Mostar

Mostar is a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the biggest and the most important city in the Herzegovina region and the center of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton of the Federation. Mostar is situated on the Neretva river and is the fifth-largest city in the country. Mostar was named after "the bridge keepers" (natively: mostari) who kept the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over Neretva river.

Once you step in Mostar, especially on the area of Old Part, your heart will be overflowed with strong emotions of pure amazingness, literate magic on the act, in way of good spirit, magnificent architecture and stunningly beautiful river and its surroundings.

Mostar is the greatest touristic attraction in Herzegovinia, with Sarajevo altogether in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is very compact and ideal for walking. Most of the main tourist sights can be seen in a one or two day tour.

Large number of oriental kind of caffe bars will make you sit, enjoy and soak the sounds, views and impressions made by this marvelous town.


BRIDGES

The oldest single arch stone bridge in Mostar, the Kriva Ćuprija (Sloping Bridge), was built in 1558 by the Ottoman architect Cejvan Kethoda. It is said that this was to be a test before the major construction of the Stari Most began. The Old Bridge was completed in 1566 and was hailed as one of the greatest architectural achievement in the Ottoman controlled Balkans. No matter how many times one does it, crossing the Stari most (Old Bridge) always seems to be an exciting experience. This single-arch stone bridge is an exact replica of the original bridge that stood for over 400 years and that was designed by Hajrudin, a student of the great Ottoman architect Sinan. It spans 28.7 meters of the Neretva river, 21 meters above the summer water level. The Halebija and Tara towers have always housed the guardians of the bridge and during Ottoman times were storehouses for ammunition. The arch is a perfect semicircle 8.56 m in width and 4.15 m in height. The frontage and vault are made of regular stone cubes incorporated into the horizontal layers all along the vault. The space between vault, frontal walls and footpath is filled with cracked stone. The bridge footpath and the approaching roads are paved with cobblestones, as is the case with the main roads in the town. Stone steps enable people to ascend to the bridge either side.


OLD BRIDGE

Stari Most (in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian Stari most, English translation: "The Old Bridge") is a 16th century bridge in the city of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina that crosses the river Neretva and connects two parts of the city. The Old Bridge stood for 427 years, until it was destroyed on November 9, 1993 during the Bosnian War. Subsequently, a project was set in motion to reconstruct it, and the rebuilt bridge opened on July 23, 2004.

The arch of the bridge was made of local stone known as tenelija. The shape of the arch is the result of numerous irregularities produced by the deformation of the intrados (the inner line of the arch). The most accurate description would be that it is a circle of which the centre is depressed in relation to the string course.

The original bridge was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1557 to replace an older wooden suspension bridge of dubious stability. Construction began in 1557 and took nine years: according to the inscription the bridge was completed in 974 AH, corresponding to the period between July 19, 1566 and July 7, 1567. Little is known of the building of the bridge, and all that has been preserved in writing are memories and legends and the name of the builder, Mimar Hayruddin (student of the Old/Great Sinan (Mimar Sinan / Koca Sinan), the Ottoman architect). Charged under pain of death to construct a bridge of such unprecedented dimensions, the architect reportedly prepared for his own funeral on the day the scaffolding was finally removed from the completed structure. Upon its completion it was the widest man-made arch in the world. Certain associated technical issues remain a mystery: how the scaffolding was erected, how the stone was transported from one bank to the other, how the scaffolding remained sound during the long building period. As a result, this bridge can be classed among the greatest architectural works of its time.


KRIVA ĆUPRIJA

Beside the famous Stari Most (Old Bridge), a genuine symbol of the town destroyed in 1993, there is another ancient bridge in Mostar: the Kriva Ćuprija (or the Crooked Bridge). It crosses the Rabobolja creek, a right-bank affluent of the Neretva River. The exact date of its construction and the name of its founder are not known.

Kriva cuprija is a stone one-arch bridge of small dimension and closely resembles the Stari Most. The arch is a perfect semicircle 8.56m in width and 4.15m in height. The frontage and vault are made of regular stone cubes incorporated into the horizontal layers all along the vault. The space between vault, frontal walls and footpath is filled with cracked stone. The bridge footpath and the approaching roads are paved with cobblestones, as is the case with the main roads in the town. Stone steps enable people to ascend to the bridge either side. The floods of December 2000 destroyed this bridge.

A reconstruction project has been initiated by UNESCO, financed by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The project was completed in the year 2001.


OLD TOWN

Handicraftsmen played a huge part in Mostar’s development in the early years of its existence, and have continued to do so even today. Now they have one of the key roles in the city’s tourist offer. On the left bank of Neretva we can find Kujundziluk. The name came from Kujundzije or in English “coppersmiths”. This is a tradition very well preserved even today. Unlike then you can now find them everywhere in the old town and not only in Kujundziluk, as well as you can find other kinds of shops in kujundziluk that are not necessarily coppersmiths. In Mostar there were also many tailors (terzije), and at last Mostar’s biggest industry, tanners (tabaci). The last two mentioned are today unfortunately as good as gone. “Tabhana”- the palace where the tanners used to process their leather is now a line of cafés. It’s an excellent place to have the morning coffee in an old Turkish atmosphere. 


BIŠĆEVIĆA HOUSE

Turkish house or Bišćevića corner, is one of the most beautiful preserved residential structures from the Turkish period. It was built in 1635. This 17th century Ottoman house rests (some parts on pillars of over 5m long) on the eastern banks of the Neretva. There is a conversation or gathering room or divanhan preserved in authentic Ottoman style.

Throughout the house are original household objects and the courtyard is a fine example of the Ottoman style. The entrance fee to the house is 3KM.


THE OLD CATHOLIC CHURCH, which was recently renovated, is nearly impossible to miss. A steeple of over 30m dominates the skyline. The bishop's residence in Mostar marks the long Catholic traditions of the region and is built in the Viennese architecture that greatly added to the town's charm. The roundabout by the Rondo on the west side is home to the former Cultural Centre for the City of Mostar. It is now the Croatian Cultural Centre and certainly worth a peek inside. 


THE PARTISAN MEMORIAL CEMETERY commemorates the fallen partisans. It is located off KP Kresimira IV Street on Bijeli Brijeg. This part of town is covered with lots of greenery and is also a nice place for a stroll with a great view of the city.

MUSLIBEGOVIĆA HOUSE

Muslibegovica House provide an ideal example of Mostar's grand houses of the Ottoman period, built for merchants and landowners in a highly sophisticated way by blending Turkish and regional styles. Where many such traditional residencies once graced the streets of Mostar, now only a handful remain. Muslibegovica House stands out further because it has remained in the hands of a single family since its construction, throughout the city's glorious periods of economic prosperity and dark days of war.

The house was built in the 18th century, whereas the main residential quarter was reconstructed in 1872 according to the most monumental buildings in Istanbul. Unlike earlier architectural styles, this house resembled a four-storey house built around the center. Double-arched entrance with the central pillar reveals Mediterranean influence. The house preserved authentic monumental structure, items and documents providing an insight into the life of a wealthy bey family from the time. In addition to museum exhibition, visitors are invited to take traditional beverages or cookies, or spend a night in this authentic surrounding. 


CLOCK TOWER

The date of the Clock tower’s construction is unknown, but it is mentioned in a document from 1636 meaning that it was built even earlier than so.

The base is 3.45 square meters an it is 15 meters high.

The legend says that it was built by Fatima-kaduna Saric.

The 250 kg bell was ordered by the vezir of Herzegovina Ali pasa Rizvanbegovic from Zadar in 1838.

When Austro-Hungary took over it come to be used for military purposes.

In 1981 it was returned to it’s original function.

Today it represent one of the most interesting attractions in Mostar, and is one of few Clock Towers in Bosnia and Herzegovina still fulfilling its main purpose, taking care about time. 

Time is relevant.

THE KOSKI MEHMED PASA MOSQUE, built in 1617 is open to visitors. Visitors may enter the mosque and take photos free of charge. The minaret is also open to the public and is accessible from inside the mosque.

Just around the corner from the mosque is the TEPA MARKET. This has been a busy marketplace since Ottoman times. It now sells mostly fresh produce grown in Herzegovina and, when in season, the figs and pomegranates are extremely popular. Local honey is also a prominent specialty, being produced all around Herzegovina.