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.

There are plenty of market stalls around Stari Most attracting many tourists to purchase a souvenir or two or more.

Cafe’s are in abundance too as the locals love Turkish coffee.

Below is a local dropping off the bridge into the river below. Donations are collected from the crowding tourists until enough money is raised.   

It is a long way down, about 78 feet or 24 meters.

Arms out like a bird, legs bent back and gaining momentum.

Notice that just before impact he tucks into a tight pin to lower the risk of injury.

In 3 seconds he enters the cold water at around 50 mph (80 km/h).

Plenty of divers have been injured from this ritual and some have died, so it is not to be taken lightly.

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.

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Responses

    1. TonyB Post author

      I could not do it, way to high for me so I just witnessed some crazy local. I was on holiday at the time and I always take my camera with me, it’s a hobby. Glad you enjoyed it.
      Cheers.

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