Stari Most (Old Bridge), Mostar

Stari Most (Old Bridge), Mostar (must see)

Dervis Mehmed Zilli, a renowned Turkish traveler and writer of the 17th century, described the Old Bridge as "...a rainbow arch soaring up to the skies, extending from one cliff to another." The bridge spans the deep-flowing Neretva River that bisects the ancient town of Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The original Old Bridge replaced a wooden suspension bridge of doubtful stability in 1566 and was commissioned by the Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent. The bridge was designed by the architect Mimar Hayruddin. It was said that Suleiman made Hayruddin an offer he couldn't refuse: "Build it or die."

On the day the scaffolding was removed, Hayruddin had his funeral arrangements ready. As it turned out, the bridge outlived everybody. When the bridge was completed it was the broadest man-made arch in the world. The Old Bridge today is a stone arch 13 feet wide and 98 feet long. It is 78 feet above the river below.

Two fortified towers stand at either end of the bridge. They are called the "bridge keepers." The Helebija Tower guards the west end of the bridge. It had a prison on its lower floors and a barracks on its upper floors. The semi-circular Tara Tower, on the opposite side of the river, houses the Museum of the Old Bridge.

The bridge limestone abutments are linked to wing walls on the river cliffs. After standing for 427 years, the bridge was destroyed by artillery fire in the Croat-Bosnian War in 1993. It was restored, using original materials, in 2004. Today divers plunge from the top of the bridge into the Neretva River for a modest fee.

The Old Bridge has been a tour stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. These jumps do not involve bungee cords. Divers go all the way. Dervis Mehmed Zilli, who had traveled through 16 countries, had never seen the like. Did he ever imagine jumping from this "rainbow" of stone?

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Mostar. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Stari Most (Old Bridge) on Map

Sight Name: Stari Most (Old Bridge)
Sight Location: Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina (See walking tours in Mostar)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Create Your Own Walk in Mostar

Create Your Own Walk in Mostar

Creating your own self-guided walk in Mostar is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Mostar Introduction Walking Tour

Mostar Introduction Walking Tour

Settlements by the Neretva River, between Mount Hum and Mount Velez, go back to prehistoric times. Remains of fortified encampments, cemeteries, and Roman foundations have been discovered beneath present-day Mostar. The name Mostar was derived from a document dated 1474. It called the residents "Mostari" which means "bridge-keepers."

Mostar was strategically located between...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Bosnian War Tour

Bosnian War Tour

After the fall of Yugoslavia, there followed civil wars of particular savagery. In Bosnia, there were two distinct struggles. The first involved Serbs against Croats and Bosnians. The alliance of Croats and Bosnians proved effective, and the Serbs were repulsed. The Croats were mainly Christian, and the Bosnians were Muslim. There was antipathy between them.

The second part of the war was the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles