Travel

The brutal history of Bosnia’s most famous bridge

I went from Dubrovnik to Mostar which took about 3 and a half hours, it was one way to lose the crowds!

After seeing photos of the beautiful Stari Most bridge, I was really thrilled to be seeing Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time!

People like to jump off the bridge which really is the heart of the city as the UNESCO old town surrounds it.

You can pay the man to jump off so the man in the photo is actually a professional. It’s one way to earn a living! As you can see the water isn’t that deep but clearly he manages to avoid hurting himself.

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Man jumping off Stari Most

The Stari Most is a 16th century Ottoman bridge which had to be rebuilt after it was destroyed by the Croats.

During the war it was the only access people had to drinking water, the bridge was covered in tyres as a feeble attempt at protection. There was no way such a delicate bridge could withstand the brutality of war.

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Man about to jump off Stari Most

The water is a gorgeous shade of turquoise, I loved sitting by it and reading.

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You can climb up the towers next to the bridge and enjoy the gorgeous architecture. One mistake I made was wearing shorts, as I forgot I was crossing into a Muslim country. A man looked at me with such distain that I remembered and had to change into trousers.

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Stari Most from above

I loved the colour of the stone in Mostar, I think thats what made it so beautiful. Its a shame about the branded umbrellas and shades as they definitely didn’t fit in with the Ottoman architecture!

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The Neretva River

Looking at the beauty of Mostar, its hard to believe that the city was under siege during the Bosnian War from 1992-1995.

The conflict began when Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia. In the years that followed, Serb forces began a civil war that targeted Bosniaks and Croatians.

Two million people were displaced in the genocide and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was convicted of war crimes in 2016.

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Mostar was one of the cities under siege during the war.

The buildings behind the river tell a different story to the old town as they now stand as monuments to the bombing.

The Spanski Trg is the place where many of the damaged architecture can be found.

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People walk past these buildings every day, this one looks like it was quite grand before it was bombed.

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Plants have started to grow through the broken beams.

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These arches sag as then collapse, brick by brick.

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Every window in this building is shattered.

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One of the clearest memories for me in this country was the white gravestones pointing at the sky. Especially here, where you can see the buildings and feel how recent the history is, and how raw.

I am glad that the buildings stand as monuments, at least for now. Its always important to be reminded of war and all the ways we can prevent it from happening.

We always say ‘Never Again’ and I hope one day that will be true.

There are currently 40 armed conflicts happening around the world.

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