Počitelj - Filip Šubrt Photo

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Počitelj

Počitelj, a small town situated along road Sarajevo-Mostar-Čapljina, 3 km north of Čapljina. The pleasant settlement is located below the high cliffs above Neretva river, dominated by the medieval defense fortresses.

Počitelj is predominantly characterized by Oriental construction styles, the Mediterranean style blend of which give this town a special dimension.

Settlement probably existed even before, but Počitelj is mentioned for the first time in writing in 1444 as the seat of the parish.

The significance and appearance of the town has altered during the course of its history. Three periods seem to be significant for the development of Počitelj:

1. The time of the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus when the town had significant strategic importance (1463-1471),

2. The period of development of the settlement under the Ottoman Empire with the erection of typical public buildings: mosques, mekteb (Muslim primary school), imaret (charitable kitchen), medresa (Muslim high school), hamam, Turkish baths, han (inn) and sahat-kula (clock-tower) (1471-1698). During this period military conflicts occurred in more remote areas.

3. The period of recovery of its strategic importance after the Venetians conquered and destroyed Gabela (1698-1878).

As proposed by the University of York, United Kingdom, and the University of Sarajevo, Počitelj was in 1996 named by the World Monuments Watch as one of the world's 100 most endangered cultural heritage sites. In the year 2000 the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Government initiated the Programme of the permanent protection of Počitelj.