Finding Religion(s) at One of Europe’s Crossroads in Mostar, Bosnia

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The small town of Mostar is famous for its gravity-defying 16th-century arching bridge, Stari Most, tragically destroyed during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. The artillery sought to deepen the division—both geographically and culturally speaking—between east and west, reviving the medieval-era partition of the town by the cold, swift river Neretva. In 2004, the bridge was rebuilt, a symbol of tentative reconciliation among a clash of cultures. In Mostar, it is not uncommon to hear church bells after the haunting wails of the mosque’s muezzin as one strolls past a synagogue. It is a town struggling to show that peaceful coexistence is not only possible, but can be beautiful.

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