Magical, Moving Mostar
Brent used words to explain our weekend trip to this little city in Bosnia Herzegovina. I prefer to use photographs.
Living in Split, Croatia, for the winter, Brent and I (and our friend Vicki) recently took a weekend trip to the city of Mostar, in the neighboring country of Bosnia Herzegovina.
The city is most famous for two things: its fantastic Stari Most (or “Old Bridge”) and as the location for lots of brutal fighting back in the Bosnian War of the 90s.
The city is still filled with haunting reminders of that deadly war — and Brent recently made the case that the city can be seen as a cautionary tale for America.
I had a similar take on the city, but naturally, I prefer to make my case with photographs.
Stari Most, the UNESCO World Heritage Site pictured above, has long been a symbol of unity for the city, literally bridging Mostar’s two sides: the eastern side where most Bosniak Muslims live, and the western side, which is home to most Catholic Croats.
As a result, warring forces were initially reluctant to destroy it.
But in 1993, 427 years after the bridge was completed, Croat forces finally blew it up.
After the end of the war, the city and its international sponsors began rebuilding the bridge — and the specular Old Town which surrounds it on either side of the river; it too had been reduced almost entirely to rubble in the war.
Almost everything you see now is the result of that painstaking reconstruction, which was completed in 2004, when a new stone bridge finally rejoined the city’s two sides.
After exploring Old Town, Brent, Vicki, and I stopped for lunch at Šadrvan, a restaurant that our nomad friend Gillian had recommended.
It serves traditional Bosnian food — delicious and affordable, coming in at $27 USD for three of us, including appetizers, wine, and generous tip.