World-famous Stari Most (Old Bridge) is Mostar's indisputable visual focus. Its pale stone magnificently throws back the golden glow of sunset or the tasteful night-time floodlighting. The bridge's swooping arch was originally built between 1557 and 1566 on the orders of Suleyman the Magnificent. The current structure is a very convincing 21st-century rebuild following the bridge's 1990s 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 terrified tradesmen as they gingerly crossed the fast-flowing Neretva River. An engineering marvel of its age, the new bridge had long been the 'old' bridge when, after 427 years, it was pounded into the river during a deliberate Croat artillery attack in November 1993. Depressing footage of this sad moment is shown on many a video in Mostar. The laboriously reconstructed bridge reopened in 2004 and is now a Unesco World Heritage Site famed for its 'bridge divers'.