Počitelj – a unique settlement in this part of Europe

Počitelj is a unique settlement in 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 Čapljina municipality. Its historically urban center dates back to the 14th century. Počitelj is a national monument of BiH and is located on the UNESCO list.

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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 appearance, but after the Turkish conquest it was orientally rebuilt. A mix of these two architectural styles gives Počitelj a special dimension.

Apart from the extraordinary oriental architecture and the Ottoman “charm”, Počitelj is interesting and well-known as the host of the art colony with the longest tradition in Southeast Europe.

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The parsonage fort was built between the 15th and 18th centuries, with intervals when the construction was suspended. The original medieval core of the city is the oldest fenced section where two stages of construction can be identified: the older, inner city or fortress (a tower with a small inner courtyard – dome) from the end of the 14th century, with later additions, alterations and amplifications from the second half century. Judging by the appearance of the oldest parts of the fort, it can be assumed that a small place under the fortress dates from the earlier or the same period as the fortress itself. Something before 1698 the fort has been considerably increased and established with a stronger defense system. The town is considered to form an inner donkey with a square tower, two bastions (Mehmed-pasha’s and Delibasha’s), a Dizdar’s house, a granary, a ceramic mosque and a “water tower” (a water tank with waterfall entry and stairs), and two large and two small portal (gateways). During the last war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1996), The fortress did not suffer any serious damage.

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In the Neretva Valley, the main thrust in the defense of the Turks was in the Pointer. This fort was built by King Tvrtko in 1383, and had a strategic role in controlling the way to the sea by the Neretva River Valley. Today, the historic town of Počitelj, built under the fortress, has an oriental look and as such is fully in function of tourism and cultural events.

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