“East” Europe 2014 – Mostar, Bosnia

From Medjugorje, we move onto the old city of Mostar, the meeting point of Islam and Christianity in Bosnia.

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The most recognizable landmark in Bosnia is its Old Bridge. Constructed by the Ottomans in the 16th century, it is considered one of the most exemplary pieces of Islamic architecture in the Balkans. It is also interesting in that it is the connecting piece between what was considered the Christian and Muslim sides of the city.

The young men of the city also dive from the bridge into the Neretva River down below. All through our visit, there were tons of young men, clad only in red swimming shorts, flexing their muscles and showing off before jumping off.

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The Ottoman influence could be strongly felt throughout the city. Many vendors had touristy trinkets that could be mistaken as being from Turkey, and many of the residents seemed to be of Turkish descent as well.

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On either sides of the bridge were these small monuments dedicated to the Bosnian War. During the war, the bridge was destroyed in 1933, and it was not until 2004 that the reconstructed bridge was completed and inaugurated.

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I also met a very cute and friendly little friend at the end of one of the bridges. When I had finished having lunch and came out of the restaurant though, he was gone. Probably gone looking for more tourists to pester for food.

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The paths in the city were all paved cobblestone. It made my head hurt to even think of how much manpower was invested in making these ornate roads.

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By the shores of the Neretva River that ran between the city was a beautiful place to relax and have some coffee. Unfortunately they didn’t serve any Turkish coffee; just plain old European lattes.

More pictures of Mostar:

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Signing off,
Maria

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