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Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar

Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar

The historic town of Mostar, spanning a deep valley of the Neretva River, developed in the 15th and 16th centuries as an Ottoman frontier town and during the Austro-Hungarian period in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mostar has long been known for its old Turkish houses and Old Bridge, Stari Most, after which it is named. In the 1990s conflict, however, most of the historic town and the Old Bridge, designed by the renowned architect Sinan, was destroyed. The Old Bridge was recently rebuilt and many of the edifices in the Old Town have been restored or rebuilt with the contribution of an international scientific committee established by UNESCO. The Old Bridge area, with its pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and western European architectural features, is an outstanding example of a multicultural urban settlement. The reconstructed Old Bridge and Old City of Mostar is a symbol of reconciliation, international co-operation and of the coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities.

Quartier du Vieux pont de la vieille ville de Mostar

La ville historique de Mostar, nichée dans la profonde vallée de Neretva, est une ancienne ville frontière ottomane qui s’est développée aux XVe et XVIe siècles, et durant la période austro-hongroise des XIXe et XXe siècles. Mostar se caractérise par ses maisons turques anciennes et par le vieux pont, Stari Most, qui lui a valu son nom. Lors des conflits des années 1990, la majeure partie de la ville historique et le vieux pont du célèbre architecte Sinan ont cependant été détruits. Le vieux pont a été reconstruit et de nombreux édifices de la vieille ville ont été restaurés ou rebâtis avec l’aide d’un comité scientifique international mis en place par l’UNESCO. Le quartier du vieux pont, avec ses caractéristiques architecturales (pré-ottomanes, ottomanes de l’Est, méditerranéennes et d’Europe occidentale), est un exemple remarquable d’occupation urbaine multiculturelle. Le pont reconstruit et la vieille ville de Mostar sont un symbole de la coopération internationale et de la coexistence de diverses communautés culturelles, ethniques et religieuses.

حيّ الجسر القديم في مدينة موستار القديمة

تمثّل مدينة موستار التاريخية، الجاثمة في وادي نيريتفا العميق، مدينة عثمانية حدودية قديمة شهدت نمواً في القرنين الخامس عشر والسادس عشر، وإبّان أوج الإمبراطورية النمساوية-المجرية في القرنين التاسع عشر والعشرين. وتتميّز موستار ببيوتها التركية القديمة وبجسر ستاري موست القديم الذي أكسبها إسمه. إلاّ أنّ الجزء الأكبر من المدينة التاريخية والجسر القديم الذي صمّمه المهندس الشهير سينان دُمرّ خلال النزاعات التي نشبت في التسعينيات. ثم أعيد بناء الجسر كما جرى ترميم العديد من المباني في المدينة القديمة وإعادة تشييدها بمساعدة لجنة علمية دولية أنشأتها اليونسكو. ويعتبر الجسر العتيق، بخصائصه الهندسية (التي ترقى إلى فترة ما قبل الحقبة العثمانية، والعثمانية الشرقية، والمتوسطية والأوروبية الغربية)، مثالاً لافتاً عن التعدد الثقافي والتنوع السكني. كذلك، يُعدّ الجسر الذي أعيد بناؤه ومدينة موستار القديمة رمزاً للتعاون الدولي وللتعايش بين مجتمعات ثقافية وإثنية ودينية مختلفة.

source: UNESCO/ERI

莫斯塔尔旧城和旧桥地区

莫斯塔尔(Mostar)古镇横跨雷特瓦河深谷,是15和 16世纪作为土耳其边境小镇建立起来的,于19和20世纪的奥匈帝国时期得到了进一步发展。莫斯塔尔一直以来因其古老的土耳其房屋和老桥(Stari Most) 而闻名,并因此桥而得名。然而,在1990年冲突期间,这个古镇的大部分地方和由著名建筑师思南(Sinan)设计的老桥都遭到了摧毁。由于联合国教科文组织成立的国际科学委员会的努力,老桥于近期得到了重建,古镇的许多建筑也得到了修复或重建。老桥地区融合了前土耳其、土耳其东部、地中海和西欧建筑风格,是一个典型的多文化城市住区。重建后的老桥和莫斯塔尔旧城是协调和解、国际合作的象征,也是不同文化、种族和宗教社会之间和睦相处的象征。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Район Старого моста в историческом центре города Мостар

Исторический город Мостар, протянувшийся по глубокой долине реки Неретва, активно развивался в ХV-ХVI вв. как пограничный город Оттоманской империи, и в ХIХ-ХХ вв. как город под австро-венгерским владычеством. Мостар известен старыми турецкими жилыми домами и Старым мостом (босн. – Стары-Мост), который и дал название городу. Во время конфликта 1990-х гг. большая часть исторического города и Старый мост, спроектированный знаменитым архитектором Синаном, были разрушены. Мост и многие другие строения в Старом городе были недавно воссозданы или восстановлены с помощью международного научного комитета, созданного ЮНЕСКО. Архитектурный облик района Старого моста начал складываться еще до прихода турок, позже испытал турецкое, средиземноморское и западноевропейское влияние, и теперь представляет собой выдающийся образец городского поселения, сформировавшегося под воздействием различных культур. Реконструированный Старый мост и Старый город в Мостаре – это символ примирения, международного сотрудничества и сосуществования сообществ, различающихся по своей культуре, национальной принадлежности и вероисповеданию.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Barrio del Puente Viejo en el centro histórico de Mostar

La histórica ciudad de Mostar, encaramada en lo alto del valle del río Neretva, es una antigua ciudad fronteriza otomana que se desarrolló en los siglos XV y XVI. Entre los siglos XIX y XX perteneció al Imperio Austrohúngaro. Mostar es famosa por sus antiguas casas turcas y por el “Stari Most” (Puente Viejo), del que recibe su nombre. La mayor parte del centro histórico de la ciudad, así como el puente diseñado por el famoso arquitecto Sinan, fueron destruidos durante el conflicto ocurrido en el decenio de1990. El puente ha sido reconstruido recientemente y muchos edificios de la parte antigua de la ciudad se han reedificado o restaurado con ayuda de un comité científico internacional establecido por la UNESCO. El barrio del Puente Viejo es un ejemplo notable de asentamiento urbano multicultural, como lo prueban sus variadas edificaciones preotomanas, otomano-orientales, mediterráneas y occidentales. El puente reconstruido y el centro histórico de Mostar son símbolos de la cooperación internacional y de la coexistencia de distintas comunidades culturales, étnicas y religiosas.

source: UNESCO/ERI

モスタル旧市街の古橋地区
ネレトヴァ川の渓谷沿いの古都モスタルは、15~16世紀にはオスマン帝国の国境の町として栄え、19~20世紀のオーストリア・ハンガリー帝国時代にも発展を遂げた。水面から20mの天空にかかる古橋「石の三日月」とトルコ風の古い町並みは、1990年代のユーゴ紛争によってほとんどが破壊された。古橋は最近再建され、旧市街もユネスコが設立した国際委員会の協力で修復・再建された。オスマン帝国期における地中海地域などの建築の特色をもつ古橋と旧市街は、再建により、和解と国際協力、多文化共生の象徴となった。

source: NFUAJ

Oude brug van de historische stad Mostar

De historische binnenstad van Mostar ontstond in de 15e en 16e eeuw als een Ottomaanse grensstad en ontwikkelde zich verder tijdens de Oostenrijks-Hongaarse periode in de 19e en 20e eeuw. Mostar ligt in een diepe vallei van de rivier Neretva en is bekend om zijn oude Turkse huizen en de oude brug Stari Most, waarnaar het is vernoemd. In de jaren 1990 werd het grootste deel van de historische stad en de oude brug vernietigd. De gereconstrueerde oude brug en oude stad van Mostar zijn een symbool van verzoening, internationale samenwerking en van het naast elkaar bestaan van verschillende culturele, etnische en religieuze gemeenschappen.

Source: unesco.nl

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Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar © Silvan Rehfeld
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

A settlement established as an urban structure in the 15th century on the crossing of a river and a land road was originally located in a valley of the Neretva River, between Hum Hill and the foot of the Velež Mountain. This relatively small settlement had two towers around the bridge, which dated 1459, as noted by written historical sources. The current name, Mostar, was mentioned for the first time in 1474 and derived from "mostari" - the bridge keepers. The historic town of Mostar developed in the 15th and 16th centuries as an Ottoman frontier town and during the short Austro-Hungarian period in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mostar has been long known for its old Turkish houses and the Old Bridge – Stari most, an extraordinary technological achievement of bridge construction. The historic part of Mostar is a result of interaction between the natural phenomena and human creativity throughout a long historical period. The essence of centuries-long cultural continuity is represented by the universal synthesis of life phenomena: the bridge and its fortresses – with the rich archeological layers from the pre-Ottoman period, religious edifices, residential zones (mahalas), arable lands, houses, bazaar, its public life in the streets and water. Architecture here presented a symbol of tolerance: a shared life of Muslims, Christians and Jews. Mosques, churches, and synagogues existed side-by-side indicating that in this region, the Roman Catholic Croats with their Western European culture, the Eastern Orthodox Serbs with their elements of Byzantine culture, and the Sephardic Jews continued to live together with the Bosniaks-Muslims for more than four centuries. A specific regional architecture was thus created and left behind a series of unique architectural achievements, mostly modest by physical dimensions, but of considerable importance for the cultural history of its people. The creative process produced a constant flow of various cultural influences that, like streams merging into a single river, became more than a mere sum of the individual contributing elements.

In the 1990 conflict, however, most of the historic town and the Old Bridge, a masterpiece designed by the famous architect, mimar Hajruddin (according to the design of his master-teacher, great architect mimar Sinan), were destroyed. The Old Bridge was rebuilt in 2004 and many of the edifices in the Old Town were restored or rebuilt with the contribution of the international scientific committee established by UNESCO.

The Old Bridge Area, with its pre-Ottoman, Eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and Western European architectural features, is an outstanding example of a multicultural urban settlement. The reconstructed Old Bridge and Old City of Mostar are symbols of reconciliation, international cooperation and the coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities. 

Criterion (vi): With the “renaissance” of the Old Bridge and its surroundings, the symbolic power and meaning of the City of Mostar - as an exceptional and universal symbol of coexistence of communities from diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds - has been reinforced and strengthened, underlining the unlimited efforts of human solidarity for peace and powerful cooperation in the face of overwhelming catastrophes. 

Integrity

The inscribed property encompasses 7.60 ha, with a buffer zone of 48 ha and contains the elements to convey its Outstanding Universal Value. After the reconstruction works, the Old Bridge is again a testimonial, in time and space, of the history of the Old City of Mostar. Reconstruction works of the Old Bridge complex and its surrounding monumental structures, infrastructure and majority of urban fabric took into consideration the overall integrity of the place. This was achieved by following the pre-war appearance and features of the structures to maintain vertical and horizontal dimensions, forms, scale and materialization – in other words, the integral expression of the Old City of Mostar. The exceptional features of the historic urban area of Mostar were presented again in their interrelation between natural and constructed elements, with the Old Bridge as a masterpiece of bridge construction.

The elements that reflect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property are present in situ, including the intangible ones (especially its symbolic power). Furthermore, archaeological findings of the older medieval bridges (almost at the same location of the Old Bridge) point out the strong historical and functional integrity as well as the ability of architects and town planners to integrate new development principles and architecture with the earlier medieval era.

The Old City of Mostar, shaped and defined during the Medieval, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian period, preserved its coherence as a whole with recognizable features of the townscape and legibility in an urban-morphological matrix, without introducing alterations in the form of new or inappropriately renewed structures. 

Authenticity

The reconstruction of the Old Bridge was based on thorough and detailed, multi-facetted analyses, relying on high quality documentation. The authenticity of form, use of authentic materials and techniques are fully recognizable while the reconstruction has not been hidden at all. Remaining original material has been exposed in a museum, becoming an inseparable part of the reconstruction. The reconstruction of the fabric of the bridge should be seen as the background to the restoration of the intangible dimensions of this property.

At the urban scale, authenticity is preserved through an integrative rehabilitation of the historic core by the renovation of physical structures and the introduction of the appropriate functions. The use of the original volumes, sites and building materials for each structure preserved the typology and morphology of the historic fabric. The key features of the city, natural surroundings, and the urban matrix with the architectural landmarks remain genuine.

Architectural authenticity is achieved by the application of contemporary theories and practices, accompanied with extensive research and re-use of original elements found on the site. Reconstruction remained faithful to the idea and principles of the original structure, with respect for different historical layers and previous restoration works. 

Protection and management requirements

Protection measures are related to the harmonized set of laws for the protection of listed national monuments, in particular the Law on Implementation of Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2002), the Law on the Protection and Use of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina (1985) and the Law on Physical Planning and Land Use at the Level of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2006), accompanied by other related laws and regulations. In addition, the Historical Urban Area of Mostar was listed as national monument with boundaries that correspond to the area of the inscribed property.

In terms of management, the Management Plan for the Old City of Mostar has been implemented. This document, composed of four parts (government, finance, planning and implementation, including the Master Plan 2001) was formulated with the aim to preserve and protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The Plan also defines the activities necessary to ensure adequate management, the sustainable use of the World Heritage property in a way appropriate to its Outstanding Universal Value, cultural and historical features, sustainable protection and conservation of cultural values. It also underlines the property's active role in improving conditions and quality of life of the local community. A Master Plan was adopted by the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In operational terms, the Mostar City Council established the Agency “Stari Grad” (located in Mostar) responsible for preservation, development, site management and monitoring. The Agency works in close cooperation with other institutions in charge of heritage protection (mostly with the Federal Institute for the Protection of Monuments). The works related to heritage protection are financed mostly by the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the City of Mostar. The City of Mostar also implements projects related to the improvement of the city’s infrastructure.

Challenges remain in effectively ensuring that development pressures do not threaten the conditions of integrity and the conservation of the property and its buffer zone. To this effect, heritage protection services need to have the necessary measures in place to prevent and mitigate potential negative impacts.

Long Description

The Old Bridge area of the Old City of Mostar, with its exceptional multicultural (pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and western European) architectural features, and satisfactory interrelationship with the landscape, is an outstanding example of a multicultural urban settlement. The qualities of the site's construction, after the extremely ravaging war damage and the subsequent works of renewal, have been confirmed by detailed scientific investigations. These have provided proof of exceptionally high technical refinement in the skill and quality of the ancient constructions, particularly of the Old Bridge. Of special significance is the Radoboija stream, which enters the Neretva on its right bank. This provided a source of water for the growing settlement, and from it springs a number of small canals used for irrigation and for driving the wheels of water-mills.

There has been human settlement on the Neretva between the Hum Hill and the Velez Mountain since prehistory, as witnessed by discoveries of fortified enceintes and cemeteries. Evidence of Roman occupation comes from beneath the present town.

Little is known of Mostar in the medieval period, although the Christian basilicas of late antiquity continued in use. The name of Mostar is first mentioned in a document of 1474, taking its name from the bridge-keepers (mostari ); this refers to the existence of a wooden bridge from the market town on the left bank of the river which was used by soldiers, traders, and other travellers. At this time it was the seat of a kadiluk (district with a regional judge). Because it was on the trade route between the Adriatic and the mineral-rich regions of central Bosnia, the settlement spread to the right bank of the river. It became the leading town in the Sanjak of Herzegovina and, with the arrival of the Ottoman Turks from the east, the centre of Turkish rule.

The town was fortified between 1520 and 1566, and the bridge was rebuilt in stone. The second half of the 16th century and the early decades of the 17th century were the most important period in the development of Mostar. Religious and public buildings were constructed, concentrated on the left bank of the river, in a religious complex. At the same time many private and commercial buildings, organized in distinct quarters, known as mahalas (residential) and the bazaar, were erected.

Of the thirteen original mosques dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, seven have been destroyed during the 20th century for ideological reasons or by bombardment. One of the two 19th-century Orthodox churches has also disappeared, and the early 20th-century synagogue, after undergoing severe damage in the Second World War, has been converted for use as a theatre. Several Ottoman inns also survive, along with other buildings from this period of Mostar's history, such as fountains and schools.

The administrative buildings are all from the Austro-Hungarian period and have neoclassical and Secessionist features. A number of surviving late Ottoman houses demonstrate the component features of this form of domestic architecture - hall, upper storey for residential use, paved courtyard, and verandah on one or two storeys. The later 19th-century residential houses are all in neoclassical style.

Some early trading and craft buildings are still existent, notably some low shops in wood or stone, stone storehouses, and a group of former tanneries round an open courtyard. Once again, the 19th-century commercial buildings are predominantly neoclassical. A number of elements of the early fortifications are visible. The Hercegusa Tower dates from the medieval period, whereas the Ottoman defences are represented by the Halebinovka and Tara Towers, the watchtowers over the ends of the Old Bridge, and a stretch of the ramparts.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

There has been human settlement on the Neretva between the Hum Hill and the Velez mountain since prehistory, as witnessed by discoveries of fortified enceintes and cemeteries. Evidence of Roman occupation comes from beneath the present town.

Little is known of Mostar in the medieval period, though the Christian basilicas of late antiquity continued in use. The name of Mostar is first mentioned in a document of 1474, taking its name from the bridge-keepers (mostari) this refers to the existence of a wooden bridge from the market town on the left bank of the river which was used by soldiers, traders, and other travelers. At this time it was the seat of a kadiluk (district with a regional judge). Because it was on the trade route between the Adriatic and the mineral-rich regions of central Bosnia, the settlement spread to the right bank of the river. It became the leading town in the Sanjak of Herzegovina and, with the arrival of the Ottoman Turks from the east, the centre of Turkish rule.

The town was fortified between 1520 and 1566 and the bridge was rebuilt in stone. The second half of the 16th century and the early decades of the 17th century were the most important period in the development of Mostar. Religious and public buildings were constructed, such as mosques, a madrasah (Islamic school), and a hammam (public bath); these were concentrated on the left bank of the river, in a religious complex (kullia). At the same time many private and commercial buildings, organized in distinct quarters, known as mahalas (residential) and the bazaar, were erected.

Bosnia-Herzegovina was first occupied (1878) and then annexed (1908) by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and it was in this period that a number of administrative, military, cultural, and Christian religious buildings were established. These were mainly on the right bank of the river, where a new quarter was developed according to a strict ‘Rondo' plan. This provides a strong contrast with the left bank where there was a more organic growth on the steeper slopes, with winding narrow streets and public open spaces for trading (pazar), recreation (mejdan), and prayer (musallah). The town was also connected at this time by rail and new roads to Sarajevo and the Adriatic.

Between 1992 and 1995 the town was badly damaged during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and much of the urban centre was left in ruins and the Old Bridge destroyed. Since 1998 there have been major restoration projects carried out in the centre of the Old Town, most notably the rebuilding of the Old Bridge.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation
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