The world-famous Stari Most (Old Bridge) is Mostar's indisputable visual focus. Its pale stone arch magnificently throws back the golden glow of sunset or the tasteful night-time floodlighting. The bridge's swooping stone arch was originally built between 1557 and 1566 on the orders of Suleyman the Magnificent. The current structure is a very convincing 2004 rebuild following the bridge's 1993 bombardment during the civil war. Numerous well-positioned cafes and restaurants tempt you to sit and savour the splendidly restored scene.
The bridge has always been Mostar's raison d'être. The 16th-century stone version replaced a previous suspension bridge whose wobbling had previously terrified tradesmen as they gingerly crossed the fast-flowing Neretva River. An engineering marvel of its age, that new bridge had long become the 'old' bridge when, after 427 years, it was pounded into the river during a deliberate Croat artillery atack in 1993. Depressing footage of this sad moment is shown on many a video in Mostar. But the structure was laboriously reconstructed using original techniques and reopened in 2004. It's now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.