Pocitelj Travel Blog› entry 17 of 35 › view all entries
On our way to Mostar we visited the historic urban site of Pocitelj which is a quaint oriental-style town. The village is located on the left bank of the river Neretva, on the main Mostar to Metković road, to the south of Mostar, in the territory of Čapljina Municipality.
This unique settlement is also listed as a UNESCO heritage site and recent reconstruction has returned the town to its original form. The Hadzi-Alija Mosque has been reconstructed as well as the Sisman-Ibrahimpasina medresa and the Gavran Kapetanovic house, all of which are open to visitors.
The most striking object in Pocitelj is the Sahat-kula, a silo-shaped fort that towers from the top of the hill above the town.
Besides its stunning oriental architecture and Ottoman feel, Pocitelj hosts the longest operating art colony in southeast Europe. Artists from around the world gather here to paint, among other things but importantly, the shiny red pomegranates and figs that grow in abundance on the hills of Pocitelj.
In the middle ages, Počitelj was the administrative centre and centre of governance of Dubrava župa (county), and its westernmost point, which gave it major strategic importance. It is supposed that the fortified town and its attendant settlements were built by Bosnia's King Stjepan Tvrtko I in 1383.
The walled town of Počitelj evolved over the period from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Architecturally, the surviving stone-built parts of the town are a fortified complex, in which two stages of evolution may be observed: mediaeval, and Ottoman.
The first documented reference to the town dates from 1444, in Charters issued by Kings Alfonso V and Friedrich III. During the period 1463-1471 the town held a Hungarian garrison. Following a brief siege in 1471, the town fell to the Ottomans, and was to remain within the Ottoman Empire until 1878.
From 1782 to 1879 it was the centre of a kadiluk (area under the jurisdiction of a kadija or qadi - judge) and from 1713 to 1835 it was the headquarters of the Počitelj military district.