The name inspired by the “Flowing Dukedom” tells, therefore, the story of Bosnia Herzegovina and, similarly, Mostar (in the local language Mostar/ Moctap) retells its own destiny via its own name. Standing at the centre of the Herzegovina-Neretva canton of the Bosnian-Croatian Federation, its name is derived from that of its antique bridge, the Stari Most; and from its towers on its two banks guarded by the “mostari”. Flowing through the city centre is the Neretva River.
Mostar was a typical creation of the Ottoman sharp intelligence and their capacity to mix together different cultures and experiences. Founded at the end of the 15th century, during the dawning of the Turkish dominance, Mostar soon became the administrative centre for the Ottoman Empire in the region of Herzegovina; and this has left a sign that is an important part of its identity and architecture while, as time went on, it became more and more European.
Nowadays, Mostar is a city which has a strong attraction to tourists and, at the same time, it is an important cultural reality for the whole region. In the city, there are various cultural and music centres, the canton archives, the Herzegovina Museum, various libraries (among which the municipal library, called the “Herceg Stjepan Kosača”), theatres, and cultural centres of other European countries. But above all, visitors and tourists from all over the world are attracted by the city’s extraordinary architecture which renders it one of the most important tourist centres in this part of the Balkans: the Old City (Stari Grad) which in 2005 became a part of the Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO, the historical district with the Old Bridge (Stari Most), the mosque of Karađozbeg – Karađozbegova džamija, together with the Franjevačka crkva, the church with the highest bell tower in Bosnia Herzegovina. And then the thousands of streets and alleys which make up part of its history, such as the Bišćevića sokak, the street with the famous Turkish house and the historical Brankovac district, with its houses and courtyards belonging to the oldest families of Mostar, built in Ottoman style. And, last but not least, on the city side, the old settlement of Blagaj with the natural spring of the Buna River (Vrelo Bune), the famous Tekija and the old citadel, formerly a property of the Duke Stjepan Kosača (Stjepan Grad). Also, on the naturalistic side, Mostar offers important and beautiful examples, such as the Ruište Natural Park in the Preni Mountains, renowned for its varieties of the Bosnian lily, the Natural Reserve Diva Grabovica with a wild and almost intact nature, and theMostarsko blato Natural Park in the western zone of the city.
Carefully watching all this, the words of the Nobel Prize for Literature Ivo Andrić come to mind: “In everything that man pushes by his vital instinct, builds and raises, nothing is more beautiful or more precious than bridges. Bridges are more important than houses, more sacred because they are more useful than temples. They belong to everybody and they are the same for everybody, always built in the right place in which the major part of human necessity crosses, more durable than all other constructions and they do not serve for anything secret or bad.”
Andrić wrote these words in a 1963 short story, entitled The Bridges, and which finished quoting: “In the end, everything through which this life of ours is expressed – thoughts, efforts, glances, smiles, words, sighs – is all reaching out to another shore, as towards its aim, and only there will it be granted its true meaning. Everywhere there is something to overcome or to bridge: disorder, death, meaninglessness. Everything is a transition, a bridge whose ends are lost in infinity, beside which all the bridges of this earth are only children’s toys, pale symbols. And all our hope lies on the other side”.
Welcome to Mostar Hostel Bojo, your bed and breakfast budget hotel in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.