Croatia , Bosnia, Montenegro-05/11-5/19/2019
This morning we are driving back to Dubrovnik but on way we will stop by Mostar in Bosnia to see Stari Most (the Old bridge), the Dervish house, and we will also make a short stop in Ptelji.
The drive is about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
The drive from Split to Mostar is really pleasant. There are few check point but it is really fast and easy to drive through.
Mostar was named after the bridge keepers (mostari) who in the medieval times guarded the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva. The Old Bridge, built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most recognizable landmarks, and is considered one of the most exemplary pieces of Islamic architecture in the Balkans.
To get to the bridge you have to go to the old town and then go down this terrace as the bridge is behind it.
Lots of souvenirs stalls along the way....
Here you can find local artisans selling traditional handicrafts from little shops on the side of the street.
Mostar is extremely small and you will be able to walk around the whole town quite easily. The main bridge is in the center of the city.
Narrow decorative cobbled streets.
From the old town you will see the River Neretva.
Stari Most (old bridge) in the background.
The main reason for this trip to Mostar is to see this gorgeous bridge. Stari Most is a 16th-century Ottoman bridge that crosses the river Neretva and connects the two parts of the city.
The Old Bridge stood for 427 years, until it was destroyed in November 1993 by Croatian forces during the Croat–Bosnia War. The bridge was reconstructed using original stones they found in the river and reopened in July 2004 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Once the Old Bridge was destroyed a temporary cable bridge was erected so that both sides of the city remained linked until the reconstruction by the Spanish and Portuguese military engineers assigned by the United Nations Protection Force mission.
The bridge is considered an exemplary piece of Balkan Islamic architecture and was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1557.
Coffee terrace next to the river
Panoramic view: Bridge on the left, cafe terrace in the center and the old town on the right.
View of the East side of the bridge.
We are on the West side over looking the East side.
The bridge is 95 feet long, 13 feet wide and has two fortified towers for defense on each side.
The bridge is super slippery so be really careful.
View of the West side from the bridge.
View of the East side from the bridge.
Again this is the West side that is where we came from.
Kevin is standing more of less in the middle of the bridge and the background is the entrance of the East side.
The Old Town is small with a few cobblestoned lanes on either side of the Neretva River, it doesn’t take long at all to walk the entire Old Town.
On these streets are cafes and souvenir shops. It is around noon and we are looking for somewhere to have lunch.
There are many restaurants in the old town but we saw this one that is really clean so we decided to have lunch here.
We are trying to order traditional dishes from Bosnia
This is called Cevapi, looks like an oblong sausage made from minced beef or mutton.
You’ll find cevapi, the Bosnian kebab, sold in most restaurants often served with raw onions, sour cream and somun which is a Bosnia pita Bread.
We also ordered a plate of Pljeskavica, a patty of pork, beef and lamb. This one of Serbia’s national dishes and a favorite fast food across the border in Bosnia.
The spicy burgers come in flatbread with onions, relish and a cheese salad.
After lunch we walked around in the old town we followed the sign and entered in a gated courtyard to check out the Koski Mehmet Pasha Mosque.
This is the courtyard of the Mosque. The mosque was built in 1618 but was substantially rebuilt after the war.
Access to the charming courtyard doesn't require a ticket and you are free to walk around.
They have souvenirs shops on the side.
The dome is painted with botanical motifs and punctuated by colored-glass windows. You can climb up for sweeping town views but you will to buy a ticket.
During the war in Bosnia (1992-95), it was badly damaged by the Croatian military forces, and its restoration took place during 1996-2001. The Mosque used to have an extraordinary collection of the manuscripts of Qur'an, from which some were preserved but today they belong to other collections. The Mosque also possesses the carpet which was the gift from Austrian monarch Franjo Josip. The Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque represents also one of most popular touristic destinations in Mostar.
You have to buy a ticket to get in the Mosque so we opted not to get in.
The exterior of the Mosque.
The Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque in Mostar represents another extraordinary piece of Ottoman architecture in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Besides the Karadžoz Bey Mosque, this is a most known and most monumental mosque in Mostar
As we were leaving and walking to our car we saw this building riddled with bullets. Scars left from the previous can still be seen in town.
Next... The dervish house, Blagaj