Monday, April 5, 2010
[View of Mostar east of the Neretva river from the top of the Stari Most]
19 March, 2010
The bus is parked near the Catholic Church and we walked a short distance over to the Old Bridge area of the Old Town of Mostar. This area is on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Mostar is a very divided city and this area is Muslim. We had a short amount of time to walk around. We were there in the morning and shopkeepers were just opening up when we arrived.
We got to see, and use, the reconstructed bridge. It had been standing for 427 years before the Croatians destroyed it in 1993. This reconstructed bridge was completed in 2004 with funds from the EU and other donors. Pains were taken to build it in the same manner and with the same materials. I read somewhere that Hungarian naval divers recovered many of the original stones out of the Neretva river for use in the reconstruction. Maybe that's why some of the stone looked old and worn! I was curious about that, knowing that the bridge was only 6 years old.
We strolled through tourist stalls to a small square. Amid the cafes was the entrance to the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque courtyard. One of the buildings in the courtyard was a reading room. Was it also a library? Or just the reading room for a library?
I also tried to get the name of the librarian there. She wrote it on my paper but I can't read her handwriting.
We also walked around the mosque grounds and took pictures of the Old Bridge from this vantage point.
Afterward, we had a quick coffee and went back to the bus. We didn't stay long or go far in the Old Town, but I think we were there long enough to get a very basic, somewhat superficial feel for the place. I appreciated having some time to walk around. There's no substitute for it.
PS - "Sramota!" means "shame!" I believe. I ran up to the real street from the tourist cobblestone street to take a few pictures. Why is that sign for?