The penultimate stop sees a return to Mostar’s iconic old bridge
Diving off Stari Most, the old bridge, dates back to the 17th century, and once again the world's best cliff divers will show off their skills surrounded by a fanatical crowd of spectators during 2017's penultimate stop. This is the one stop where the locals know all the athletes by their names and where both, the traditional diving from the country's most recognizable landmark in a sort of maturity test for young men and the fine art of cliff diving are equally respected.
Built in the 16th century, the iconic Stari Most gracefully arches over the emerald water of Neretva River, connecting two parts of the old town in Mostar. On both sides surrounded by fortified towers, it fits seamlessly into the landscape, creating an impressive sight. This single span stone bridge seems to look different when viewed from different perspectives.
Built by Mimar Hayruddin, disciple of the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, legend has it that the builder never saw the bridge completed, as he left before the scaffolding was removed, having no strength to see if the bridge will stand. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent threatened to decapitate him if the bridge fell. The bridge is, together with the surrounding part of the Old City of Mostar, on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites, and is often cited as one of the most beautiful bridges in the world.
Eternalized in the city's flag and coat of arms, life in Mostar has been centred on the humpback bridge ever since its construction. Iconic 'Stari Most' is a place where the tradition of competitive diving is almost 450 years old. Equally iconic as the bridge, is the image of a diver soaring through the air from the bridge towards the fast and cold water of Neretva River.