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Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar

Photo by Alexeys / Getty Images.

The city of Mostar in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina is named after its most famous landmark, the Stari Most (Old Bridge). Originally a frontier town under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, the city was established in the 15th century in the valley of the Neretva River. Pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and European influences all contributed to the multicultural urban settlement. The bridge dates back to 1459, a notable achievement in architecture and human solidarity. It was known as the “friendship passage” that linked the city’s diverse inhabitants—Bosnians, Croats, Serbs, Muslims, Jews and Orthodox Christians. Though destroyed in 1990 during conflict, the completion of the Old Bridge’s faithful reconstruction in 2004 solidified it as a symbol of reconciliation and international cooperation. It represents a spirit of coexistence and tolerance, an intersection of humanity and nature, of the diverse cultures, ethnicities and religions that have converged in Mostar over the centuries.

—Prepared by World Tribune staff

June 2, 2023, World Tribune, p. 12

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