Mostar, Then And Now

On November 9, 1993, one of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s cultural treasures became a casualty of war. The Old Bridge in Mostar, built in 1566 during the Ottoman Empire, was destroyed by shells fired by Croatian gunners amid fierce fighting with Bosnian Muslims.

The destruction was ordered by Slobodan Praljak, a former commander of Bosnian Croat forces, who was found guilty of the crime in 2013 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). “It’s just an old bridge,” Praljak was quoted as saying in 1993. Praljak’s 20-year sentence was upheld by judges on appeal in The Hague on November 29, 2017.

A new bridge built largely from the original stones was unveiled in Mostar in 2004, becoming a symbol of postwar reconciliation. These combination photographs compare the war-ravaged sites of Mostar with the reconstructed city.

(This gallery was originally published in April 2013.)


People cross a makeshift bridge in Mostar after the destruction of the 16th-century Old Bridge in 1993. On the right, the new bridge as it appeared in 2013. The reconstruction was completed in 2004 at a cost of $15.4 million, financed by a World Bank loan and international grants.

1

People cross a makeshift bridge in Mostar after the destruction of the 16th-century Old Bridge in 1993. On the right, the new bridge as it appeared in 2013. The reconstruction was completed in 2004 at a cost of $15.4 million, financed by a World Bank loan and international grants.

The makeshift bridge that replaced the destroyed Old Bridge, and the rebuilt structure in 2013.

2

The makeshift bridge that replaced the destroyed Old Bridge, and the rebuilt structure in 2013.

The Mehmed Pasina Mosque in Mostar, heavily damaged in fighting in 1993, and the mosque as it appeared in 2013

3

The Mehmed Pasina Mosque in Mostar, heavily damaged in fighting in 1993, and the mosque as it appeared in 2013

A man reads on the steps of a damaged building in the old section of Mostar in 1993. Below, the same street in February 2013.

4

A man reads on the steps of a damaged building in the old section of Mostar in 1993. Below, the same street in February 2013.

Damaged roofs in the old part of Mostar in June 1993, and the same location in February 2013.

5

Damaged roofs in the old part of Mostar in June 1993, and the same location in February 2013.

People walk across a bridge in Mostar in June 1993. On the right, a newly built bridge at the same location in 2013

6

People walk across a bridge in Mostar in June 1993. On the right, a newly built bridge at the same location in 2013

Damaged buildings in June 1993, and the same location in 2013

7

Damaged buildings in June 1993, and the same location in 2013

Marshall Tito Street in Mostar in 1993 and in 2013

8

Marshall Tito Street in Mostar in 1993 and in 2013

Santiceva Street in Mostar in 1993 and in 2013, with some buidlings still partly in ruins

9

Santiceva Street in Mostar in 1993 and in 2013, with some buidlings still partly in ruins

A Bosnian soldier stands on a hanging footbridge that replaced the destroyed Old Bridge. Below, a view of the reconstructed bridge

10

A Bosnian soldier stands on a hanging footbridge that replaced the destroyed Old Bridge. Below, a view of the reconstructed bridge

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