Meet Hercegovina

The Old Bridge in Mostar

The Old Bridge in Mostar

The Old Bridge is a masterpiece of Turkish architecture, a symbol of Mostar and the greatest tourist attraction in the city. It is single-arch stone bridge, with the range of 28.70 meters and the height of 21 meters during the summer water level.

It is under the protection of UNESCO World Heritage because it was the largest arched structure in the world when built.

At the same place where the Old Bridge stands today, there was a wooden bridge (the first mentioned in the letter from Dubrovnik in April 4th, 1452), which was replaced by another wooden bridge under the government of Sultan Mehmet II the Conqueror (1451-1481). A stone bridge was built in 1557 by builder Hajrudin’s draft, who was one of state’s court builders, and under the supervision of Karađoz Mehmet Bey, who was the supervisor of Herzegovina and one of the greatest vakifs of Herzegovina. Legend says that Hajrudin fled the country the day before the opening of the bridge because the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent had ordered that Hajrudin had had to be beheaded if the bridge would have collapsed. The total costs of the materials (stone, timber, lead, iron) and of labor force were more than 300,000 akčas. Since the construction of the bridge up to 1878, there was a Nazir who was taking care of its maintenance, and the first Nazir of the Old Bridge was Karađoz Mehmet Bey.

The bridge was defended by two towers, from which the guardians of the bridge monitored and defended the bridge. The tower on the left side of the bridge is known as Herceguša, while the tower on the right side is called Halebinovka or Ćelovina.

The Old Bridge served its purpose for 427 years until it was destroyed during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993. Fortunately, it was rebuilt after the war and reopened in July 23rd 2004. Old Bridge Dives is a sports-tourism event where divers jump into the cold Neretva River from this bridge and it is held regularly every summer.

 

 

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Mostar
Mostar is the biggest city in Herzegovina, located on the banks of Neretva River. It is also cultural and economic center of this area, with more than 130,000 inhabitants. The city is named after bridge keepers, who guarded numerous bridges at the river, back in the medieval times.
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Široki Brijeg
Široki Brijeg is the administrative center of the West Herzegovina Canton, located on the banks of Lištica River. It is also cultural and spiritual center of this area, with more than 30,000 inhabitants.
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Neum
Neum is a town in south Herzegovina and the only coastal town in this country, with 24 kilometers of Adriatic coastline. There are around 5,000 inhabitants in this town. Neumene was its historical name, which is first mentioned in 533.
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Kupres
Kupres is a town in north-western Herzegovina, located in the middle of the Kupres Plain (Kupreško polje), with more than 10,000 inhabitants. It was first mentioned in documents of Kingdom of Croatia.
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Medjugorje
Medjugorje is a little town in west Herzegovina, located about 25 kilometers south-west of Mostar and very close to the Croatian border. It is the main spiritual town in this region and the second-largest Catholic pilgrimage destination in the world, with around 5,000 inhabitants.
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Čapljina
Čapljina is a town in southwest Herzegovina, located on the right bank of Neretva River, with more than 26,000 inhabitants. The important highways and rail routes connecting the Adriatic Sea with Bosnia and with the Central Europe go through this town.
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Ljubuški
Ljubuški is a town in the western parts of Herzegovina, located on the left bank of Trebižat River near the Croatian border and 35 kilometers from Mostar. It was first mentioned in 1444 as the acity of Lubussa.
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