Meet the keeper of hidden secrets in Počitelj The city of stone and water

Počitelj is a unique settlement within the municipality of Čapljina, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia and Herzegovina). It is located on the left bank of the Neretva river, on the main  road from Mostar to Metković, in the north of the municipality of Čapljina. Its historic urban center dates back to the 14th century. Pocitelj is a protected national monument of BiH and is on the UNESCO list.

Although the town was first mentioned in written documents in 1444, it is assumed that it was built by the Bosnian king Tvrtko in 1383. This medieval town had a Mediterranean look, but after the Turkish conquest it was orientally remodeled. The mixture of these two architectural styles gives Počitelj a special dimension.

Apart from the extraordinary oriental culture and Ottoman style, Počitelj is interesting and known as the host of an art colony with the longest tradition in Southeastern Europe.

Počitelj Fortress was built between the 14th and 15th centuries, at intervals, when construction was suspended. The original medieval core of the city is the oldest fenced part, where two phases of construction can be identified: older, inner city or fortress (tower with a small inner courtyard – donjon) from the end of the 14th century, with later additions, alterations and reinforcements from the second half of the 15th century. Judging by the appearance of the oldest parts of the fort, it can be assumed that the small place, below the fort,dates from an earlier or the same period as the fort itself. Shortly before 1698. the fort was considerably enlarged and fortified with a stronger defense system. The city is walled so as to form an inner donjon with a square tower, two bastions (Mehmed-paša’s and Delibaša’s), Dizdar’s house, granary, fortification mosque and “water tower” (cistern with entrance and stairs leading to the water), two large and two small portal (gate). During the war in BiH from 1992-96. year, the fort did not suffer serious damage.

In the Neretva valley, the main stronghold in the defense against the Turks was in Počitelj. This fortress was built by the Bosnian king Tvrtko I in 1383 and had a strategic role in controlling the road to the sea, along the Neretva river valley. Today, the historic town of Počitelj, which was built below the fortress, has an oriental appearance and is entirely in the function of tourism and cultural events.

Translated by Alma Gadžo

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