A beautiful place to visit, where the East meets West through the Stari Most. The old town, so to speak, is beautifully restored with its ancient bazaar full of goods made by local craftspeople, copper coffee sets above all. The mosques are a must, and if the opportunity arises, why not go swimming in the river Neretva? The atmosphere is very warm at night, with lots of people having leisurely Turkish coffees. In the rest of the city, you can see the traces of war and shrapnel in many of the buildings, a reminder of the recent bloody past. From around the citadel of Pocitelj, you should check out the spectacular waterfalls of Kravice, the Blagaj Tekija, and, for most Catholic among us, Medugorje. In short, a very nice and authentic region of Herzegovina.
Mostar Bridge, Stari Most, is a very important symbol of twentieth century European history. Destroyed during the Balkan War and rebuilt in 2004 with the help of international funds, its reconstruction is a clear example of progress made and that a peace is healing the wounds of conflict.
Sarajevo is a big city but to walk through but the streets seem quite the opposite, since the center consists of narrow alleys, although long they are more reminiscent of a small town. There is a main street right in the center and is where the rest of lanes depart. This road is completely paved and has great charm because it is always crowded, there are souvenir shops and the tourist office, but it has a fairly limited schedule and we never got to find it open. If this happens to you I recommend you buy a small City Guide at any kiosk, but they usually only have them in English and Italian. In summer the streets are packed with terraces where you can relax while enjoying the movement that usually takes place at all times. My recommendation is that after a walk eat something in one of the hundreds of fast food restaurants in the center (plus the quality is usually very good, although some do not serve alcohol due to their religion) and then eat/drink something on a terrace. We did and we were mesmerized by the people of Sarajevo, I assure you that I have never seen so many beautiful people, both boys and girls. It seemed that we were in a fashion show. In the neighborhoods the streets are more common but you can also find places with charm, especially because there is a lot of vegetation, and that always embellish places. The only drawback is the low or non-existent lighting at night. You have to know where you want to go otherwise it will be very easy to miss.
The tunnel of war is an amazing place. It was home to a normal family during the war and the invasion of Sarajevo by the Yugoslav army. The owner offered to build a tunnel that would leave his home and go straight to the neutral zone controlled by the UN by the airport. The tunnel, which measures 800m long, allowed the 300 000 inhabitants of Sarajevo to receive food but also gasoline and weapons during the three years of the military blockade. The tunnel took four months to build, during which hundreds of people died trying to go through the airport to get to the free zone to buy food for their family. When the tunnel was opened, many wagons were going nonstop along carrying goods. With courage, people learned to survive and not to leave the city. It meant also that people could have a phone line to communicate with the outside world. The museum tells the history of the tunnel.
Sebilj is the emblem of Sarajevo. It's a Moorish style fountain located in the heart of the beautiful old city centre. The name comes from the Arabic Sebilj, and describes a public fountain in the form of a kiosk. It was drawn by architect Alexander Vitek Tcheco in 1891. Along with the city council, it's one of the most famous, and appreciated, monuments in the city. The Sebilj is in a pedestrian square and is surrounded by beautiful cafes and restaurants where you can sample dishes from Bosnia. It's the meeting point for anyone in hte city going out in the old quarter, which is much nicer than the outskirt extensions that are large, charmless gray buildings. Sebilj helps give the city its eastern aspect. With minarets and mosques, the city seems a meeting ground of East and West. Even today, the fountain is used for cooling down and occasionally someone will use it to wash their clothes. It's one of the few fountains left in the city, in which, at one time, there were so many fountains that people used to say you could never be thirsty in Sarajevo!
If you are lucky enough to go to Mostar to Sarajevo, stop to try the Janjetinja Jablanica, "grilled lamb". This is delicious and yet at an affordable price. Also here you can visit the city "the museum. It´s alright.
The Gazi Husrevbey Mosque is the oldest domed mosque in Sarajevo (it was built by Mustafa Haji Muslihudin in 1526). The original part has survived natural disasters and war. There are 45 stores in the nearby bazaar, so the mosque has long served as the spiritual meeting place for all the workers in the district. The interior is painted with geometric designs and the minaret as designed by the architect Hajrudin. Many of the nearby shops closed during the last war, and some have still yet to reopen despite the renovations of the year 2000. It's in a quieter part of the city, with a really Middle Eastern feel.
The Clock Tower is of late Romanesque style and reminds us of the Western influence on Islamic people. Its height makes gives it an important place in the landscape of Pocitej, built by Ibrahim of Pocitelj. According to legend, the bell was brought from the Greek island of Crete. In 1917 it was used for military purposes.
It is an awesome place for a relaxing day, you can basically bathe in the clear water under the beautiful waterfalls. It's pretty crowded, though most are local people, few are tourists which in my opinion, is appreciated. There are a couple of bars to eat typical or less typical meals at a great price.
The mosque was constructed in the year 1561 by Ferhad Beg Vukovic and gradually in a residential neighborhood known as the Ferhadija. School, public kitchen, drinking fountain and fountains were constructed around the mosque were and were in a fire in the year 1897. The mosque reflects the classical Ottoman Art, with a port adorned with small domes, the main dome of the mosque and the minaret which shows the wealth that they used to construct.They found many different frescoes from different periods. The oldest are from the 16th century, and in the dome and in the mihrab. Next to the mosque is a lovely cemetery. The main street right door was also a victim of the war, but nothing happened to the mosque.
Morica Han Han is the latest center of Sarajevo. The hotel Han was a a place where the caravan traders coming from the east stopped. Morica Han was constructed at the end of the 16th century and is named after the Moric brothers who bought it in the 18th century, and were known as opponents of the regime. The Gazi Husrev Bey Waqf, a Muslim religious movement, bought it afterwards. It is the typical business hotel, which could accommodate 300 caravans and more than 70 horses. The cafe in the northern part of the courtyard is the oldest one to have coffee in the city, and you can see the men and politicians and city leaders passing by for centuries. It was a meeting place for artisans, merchants, and the people who gathered there to make decisions about the city. The first floor and roof structure Morica were damaged many times by a fire, and the building was renovated many times, but always according to its current appearance. Now there's a a carpet store and art gallery. The last restoration was from the year 1974.
In the natural park of Plitvice Lakes and beside Lake Milanovac, is the Supljara. It's one of the highest caves, where the indigenous people used to go and hide and make fires at night. The cave is 80m high, and as it is a very humid place, good climbing shoes are a must-have! At the top, you have the opportunity to continue on either in the woods, or back down on the side of the lakes. Its only about 10 degrees in the cave, over the year this figure does not change much, and if you come in the summer the lakes get to about 35 degrees, the change is noticeable right away, it's cold! From above, you can look over Milanovac Lake, it's an original and very nice view. Beside the Supljara is the Blue Cave, which is underwater. It's the gateway to an underground world. Before it was possible to go in, but the water level rose and this is no longer possible. You can see a wreck in front that adds a strange and mysterious touch to the place.
One of the first things that strikes you about the cityscape of Mostar are its minarets. The steeple of this Franciscan church is in fact taller than all of them, and is lovely when lit up at night. Built in 1886, this church was damaged during the war and later had to be rebuilt. Another example of how different religions have always co-existed here in Mostar.
In the outskirts of Mostar, southern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Netzo, my home, leaving Serbia where there are few youth to go to the newly created Croatian area after the war. It is difficult to judge Bosnian reality without knowing the history of the country. A brutal civil war where armies were not the main casualties and where everything fell on ordinary citizens.
During a nice excursion near Mostar, I had the opportunity to get to know this beautiful dervish monastery. In addition to the unique location, it is located at the foot of an impressive wall where a river begins, it is interesting to enter the monastery and see the life led by dervishes. At the exit, you had better have a Turkish coffee and relax with the sound of falling water beside you, while you make the most of the wonderful views.
It was built in the year 1551, by the Grand Vizier Rushem Hvrat Pasha, the son of Suliman the Magnificent. The name comes from the city of Bursa in Asia Minor, known for its high quality fabrics. The building has six domes; once home to the silk market, today it houses the town museum. It has a rectangular floor, and there are still market stalls nearby. Since 2004, it has been a museum, telling the history of Sarajevo through photographic panels and a model that shows the city as it was in 1878. Highly recommended.
The entrance to the mosque isn't free, and inside after paying, you can see a well-kept interior with small paintings, stained glass windows, and everything you'd expect from a Muslim house of worship. There are often groups visiting, but it's worth waiting a couple of minutes to admire it alone.