Mostar – the city of cultural clash

Posted by Kadri Uljas on  September 13, 2014 |

If anybody knows anything about Mostar, then usually it is the bridge. The 25 m high single arch Old Bridge was a greatest architectural achievement in Ottoman times and has stayed one of the most symbolic construction in Balkans.

It represents the clash of the cultures in one nation and it was one of the most important landmarks during the conflict between Bosniaks and Bosnia Croats (1992-1994).
Still today, the town remains divided strongly between two sides – the Bosniaks or Bosnian Muslims (who are local Bosnian people converted to Muslim religion) and the Bosnian Croats, (who are the Croatians living in Bosnia with chosen religion of Roman Catholic). One does not cross over the bridge to other side and every now and then tensions rise between two religious groups. Who is there to blame today, no one knows, but the hatred goes from older generation to younger, as they recall the men who stood up and fought for them.

Another thing that the eyes do not want to believe, are the bullet holes in almost every house there is. Even though the city tries to rebuild itself and the Old Mostar doesn’t seem to hold memories of the happenings two decades  ago, all the surrounding buildings keep the past alive. And by doing that, it gives the tourists only a vague idea, what horror took place just years ago in here.

Where lives were changed in ´93

Where lives were changed in ´93

Getting ready for the jump

Getting ready for the jump

But life goes on, and so does it in Mostar. Today the Old Bridge is popular amongst young and fearless nomads who take a short course, give up on 30€ and take a jump into the cold river. Urban legends told that almost every month someone go badly hurt while jumping, so many of the tough guys didn’t dare to jump after shaking on the edge there. The ones who did, came out puffed, as the crowds cheered for the hero. It seemed to be the most exciting thing going on during the day.
Bars and cafes are filled with people and rather cheap dining options for local cuisine, are available everywhere.

Hostels in the town are available for 8-12€, (16-24 KM) a large portion meat platter for 2 is around 8€ (18KM) and good coffee seems to be the most expensive, reaching up to 2€ (4 KM) per cup. For cheaper options, all the bakeries are open from early morning ’til late night, so pizza slices or bureks can be munched for less than one euro. PS, when going to restaurants, always as for the menu, where prices are shown in Convertible Marks – the prices might be cheaper than in the euro menu.

Mostar is definitely a worth to visit place for everyone. It has a lively night club scene, with a really cool Cave Club; historical old town dating back to 16th century; and its overlooked by Velež Mountain, that suites for nature lovers. Give yourself 2-3 nights in the beautiful city and you won’t regret the trip. For the full package, enter or exit the place by day train, to have a breathtaking view of the wild nature around the area.


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