If you happen to be travelling around the Balkans, especially around Bosnia and Herzegovina, you have probably heard about Mostar. It’s one of the biggest cities in Bosnia and by far one of Bosnia’s most beautiful ones.
Mostar is located on the southern part of the country, formally known as Herzegovina and it is, historically the capital of Herzegovina. It is situated in mountainous country along the gorgeous green Neretva River. When in Mostar, as well as most places in Herzegovina, you can enjoy a modified Mediterranean climate.
The city was founded in the late 15th and the early 16th century by the Ottomans who ruled over Bosnia at the time, even though there were some settlements there prior to the Ottomans even arriving to the area. A lot of the Ottoman influence is still very visible in the architecture of the city today.
The thing that Mostar is the most famous for, amongst tourists and Bosnians is Old Bridge (Stari Most). This bridge was originally built by the Ottomans in 1566 on orders of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and it quickly became a wonder of it’s time. It stood there proudly for almost five centuries, but it was, unfortunately, destroyed in November of 1993 during the war in Bosnia. It was then rebuilt in it’s exact original form in 2004, which, to the citizens of the city who were ethnically divided by all the horrific things that happened in the war, a symbol of peace and reconciliation. In 2005 The Old Bridge became a UNESCO World Heritage Sight and it is, by far, the biggest tourist attraction in Mostar.
During the summer you can see bridge diving. There is even an official annual competition as a part of Red Bull’s cliff diving competition, where you can see trained professionals jumping from the bridge, that is about 20 meters high into the green water of the Neretva River.
Around the Old Bridge is a traditional marketplace, the so called “čaršija”. The market has a distinctly eastern feel, thanks to the historic Ottoman influences, with stalls selling rugs, painted plates, copper items, and souvenirs. The picturesque market is busy with locals as well as tourists, and gives visitors a good glimpse at a traditional Bosnian way of life.
Just a little bit outside the city you can enjoy the breathtaking natural scenery and visit the spring of the Buna River in a small place called Blagaj.
Mostar is a city that has been captivating the minds and hearts of both visitors and locals. A city that inspired hundreds of poems, songs and novels. If you want your own little fairy tale experience, you should definitely make Mostar your next travelling destination.