Mostar kroz sliku
Mostar is a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the largest and one of the most important cities in the Herzegovina region, its cultural capital and the center of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton of the Federation. Mostar is situated on the Neretva river and is the fifth-largest city in the country. Mostar was named after the bridge keepers (natively: mostari) who in the medieval times guarded the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva. The Old Bridge, built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina's most recognizable landmarks, and is considered one of the most exemplary pieces of Islamic architecture in the Balkans.
Human settlements on the river Neretva, between the Hum Hill and the Velež Mountain, have existed since prehistory, as witnessed by discoveries of fortified enceintes and cemeteries. Evidence of Roman occupation was discovered beneath the present town.
As far as medieval Mostar goes, although the Christian basilicas of late antiquity remained in use, few historical sources were preserved and not much is known about this period. The name of Mostar was first mentioned in a document dating from 1474, taking its name from the bridge-keepers (mostari); this refers to the existence of a wooden bridge from the market on the left bank of the river which was used by traders, soldiers, and other travelers. During this time it was also the seat of a kadiluk (district with a regional judge). Since Mostar was on the trade route between the Adriatic and the mineral-rich regions of central Bosnia, the settlement began to spread to the right bank of the river.
However, prior to the 1474 the names of two towns appear in medieval historical sources, along with their later medieval territories and properties – the towns of Nebojša and Cimski grad. In the early 15th century the late medieval county of Večenike covered the site of the present-day Mostar along the right bank of the Neretva: Zahum, Cim, Ilići, Hraštani and Vojno. It was at the center of this area, which in 1408 belonged to the Radivojević's, that Cim fort was built (prior to 1443). Mostar is indirectly referred to in a charter of King Alfonso V of Aragon dating from 1454 as Pons (Bridge), for a bridge had already been built there. Prior to 1444, the Nebojša fort was built on the left bank of the Neretva, which belonged to the late medieval county still known as Večenike or Večerić. The earliest documentary reference to Mostar as a settlement dates from April 3, 1452, when natives of Dubrovnik wrote to their fellow countrymen in the service of Đorđe Branković to say that Vladislav Hercegović had turned against his father and occupied the town called Blagaj and other places, including “Duo Castelli al ponte de Neretua.”.
In 1468 Mostar came under Ottoman rule and the urbanization of the settlement began. Following the unwritten oriental rule, the town was organized into two distinct areas: čaršija, the crafts and commercial centre of the settlement, and mahala or a residential area. In 1468 Mostar acquired the name Köprühisar, meaning fortress at the bridge, at the centre of which was a cluster of 15 houses.
The town was fortified between the years 1520 and 1566, and the wooden bridge was rebuilt in stone. The stone bridge, the Old Bridge (Stari Most), was erected in 1566 on the orders of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman ruler. Later becoming the city's symbol, the Old Bridge (Stari Most) is one of the most important structures of the Ottoman era and perhaps Bosnia's most recognizable architectural piece, and was designed by Mimar Hayruddin, a student and apprentice of the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. In the late 16th century, Mostar was the chief administrative city for the Ottoman Empire in the Herzegovina region.
The Stari Most bridge: 28 meters long and 20 meters high (90' by 64'), quickly became a wonder in its own time. The famous traveler Evliya Çelebi wrote in the 17th century that: the bridge is like a rainbow arch soaring up to the skies, extending from one cliff to the other. ...I, a poor and miserable slave of Allah, have passed through 16 countries, but I have never seen such a high bridge. It is thrown from rock to rock as high as the sky.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire absorbed Mostar in 1878 and it ruled there until the aftermath of World War I in 1918. During this period, Mostar was recognized as the unofficial capital of all of Herzegovina (as it always was). The first church in the city of Mostar, a Serbian Orthodox Church, was built in 1834 during Ottoman rule. In 1881 the town became the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mostar-Duvno and in 1939, it became a part of the Banovina of Croatia. During World War II Mostar was also an important city in the fascist Independent State of Croatia.
After the World War II, Mostar developed a production of plastics, tobacco, bauxite, wine, aircraft and aluminium products. Several dams (Grabovica, Salakovac, Mostar) were built in the region to harness the hydroelectric power of the Neretva. The city was a major industrial and tourist center and prospered economically during the time of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Between 1992 and 1993, after Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia, the town was subject to an 18 month siege. The Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) first bombed Mostar on 3 April 1992, and over the following week gradually established control over a large part of the town. By 12 June 1992, the 4th Corps of the ARBiH (which was one of five later seven corps formed in 1992) and the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) in a joined action amassed enough strength to force the JNA out of Mostar. The JNA responded with shelling. Amongst the monuments destroyed were a Franciscan monastery, the Catholic cathedral and the bishop's palace (with a library of 50,000 books), a number of secular institutions as well as the Karadžoz-bey mosque, and thirteen other mosques.
In mid June 1992, after the battle line moved eastward, the HVO demolished the Serbian Orthodox Žitomislić Monastery as well as the Saborna Crkva (Orthodox Cathedral Church) that was built in 1863-1873. During the Bosnian War of 1992-95, the Serb Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (Serbian: Саборна црква Св. Тројице) and the Church of the Birth of the Most Holy Virgin (Црква Рођења Пресвете Богородице/Crkva Rođenja Presvete Bogorodice), both dating to the mid 19th century, were demolished by the HVO. The cathedral was also known as the New Orthodox Church (Нова православна црква/Nova pravoslavna crkva), while the latter was known as the Old Orthodox Church (Стара православна црква/Stara pravoslavna crkva). According to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nikola Špirić, the reconstruction of the cathedral was due to begin in Spring 2008, and was to be funded by Prince Charles.
On 18 November 1991, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) branch in Bosnia and Herzegovina proclaimed the existence of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mostar was divided into a western part, which was dominated by the Croat forces, and an eastern part, where the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was largely concentrated with most of the Bosniak population being expelled and driven from their homes in the western part of the city during the war. After the war, the ICTY accused the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia leadership for the crimes against humanity and other war crimes during the war, including the destruction of the Stari Most.
Mostar, and Herzegovina area in general, have more affinity to the Croatian region of Dalmatia, which can be oppressively hot during the summer. In Mostar, situated along the Neretva River, the coldest month is January, averaging about 39 °F (4 °C), and the warmest month is July, averaging about 78 °F (26 °C). Mostar experiences a relatively dry season from June to September. The remainder of the year is wet and mild. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).
Mostar has architecturally noteworthy buildings in a wide range of styles. Historicist architectural styles reflected cosmopolitan interest and exposure to foreign aesthetic trends and were artfully merged with indigenous styles. Examples include the Italianate Franciscan church, the Ottoman Muslibegovića house, the Dalmatian Corovic House and an Orthodox church which was built as gift from the Sultan.
The Ottomans used monumental architecture to affirm, extend and consolidate their colonial holdings. Administrators and bureaucrats – many of them indigenous people who converted from Christianity to Islam – founded mosque complexes that generally included Koranic schools, soup kitchens or markets.
Out of the thirteen original mosques dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, seven have been lost during the 20th century for ideological reasons or by bombardment. One of the two 19th-century Orthodox churches has also disappeared, while the early 20th-century synagogue, after suffering severe damage in the World War II, has been converted into a theatre. Several Ottoman inns also survived, along with other buildings from this period of Mostar's history, such as fountains and schools.
The majority of administrative buildings are from the Austro-Hungarian period and have neoclassical and Secessionist characteristics. A number of surviving late Ottoman houses demonstrate the component features of this form of domestic architecture - upper storey for residential use, hall, paved courtyard, and verandah on one or two storeys. The later 19th-century residential houses are predominantly in neoclassical style.
A number of early trading and craft buildings still exist, notably some low shops in wood or stone, stone storehouses, and a group of former tanneries round an open courtyard. Once again, the 19th-century commercial buildings are predominantly neoclassical. A number of elements of the early fortifications are visible. Namely the Hercegusa Tower dating from the medieval period, whereas the Ottoman defence edifices are represented by the Halebinovka and Tara Towers - the watchtowers on the ends of the Old Bridge, and a stretch of the ramparts.
During the period of Austro-Hungarian rule (1878–1918), Mostar’s city council cooperated with the Austro-Hungarians to implement sweeping reforms in city planning: broad avenues and an urban grid were imposed on the western bank of the Neretva, and significant investments were made in infrastructure, communications and housing. City administrators like Mustafa Mujaga Komadina were central players in these transformations, which facilitated growth and linked the eastern and western banks of the city. Noteworthy examples of Austro-Hungarian architecture include the Municipality building, which was designed by the architect Josip Vancas from Sarajevo, Residential districts around the Rondo, and Gimnazija Mostar from 1902 designed by František Blažek.
Between 1948 and 1974 the industrial base was expanded with construction of a metal-working factory, cotton textile mills, and an aluminum plant. Skilled workers, both men and women, entered the work force and the social and demographic profile of the city was broadened dramatically; between 1945 and 1980, Mostar’s population grew from 18,000 to 100,000.
Because Mostar’s eastern bank was burdened by inadequate infrastructure, the city expanded on the western bank with the construction of large residential blocks. Local architects favored an austere modernist aesthetic, prefabrication and repetitive modules. Commercial buildings in the functionalist style appeared on the historic eastern side of the city as well, replacing more intimate timber constructions that had survived since Ottoman times. In the 1970s and 1980s, a healthy local economy fueled by foreign investment spurred recognition and conservation of the city’s cultural heritage. An economically sustainable plan to preserve the old town of Mostar was implemented by the municipality, which drew thousands of tourists from the Adriatic coast and invigorated the economy of the city. The results of this ten-year project earned Mostar an Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1986.
The oldest single arch stone bridge in Mostar, the Kriva Cuprija ("Sloping Bridge"), was built in 1558 by the Ottoman architect Cejvan Kethoda. It is said that this was to be a test before the major construction of the Stari Most began. The Old Bridge was completed in 1566 and was hailed as one of the greatest architectural achievement in the Ottoman controlled Balkans. This single-arch stone bridge is an exact replica of the original bridge that stood for over 400 years and that was designed by Hajrudin, a student of the great Ottoman architect Sinan. It spans 28.7 meters of the Neretva river, 21 meters above the summer water level. The Halebija and Tara towers have always housed the guardians of the bridge and during Ottoman times were also used as storehouses for ammunition. The arch is a perfect semicircle 8.56 m in width and 4.15 m in height. The frontage and vault are made of regular stone cubes incorporated into the horizontal layers all along the vault. The space between vault, frontal walls and footpath is filled with cracked stone. The bridge footpath and the approaching roads are paved with cobblestones, as is the case with the main roads in the town. Stone steps enable people to ascend to the bridge either side. During the armed conflict between Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats in the Bosnian War in the 1990s, the bridge was destroyed by the Croatian Defence Council.
The Cejvan Cehaj Mosque, built in 1552, is the oldest mosque in Mostar. Later a madrasah (Islamic school) was built on the same compound. The Old Bazaar, Kujundziluk is named after the goldsmiths who traditionally created and sold their wares on this street, and still sells authentic paintings and copper or bronze carvings of the Stari Most, pomegranates (the natural symbol of Herzegovina) or the famed stećaks (medieval tombstones).
The Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque, built in 1617 is open to visitors. Visitors may enter the mosque and take photos free of charge. The minaret is also open to the public and is accessible from inside the mosque. Just around the corner from the mosque is the Tepa Market. This has been a busy marketplace since Ottoman times. It now sells mostly fresh produce grown in Herzegovina and, when in season, the figs and pomegranates are extremely popular. Local honey is also a prominent specialty, being produced all around Herzegovina.
Mostar is an important tourist destination in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mostar International Airport serves the city as well as the train and bus stations which connect it to a number of national and international destinations. Mostar's old town is an important tourist destination with the Stari Most being its most recognizable feature.
Some of the Mostar's noteworthy sites include Bishop’s Ordinariate building, the remains of the Early Christian Basilica Cim, Public Turkish Bath (hammam), clock tower (sahat kula), Synagogue (1889) and Jewish Memorial Cemetery, Nesuh-Aga Vucjaković Mosque, Hadzi-Kurt Mosque or Tabacica, Metropolitan Palace (1908), Karadjoz-Beg Mosque (1557), Orthodox Church, Catholic Church and Franciscan Monastery, Ottoman Residences (16th-19th century), Crooked Bridge Mostar, Tara and Halebija Towers.
The Partisan cemetery in Mostar, which is a World War II memorial, is another important symbol of the city. It was designed by the famous architect Bogdan Bogdanović. Its sacrosanct quality is derived from the unity of nature (water and greenery) with the architectural expression of the designer; the monument was inscribed on the list of National Monuments in 2006.
The Catholic pilgrimage site of Međugorje is also nearby as well as the Tekija Dervish Monastery in Blagaj, 13th-century town of Pocitelj, Blagaj Fort (Stjepan grad), Kravice Falls, seaside town of Neum, Roman villa rustica from the early fourth century Mogorjelo, Stolac with its famous stećak necropolis and the remains of an ancient Greek town of Daorson. Nearby sites also include the nature park called Hutovo Blato, archeological site Desilo, Lake Boracko as well as Vjetrenica cave, the largest and most important cave in Bosnia and Herzegovina.