Friday, April 15, 2011

Počitelj, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Yesterday was a full day of sightseeing. I had a private tour of Počitelj, Blagaj and Mostar. All three towns are down in the Herzegovina part of the country where it was nice and warm.

Počitelj is about a 3 hour drive from Sarajevo and about 45 minutes from Međugorje. The historic town, on a limestone hill on the left bank of the Neretva River, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Počitelj also hosts the longest operating art colony in southeast Europe.

It's thought that the town was built by Bosnia's King Stjepan Tyrtko I in 1383. During the Middle Ages it was strategically important as the administrative center of Dubrava county. The city became part of the Ottoman Empire when the Turks took it over in 1471. When Austro-Hungarian rule was established in 1878 the town ceased to be of importance but fortunately the town has been preserved.

The fort was built between the 15th and 18th centuries.

The Šošman Ibrahim-Paša mosque is a classical Ottoman style mosque built in 1562-63. It was blown up in 1993 and has since been rebuilt.

The clock tower was erected sometime after 1664. The tower bell rang until 1917 when the Austrians had to melt it down for bullets in WWI.

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