The historic town of Mostar, spanning a deep valley of the Neretva River, developed in the 15th and 16th centuries as an Ottoman frontier town and during the Austro-Hungarian period in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Mostar has long been known for its old Turkish houses and Old Bridge, Stari Most, after which it is named. In the 1990s conflict, however, most of the historic town and the Old Bridge, designed by the renowned architect Sinan, was destroyed.
The Old Bridge was recently rebuilt and many of the edifices in the Old Town have been restored or rebuilt with the contribution of an international scientific committee established by UNESCO.
The Old Bridge area, with its pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and western European architectural features, is an outstanding example of a multicultural urban settlement. The reconstructed Old Bridge and Old City of Mostar is a symbol of reconciliation, international co-operation and of the coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities…
Well, they do call us The Troll, so where would you expect us to hang out than around bridges, really?
And yes, it’s a pretty bridge and all,
… but y’know, it’s just not quite the same when it’s a rebuilt reconstruction, is it?
Same goes for the rest of the “Old” city: while it’s definitely picturesque and all, it’s a suspiciously unweathered form of picturesque in large part:
… that has been reconstructed with a definite eye to the tourist trade, leaving you with a strangely Disneyesque sense of stagecraft as you wander the streets. Which you do to some extent at pretty much any tourist mecca, of course, but it’s particularly on display in Mostar —
— and with its own very individual shall we say? take on the souvenir trade as well:
As “symbols of reconciliation” go, I suppose you really can’t outdo taking your rifle rounds and turning them into tourist tat, can you now?
p dir=”ltr”>So although the “heritage” part is somewhat staged these days, we still thoroughly recommend you visit Mostar if you’re in the region, as that very staging as a recovery from the war is a near-unique experience itself!