June 15, 2009
For several centuries, Mostar was a place where people with strong ethnic and cultural differences could live, work and worship in harmony. But in the 1990s that tolerance unraveled and buildings as well as people became victims.
This mosque, for example is one of only ten surviving houses of Muslim worship in Mostar. Before the war there were over thirty. The rest were intentionally destroyed, as was the famous bridge called Stari Most that spanned the Neretva River.
The bridge has been rebuilt and the mosques are active places of worship again. I think that tolerance has returned but everywhere there are signs of the war including shelled-out buildings and bullet-riddled walls.
The heart of Mostar is a beautiful place to visit and while the people seemed friendly and eager to please, I got the sense that people are still recovering from the pain and hardship of living in a war zone.
Click here for more photos of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
This cemetery is in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. After visiting the famous Stari Most, which was destroyed in late 1993 during the war in Yugoslavia, Deb and I wandered off the beaten path. We ended up in a cemetery. This one is the final resting place of young men who died in the Yugoslavian war in the 1990s.
Almost all of the “inhabitants” of this cemetery were around 30 years old when they died. And all died in 1993 or 1994. I learned later that cemetery occupies a plot of land that was a park before the war. The dead were buried under cover of night because snipers couldn’t see in the dark.
A few minutes after leaving the cemetery, we ran in to a man and his young son. He told us he had left Mostar to start and new life in Germany but was home visiting his sister. When we told him we had just been to the Muslim cemetery, he said, “Most of those guys were my friends.”
Am am not the only traveler to comment on this cemetery check out Dag Trygsland’s post from late last year.