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.)