Mostar is a fascinating place. It has Turkish influence from its Ottoman years and battle scars from the Yugoslavian war of the 90s. It’s perhaps the most interesting place I’ve visited. The people of the city the have lived through some horrific times. Despite this, they’re surprisingly happy to share their stories with you, and show you their actual scars. You’ll be confronted with both the ugly and beautiful here, and that juxtaposition certainly shook me up inside. The surrounding region is home to many beautiful and terrible places. We were able to see these on a tour organised by the hostel. Here are 5 amazing places to visit from Mostar.
This is a massive tunnel through a mountain that was used during the war for evacuating planes, military equipment and people if necessary. They had enough supplies for people to live there for months on end to wait out the attacks. It’s pitch black inside, so bring a flashlight and wear closed shoes to be safe from the debris.
This is a small village with a muslim population was made famous by its mystical dervish monastery, for those who follow the poet and spiritual leader Rumi. I visited Rumi’s grave in Konya, Turkey, so it was super interesting coming here, seeing the Turkish influence, and learning about their religion from a Bosniak perspective. We viewed the Monastery from the river and then toured the interior. Girls need to cover up, and they provide scarves and skirts for this.
Another small village, Pocitelj has beautiful old architecture, impressive fortress walls and tower, and a beautiful mosques. It was once an important location for travelling merchants. We spent about 45 minutes exploring, which gave enough time to see most highlights, but it would’ve been nice to spend more time here to soak up the peaceful atmosphere.
The most spectacular thing about this place was the beautiful natural colours of blue and green with the sun shining through the leaves of the trees. It was so dreamy and magical. The water was bloody freezing (we were there early June) but it was good fun going for a dip and getting closer to the falls themselves.
Mountain above the town
From Mostar, you’ll see a big mountain with a cross on it towering over the city. Our last stop on the tour was this mountain, where our guide told us of his wartime experiences. It was a good place to shoot people from during the war, so it was a point of constant contention. The big cross is more of a political than religious statement, as the fighting ran along the Muslim-Christian divide. The mountain offers great views of town, but be careful if you venture up here as there are active land-mines that have not yet been dismantled. Just don’t stray off the paths.
Have you been to Mostar? Did you make it to any of these nearby place?