The very little known city of Mostar is a wonderful place for a visit while on your Bosnia-Herzegovina trip. This is an ancient town which features a slim and elegant Old Bridge, in fact its name, Mostar means keeper of the bridge.
The bridge is flanked by a very old, cobble Ottoman Quarter, which is where you’ll find a plethora of artisans and craftsmen, as well as a bunch of medieval mosques, old Turkish-style houses and what seems to be an infinite number of cafes.
Across the bridge you’ll find that restaurant terraces populate the steep and rocky riverbanks, creating some great views of the Old Bridge and the river it spans.
This was one of the more heavily bombed cities during the war and as such the formerly ethnically diverse city is now suffering from a geographical division of its once mingled ethnic groups.
Of course this wouldn’t be Bosnia-Herzegovina without some Austro-Hungarian influences, as such you can still find the Gymnasium and the City Baths, which have survived valiantly from those times. It is sad that many grand buildings were destroyed during the war, however there are reasons to be optimistic seeing as how many of them are gradually and slowly being brought back to life.
It’s nice to see how life has recovered, one interesting time waster while in Mostar is to sit on a terrace and watch the locals dive off the Old Bridge, there’s an official Diving Club and everything. It should be noted however that these are very accustomed with the waters, the river’s emerald green water stay at a constant and chilly twelve Centigrade, even during the summer, going from the atmospheric thirty degrees to twelve can cause a heart attack even amongst the very fit.
One tourist attraction that you shouldn’t miss, besides the Old Bridge, is the Muslibegovica House. This is one of the most beautiful Ottoman period houses that you can see in the Balkans, and it’s made up of separate quarters for women and men.
While the town is rather small, it is an interesting and sobering visit, which shouldn’t be missed if you’re on a tour of the country.