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Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina

The Old Bridge of Mostar was built in 1566 during Ottoman domination by the Turkish architect, Hajruddin, who planned it slightly asymmetrical to take advantage of the natural rock foundation. Work on its construction lasted 10 years.

The bridge, called "Stari Most" (Old Bridge), soon became the symbol of the city, which owes it its name (Mostari=guardians of the bridge). 

At the time, Mostar was known as the Florence of the Ottoman Empire, a tolerant city and open to different cultures. The stone bridge elegantly "suspended" over the Neretva River, connected the two sides of the city of Mostar and was a sort of symbol of this tolerance and cultural open-mindedness. During the civil war, the Croats decided to destroy the Bridge of Mostar. On 9 November 1993 a testimony of the past, a masterpiece of past construction techniques and a factor of regional identity was irremediably wiped out in a few hour.

Finally, on 23rd July 2004, after nine years of work, the new, completely rebuilt bridge was inaugurated. This was the result of the solidarity of various European countries, the commitment of organizations such as UNESCO and the World Monument Fund and, naturally, the efforts of the Bosnian government. 
The painstaking work of a team of specialists and artisans meant that it was possible to sculpt the blocks of stone used in the new bridge (1088 as in the bridge that was destroyed), so that each of them faithfully reproduced the corresponding original element that had been lost (each stone bears the name of the person who shaped it). Some blocks that were recovered from the river below were also restored to the structure, with all the old and new stones coming from the same place – a mine in the village of Ortijes.

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