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Categories: Cultural Diversity

Partisan Memorial Cemetery in Mostar

Partisan Memorial Cemetery in Mostar

The historical center of Mostar, situated on both sides of the exceptionally famous Stari Most (Old Bridge), represents a truly unique and unforgettable attraction. Visitors can marvel in the symbols of the old city, parts of Mostar from the Ottoman period with beautiful mosques from the XVI century, towers, houses and Turkish bathhouses — as well as small silversmith shops which contribute to the bustling in the streets with their everyday activities — all followed by the powerful flow and enchanting, emerald color of the river Neretva. The city is characteristic for the connecting and coexistence of the four local religions — Islam, Catholicism, orthodox Christianity and Judaism — which is largely the reason for its huge appeal. Mostar is also a jewel which decorates its untouched and prosperous nature — green, sunny, filled with flowers, Mediterranean climates with long warm summers. That is the reason, and not just its artistic notabilities, why it always attracted tourists, as well as painters and poets which visit the city, love and eternalize it in their works.

Early Christian basilica in Cim

The ruins of the early Christian basilica in Crkvine in Cim hold testimony to the spiritual life in Mostar since the earliest periods. The ruins of the basilica are the most significant archeological locality from the early Christian period.  Other than architectural remains, valuable fragments of stone plastic, numerous movable findings, as well as a significant number of tombs from the late antique/early Christianity and mature middle age were found. The basilica is considered to have been made five or six centuries B.C.

Stari Most/Old Bridge

It is impossible to imagine Mostar without the Old Bridge from which this city got its name. The construction of the bridge was initiated by Turkish architect Hayruddin by order of sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and was finished after nine years of work in 1566. The bridge stood steadily for 427 years until 1993 when it was destroyed. The bridge was reconstructed in 2004 and started to once again symbolize the city of Mostar and its desire for rebirth on the foundations of a glorious past and its favorite monument.

Two buildings which remind us of bridge keepers tower into the sky on the Neretva banks next to the Old Bridge. The Tara tower is located on the eastern side of the Neretva. It is in the shape of a semicircle and during the Ottoman rule it was used as a storage room for ammunition and weaponry. Today, the Old Bridge museum is located inside this tower. Halebija, the other tower whose lower floors had been used as a prison, is on the western side of the Neretva.

Karađoz-bey Mosque

Mostar is rich with mosques which are arranged by nearly every square. One of the most representative monuments of Islamic sacral architecture of the 16th century is of course the Karađoz-bey Mosque (or Karagöz Bey Mosque). It was built in 1557 following the project of Koca Mimar Sinan. The interior is splendidly decorated with arabesques and floral drawings. A fountain for ritual ablution (Šadrvan), an Islamic religious school or madras, a library and a public kitchen can be found in the yard of the mosque.

Synagogue and Jewish memorial cemetery

The Jewish community settled in Mostar during the Ottoman period and completed so the multicultural image of the city. The synagogue, built in 1889 in the suburb Brankovac, was adapted in 1952 and was gifted to the Puppet Theater. A memorial to Jewish Holocaust victims was erected in the city's Jewish cemetery in 1999. 

The old and the new Orthodox church

The old Orthodox church in Mostar, built in 1834, represents an important example of Orthodox Christian sacral architecture. The inside contains an icon of the Virgin Mary, wooden iconostases with various Russian, Venetian and local icons which date from the periods of the 15th and 18th centuries. The new one was built between 1863 and 1873 by design of Spasoje Vulić.

The Catholic church and Franciscan monastery

The Catholic church in Mostar was built in the year 1866. The church contains a library with 50.000 old scripts and the monastery building houses an important collection of paintings from Italian masters from the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Crooked Bridge/Kriva Ćuprija

The Crooked Bridge was built over the river Radobolja and represents a miniature version of the Old Bridge. It was built in the year 1556 and it withstood serious damage during floods in 2001.

Turkish bathhouse or hamam

The Turkish bathhouse, also known as hamam, was a public bathhouse which was widely spread during the Ottoman era. The Turkish bathhouse by the Tabačica mosque was built at the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century in classic Ottoman style. The Bathhouse consists of a central room with an anteroom, a space in the middle and a space which is referred to as the "calidarium". Hamams were intended for public use and therefore were usually without decorations that Turkish builders usually built on other buildings.

Kujundžiluk/Old bazaar

The old bazaar represents the oldest core of the city of Mostar. The beautiful cobblestone street dates back to the 18th century. Nowadays Traditional restaurants and characteristic craft shops can be found in this small street. During the Ottoman period the old bazaar counted more than 500 shops and workshops. The old bazaar, along with the Old Bridge, represents the touristic core of the city of Mostar.

Sahat kula/Clock tower

The clock tower stands next to the Herzegovina Museum and functions as a monument to the fruitful Ottoman architecture. The Clock tower is a four-sided, 15 meter tall tower which was built in the year 1630.

Ottoman residences

There are Turkish houses in the Mostar city core, which even today represent the everyday life during the Ottoman rule. These houses represent a component of Mostar's urban section and help the overall understanding of this city's history. Turkish houses were under the ownership of influential families of the time: the Biščećivić (1625), the Kajtaz (18th century), the Muslimbegović (19th century). The houses are very well-preserved and offer the visitors of Mostar insight into the residential lifestyle of the time. Beautiful gardens with exotic plants can be found around the houses. The houses are decorated with beautiful and valuable carpets. They also contained small libraries which used to keep rare scriptures.

Austro-Hungarian period (19th-20th century)

Mostar also abounds with buildings from the Austro-Hungarian period. The old gymnasium, built in 1898 and located on the Spanish square, counts among the most beautiful and interesting buildings from this period. The other such building is the city spa, built in 1914 and planned by architect Rudolf Tonnies, with the support of Miroslav Loos. The building is characteristic for its Austro-Hungarian style with Moorish ornaments.

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