Medjugorje ("between the hills") has become well known in Bosnia-Hercegovina, and the world, because of six young people who claim to have seen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Beginning on June 24, 1981, the Blessed Mother appeared to, and later told the visionaries, God sent her to our world to help us convert our hearts and lives back to Him. Our Lady's call is one of Peace, Love, Faith, Conversion, Prayer, and Fasting. We are each challenged to answer Our Lady's call to change our lives, and hearts back to God.
Mostar is one of the most frequented attractions in Bosnia, thanks to its outstanding natural beauty, architecture, and, of course, its famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Stari Most. It is full of quintessential Ottoman architecture, with plenty of traditional restaurants, market stalls, mosques and other historic buildings. It is also surrounded by stunning landscape waiting to be explored.Stari MostOne of Mostar’s and also Bosnia’s most famous sites is the Stari Most, or ‘Old Bridge’. The bridge was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century and is exemplary of typical Islamic architecture and fine engineering. It crosses over the beautiful turquoise Neretva river, and is at the heart of Mostar’s historic Old Town. During the civil war, however, the bridge was destroyed by Croat forces but it has since been rebuilt to its exact original specifications. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, having received this status in 2005 soon after it was rebuilt, and it attracts thousands of tourists to Mostar every year.The ‘Don’t Forget’ StoneThis small stone is found near to the Stari Most, and serves as a reminder of the civil war. As tourists visit the stunning town of Mostar, it is important not to gloss over the fact that terrible atrocities were committed here relatively recently, and that the city still feels the effects of a divided population. While tourism has ensured that Mostar has been able to thrive since the war, not long ago it was under siege, and many of the locals living in the city today would have lost friends and family members. The ‘Don’t Forget’ stone serves to gently remind visitors to reflect on the city’s tragic past.ČaršijaIn the heart of Mostar’s picturesque Old Town is its market, or čaršija. There is a market on each side of the river near to the Stari Most, due to the split between the Bosniak and Croat ethnic groups that inhabit the city, although the difference between the two is not noticeable to visiting tourists. The market has a distinctly eastern feel, thanks to the historic Ottoman influences, with stalls selling rugs, painted plates, copper items, and souvenirs. The market is busy with locals as well as tourists, and gives visitors a good glimpse at a traditional Bosnian way of life.