Stari Most: The bridge at Mostar

Mostar is arguably most famous for its soaring 20 metre high arched bridge that traverses the Neretva river.

The bridge was commissioned by the Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent in 1557. It stood for 427 years, until it was destroyed on 9 November 1993 during the Bosnian War.

In 2004, it was reopened after restoration works by the World Bank and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture amongst others.

In the 17th century, the great Ottoman explorer Evliya Çelebi witnessed brave young men ‘flying like brids’ as they leapt from the high bridge into the river crying Ya Allah! And then climbing back up ‘where they get their rewards from the viziers and notables.’

I am happy to report that nearly 400 years later this tradition is still very much alive.

Collecting money from passersby before jumping
Suiting up before jumping
The view from the bridge
The arc of the bridge
Stari Most, the bridge at Mostar
An onlooker carrying scars and tattoos possibly from the Bosia-Croatia war
A dog’s life