Considering the fact that the Kingdom of Bosnia was under Ottoman rule from 1463 until 1878, it’s no wonder why many cities in modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina hold plenty of architecturally significant buildings that were created by the Ottomans, following their traditional architectural style.

An important part of Ottoman heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Ottoman bridges, most of them built between the 15th and 16th centuries. These bridges are remarkable due to their massive pillars, pointed arches, cornices, buttresses, and the circular and polygonal structural openings.

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In simpler words, the Ottoman bridges in Bosnia and Herzegovina are authentic architectural masterpieces. Here are the most representative Ottoman bridges that visitors can admire during a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Stari Most – Mostar

Stari Most (the Old Bridge) has become an icon for the city of Mostar and, as a matter of fact, for the entire country. Currently it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Stari Most is a symbol of tolerance and a reminder that even though the Bosnian War, peace between the people of Mostar is possible again. The bridge was completely destroyed during the war, but the citizens of Mostar managed to move forward, to find the much needed equilibrium to live in harmony, and to rebuild the famous Stari Most.

Stari Most bridge crosses the Neretva river and it was initially built from the orders of Suleiman the Magnificient, in 1557, in order to replace a wooden suspension bridge. The construction was finalized nine years later and broke the record for the widest man-made arch in the world, at that time.

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Stari Most was destroyed on November 9th, 1993, but it was rebuilt between 2001 and 2004 with pieces of the old bridge being incorporated into the structure. It is protected by two towers: Helebija and Tara Towers, which are called “mostari” (the bridge keepers). Since this bridge is the most visited attraction in town, around it you can find many cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and art galleries. If you’re lucky you can see one of the famous divers of Mostar jumping into the freezing river below – an annual tradition here since 1968.

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Tip: if you want to see a diver jump, you’ll have to pay up. These are professional divers that charge 25 euros per jump. As you can see in the photo above, the best place to watch the divers is from the cafe on the north side of the bridge.

Find out more about this bridge by visiting the Old Bridge Museum situated at the eastern side of Stari Most.

Old Stone Bridge – Konjic

The old town of Konjic is dominated by this beautiful six-arched Ottoman bridge originally built between 1682 and 1683. The Old Stone Bridge was back then one of the most impressive monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Unfortunately, on March 3rd, 1945, it was destroyed by German troops. Its reconstruction began in 2004 and was financed by the Turkish government. The new Old Stone Bridge was inaugurated on May 23rd, 2009.

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The views that can be captured from this bridge are absolutely amazing and the Old Stone Bridge is again the center of attention for all visitors who come to Konjic.

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Tip: If your starting your trip in Sarajevo you will either be driving to Mostar or flying. If you drive or take a bus you will be able to visit this incredible bridge. You really only need 10-20 minutes to see the bridge from all angles.

Arslanagić bridge – Trebinje

The Arslanagić Bridge has quite an interesting story to tell to all those who visit the town of Trebinje, a city situated only 28 km from Dubrovnik, which houses a picturesque Old Town.

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This bridge was built in 1574, by Mehmed-Paša Sokolović, a member of the Arslanagić family, in the village with the same name, situated 5 km from the north of Trebinje. It is one of the most beautiful Ottoman bridges in the country and is defined by two large and two small semicircular arches.

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However, in the late 1960s, due to the necessity of the Grancarevo dam to prevent the waters of Trebisnjica River from destroying the bridge, it had to be moved (stone by stone) into the old center of Trebinje.

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Tip: The bridge is a little outside of town. Just follow the river and you will find it!

Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge – Visegrad

There are only three bridges that made it on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list so far, and Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Visegrad is one of them.

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The bridge is one of the best examples of Ottoman architecture and civil engineering. It has a length of 180 meters, 11 arches, and spans over the Drina River. It was built on the order of the Grand Vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolović and was completed in 1577, under the supervision of one of the best Ottoman court architects, Mimar Sinan. The bridge was a muse for Nobel prize winner Ivo Andric, who wrote “The Bridge over the Drina.”

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Tip: For great views of the Mehmed Paša Sokolović bridge, go to the cafe on the southern side of the bridge. It has a beautiful large terrace with views over the bridge. The food was pretty good too.

BONUS: Crooked Bridge (Kriva Cuprija) – Mostar

Like Stari Most, the Kriva Cuprija (Crooked Bridge) is located in Mostar’s Old Town. While not as well known as its larger counterpart, the design of Kriva Cuprija strongly resembles that of Stari Most. Though the exact date of its construction is not known, Kriva Cuprija is thought to be a “practice run” of Stari Most.

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The crooked bridge crosses the Rabobolja creek, a right-bank affluent of the Neretva River. You can easily see it on foot if you are strolling the Old Town. Several restaurants and cafes are nearby. The arch is a perfect semicircle 8.56m in width and 4.15m in height. Much of the bridge’s footpath was destroyed by heavy flooding in 2000, but was eventually restored in 2001 thanks to a reconstruction project  financed by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

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Have you had the chance to visit any of these Ottoman bridges? Which one did you like most?

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The mosque is considered one of the oldest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it is a unique building built in the early Ottoman period in the 15th century, between 1460 and 1480. It is situated on a rock next to the road between Zvornik and Konjevic Polje.

The mosque, to which can be reached only on foot, through the woods and narrow road, was demolished during the aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993, as well as numerous other mosques and Islamic schools in the Drina valley.

In the past, the mosque Kušlat has been a popular place not only for believers. The passers were  attracted by legends related to its creation.

The fresh morning air, the soothing silence and a dominant sight of the building is kind of a prize to every visitor who decides to visit this building.


This cultural-historical monument is located at where Jadar river flows into Drinjača  river, 15 kilometers south from Zvornik, on a vertical rock. As a significant monument of material culture it testifies about a bygone era when it, with its beauty, power and strength of walls, symbolized power and reputation of its masters.


Travel writer Evlija Čelebija wrote: “It is a round stone town on the bank of Jadar river, on a cliff that rises up to the sky… A man does not dare to look down at the valley, where the river roars like thunder.”

A granary, an armory, five cannons and a commander (dizidar) to 28 crew soldiers existed in Kušlat according to his statements. In the town there were 120 houses with gardens; a path leading to the town is carved in stone, two steps wide, and there are 500 stone steps and stone fence on both sides. Rocks on which the town is built is leaned and pointed like an egg.


Ivo Andrić wrote down: “What Bosnian are you if you have never heard of Kušlat. It is on that part of an old road that leads from Zvornik to central Bosnia, and is famous for the first mosque in Bosnia.”


There are numerous records in history books, and the memories of people who visited it, about the history and uniqueness of the mosque.


When planning a trip to Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina might not be the first destination on your itinerary. Many people still relate the country with the war-torn ’90s, and imagine the landscape to be bleak and barren. But in reality, there are numerous attractions in Bosnia and Herzegovina besides ecotourism including its incredible history, glorious weather, rich culture, and broad range of ecosystems.

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Hutovo Blato National Park

If birds are your thing, there’s no better place in Southeast Europe to see them than Hutovo Blato National Park, which has over 240 migratory bird species and dozens of others that make the marshlands their home. A meeting point for a number of different rivers, Hutovo Blato is mostly made up of wetlands, but also includes swamp meadow and forests habitats, making it a melting pot of vegetation and wildlife. The park offers boat tours through the wetlands that are perfect for bird-watchers. There are also a number of walking and cycling paths, allowing visitors to cover as much of the park’s 7,400 hectares as they choose.

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Kravice Waterfalls

Located 40 km outside the city of Mostar and stemming from the Trebižat River, the Kravice Waterfalls attract thousands of visitors every year. Kravice is shaped a bit like a giant horseshoe, and the water looks as if it is falling from the green trees above, which are dense and thick. Visitors can swim in the clear waters and enjoy the view from the base of the falls, or go climbing up and behind the falls, exploring the natural basins and curtains of water. For thrill-seekers, there’s a rock in the center that’s around 30 feet high, which you can jump off of into the deeper waters below.

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Vrelo Bune

The Vrelo Bune (or “Buna Spring”) is the source of the Buna River, and lies just outside the village of Blagaj. The spring, which runs through a cavern, is one of the largest and most beautiful in Europe, producing extremely clean and cold water. So cold, in fact, that the restaurants built next to the spring actually cool their crates of bottled drinks in the river instead of a fridge! The Blagaj Tekke (a monastery) was erected next to the water source back in the 17th century, and sits tucked under the enormous vertical cliffs, creating picture-perfect scenery for visitors to enjoy. Vrelo Bune makes for a relaxing day trip from Mostar– perfect for picnics or a lunch at the restaurants around the river.

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Vjetrenica Caves

With over 6 km of passageways, the Vjetrenica Caves are the largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They’re located in the Popovo Polje valley, and are named for the cold air which blows from the entrance in the warmer parts of the year (Vjetrenica means “wind hole”). The cave houses the largest subterranean biodiversity in the world, with over 200 species ranging from cave-dwelling fish and insects to shellfish that only survive in underground systems. Vjetrenica also has ancient cave drawings of bears and leopards estimated to be over 10,000 years old. It’s currently sitting on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, waiting to be approved for protection. Tours of the caves are possible from within Bosnia, but you can also find tours departing from Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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Sutjeska National Park

Sutjeska National Park attracts both nature and history lovers alike. Established in 1962, it’s the oldest national park in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It features the highest peak in the country, Maglić. It also contains the Perućica Forest Reserve (one of only two primeval forests left in Europe), which hides the 246-foot tallSkakavac waterfall. The park was the location of the 1943 Battle of the Sutjeska during World War II. A war memorial now stands within the “Valley of the Heroes,” where the Yugoslavian Partisans overpowered the German occupying forces, even though they lost a third of their men. With over 300 species of birds, and other animals such as bears, wolves, the Balkan Chamois and foxes, Sutjeska National Park is a must-see for any animal lover visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Written by Emma Higgins