Počitelj is, alongside Mostar, Blagaj and Kravice waterfalls, the pearl of Herzegovina. It is a small village in the hills, lying on the banks of river Neretva. It is located close to city of Čapljina, on the Mostar-Metković-Dubrovnik road. What makes this village special are beautiful historic buildings that blended with nature. Town evolved between 16th and 18th century. Today, we can recognize two parts of the town: medieval and Ottoman.
History of Počitelj
If we look back to history, we can find the first recorded reference to Počitelj in 1444, when King Alfonso V of Aragon mentioned it. In 1471, Počitelj was conquered by the Ottomans, like the rest of Herzegovina too. From 1782 to 1879 Počitelj was the seat of akadiluk (area under the jurisdiction of “judge”). It was the center of the military district from 1713 to 1835 as well. It remained within the Ottoman Empire until 1878 and after that, it becomes part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After that Počitelj had lost his strategic importance and started deteriorating rapidly.
Besides his beautiful walls and the nature that is surrounding it, Počitelj has much more to offer. The Gavrakanpetanović house is just one of it. Building billeted in the 16th century is a typical example of the residential architecture of the village. This is the only house in town to have separate rooms for man and women. The Šišman Ibrahim-pašina džamija or Hajji Alija mosque is a mosque also built in the 16th century. It is giving the site a unique Ottoman and Islamic spirit. Both of these buildings were significantly damaged in the last war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and repaired in the 21st century.
Besides them, the most notable buildings are a fortress on top of the hill and Sahat Kula (Clock Tower). Climb the top of the hill, through cobblestone path, with the scent of fresh figs and pomegranates along the way. For the reward, you’ll get a magnificent view on Neretva valley from the fortress. Tip: sunsets are pretty amazing from up here. You can also buy delicious fruits picked by hardworking locals.
Počitelj is also a home of Počitelj International Art Colony. This is where artists, mostly painters, from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the whole world gather every year to create and share experience in this wonderful ambient that architecture and nature created.
You can find Počitelj Old Town on the list of UNESCO heritage sites.
Because it is located on the main road from Dubrovnik to Mostar, Počitelj is ideal stop for everyone traveling on this route. Also, it can be included in one-day trips from Mostar with Blagaj Tekke and Blagaj Fort too, and can be organized by Hit Booker.