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Mostar: Ottoman center with a characteristic bridge

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Mostar is the largest and most important city in Herzegovina. This historic city with over one hundred thousand inhabitants is located along the Neretva River. The name of the city derives from the beautiful bridge (Stari Most) built by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century over the river that crosses the city.

The city was founded by the Ottomans in the 15th century and became, from the late 16th century, the administrative center of Turkish Herzegovina. The city was fortified in the 16th century and in 1566 the stone bridge was built which is the symbol of the city. This wonderful bridge replaced an old wooden bridge. The Ottoman Empire ruled Mostar and its region until 1878 when the city came under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


The Ottoman bridge (Stari Most) is the main tourist attraction of the city. It was destroyed during the Bosnian war in 1993, but was fortunately rebuilt in 2004 thanks to UNESCO. The entire old town of Mostar has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2005. Mostar is the most important tourist destination in Bosnia and Herzegovina together with the Marian pilgrimage center of Medjugorje.

The historic center of Mostar called Stari Grad (Old Town) extends around the ancient Ottoman bridge and the Neretva river. It reflects the different ethnic groups and religions that make up the population that inhabits the city. There are ancient buildings, mosques, Catholic and Orthodox churches, but the Ottoman footprint pervades the entire ancient city. This peculiarity has made Mostar become one of the most important tourist destinations in Bosnia Herzegovina in recent years.

The population of the city has changed a lot due to the civil war that fought in Mostar in the early nineties of the twentieth century. Today its population is divided almost equally between Croats (48.4%) and Bosnians (44.1%). While Serbs are a minority (4.1%).

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