Things to do in Mostar – Meet Mostar As If You Are Locals
Articles like my (long time ago written) of Mostar has many, the question is which is better positioned in the search engine and which you will read it before, but it all comes down to the same….
The Old Bridge
This is article about Mostar from the eyes of one local girl. We, those who live in Mostar, have a chance every now to visit the Old Bridge, sometimes we admired the Bridge more and sometimes less. I truly enjoy every time when I see the Neretva River, so emerald-green, so beautiful, and so wild. This does not mean that I told you not to visiting the Old Bridge, no, it is still the number 1, if you are for the first time in Mostar. Old Bridge is at the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2005.
I was already at Instagram in review of one of my photo told that many travel guides (of course, not from Mostar) propose jump off a bridge as one of the attractions or “things to do in Mostar” and that you can experience only in Mostar, and I say not to do that under any circumstances. As I said, the Neretva is beautiful, but the wild. If you look closely in Mostar you will not see anybody, or very, very rare people who swim in the river Neretva, not because it is polluted, but because it is full of underwater rocks and whirlpools and actually it is very hard to tell where you can stand and that Neretva not to withdraws you into itself forever. Therefore jumps from the Old Bridge leave to professionals. If you wish, you can give them a 1 Euro or two, or nothing, they will jump anyway.
Few days before I was reading an article about Mostar from the foreign blogger, and I was a little disappointed with that article of Mostar… Come on people, you can do better! So, Mostar has been described as a city in Turkey. Okay, not that I was in Turkey, so I can make comparisons, but still… Mostar has a long history, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina and these regions have for many years been under the Austro-Hungarian authorities whose traces are everywhere, same as Ottoman’s culture. I know, all of you who enter only into old core of Mostar think “that it is”, but it is not.
Personally, I do not fascinate with the tea pots, and dishes wrought of iron nor I ever use it. It was mostly the tourist offer in the sense of “you’ve asked, now you have it”… Maybe, it’s exotic to you, like Babushka from Russia for me, but when you walked down the street, know that this is not the real life of Mostar. One street for tourists does not seem the city. What makes this city and what should you know of it? I do not know! Depending on the time you spend in Mostar, depends if you come in Mostar on one-day trip from Croatia or if you come in Mostar and will stay few days. However, here is few suggestions of “things to do in Mostar” that you’ll not see in most of tour guide, this is different angle of “things to do in Mostar”. All these locations are within a maximum of half an hour away by car from the city centre.
Fortresses of Mostar
Mostar as an administrative and military centre of the Herzegovina County had the most fortified buildings in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Around Mostar, unfortunately, is very little preserved fortification. In the area of Podvelezje are the remains of six military fortifications that were in the last war used by military formations which have passed through this area. So today, twenty years after the last war, can be seen remains of weapons and military uniforms around the fortress.
How the Austro-Hungarian Army Corps of Engineers gave importance to the fortifications tell us the fact that some of them after they have been built threw by its artillery to examine the quality of construction. That can be seen on the fortress of “Merdzan head” which is located on Podvelezje plateau where we can notice large stone blocks which are usually of 80 × 40cm that were placed in the damaged walls subsequently.
Also, in the vicinity of “Merdzan head” are the remains of a military camp (Lager Opine) who served as a logistics base to military fortifications that were located in this area.
All of the above leads to the conclusion that Mostar was the most densely fortified city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and some areas like Podvelezje, and especially hill Hum above Mostar, constitute perhaps the densest group of fortifications even in global terms.
Forts in Herzegovina fully fulfilled its role during World War II, and that part of the battlefield was never threatened.
The man even today stays impressed of inventiveness and organization of the then Monarchy taking into consideration the amount of built material goods, the quality of construction and level of development of technology that was 130 years ago.
Untouched Nature and Wild Horses
Be sure to go to Bila, hill near Mostar, according to Siroki Brijeg. Untouched nature and wild horses! If you have a cube of sugar in your pocket you’ll gain a friends in these magnificent animals. Time flies in their company, and I have no space to present all the photos I took hanging out with them. On the way back be sure to eat in restaurant in Goranci, where you can order domestic Herzegovinian dishes at reasonable prices.
Castle of Herceg Stjepan Kosaca
Do not forget to go to the castle of Herceg Stjepan Kosaca at the hill above Blagaj that offering a spectacular view of the valley of Blagaj. Herzegovina was named after the ruler Herceg Stjepan Kosaca and his castle is a medieval building, which was created in the late antique fortress over Blagaj. This Herceg’s town was actually a town palace, surrounded by hard walls with jaggy peaks that is still visible. This city was the centre of political and military turmoil of Herceg’s country until 1473 when it was captured by the Turkish army, and became the seat of the Turkish dignitary.
Near the source of the Buna is built Dervish Tekke that together with the surrounding nature makes unique and unrepeatable entity. Since the nature are part of the ritual, rocks and water along with the Blagaj Tekke are inseparable part of religious entities. Water from the source of Buna once used for ritual bathing of dervishes. The rock above the tekke building is also part of the sacred whole. It is known that the Tekke already existed in the mid of 17th century, with an attractive source of Buna, in Blagaj are other precious cultural monuments, such as old mills and old residential complex.
Stecci – The Medieval Tombstones
One more thing, do not belong to the municipality of Mostar, but really, is not far away (half an hour by car, maybe less). When you go from Mostar via Buna to Stolac, you’ll find the most preserved necropolis of the medieval tombstones in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Stecci or Medieval Tombstones are from the last year (2016) included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In Bosnia and Herzegovina are about 66,000 medieval tombstones or stecci. This unique medieval monuments in a smaller number can be seen in Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. According to UNESCO the possible parallels with the monuments of the same value are Khachkar in Armenia and Celtic Cross in Ireland.