23
Jun
Off

POČITELJ

The historic urban site of Počitelj 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. 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: medieval, 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.

With the establishment of Austro-Hungarian rule in BiH in 1878, Počitelj lost its strategic importance. The loss of the town’s strategic role helped to safeguard the original urban architectural ensemble, so that the town has been preserved in its original form to this day. During the 1992-96 war in BiH the entire historic urban site of Počitelj and all its various buildings suffered extensive war damage. In 1996, Počitelj was named by World Monuments Watch as one of the world’s 100 most endangered cultural heritage sites, as proposed by the University of York, United Kingdom, and the University of Sarajevo, in the light of its outstanding value.

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