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Supplementary Remarks on the Old Bridge

By Wethersfield Historical Society on September 23, 2011 11:13 AM

Supplementary remarks from WHS member John Oblak.

250px-Stari_Most22.jpg"I was fascinated to read about the Old Bridge Restaurant.  The owner's hometown of Mostar takes its name from the Old Bridge (Stari Most). It was built in 1566 on the orders of Suleiman the Magnificent. We visited Mostar in 1983.

Stari Most is a beautiful, classic example of Ottoman architecture/engineering. It spans a deep chasm formed by the Neretva River.  Mostar was strategic to the frontier skirmishes between Ottoman-controlled Bosnia and the Habsburgs' Roman Catholic province of Croatia. Suleiman the Magnificent ordered the bridge built so that Ottoman troops could move easily back and forth across the Neretva. The Ottoman Empire reached its maximum penetration of the Balkans under Suleiman.
Unfortunately, Stari Most became a casualty of the 1990's Balkan Wars. The Croats fought the Bosniac Muslims at Mostar. Systematic gunfire from Croat tanks took down the bridge. The Croats knew their history and the symbolism Stari Most's destruction.That action fell under the umbrella of "crimes against humanity". Stari Most has since been rebuilt with funding from UNESCO; but it's not the same."

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