At the Crossroads of Europe & Asia

Photo credit: Chris Lira

UNESCO Spotlight: Old Bridge in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Old Bridge in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photo credit: Chris Lira
Mostar Bridge on a sunny summer day. Photo credit: Chris Lira

Mostar, in current-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, was founded in the 15th century and was an important Ottoman regional center until the late 19th century. Named after the men who guarded its Old Bridge, Stari Most, the town passed from the Ottomans to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the late 19th century. After WWI, it became a part of newly-formed Yugoslavia.

Mostar's UNESCO-listed Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva River was first built in the 16th century. Photo credit: Martin Klimenta
Mostar's original, venerable Stari Most (Old Bridge) stood for 427 years. Photo credit: Michel Behar
With Old Bridge as a backdrop, hammered copperware is displayed –a revered art form from Ottoman times. Photo credit: www.bhtourism.ba
Aerial view of Mostar's Old Town and Old Bridge (Stari Most). Photo credit: Peter Guttman
Special host Patricia Schultz with her fellow travelers in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photo credit: Michel Behar
  • Mostar's UNESCO-listed Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva River was first built in the 16th century. Photo credit: Martin Klimenta Mostar’s UNESCO-listed Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva River was first built in the 16th century Martin Klimenta
  • Mostar's original, venerable Stari Most (Old Bridge) stood for 427 years. Photo credit: Michel Behar Mostar’s original, venerable Stari Most (Old Bridge) stood for 427 years Michel Behar
  • With Old Bridge as a backdrop, hammered copperware is displayed –a revered art form from Ottoman times. Photo credit: www.bhtourism.ba With Old Bridge as a backdrop, hammered copperware is displayed –a revered art form from Ottoman times www.bhtourism.ba
  • Aerial view of Mostar's Old Town and Old Bridge (Stari Most). Photo credit: Peter Guttman Aerial view of Mostar’s Old Town and Old Bridge (Stari Most) Peter Guttman
  • Special host Patricia Schultz with her fellow travelers in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photo credit: Michel Behar Special host Patricia Schultz with her fellow travelers in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina Michel Behar

(click image to view larger photo)

Engulfed in war after Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence in 1992, the town was shelled repeatedly. Its Old Town, including its celebrated bridge, was all but destroyed.

After the war ended, UNESCO and donor nations launched a five-year project to rebuild the historic Old Town and the bridge in an effort to heal the deep ethnic divide that characterized the destruction. The resulting reconstruction was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005.

(click image to view larger photo)

Building Bridges

The beautifully proportioned Old Bridge in Mostar is a symbol of the city, standing in its original form for 427 years until it was destroyed in 1993. Commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent and designed by a student of the famed Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, the tall arch of the bridge radiates grace and power. Its reconstruction, which recreated the original silhouette, is considered a work of art as well as a gesture towards peace.

View of Mostar Bridge from an outdoor cafe. Photo credit: Martin Klimenta
View of Mostar Bridge from an outdoor cafe. Photo credit: Martin Klimenta

Travel to the Balkans with MIR

MIR has more than 25 years of Balkans travel experience offering on-the-ground support, quality you can trust, and guides and tour managers that clients rave about.

You can explore the history, culture, and landmarks of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the other Balkan countries, on these MIR itineraries:

Or book your own uniquely designed custom private journey to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Chat with a MIR specialist to discuss travel to this intriguing part of the world.