The Old Bridge in Mostar and its Old Town Area are on the UNSECO World Heritage List since 2005, which means that this year marks 10 years since this part of Mostar has been on the list. The city has organized a celebration of that occasion, including an elaborate light setup and a concert on the Neretva river bank. There were lots of people there, celebrating and enjoying the surroundings, including me. I went out with my camera to capture the sights.

click on the images for a bigger view

The History behind Mostar

The current name of the city, Mostar, was mentioned for the first time in 1474 and derived from "mostari" - the bridge keepers. The historic town of Mostar developed in the 15th and 16th centuries as an Ottoman frontier town and during the short Austro-Hungarian period in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mostar has been long known for its old Turkish houses and the Old Bridge – Stari most, an extraordinary technological achievement of bridge construction.

Bridge Reconstruction

The Old Bridge was destroyed during the war at the beginning of the 90s and underwent a complicated reconstruction that finished in 2004. The Old Bridge Area, with its Ottoman, Mediterranean and Western European architectural features, is an outstanding example of a multicultural urban settlement. The reconstructed Old Bridge and Old City of Mostar are symbols of reconciliation, international cooperation and the coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities.

In the Old Town Nowadays

The evenings are a great time of day to venture out into the old town, and especially during the summer, the streets are filled with tourists as well as locals. There are many restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops here. You can eat and drink here, all the while enjoying the sights the old city has to offer. For the UNESCO celebration, the light setup gave a special draw to this part of Mostar.

Selma and I had to fight through the crowds actually in order to get some decent shots. Most of the people were on the bridge, gazing down and the concert spectacle.

I love this view of the various restaurants that hover above each other on various plains of the gardens. The river Neretva is flowing just below and gives some much needed freshness.

Below the bridge, there were already many people gathered, waiting for the concert to start. Our goal was to get behind the crowds and somewhat lower to the river in order to get some interesting photos.

On our way to the concert, we had to pass through the rest of the old town, where I made these images. Some people were more interested in their dinner, and I can't blame them. This is an excellent spot for dinner and lunch.

The UNESCO World Heritage List Celebration

We finally made it to the river shore. As we arrived the concert began, even though we hadn't timed for it. As it turned out the timing was perfect, since the lights changed colors and began to play. I took all of these handheld in manual mode, since there was no way to set-up a tripod in this crowd. We didn't stay for the whole show, just parts of it.

As the end of the concert approached we had already moved on. From another bridge I took this following shot of the concert still in action. It was a truly mesmerizing and unique sight, and I hope the city arranges more of these summer celebrations.

I hope you enjoyed these celebratory sights from the night.


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