Stunning views and charming cities: 12 days Balkan tour of Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo.
For Eid, head to a star festival in Japan or take a road-trip across Ladakh, India…
On 23 July 2019, a ceremony was held in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to mark the 15th anniversary of the reconstruction of the Old Bridge. The ceremony represented a valuable opportunity to stress the role that cultural heritage has to play as an expression of identity and as an instrument…
JUMPING seven storeys from the Old Bridge in Mostar is a rite of passage. For the past 450 years local lads, eager to impress the girls, have been daring the 80ft leap to the distant waters of the …
A new World Bank-UNESCO Position Paper, Culture in City Reconstruction and Recovery (CURE), proposes an enhanced culture-based framework for city reconstruction and recovery.
Eastern Europe really is a treasure trove for travellers. From incredible architecture and epic nightlife, to gorgeous mountains and beautiful beaches, this diverse and delightful part of the world really does pack it all in. That’s not to mention the fairytale castles, the quirky coffeehouses, the rattling trams and the fiery Rakija! And who can forget the people, wild, welcoming and a whole lot of fun, from the Baltics to the Balkans, the Bulgarians to the Bosnians, I doubt you’ll ever be made to feel more at home…
From Mostar to Ljubljana, the Balkans is one of the most dynamic regions in the world. Here are the experiences to add to your Balkans bucket list.
Source: The Ultimate Balkans Bucket List
For those seeking adventure, head to the ancient Bosnian town of Mostar where on can get their high by jumping off a historic bridge into a fast-flowing river. Welcome to the annual traditional diving competition. For those who won’t dare to do this, here’s a glimpse of what takes place. | Would you dare take this leap of faith?
A seven-nation Balkan odyssey, far-flung ways to pop the question and more…
Red Bull has been organizing cliff-diving competitions since 2009, but when it included Mostar on its list of venues two years ago, it came to a place with its own, centuries-old, tradition of diving.
Plunging off the Old Bridge in Mostar in southern Bosnia has been a local test of courage for young men for generations. The tradition of high-diving may be older than the famous bridge itself.
Everything is ready for this Saturday’s cliff-diving championships that will take place before thousands of spectators.
Hotels are fully booked and a platform that raises the height of the jump from the water to the bridge to the required 27 meters is being set up.
It’s a place straight out of a fairytale: deep forests, bottomless lakes, rivers that pour out of gaping holes in the mountainside, waterfalls, crystal clear azure seas and a thousand islands dotting a coastline where Roman ruins, medieval city walls and arcane necropolises sit amongst modern buildings that bear the scars of war. This complex and misunderstood (by Americans, at least) part of the world is rich with history and natural beauty, and it’s an underrated motorcycling destination—which is why I was so excited to experience it on Adriatic Moto Tours’ Adriatic Riviera Tour. Slovenia-based Adriatic Moto Tours (AMT) specializes in introducing motorcyclists to the lesser-known destinations of Central and Eastern Europe, far from the typical crowds of tourists, and showing off the region’s 2,000 years of culture and history.
Thirteen years ago, in 2004, in front of the newly renovated Old Bridge in Mostar, a monument of the 0 category on UNESCO’s world heritage list, 650 liters of coffee were made while divers competed, and the citizens of Mostar drank 8,000 cups of coffee.
The largest coffee pot in the world in a sense became the protected sign of BiH tradition and cultural heritage. The coffee pot has become a regular guest at virtually all cultural manifestation both in and out of BiH. It steals all the attention from other attractions.
The huge coffee pot is an attraction of its own, while a million people from across the world at various manifestations and events, such as the World Expo 2010 in China and the World Soccer Championship in Brazil in 2014, have drank coffee from it.
For more than three decades Semir Kazazic-Miro has been leaping from a bridge and plunging 70 feet into the ice-cold, fast-flowing waters of the Neretva River below.
Since the span was originally built in 1566, the Stari Most — or “Old Bridge” — Mostar’s main attraction has been a place where residents show off their high-diving skills.
The Stari Most has also been a prominent symbol for the peaceful co-existence of Muslim Bosniaks, Christian Croats and mostly Orthodox Serbs.
Yet rising tensions between the ethnic groups following the collapse of Yugoslavia culminated in the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, that left an estimated 100,000 people dead and nearly two million others displaced.
Despite sniper fire and heavy shelling from the nearby hills, Kazazic-Miro and his fellow divers continued to jump from the landmark through the war.
Traces of troubled past lure at every step but the walk is peaceful on the cobbled streets of Mostar. You can hardly see signs of the war as the site was widely reconstructed and even Stari Most, the glorious Old Bridge that stood here for more than 425 years before being destroyed in 1993 by the Croats during the Bosnian War, was rebuilt.
The replica of the bridge, an engineering miracle of its time, is now as beautiful as the original in any light, and it is a sign that life is back on track in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The war took its toll on the people of Mostar but with peace came the time to heal and now the Old Town with its bridge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The gravity defying stone bridge binds the two sides of a city whose story begins with its construction by a student of ‘the Michelangelo of Ottoman architecture.’
Drenched in sweat, holding onto a rock as the icy aquamarine waters of the Neretva River swirl dangerously past, I stare up at the bridge for the moment I’ve been waiting for all day: Somebody is going to jump.
The crowd yells, and in the span of three seconds one of the divers plummets 80 feet into the river below, before emerging safely.
The bridge is none other than the Stari Most, the iconic gravity-defying stone bridge whose existence spoke to the ingenuity and talent of Ottoman design and engineering, and whose destruction in 1993 came to symbolize the wanton horror of the Balkan Wars.