It’s that time of year already! Time for Red Bull’s cliff diving competition and yet again they’re back in the beautiful city of Mostar!

The beautiful city of Mostar is situated in the heart of Hezegovina. This city has a diving tradition that can be dated back more than 430 years. Till this day, you can visit Mostar and see some divers getting ready to jump off the bridge. The bridge that the divers jump off was originally built in the 16th century. And the city itself, got its name due to the bridge, Mostar (‘most’ in Bosnian means bridge). Believe it or not the first larger bridge to be created was ordered by Sulejman ‘The Magnificent’, in 1557.

Last year Mostar held the Red Bull cliff diving competition and it was something you had to watch. Although, I must admit that it’s not the same watching this jumps from the tv screen apposed to watching them in person. Who knows, maybe you might even get splashed from the river Neretva.

Where to start with the river in general, the Neretva flows through parts of Herzegovina and it is one of Bosnia’s longer rivers. It is unique because it has a particular, turquoise green color. Not many rivers can offer you this. Although don’t think the Neretva is a joke because the water is very cold. And only professionals should be jumping into her!

Gary Hunt of Great Britain dives from the 28 metre platform on the Stari Most bridge during the second training session of the sixth stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 14th 2015. red bull cliff diving mostar
Gary Hunt of Great Britain dives from the 28 metre platform on the Stari Most bridge during the second training session of the sixth stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 14th 2015.

This year on September 24th, Mostar will once again host the Red Bull cliff competition. Great athletes from around the world will come and try their best-you never know who can become number one! Last year, Jonahtan Paredes took the win- and no one saw that coming! Perhaps, a female can take the win this year? You got to be there to see it!

I know I will be in Mostar on the 24th! I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

The town of Trebinje in on our radar because it looks to be off the tourist trail – a nice, undisturbed town – a contrast to the ultra-touristy Dubrovnik nearby. And it has a beautiful old stone bridge.

The  bridge was originally further from town, but during the Yugoslav years the river was dammed and the bridge flooded; eventually is was dismantled, put aside, then moved and carefully re-assembled in its present location. It seems that moving old bridges is fairly common in Europe. One thing that is striking is how much less prosperous the town seems than anywhere in nearby Croatia or even Montenegro. It seems like a fairly poor town, even though, supposedly, it has been one of the more prosperous towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

trebinje_1

You can hike up to Arhangel Mihailo Church, a brand new church with excellent views back over the town and the surrounding hills and walk along the Trebišnjica River to get to the beautiful double-backed Arslanagic Bridge, Trebinje’s most famous landmark.

Then you can climb up Hercegovacka Gracanica hilltop for yet more great views and to see the imposing Presvete Bogorodice Church.Trebinje’s walled Old Town is attractive but far smaller than Dubrovnik’s, with an unpretentious, very much ‘lived in’ feel. The town’s Bosnian-Serb population might help you get a greater understanding of events in the history of the 1990s conflict. Many streets and monuments commemorate local hero Jovan Dučić (1871–1943).

Počitelj is a beautiful medieval town situated 30 km from Mostar, on the left bank of the river Neretva. This stone town was built on a hill that dominates the riverbed of the Neretva River.

In the middle ages, Počitelj was the administrative center and center of governance of Dubrava župa (county), and its westernmost point, which gave it major strategic importance. It is supposed that the fortified town and its attendant settlements were built by Bosnia’s King Stjepan Tvrtko I in 1383.

Pocitelj

The walled town of evolved over the period from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Architecturally, the surviving stone-built parts of the town are a fortified complex, in which two stages of evolution can be seen: the medieval, and Ottoman. With the establishment of Austro-Hungarian rule in BiH in 1878, Počitelj lost its strategic importance and began to deteriorate rapidly. The loss of the town’s strategic role helped to safeguard the original urban architectural ensemble, so that the town has been preserved in its original form to this day. During the 1992-96 war in BiH the entire historic urban site of the city and all its various buildings suffered extensive war damage. In 1996, Počitelj was named by World Monuments Watch as one of the world’s 100 most endangered cultural heritage sites, as proposed by the University of York, United Kingdom, and the University of Sarajevo, in light of its outstanding value.

Počitelj can be compared with some of the world heritage sites as: Old Bridge Area of the City of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), City of Safranbolu (Turkey), Museum-City of Gjirokastra (Albania), Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), etc. The layout of Počitelj, its architecture and use of materials put it into the group of Ottoman Mediterranean types of small settlements.

We would love to bring you the story and history of the historical town Višegrad.

Višegrad is one of the oldest settlements in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in the far east of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the banks of the river Drina and the river Rzava. It is famous for its old bridge, built in 1571.  With its numerous cultural, historical and natural attractions, Visegrad has always stood for an interesting tourist destination. The Dobrun monastery, 12 kilometers far from the center of the town, is one of the most interesting tourist localities in Višegrad.

The bridge on the Drina is a heritage of the great vizier Mehmed paša Sokolović (in Turkish Sokollu Mehmet Paşa, 1505. or 1506-1579). He is one of the great Ottoman war generals who originated from Bosnia. He was born in the village of Sokolovići near Rudo in 1505. or 1506, and was a child of Orthodox parents.

At that time there was a tradition and custom known as Devširma, or „The contribution in blood”. Orthodox Serbian children would be taken away to Turkey where they would be converted to Islam and taught in their military schools to become Janissaries, the elite soldiers of the Turkish Empire. Bajica Sokolović was one such child, taken from the surroundings of Višegrad at a young age and given the name Mehmed.
The bridge is deservedly on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It used to connect the route from Bosnia to Constantinople (Carigrad – Istanbul) and today it is a place visited by many tourists, passengers, artists, admirers of history and architecture. The bridge is among the most significant national monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a beautiful sight to behold.

Mostar is located in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina, more precisely, located in the center of Herzegovina. The metropolitan area (Mostar and its surroundings) are geographically described as a node of northern, western and eastern Herzegovina. Through the center of the city extends the canyon of the Neretva River.

Middle Ages

The new period resulting fall of the Roman Empire and the coming of Slavs. During the early Middle Ages the area of ​​Mostar belonged to the province of Zahumlje (Hum).

The foundation of the city of Mostar is related to the construction of two towers / fortresses, mid XV. century, probably at the time of Herceg Stjepan. The fort on the right bank of the  River Neretva was named Tara, and on the left is Halebija. Herceguša tower was built right next to the Tower of Tara. It was used for defensive purposes, but also for keeping the former suspended bridge. It was built during the Duke Stephen, after whom it was named. And the first written mention of Mostar is connected with the two towers.

Name ,,Mostar” first appeared in Turkish census from 1468th to 1469th, and that it refers to the village around the two towers on  Neretva it is clear from a document of the meeting of Council of the Republic of Dubrovnik 1474 years.

During the war 1992nd to 1995th Mostar was the scene of the conflict and it is difficult to not get hurt. Destroyed everything what was built for decades, even centuries. Initially, the city was shelled by Serbian forces.  Serbs held most of the hills around Mostar and Eastern part of the city. In June 1992, Mostar and the Neretva valley are exempt from the joint action of the HVO and HV Lipanjske dawn.

In early May 1993 in Mostar begins Bosniak-Croatian conflict. Bosniacs, who until then had been in the HVO together with the Croats, pointing their guns in their comrades, but under duress Croatian forces retreat in the eastern part of the city . HVO blocked keeps the eastern part of the city that is under the control of the Bosnian Army and shelled it. During one such shelling HVO demolished the old bridge.

The old bridge was reconstructed and completely renovated in 2004, and since July 2005 has again been included on UNESCO’s list of protected cultural monuments of the world…