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.
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.