The Stari Most Bridge is one of the most impressive historical landmarks in Bosnia. Although the bridge was destroyed in the Bosnian War in 1993, it was reconstructed and reopened in 2004.
The bridge spans the River Neretva at the town of Mostar.
What to See
It is a hump backed bridge. It is 24 m (78 ft 9 in) high, 30 meters (98 ft 5 in) long and 4 meters (13 ft 1 in) wide. There are a couple of towers nearby designed to protect it. At the northeast is the Helebija tower and at the southwest is Tara tower.
The arch of the Stari Most Bridge is best described as a circle with the middle portion depressed relative to the string course. This is due to several anomalies generated by the intrados (the arch’s inner line).
Commission of the original bridge was courtesy of Suleiman the Magnificent. This was back in 1557. Construction commenced that year and continued for 9 years. After its building, the structure had the widest arch of any bridge in the world. The bridge would remain standing for 427 years.
However, the bridge was destroyed on November 9, 1993 during the Bosnian War. The bridge was destroyed by the Bosnian Croat artillery fire. The Croats would later admit they bombed the bridge because it was strategically important.
In 2003, reconstruction of the bridge commenced. The World Monuments Fund, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Bank were behind the rebuilding of the bridge.
It was agreed upon that the construction would utilize the same materials and technology as the original. Stones from the old bridge were used in the building.
If you are only staying in Bosnia for a day or two, your expenses will come up to a few hundred dollars or Euros. A week long (or longer) stay will cost a couple thousand dollars. These types of packages are available on the Net.
The bridge does not have foundations. Rather it has limestone abutments joined along the wing walls. These are along the waterside cliffs. The abutments are 6.53 meters (21 ft 5 in) high. It is from there that the arch produces its high point.
The Stari Most Bridge is also a favorite diving destination. Since the bridge was built, it has been the custom for young men to leap into Neretva from it.