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Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Best Things To Do in Mostar

Mostar, known as the "City of Sunshine" due to its abundance of sunny days, is an incredibly captivating destination in Bosnia and Herzegovina that should not be missed on any journey through the Balkans.

The city's most iconic attraction is the UNESCO-designated Old Bridge, also known as Stari Most, where local divers fearlessly leap into the chilly waters of the Neretva River below. This bridge not only gives the city its name, Mostar, meaning "Bridge Keeper," but also serves as the focal point for numerous activities and experiences that make Mostar truly unforgettable.

Best Things To Do in Mostar

Stari Most

Stari Most holds a significant position in Mostar's Old Town and is considered a must-see attraction. This stunning bridge showcases the beauty of Balkan Islamic architecture and stands as one of the most iconic landmarks in the country.

The construction of the bridge was initiated by Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman ruler, in 1557. At that time, Mostar served as a frontier town within the empire. The previous wooden suspension bridge, which was known for its excessive swaying, was replaced by the current stone bridge.

Completed in 1566, the hump-backed stone bridge spans 30 meters in length, and 4 meters in width, and stands 24 meters tall. It is believed that the mortar used in its construction contained egg whites, adding to the bridge's unique history. The bridge played such a vital role in the city's growth that the name Mostar itself translates to "bridge keeper."

Bridge from Afar

There are multiple locations that offer unique perspectives to admire the bridge. When situated north of the bridge, some of the finest spots to witness Stari Most include the restaurant patios on both sides of the river, the Old Bazaar on the eastern side, and the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, particularly from its minaret.

On the other hand, when positioned south of the bridge, the most captivating views of Stari Most can be found from the riverbank and steps just below it on the western side, as well as from Lučki Most, the subsequent bridge to the south. For a bird's-eye view of the bridge, one can visit the Stari Most Museum.

Old Bridge Museum

The entrance to the Stari Most Museum can be easily overlooked due to the presence of numerous tourist souvenir stalls surrounding it. However, it is located at the eastern end of the bridge. The museum is divided into three sections.

Section A is situated in the six-story tower at the end of the bridge, offering a few displays but primarily providing visitors with a panoramic view of Stari Most.

To reach section B, one must exit the tower and follow the signs to the left, leading to an underground archaeological excavation area that often goes unnoticed by most tourists.

Section C, known as the "labyrinth" section, guides visitors through a corridor adorned with displays and images that depict the history, destruction, and subsequent restoration of the bridge.

Upon exiting the museum, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised as you step into a section of the Old Town Bazaar, located a short distance north along the road. The museum charges an entrance fee of 5€/10KM/40kuna and operates from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and until 8 p.m. on weekdays.

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