1.         Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) (C 946rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2005

Criteria  (vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/946/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1995-1995)
Total amount approved: USD 15,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/946/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 190,000

Previous monitoring missions

21-24 June 2006 : ICOMOS mission ; 11-13 June 2007: UNESCO / ICOMOS mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Construction of a hotel in the buffer zone of the World Heritage property, not in conformity with provisions of the Master Plan, which was part of the management plan included in the nomination file. 

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/946/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

Inappropriate construction of a hotel in the buffer zone:

The President of the National Commission for UNESCO informed the Centre, by letter of 31 January 2008, that following the decision of the World Heritage Committee and the recommendations set out in the report of June 2007, the Chairperson of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina has organised a meeting on 29 January 2008 to review the situation and activities. The following conclusions were made: Further construction activities have been stopped since 2006 and no works would be undertaken before the full implementation of the decisions of the World Heritage Committee and the recommendations of the UNESCO / ICOMOS experts.

Four out of five recommendations provided in the previous mission report were incorporated into the new architectural design, and the fifth recommendation related to the height of the building, is to be taken into account in the new architectural design in order to comply with the recommendations. The works carried out were: the design of the facades have been improved by re-creating the depths and the “chiaroscuro” effect with the full and voids of the windows, loggias, etc; the typical material of the area, including stone and wood, with modern manufacturing techniques are applied in the new design; the relationship of the building with its immediate external spaces, with the streets surrounding the lot and with the adjacent buildings, is taken into account; and big surfaces of reflecting glass and projecting bodies made entirely of glass and steel are avoided. At the request of the State Party an UNESCO / ICOMOS advisory mission took place from 26 to 28 May 2008. The report is available at https://whc.unesco.org/archive/2008.


Cracks at the Mostar bridge

The World Heritage Centre was informed by press articles that cracks have begun to appear in the bridge, probably caused by an earthquake. The World Heritage Centre sent a letter on 4 January 2008 asking the State Party to report on the conservation issues of the bridge. The Mayor of Mostar by a letter of 22 January 2008 reported that the following measures were taken: a commission to collect all relevant information related to the appearance of the cracks was established; the official supplier of the monitoring system of the bridge was asked for the immediate interpretation of the data collected by the monitoring system incorporated into the bridge structure during the reconstruction process. The official supplier was sending experts by the end of January 2008; a topographic survey of the bridge was requested, in order to review the situation in comparison with previous surveys, and to determine whether there are any deformations of the bridge structure.

The Mayor suggested that once all available information is collected, a meeting of all the stakeholders including UNESCO, World Bank, designer, supervisor, and contractor(s), would be held to come to an objective analysis of the situation. Furthermore, a technical mission by the Dean of the Sarajevo Faculty of Civil Engineering took place in December 2007, and reported that in no case cracks could endanger the present stability of the bridge, but further monitoring is proposed. Furthermore, with the state of conservation report of 1 February 2008 the State Party informed the World Heritage Centre about the observation of cracks on the Old Bridge. It is mentioned that cracks appeared in November 2007, on the side arches and part of the intrados. An independent international expert team was set up, which concluded that the bridge is in no immediate danger, but that regular monitoring is essential. The State Party has taken steps to comply with the suggestions made by the expert team. However, it is of the view that technical assistance is required from the World Heritage Centre to secure the funds and conditions for another visit of the expert team by May 2008 at the latest.

ICOMOS commented that the bridge does not seem to be structurally threatened. The key issue concerns the establishment of a systematic monitoring of the bridge, taking into account the documentation on its construction.

The State Party also reported on the activities of the “Stari Grad” Agency in 2007, responsible for the preservation of the World Heritage property and the implementation of the management plan. These activities concern restoration, reconstruction and refurbishment activities for buildings, monitoring and preventive actions.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 32 COM 7B.85

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B and Decision 32 COM 7B.85.Rev,

2. Recalling Decisions 30 COM 7B.82 and 31 COM 7B.93 adopted at its 30th (Vilnius, 2006) and 31st (Christchurch, 2007) sessions respectively,

3. Also recalling with satisfaction that the works for the construction of the hotel were suspended immediately upon receipt of Decision 30 COM 7B.82, acknowledges that the State Party continues its efforts towards identifying appropriate solutions to protect the Outstanding Universal Value and the integrity of the property;

4. Urges the State Party to redesign the new Rose Hotel, taking into account the requirements of the 2001 Master Plan and the 2005 Management Plan for the World Heritage property, the recommendations of the 2006 and 2007 missions, and in line with the specific recommendations made in the 2008 mission, in collaboration with UNESCO and the Advisory Bodies;

5. Notes with concern cracks that appeared in the Old Bridge structure of Mostar after the earthquakes, and requests the State Party to continue monitoring, collecting data with precise indicators and take the appropriate measures to ensure the stability of the width and grade of the bridge, in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies;

6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, an update report on the state of conservation of the property, the results of the monitoring of the cracks in the Old Bridge and the redesign of the Rose Hotel project, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.