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Bosnia and Herzegovina The land of friendly people and the best coffee

The country is mostly mountainous with breathtaking scenery and well preserved nature. Its most interesting landmarks are the blue rivers, canyons, waterfalls, and bridges.

Postcards from Bosnia and Herzegovina date from the 19th and early 20th century. They witness the development of towns and suburbs thereby enabling the comparison of premises or places in different historical periods. Some cultural and historical monuments as well as some important objects are presented below.

The Old Bridge - Mostar, Naklada prve muslimanske nakladne knjižare u Mostaru / Edition of the First Muslim Publishing Bookstore in Mostar, National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, CC BY-NC-ND
The Old Bridge - Mostar, Naklada prve muslimanske nakladne knjižare u Mostaru / Edition of the First Muslim Publishing Bookstore in Mostar, National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, CC BY-NC-ND

This postcard depicts the Old Bridge in Mostar with the Hum hill in the background. The well-known Old Bridge in Mostar was built in 1566. It was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent/Suleiman I (1520-1566) in 1557. Regarding the establishment of Mostar, one historian wrote:

At first, the town consisted of two towers alongside the Old bridge. Memibegović’s description from the third decade of the 17th century speaks of two towers only or small fortresses where, during the night, sentries stood guard. At night, the bridge closes and lifts on both sides, that is to say, on both sides there was a ditch with a moveable bridge. Hamdija Kreševljaković
Carpet factory in Sarajevo, D.K. & Co, National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, CC BY-NC-ND
Carpet factory in Sarajevo, D.K. & Co, National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, CC BY-NC-ND

Carpet weaving was an important segment of the textile industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 19th century. Initially, the carpets were made at home for personal use; later on they were made in factories. It is believed that carpet weaving in Bosnia and Herzegovina was first mentioned at the end of the 16th century, and in some archival documents it even dates back as far as the 13th century. Carpet handicrafts began to take off when a weaving factory was opened in 1888 - founded by Philipp Haas & Söhne from Vienna. Most of the employees in the factory were girls. The postcard shows women in the carpet factory in Sarajevo. The main weaving factory was located in Bistrik (a neighbourhood of Sarajevo).

Šaban's coffee palace, Caklović, National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, CC BY-NC-ND
Šaban's coffee palace, Caklović, National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, CC BY-NC-ND

This coffee palace dates from 1592. One of its descriptions was recorded by V. Žujo in the Lexicon of Sarajevo (Leksikon Sarajeva): “It consisted mostly of wood with a veranda suspended over the river Miljacka”. The extension of the coffee palace was made by Josip Vancaš, a famous architect of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The clientele read Turkish newspapers, played many board games, listened to the music and played on the qanun. In 1942, the coffee palace was demolished together with many other buildings that were situated on the right bank of the river Miljacka. 

Discover more postcards from Bosnia and Herzegovina at europeana.eu.