The Historic Town Of Pocitelj-picturesque architecture


Herzegovina is a place like no other. Mostly surrounded by hilly karst and high mountains in the north such as ÄŒvrsnica and Prenj, the valley of the river Neretva River is in the center.

When visiting Mostar, be sure to visit the historic town of Počitelj which is located on the left bank of the river Neretva, on the main Mostar to Metković road, to the south of Mostar, in the territory of Čapljina Municipality.

Back in the the middle ages, Počitelj was centre of governance and its westernmost point, which gave it major strategic importance.  It is supposed that the fortified town and its attendant settlements were built by Bosnia’s King Stjepan Tvrtko I in 1383.

The walled town of Počitelj evolved over the period from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Architecturally, the surviving stone-built parts of the town are a fortified complex, in which two stages of evolution may be observed: mediaeval, and Ottoman.

In 1996, Počitelj was named by World Monuments Watch as one of the world’s 100 most endangered cultural heritage sites. Since 2000, the town is in the program of protection of cultural heritage from further deterioration, rehabilitation of damaged and destroyed buildings, returns of the refugees and displaced persons to their homes and the sustainable and long-term protection and revitalization of the Historic urban area of Počitelj.

So what is so special about Počitelj? It`s the outstanding and picturesque architecture, which can be seen on the fort, mosque, medresa and hammam.

The original mediaeval nucleus of the Počitelj fort is the oldest walled section, where two stages of construction can be identified: the older, inner town or fortress (a donjon tower with a small ward or bailey) from the late fourteenth century, with later additions, alterations and reinforcements dating from the second half of the fifteenth century. Later on thefortress was considerably enlarged and fortified with a stronger system of defense. The town was walled so as to form an inner bailey from the square tower, two bastions (Mehmed-paÅ¡a’s and DelibaÅ¡a’s), Dizdar’s house, a granary, the fort’s mosque and a “water-tower” – a cistern with an entrance and steps leading to the water, two large gateways and two small ones.

The mosque of Hadži Alija is one of the finest achievements and monuments of the classical Ottoman style of single-room domed mosques in BiH. According to its chronogram, it was built in 970 AH (1562-63 AD) by Hadži Alija. The mosque occupies a prominent position in the urban fabric of the town and its natural surroundings. Other public buildings located by the mosque are the mektebs, the imaret, the medresa, the hamam, the han and the clock-tower.

The medresa of Šišman Ibrahim-Paša belongs to the standard type of smaller religious school, with five classrooms and a lecture room ranged along the two sides of an inner courtyard. The classrooms are roofed with five small domes and the lecture room with one large one.

The Sahat Kula (clock tower) was built under the influence of Mediterranean-Dalmatian architecture.  It is stone-built, with dressed quoins and ending in a stone pyramid. There are four pointed arches on the four sizes above the opening near the top of the tower. This type of sahat-kula is to be found in Počitelj, Mostar, and Stolac.

Počitelj was built on a rocky cliff sloping steeply down to the bank of the river Neretva and if you are a photography lover, you will fall in love with the magical sunsets over this town. Eeach part of this town will make you click more and more on your camera, from the view on the gable and hipped roofs and stone wall structures, to the doksats or oriel windows, rows of close-set windows and magic hajat (anteroom) on the ground floor. This sigh is a real piece of history.

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