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Stari Most and Medjugorje, Bosnia Herzegovina

Stari Most and Medjugorje, Bosnia Herzegovina
Stari Most and Medjugorje, Bosnia Herzegovina
Stari Most and Medjugorje, Bosnia Herzegovina
Stari Most and Medjugorje, Bosnia Herzegovina
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The Stari Most or Old Bridge was a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture and a symbol of
Mostar’s divided population. The bridge was originally built in 1566 on the orders of
Suleiman the Magnificent, then Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Its simple design consisted
of a single humpbacked arch made of locally quarried limestone, flanked by two large
towers–built in the following century–on either side. The bridge was 30 metres long
and 4 metres wide.
Over 400 years after its completion, the bridge was destroyed during the conflict that
engulfed Bosnia. Under the command of Slobodan Praljak, the Croat militia shelled the
bridge as part of its effort to drive Muslim Bosnians from the predominantly Catholic
Croat western half of the city. The eastern half of Mostar, complete with stone mosques
and minarets, is home to the majority of the city’s Muslim population. The diving line
between the two halves is the Neretva River, over which the Stari Most crosses.
The destruction of the bridge became a symbol of the city’s tragic division.
In April 2004, after considerable reconstruction efforts much in line with the original
design, Stari Most was once again open for unencumbered pedestrian passage and is
considered now a symbol of “”reconciliation, international cooperation and of the
coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities.

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