Sights in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sights in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has been independent since 1992, has numerous entertainment options to offer primarily to nature lovers. Your holiday destination is largely characterized by a densely forested mountain landscape and parts of the Pannonian Plain extend in the north of the country. In the country’s cultural center, Sarajevo, you will encounter three religions when you visit the cathedrals, the Jewish synagogue or the imperial mosque. That is why the capital is also called Little Jerusalem or European Jerusalem. Also worth seeing are Banja Luka with the Ferhadija mosque from the 16th century and Tuzla, the university town. Take a study trip through the Balkan state of Bosnia and Herzegovina!

Bridge and Old Town of Mostar

According to, a special highlight of a Bosnia-Herzegovina trip is a visit to the medieval city of Mostar, including its unique “Old Bridge”. The city is located in the southern part of the country, in a valley between two mountain ranges. As a participant on a study trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina, you can enjoy the landscape of the region, the culture and architecture of the city, but also the entertainment in Mostar.

UNESCO World Heritage Site and the link between two cultures

The bridge, “Stari Most” in the local language, built in 1566, connected the districts of the socially and economically important city of Mostar, which lie on both sides of the Neretva River, for centuries. The bridge played such a big role that the city itself was named after its bridge guards. In 1993 the bridge was completely destroyed during the Bosnian War. At the initiative of the state, it was rebuilt completely and true to the original in 1995 and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. The Mostar Bridge is important not only because of its unique construction, but also because of its symbolism. It stands for a peaceful connection between Croatian and Bosnian culture and between Christianity and Islam.

Meeting point for locals and tourists

The bridge is not only a sight for travelers, but also a special feature for the residents of the city themselves. Over the years it has turned out to be a hotspot for so-called bridge jumpers, who heroically throw themselves from the bridge into the cold water of the Neretva. From this old tradition a sporting event developed over the years, which has been held annually since 1981.

Tourist attractions away from the “Old Bridge”

For travelers, Mostar offers not only the “Old Bridge” but also numerous other sights, such as the old town, which is well worth seeing and impresses with its well-preserved buildings from the Ottoman period. But religious monuments such as the Karadjoz-Beg Mosque or the Christian basilica of Cim can also be explored.

Stecci tombstones

Stecci – medieval tombstones and the world heritage site

Stećci are tombstones that were created between the 12th and 16th centuries and are sometimes provided with unique motifs. They are made of limestone, have various inscriptions and motifs and are only found in the Balkans. Some tombstones show remains of pagan rituals and myths.

The worked, medieval tombstones are often found in southern Bosnia, Herzegovina, and adjacent parts of Dalmatia, and less often in more distant areas of Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro. Most of the finds are dated to the 14th and 15th centuries and today there are more than 58,000 such grave sites recorded. In Herzegovina there are many such tombstones near Stolac, in the Gacko region and near Lake Blidinje.

Two different types of tombstones were used: upright stone blocks, as found primarily in Bosnia, and slabs, as can also be found in other European regions. Much of it is decorated with bas-reliefs showing human figures. Often scenes from hunting, everyday life and jousting as well as signs such as crescents and crosses are depicted on these gravestones. Some are also provided with inscriptions.
Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Herzegovina signed a joint project in 2009 to inscribe these medieval tombstones on the UNESCO World Heritage List. On July 15, 2016, the time had finally come and the Stećci were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge

A bridge not only across the river, but also between cultures

The Mehmed-Pasa-Sokolovic Bridge over the Drina River in the city of Višegrad in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an outstanding example of historical Ottoman architecture, which was completed in 1577 on behalf of the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire Sokollu Mehmed Pascha (1505-1579) after six years of construction . Created under the direction of the most important architect at the time, Sinan (1490-1588), the almost 180-meter-long bridge served for centuries as an important meeting point for the local population and as a checkpoint on the strategically important road from Sarajevo to Serbia. With the beginning of the First World War in 1914, three of the eleven arches of the bridge were destroyed by Austro-Hungarian troops with explosive charges. The repairs dragged on until 1940, the destruction in the Second World War was not repaired until 1951.

World literary fame and bloody war episodes

The internationally acclaimed novel “The Bridge over the Drina” by the Yugoslav writer Ivo Andrić (1892-1975) was published as early as 1945, and was dedicated to the striking building and the city’s many ethnic groups. The author received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961 for his best-known work. The book, which was first translated into German in 1953, made the Mehmed-Pasa-Sokolovic Bridge in Višegrad known to a large audience in this country. Since then, the bridge has developed more and more into an architectural sight that is well-visited and much photographed during trips through Yugoslavia. However, the bridge gained notoriety in the Yugoslav civil war from 1992 to 1995, when hundreds of Bosnian civilians tried to get to the other side of the river.

With Turkish and Serbian money, the bridge became a crowd puller again

In 2007 the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge became part of the UNESCO World Heritage. In 2010, the state development aid organization of Turkey TIKA, in consultation with the Bosnian UNESCO Commission, the Ministry of Culture of the Republika Srpska and the city government of Višegrad, agreed on an investment of 3.5 million euros for the extensive renovation of the bridge, which began in the same year. Today the building shines again in its old splendor and is brightly lit in the evening and at night. In the immediate vicinity of the bridge, the new district of Višegrad Andrićgrad, dedicated to the above-mentioned author Ivo Andrić, was commissioned by the famous Serbian director Emir Kusturica.

Sights in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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