Rather than heading straight up the Croatian coast, I took a detour inland to visit Mostar in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mostar straddles the Neretva river and is named after the Stari Most (old bridge) which was built by the Ottomans in the sixteenth century and is the most recognizable landmark in the city.
I had no trouble finding a hostel bed when I arrived in Mostar. The hostel was located in this dreary, concrete building. (It was nicer on the inside than on the outside.)
After dropping off my bag, I took a walk to the old city. The old city is comprised of a handful of streets surrounding the Stari Most. Its cobblestone streets are lined with shops and restaurants mostly catering to tourists.
The Stari Most is the main attraction of the old city. It was destroyed in the war in 1993, and was rebuilt as closely to the original as possible between 2001 and 2004.
Here is the obligatory picture of me in front of the old bridge.
These are views of Mostar looking upriver and downriver from the Stari Most.
The Crooked Bridge is a smaller stone bridge located near the Stari Most.
After crossing the bridge, I took a walk through the part of the city which had been the front line of the war in the early 1990s. Numerous buildings were reduced to empty shells during the war and have not been reconstructed or replaced.
This warning sign is everywhere.
Here is another example of a building of which only the concrete frame remains. A closeup shows damage sustained by repeated artillery fire over the course of the war.
Here is the ruins of one of the oldest hotels in the city, juxtaposed with a newer structure.
And here are a few more pictures of ruins from the front lines.
This the brightly colored Gimnazija (high school), built in 1902.
I next visited the Mosque of Karadjozbey, the central mosque of Mostar.
Although much of the mosque dates from the sixteenth century, the dome was destroyed in the war and subsequently reconstructed.
I was only able to visit for a few minutes, since prayer was about to start, but I got a chance to climb the minaret (95 steps), which afforded these views of Mostar.
After descending, I talked to the caretaker of the mosque for a few minutes. He told me that the wars in the 1990s were so bad that for the most part, people don't talk about them.
I then visited this villa which belonged to an Ottoman noble.
I really like this lamp fixture.
There is a loom in one of the outer rooms.
After eating dinner, I walked back to the Stari Most and took one more picture as the sun was starting to set.