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Mostar's Old Town
Together with Stari Most, Mostar's old town forms an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old town includes mainly the cobbled stone area along Kujundziluk, but also extends to Mala Tepa as well as Onekucova Street on the western side. This is the area you are here for and which is worth to explore. Here are some sort descriptions of the main street and some buildings:
Kujundziluk is named after the copper workers and some of these workshops have survived, though they mostly cater for tourist needs. Along Kujundziluk, with its Ottoman era houses, you will find many tourist shops, restaurants etc. Some vendors will try to talk you in, but they are not really annoying. Also keep in mind that the old town is pretty small and that all concentrates here.
Stari Most, the old bridge, is flanked by two towers on the western side. Little Hercegusa seems to be hiiden by Tara. The latter one houses the diver's „guild“ and was a former gunpowder storage. Close to Tara, there is also a court called Tabahan which was once part of a Turkish Bath but is now known for its cafés. Helebija is the name of the tower on the eastern side.
Stari Most, the „Crooked Bridge“ and the two mosques are described in separate tips.
Think twice which shoes you are going to use in the old town. The cobbled streets are hard to walk on, if your shoes have a pretty thin sole. The cobblestones are thick and round. The bridge however can be slippery and thousands of tourists have polished the marble stones just by walking on it.
Old Town, Mostar, BAH
Handicraftsmen played a huge part in Mostar’s development in the early years of its existence and have continued to do so even today. Now they have one of the key roles in the city’s tourist offer. On the left bank of Neretva we can find Kujundziluk.
The name came from Kujundzije or in English “coppersmiths”. This is a tradition very well preserved even today. Unlike then you can now find them everywhere in the old town and not only in Kujundziluk, as well as you can find other kinds of shops in kujundziluk that are not necessarily coppersmiths.
In Mostar there were also many tailors (terzije), and at last Mostar’s biggest industry, tanners (tabaci). The last two mentioned are today unfortunately as good as gone. “Tabhana”- the palace where the tanners used to process their leather is now a line of cafés. It’s an excellent place to have the morning coffee in an old Turkish atmosphere.
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The old town is beautiful - like something torn out of the pages of a Medieval storybook. The pristine white minarets stretch smoothly up to the sky, contrasting with the rusticated stone grey homes and walls that stumble down the steep banks to the river. Frame this with green mountains, blue sky and a crystal azure river, and you have the makings for a fairytale town. And that's not even mentioning the bridge.
You'll want to try and stay as close to this part of town as possible, although the views from the other side of the river are possibly better, because you can see more.
The old town is on the east side of the river, although it stretches out across to the west near the Old Bridge. It's predominantly Bosnian Muslim - hence all the minarets. The town is considered to be the most stunning urban area in Bosnia, and has been recognised as such for decades. That's why the old town is largely protected from the post-war sprawl that has spread out over the rest of the city.
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Most houses here are rebult but retaining the old architectural style. Church tower and mosque minerets dominate the skyline. Like Sarajevo the town Mostar was also built in the vally surrounded by mountains.
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It was great to see some people working to rebuild the narrow alles among the old houses. They understood me as tourist and waved their hands not to hesitate to come forward to have a closer look and greeted me, 'Dober Den'! I replied back. Such a warm mediterranian people.
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Stones used as the roof is a unique feature of centuries old houses in Herzegovinah and Adriatic islands. The rooftops are made of stone, in fact the slices of stone originaly coming from the region of Herzegovina and nearby coastal parts of the Adriatic. This
kind of rooftops you may see also in the old village houses along the Adriatic
coast and especially on the Adriatic islands. Since it is hand-made work and
cost a lot, you cannot find it on the newly built houses. Besides, not much of those craftmen have left now. It has been all possible by the million -dollars worth of reconstruction. For the content of this tip I am indebted to VT'er Croisbeuty who passed on this information to me.
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The old town in Mostar is getting a new look as reconstruction is going on at a lightening speed. Materials are being procured from the original places where they have been procured five centuries ago to build this town.
Walk around the Old Town and...
Walk around the Old Town and the frontline.
The old town still has its mysterious Turkish air, and sits in stark contrast with the newer, Croat West side. It's the muslim area, and there are many beautiful mosques, and the call to prayer still rings through the streets.
The frontline is a street on the West side of the river, completely destroyed by relentless shelling on both sides. It's a chilling reminder of the war here: it would be nice to see it without the racist graffiti that still decorates the bombed-out buildings.
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Old town neighbourhood has largely been rebuilt. This picture is at the edge of the old town. Someone wrote 'Live' on a damged wall.
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Here I am in front of the bridge under construction. The bridge is complete now. Will there be an opportunity to go back to Mostar.. who knows.
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An amzing view of old town from the stari most. This street is mainly a shopping street for souvenirs and a few restaurants.
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Some of the houses in the old town has been kept the way it suvived. This one shows the part of the architectural style of pre-war Mostar houses.
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Feel free to walk along those alles up and down. All that is a result of massive construction project which was intended to bring the original look of the town.
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Mostar Travel Guide
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