Photographer's Note

This unique settlement, listed as a UNESCO heritage site, was heavily damaged during and sadly even after the war but recent reconstruction has returned the town to its original form
This once charming mediaeval town is situated in the valley of the Neretva River, some twentyfive kilometers from Mostar, on the route to the Adriatic Sea. The history of Pocitelj is not well known and has to be researched. As far as we know, it existed in 1444 as a fortress supported by Hungary. Turks took it over in 1471 and it became an important part of the Ottoman Empire. The town's principal mosque is built by Hadzi Alija in 1563. From the beginning of the 18th century Pocitelj was the seat of the captaincy and in 1782 it became the seat of the kadiluk. A seventeenth-century enclosing wall marks the height of the town's growth. At the time, there was in the town an elementary school (mekteb), a secondary theological school (medresa) and also public baths (hammam) and an inn for travelers (han).
The town was constructed right into a rocky mountainside overlooking a bend in the Neretva River. This gives it the aspect of a natural amphitheater, and is a delight for any architect with a feeling for environmental settings. Its characteristic buildings are in Ottoman style. The Stone houses along stone pathways are an unique, hidden behind high walls surrounding peaceful, inner courtyards. It is testimony of a culture that internal values grace over external appearance.

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