Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Destruction of Stari Most

A Bosnian bridge rises from the rubble

Built in 1566, supposedly using mortar made from egg whites, the Stari Most (literally: Old Bridge) which spanned the Neretva river in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was once described as a “rainbow rising up to the Milky Way.” But the series of wars for independence that ultimately led to the breakup of the former Yugoslavia—turned it into rubble. The destruction of the Stari Most by Croatian forces in 1993 was condemned around the world; Andras Riedlmayer, bibliographer in Islamic art and architecture at Harvard University, said it amounted to an act of “killing memory.” After the war ended, a coalition oversaw its reconstruction and the rebuilt bridge opened in July, 2004.

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