November 2, 2009

Croatia Day 4

We took the bus to Bosnia/Herzegovina this morning. We'll never forget the sights we saw there. The devastation from the war (1991-1995) is unbelievable. Here are a couple of pictures of buildings located in downtown Mostar. There are many demolished buildings and most of the city has still not been rebuilt. There is 43% unemployment. No one has any money to put back into the businesses that were destroyed by the war. Our guide tried to describe the background of the war. It was so convoluted, it was impossible to follow. Apparently no one knows why it started! Notice the bullet and shell holes. Some buildings were totally destroyed. Others which were bombed but not totally destroyed have people living in them. It must be tough in the winter time!

This is a street in the old part of town where the bazaar is located. Most of the handcrafts here are made locally. It was fun walking through the area. The street is cobbled and difficult to walk on. Thank goodness it wasn't raining.

This is the ceiling of the oldest mosque in the city of Mostar. It is still used for worship on Fridays. Otherwise it is open to the public for viewing. We didn't have to take off our shoes. Our guide was Muslim which was a surprise to us because she was blonde and dressed in "civilian" clothes.

The decorations in the mosque consist of ornate wall paintings. There are a lot of colorful rugs on the floor too.

The most serious damage to the town from a historical perspective was the complete destruction of a 16th century bridge considered a masterpiece of Turkish architecture. Fortunately, this was restored in 2004 under UNESCO protection.

The country is now divided between Bosnian Serbs living in the north part of the country which is called Bosnia while the Bosnian Croats and Muslims live in the central and southern part of the country now called Herzegovena.

This is our last night in Dubrovnic. Tomorrow we head towards the north via Split.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Happy birthday, Richard! Sounds like you two are having an amazing trip so far. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more. How's the journal coming along, Mom?