Neretva

Neretva Valley is an area where tribes, nations and their armies have fought for dominance since the beginning of time. The trade routes have gone through Neretva Valley since prehistoric time. Those who controlled the valley and its many robbers and pirates could control the trade for all of presentday Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Neretva River emerges beneath Zelengora Mountain in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Neretva is this largest river of the eastern part of the Adriatic Basin . It has been harnessed and controlled to a large extent by several hydroelectric power-plants and their storage lakes, but it still remains unique in its beauty and the diversity of its landscape.

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The valley has a rich monumental heritage witnessing the presence of man in this area for thousands of years. Turning of wetland into fertile land and establishment of transportation routes to the hinterland created the conditions for the development of settlements. Many prehistorical fortifications and settlements are scattered on high and low grounds along the Neretva River . This area seems to have been inhabited by Illyrian tribes as far back as in the Iron Age. In the 4th century B.C., the Greeks founded an emporium (port) here, which developed into the well known market town Narona, today Vid near Metkovic.

The Old Bridge (also Stari most), a major architectural monument over Neretva in Mostar and a World Heritage Site, was destroyed by Croatian shelling during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina on November 9, 1993. The bridge was rebuilt and the grand opening was held on July 23, 2004.

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