Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Ramadan Greetings from Bosnia

The Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva river

In the past The View from Fez has reported on Ramadan from Pakistan and this year our Ramadan photo essay comes from the beautiful city of Mostar in Bosnia. 

Mostar in Bosnia is the largest and one of the most important cities in the Herzegovina region. The city is situated on the Neretva river and is the fifth largest city in the country. Mostar was named after the "mostari" the bridge keepers who in the medieval times guarded the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over Neretva river.

The Old Bridge, built by the Ottomans in the 16th century is the city's most recognizable landmark. It was designed by the Ottoman (Turkish) architect Mimar Sinan and completed in 1566 after taking nine years to build. It replaced an older wooden structure and helped the city become a thriving trading centre.

However, on November 9, 1993, during the Balkan conflict, the bridge was bombarded by a tank until it collapsed into the river below. There was a huge international outcry, and the bridge has recently been rebuilt to the original design.

Fezzes on sale in Mostar
Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque
The beautiful ablutions fountain at the mosque

During the 1992-1995 war, much of the urban centre of Mostar was left in ruins and damage to buildings from shelling is still visible.

Since 1998 there has been extensive reconstruction and UNESCO has listed the city as a World Heritage site. "The reconstructed Old Bridge and Old City of Mostar is a symbol of reconciliation, international co-operation and of the coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities," their website states.

Bullets and shell casings are now tourist souvenirs

For a city that has seen so much fighting, the sound of the canon firing to announce the end of each day's fasting must bring back some mixed feelings.

Mostar by night, with its famous bridge

Photographs: Suzanna Clarke


1 comment:

Loughlin and Mary said...

Beautiful photos! I've added Mostar to my travel bucket list thanks to your post.