Old Bridge Museum

The ancient city of Mostar is the capital of Hercegovina. It was part of the Ottoman Empire between 1468 until 1878 when it came under the rule of the Habsburgs, and subsequently belonged to Yugoslavia until the wars of the 1990s. The name ‘Mostar’ means bridge keepers, and there was a wooden bridge across the Neretva river before the 16th century. The city’s outstanding monument is the Stari Most (Old Bridge), a semi-circular stone arch, 28 m long and 21 m above the waters of the river. It was built in 1566 on the orders of Suleiman the Magnificent and designed by Mimar Hayruddin. A 17th-century traveller wrote, ‘the bridge is like a rainbow arch soaring up to the skies, extending from one cliff to the other ... I, a poor and miserable slave of Allah, have passed through 16 countries, but I have never seen such a high bridge. It is thrown from rock to rock as high as the sky’. Along with libraries, churches and monasteries, the Stari Most was destroyed by gunfire from tanks and artillery in 1993. After hostilities ceased in 1995 it was rebuilt from 2002, and re-opened in 2004. The bridge and the area of the old city in which it stands were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the following year. The Museum of the Old Bridge occupies the 5-storey Tara Tower, one of the towers that accommodated the bridge keepers, and also served as arsenals for the storage of weapons and ammunition. The museum consists of three sections devoted to the archaeology of the surrounding area, the restoration project of 2002-04, and the urban landscape that is visible from the highest rooms of the tower. Local men still follow the ancient tradition of diving into the river for money from the bridge.

Old Bridge Museum
Stari Most
Bosnia and Hercegovina
+387 (0) 36 - 551004