Arriving to a stoned lovely village takes back you to medieval age, thinking off how the history happened here while climbing through the Kula (The Fort), at the most strategical village of Ottoman at borders, looking through the calm and beautiful Neretva River from the top, after taking few shots and hearing adhan walking through the madrasah. Joining prayer at Haci Aliya Mosque, having a fresh strawberries and fruits from local sellers of the village only within the Pocitelj. Some said, it’s the pearl of Herzegovina with it’s beauty and history no wonder as it’s protected by UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Počitelj is a medieval and Ottoman Mediterranean village where lies on the banks of the emerald green River Neretva, some 30 kilometers south of Mostar and 20 kilometers from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s border with Croatia. It is a fortified village set within a natural karst amphitheater, with a current population of 869 inhabitants.
The village first mentioned in 1444 in charters by King Alfonso V of Aragon, the village mostly improved during Ottoman Period between 16th to 18th Centuries. On 1694, after the conquest of the Gabela on the other side of the Neretva River, it became an important strategical frontier fort between Ottoman Herzegovina and Venetian Dalmatia.
After the arrival of Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878, Počitelj lost its strategical importance and distorted for several decades. It was destroyed and even sacked before and after the Bosnian War of 1990. As a result of this destruction, in 1996 World Monuments Watch named Počitelj as one of the world’s 100 most endangered cultural heritage sites.
However, since the year 2000, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Government has placed the village under a Programme of Permanent Protection, which has dramatically transformed it.
Počitelj has a magical air that transcends time. It is a place just to wander, get lost in thoughts, and feel a profound sense of wonder and serenity. It truly is the pearl of Herzegovina. And it truly is a place like no other.