UNESCO E-library of Park Škocjan Caves and The Karst Biosphere Reserve

In the valley of Neretva River, between the Hum hill and the foot of the Velez mountain, a settlement with a bridge with two towers on both sides has been originally placed. Historical sources date it in 1452. Settlement's current name Mostar, has been mentioned for the first time in 1474 and derives from the word “mostari”, meaning »the bridge keepers«. In the period of Otoman’s administration, the city of Otoman-oriental type, has been established along both banks of the Neretva River which was surrounded by most part with ramparts in 1520-1566 and transformed in fortified settlement with the Old bridge. This bridge was built to replace the former medieval bridge and excentrically located in the mid of the settlement. The stone bridge with one arched vault leaned on banks rocks, gave it the look of a butterfly constructuion stretched between banks of the Neretva River. Vault is one of extraordinary elegance, in form of elipse, unusual for the buildings of Otoman’s bridge construction.

foto partnerji bih-1Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar

Ingeniousness of its constructor, mimar Hayreddin, manifested in his ability to choose location for the bridge, his construction solutions and sophisticated feeling of shaping the bridge which is in perfect harmony with the environment. The synthesis of autochthonous materials, climate and the strength of the place, inspired mimar Hayreddin to realise that simplicity could be beautiful. The construction of the bridge was completed in 1566, with two protective towers – Tara (Herceguša) on the left bank of the Neretva River and Halebija (Ćelovina) on the right side. It represents an unique monument of the world’s heritage by its design, construction and function.

The bridge was demolished in 1993 due to artillery atacks. Under UNESCO patronage, an international team of experts was established for reconstruction of the Old Bridge, restoration of the towers Tara and Helebija, Sultan-Selim’s maciid and other buildings in the monument complex. After renewal, the Old Bridge was officially opened in 2004 and World Heritage Committee inscribed the area of the Old Bridge of the Old City of Mostar into the World’s Heritage List of UNESCO in 2005. Its renewal is a symbol for international cooperation and coexistence of different cultural, ethnic and religious communities.


Prepared by: 
Azra Hadžić, BSc. Arch, Expert adviser for architectural and archeological heritage, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Izdelava: Studio Matris