Leaping from Mostar bridge

MOSTAR’S famous ‘Old Bridge’ spanned the 27-metre divide between the town’s Croat and Bosnian Muslims residents, 20 metres above the Neretva River, until it was destroyed in the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

A perfect replica of the 450-year-old architectural wonder was completed in 2004 in an effort to bring healing to the war-ravaged region.

Built from the same creamy local limestone, it was placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in July 2005 and has become a major tourist attraction.

Extreme sports enthusiasts gather there each summer for a diving competition from the bridge.

It was originally constructed in the16th Century and was the widest man-made arch in the world at the time.

Legend states that leaping from the bridge became a rite of passage for the young men of Mostar.

Described as a gravity-defying masterpiece of Ott-oman Turk architecture, it is now considered one of the greatest architectural works of its time.

Historians and builders still do not know how the scaffolding was erected, or how it survived the long construction period.

How the stone was transported from one bank to the other also has experts baffled.

The ‘new’ Old Bridge is considered a symbol of unity among the various ethnic communities.

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