one Christian and the other Muslim, have settled in the city, each becoming majority on one of the banks of the river. The main crossing point between the two banks is the famous Stari Most bridge, symbol of the city.

During the conflicts in the Balkans around the 1990s, the city therefore found itself at the forefront of the opposition between these two communities. Fighting raged there, and the medieval Stari Most was destroyed.

As you can see in the photo, the city still bears the scars of these clashes today, and it is not uncommon to come across a crumbling house riddled with bullets or explosives holes.

Fortunately, the time of reconciliation and reconstruction followed the fights, starting with the very symbol of the city, its famous bridge.

Stari Most, the link between the communities

One of the priorities during the reconstruction of Mostar was to give it back its bridge, which dated from the 16th century. In addition to the beauty of its architecture (it was rebuilt identically), it represents the link between the two banks of the Neretva, and by extension, the two communities.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Stari Most Bridge alone is worth a detour. But the city will seduce you, in particular for its preserved historical heart, its mosques (some can be visited), its shopping streets, and its bars and restaurants, for some nestled in the freshness of the rock.

Finally, a little local curiosity, which you can observe if you go to Mostar in summer, courageous divers (some would say reckless), take up the challenge of jumping from the bridge. It rises to 29m above the river (sometimes more depending on the dam reservoirs upstream). And believe me, when you look at the river from the bridge, it is VERY impressive.

I hope you enjoyed this article and that it will make you want to visit Mostar. Feel free to send me your photos from the Stari Most.

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