Pocitelj Castle, originally built in 1383.
The castle was originally built to control passage on the river in the background. The river was used to move goods and people from the Adriatic Sea into Bosnia.
In the late 1800’s, the area lost its strategic importance and was abandoned, leaving many of the buildings untouched and original.
In the 1960’s the area started to see a revival. It became a hot tourist spot. Full of restaurants, guest houses and activity.
Things changed in 1993. The Croatian army heavily bombed the town and nearly destroyed the entire castle. Dadzi-Alija Mosque in the center.
The Croatians then entered the town and rounded up all the Muslim Bosnian people. They were then either killed or sent to concentration camps.
This sort of thing would never fly with “Health and safety” at Canadian tourist spots.
Where are the guard rails and ropes? Won’t somebody think of the children!
As the Croatian army took over the village, they destroyed many 16th century Muslim books and works of art as well as mosques and peoples homes.
In 2000, the Bosnian Government started a program to rebuild the area. They also gave an allowance to the original residents to help the displaced Bosniaks return to their homes.
The allowance isn’t enough to survive on however, so many of the town’s residents grow their own food to get by. Fortunately, the climate is very good for growing food. One local told us, everything except bananas. Pomegranates here.
Photo doesn’t really show it, but there stairs leading up the castle tower were incredibly steep!
Our guide dropped us off at the top of the castle and then drove around it to pick us up at the bottom. Downhill all the way! We saw people having to walk up to the castle and didn’t envy them.
The town hasn’t come close to returning to the lively place it was before the war, but they are rebuilding and it really is an amazing location. In-time, I’m sure it will be a popular spot again. So go visit Pocitelj Castle, because if you don’t do it this year, you will be one year older when you do. 🙂