20th May 2015 – Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Mostari have left the shores of the Neretva.
And so have the armies, and crimes against humanity.
All that remains of the turbulent divide from history.
Is an old bridge which the ottomans left over the city.
On this project, I have come across many different types of bridges. The broken bridge of Sigatoka in Fiji, the love bridge of Notre Dame in Paris, and the Prague bridge with the bridge band playing. But the one bridge that I have been looking forward to, has been the Stari Most, the old bridge of Mostar.
Considered one of the best pieces of Ottoman architecture in the Balkan region, the Stari Most was badly destroyed during the Croat-Bosniak war of 1993, and then rebuilt and reopened in 2004. It is no wonder that many people think Mostar itself was named after the Stari Most. It wasn’t. It was named for the Mostari people, who guarded the bridges of the Neretva river.
One sight that many people expect when they come here, is the Stari Most diving. There is a diving club, which organises jumps from the top of the bridge, above 20 meters high, into the cold waters. This is an extremely treacherous jump and should never be attempted by a first timer. The waters are deep in a very small stretch of the river, and if you overshoot the jump or sway too much, your head hits the rocks.
Unluckily for me, there was nobody jumping today.