Stari Most — Mostar’s (new) Old Bridge

We recently had the opportunity to visit the city of Mostar, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  A bit out of our way (even on a trip along the Adriatic), but we primarily wanted to see one iconic structure — Stari Most (“Old Bridge”).

The original version of this structure was built on the orders of Suleiman the Magnificent between 1557 and 1566, and it stood for 427 years with no issues.  But it was a casualty of the Balkan Wars back in the 1990s, and so had to be subsequently rebuilt in 2004.

Still, it’s said that the (new) Old Bridge is made largely of limestone blocks from the (old) Old Bridge, salvaged from the bottom of the Neretva river.

Stari Most at sundown

The bridge runs almost exactly along an east – west line, so it makes a particularly good photographic subject at either sunrise or sunset.  Above is the view from upstream / north just before sunset — not the only way to go, but the one with the easiest access.

Stari Most at night

After sunset, the bridge is well lit by spotlights — so it makes a great photographic subject in the dark as well.  I’d recommend a reasonably long exposure (this is a 10 second exposure at ISO 200 & f/18) to smooth out the river’s waves.

By the way, should you wander to this part of the world, make sure to cross the bridge over to the east side of town for the best view of the structure.

Open for Visitors

The above shots were taken from the courtyard of the Koski Mehmet Pasha Mosque — the view lives up to the billing, and the people at the mosque are fantastic.  Their courtyard closes around sundown, but their groundskeeper was kind enough to allow me a few minutes in the darkness to take my shots.  Get there earlier in the day, and you can visit / take pictures inside the mosque and go inside the minaret as well.

You can also get photos of the bridge’s south face from a rocky beach along the river, but access to it isn’t nearly as easy.