The Historic Stari Most is More than Impressive

Mostar is best known for its historic part: Stari Most. It’s been remarkably well preserved. It includes the famous Stari Most bridge over the river Neretva. It's the most popular city to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And it can get rather crowded here.

The city gained its name during its time under Ottoman ruling when the watchmen (Mostari) guarded the wooden bridge to see who entered and left the city. By now the bridge has been rebuilt in stone. But is still very impressive, because of its rich past. I have been to Mostar and I have written down my tips for a visit. And I have taken into account how you can avoid crowds. 

The Balkan War

Strolling along the Stari Most in Mostar. ©Corno van den Berg

The old bridge dates from 1557, although it was later restored and improved several times. The current name, Stari Most, means old bridge. Although this name is no longer really correct. In 1993 the bridge was destroyed during the Balkan War. It is not entirely clear who destroyed the bridge, although many historians believe that it was Croatian militias.

Rebuild In 2001

In 2001 the rebuilding of the bridge started. This was supervised by UNESCO. Many original stones were used for construction. The engineers also immersed themselves in the old construction methods in order to be able to reproduce the bridge as much as possible. The bridge was festively reopened in 2004

Sunrise at the Stari Most bridge, view from the riverside. ©Corno van den Berg

The current shape of the bridge is an ellipse. The highest point is (on average) about 19 meters above the river. The bridge is 28.7 meters long and almost 4 meters wide.

How To Avoid Crowds?

I was here in high season and managed to avoid the crowd. I walked up the bridge at dawn and didn't meet anyone. The first daylight was magically beautiful and amplified the setting of the Stari Most

Watch My Video Of Stari Most In Mostar

Jumping The Bridge

It has been a tradition for years; young men and women jumping off the bridge into the river. Often with a nice somersault and other acrobatic movements. The first jumps dates back to 1664. According to the story, it was a young man who wanted to show his guts.

Want To Jump Yourself?

Not everyone knows that you can jump yourself. For this, you will need the permission of the Mostar Dive Club as they have the sole right to jump from Stari Most.

You will have to wear a wetsuit, as the water is very cold. They will also give you instructions for your jump to prevent bruising. First, you will do a trial jump from a lower point. This is at about 10 meters height. Then you can take the big leap. You have to pay for both jumps. Ask locally for the price and how you can make this jump.