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Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar (UNESCO)

Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar (UNESCO)

The landmark of the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Old Bridge (Stari Most) located in the medieval, old town. The bridge is also the city's namesake, named after the guard of the bridge who is called a "Mostar" in the local language. The stone arch spanning the Neretva River, which meanders through a valley surrounded by mountains, forms, in every sense of the word, a bridge between the Croatian and Bosnian dominated districts. The Old Bridge of Mostar has always, therefore, been considered to be a symbolic link between Christianity and Islam, the East and West and a sign of peaceful coexistence.
 

UNESCO World Heritage Site and bridge jumper

For more than 420 years, this bridge, built in 1566, was the social and economic center until it was destroyed during the Bosnian war in 1993. In 1995, Stari Most was rebuilt as an exact replica of the original. In 2005, the Old Bridge was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites - and not just due to its architectural features, but also because of the symbolism it carries. Today the bridge is not only a meeting place for many tourists, but also many bridge jumpers. There has been along tradition of men jumping into the cold Neretva, but it has taken some time to become become an official competitive sport. Since 1981, regular bridge jumping competitions have taken place. The locals only perform the "test of courage", however, if the tourists are charitable enough to donate a small "reward".


Attractions and refreshments around the bridge

The old town of Mostar, which is home to numerous buildings from the Ottoman period, as well as others, extends along both sides of the long-arched Old Bridge. Taking a stroll through the streets, you will discover architectural curiosities, small restaurants and shops. Also worth a visit are the Karadjoz-Beg Mosque and the Christian Basilica in the suburb of Cim, which both illustrate the religious and cultural mix of the city. In addition to the historical and architectural sights in the old town of Mostar, there are secluded places on the water, lively cafés and small boutiques as well as souvenir and craft shops, making the trip varied and entertaining for the whole family.


Traveling from Croatia

Visiting the city of Mostar is easily done by tourists traveling from the regions of Central and South Dalmatia in particular. There is a train to Mostar from Ploce. Buses leave from Split, Omis Makarska and Dubrovnik to Ploce. Traveling by bus and train, however, is time-consuming, and it is recommended to either take a direct bus to Mostar or go by car. The drive takes about 2 hours from Split and Dubrovnik and is slightly less long from Omis and Makarska.

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