The bridge spans the Neretva river in the old town of Mostar, the city to which it gave the name. The original bridge was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1557 to replace an older wooden suspension bridge of dubious stability. The Old Bridge stood for 427 years, until it was destroyed on November 9, 1993 by Bosnian Croat forces during the Croat-Bosniak War. Subsequently, a project was set in motion to reconstruct it, and the rebuilt bridge opened on July 23, 2004. The Stari Most is hump-backed, 4 metres (13 ft 1 in) wide and 30 metres (98 ft 5 in) long, and dominates the river from a height of 24 m (78 ft 9 in). Two fortified towers protect it: the Helebija tower on the northeast and the Tara tower on the southwest, called "the bridge keepers" (natively mostari). The arch of the bridge was made of local stone known as tenelija. The shape of the arch is the result of numerous irregularities produced by the deformation of the intrados (the inner line of the arch). The most accurate description would be that it is a circle of which the centre is depressed in relation to the string course. Instead of foundations, the bridge has abutments of limestone linked to wing walls along the waterside cliffs. Measuring from the summer water level of 40.05 m (131 ft 5 in), abutments are erected to a height of 6.53 metres (21 ft 5 in), from which the arch springs to its high point. The start of the arch is emphasized by a molding 0.32 metres (1 ft 1 in) in height. The rise of the arch is 12.02 metres (39 ft 5 in).
Sign in to comment.