• Spike

Mostar - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

My second day trip whilst I was based in Dubrovnik was to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We stopped briefly at a waterfall before journeying on to the city of Mostar.

Mostar meaning bridge due to the stunning Old Bridge at the centre of the city, was a unique place to visit. I didn't think there was a great deal to see in Mostar, and if I'd had more time I'd probably have stayed in the capital city of Sarajevo whilst taking a day trip to Mostar from there.

The day trip from Dubrovnik didn't give me a huge amount of time though, and I'm sure there was much more I could have seen and explored in the city, but I don't think I missed much by not staying overnight here.

It is a very beautiful place to visit, and the blue river and green trees look simply stunning, even in the cloudy weather on the day I visited.

Apart from the beauty it's also a very interesting city, and one that still shows the scars of war. This was the last of all the Balkan countries I visited, and I had seen and heard many stories about the recent wars in the Balkans. Many places in the Balkans you'd not necessarily see any obvious evidence of conflict, but Bosnia and Herzegovina was a country where it's clear it was not so long ago with many war damaged buildings and architecture.

Kravica Waterfall

Kravica means "little cow" and was named due to a little cow falling into the river upstream. It was then found alive and well at the bottom of the waterfall.

It's a very popular swimming spot in the summer, but even though I visited during the warmer months, no one was swimming when I was there. Actually I was quite lucky not to encounter many tourists at all, apart from the group I was with from the tour bus.

The falls are beautiful and well worth a visit if you're in the area, even on a dull day, and on a dull day it may mean it won't be too overcrowded.

Stari Most

Translated as Old Bridge is by far the most popular and impressive sight in Mostar. The bridge stood for 427 years before being destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian War. The bridge was rebuilt in 2004 and is now considered to be one of the most important structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During the summer months you'll often see a diver waiting on the bridge. Once the diver has received enough tips from passers by, he'll take the dangerous dive into the river Neretva below.

Old Bazar Kujundziluk

The Old Bazar takes up quite a large area in Mostar. An Ottoman-era market, with the cobbled and narrow streets adding to the atmosphere. There are all types of items on sale here, from colourful lamps to used bullet shells turned into keyrings and ornaments.

There are many colourful houses made from stone and wood where you can order traditional food and try a traditional but very strong coffee.

Peace Bell Tower

A fairly new tower which was built to symbolise peace after the recent war. At 75 meters high, you get some amazing views once you reach the top. An elevator will take you most of the way, and then it's around a 150 step climb to the top.

A word of warning though, keep an eye on the time. The bell will ring every 15 minutes and you don't want to be next to it when it goes off. I suggest visiting just after the bell rings to avoid any chance being deafened by the bell.

War Damaged Architecture

As you walk around the city you'll see many damaged building from the Bosnian War. Some have whole walls missing, whilst others have many holes where bullets have left their mark. There are two reasons I was told as to why these buildings still remain in the city. One is because the country can't yet afford to properly replace them, as it's taken quite some time for the country to to get back on it's feet. The other reason, which I actually find more important is that they don't want to forget the horrors. Forgetting means that such events could occur again, so these war torn buildings are constant reminders to ensure it doesn't.

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