In a European country called Bosnia and Herzegovina, the City Mostar, has a rite of passage for 16 year old boys to become men. To become a man you must jump off the Stari Most Bridge into the very cold Neretva river. The 78 feet/24 meter drop means that in three seconds, you will hit the very chilly water at nearly 50 mph or 80 km/h.
Stari Most, which translates to “Old Bridge”, started construction in 1557 to replace the old unstable wooden bridge, and took around nine years to complete. It was said that the bridge was held together with metal pins and mortar made from the protein of egg whites. It was not until 107 years later that the first person jumped off the bridge and people have been jumping off it ever since.
Unfortunately the bridge was destroyed in the 1993 Croat-Bosniak war, so today it is a rebuild of the original which previously stood for over 400 years before destruction.
June 2001, Stari Most was to be rebuilt with local materials and a similar “Ottoman” method to how it was built over 400 years ago. Existing pieces were also brought up from the bottom of the river to be reused. The bridge was reopened on 23 July 2004 and cost an estimated 15.5 million US dollars.
The three meter wide humped bridge is a bit tricky to walk across due to steepness and should be done so with care. Notice the path with raised brick sections. The surface of this stone is quite slippery when dry so I could only imagine how it would be when wet. I was lucky to get this photo with only a few tourists on it, as usually it is crowded, especially when someone is about to jump.
Below is a local dropping off the bridge into the river below. Donations are collected from the crowding tourists until enough money is raised.
For a one time fee of 25 Euro, paid to the “Mostari Diving Club”, anyone can jump, if you dare, your name entered into the record book and be able to jump for free for life.
Would you jump off this bridge and become a part of history?
Thank you for reading my first blog, I hope you found it somewhat entertaining. I would like to write some more articles and show case some photos of my travels.
Photos taken by myself with a Nikon D610 and 28-300 zoom.