Citizens of Mostar flocked on Thursday to mark the anniversary of the destruction of city’s iconic Old Bridge. A single diver jumped off the reconstructed bridge at the hour when the 500-year-old stone arch was reduced to rubble by artillery in 1993, during the Bosnian war.
The bridge, build in the 16th century by a prominent architect of the Ottoman Empire, was seen as a strategic crossing point over Neretva river by the Bosnian Croat forces that laid siege on the parts of Mostar controlled by the Bosniak forces, following the outbreak of hostilities between the two allies in 1993. After several days of shelling, which obliterated the Old Town part of the city where the bridge is located, the pride of Mostar gave in to the onslaught on November 9, 1993.
The bridge was reconstructed in 2003 and 2004 and opened that year. The original stone blocs recovered from Neretva were used in the reconstruction, in which the 16th century masonry methods were meticulously applied.
In 2005, the bridge was added to the UNESCO list of protected world heritage.