Travel Blog

Taking a jump into manhood – the Bosnian and Herzegovinian way

In the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina sits the Stari Most bridge. Crossing the Neretva river and connecting the two cities, this bridge originally stood for 427 years before it was destroyed during the Croat-Bosniak War and then rebuilt in 2004.

16-year-old boys would jump off the bridge into the river, the 24m drop would mean they would hit the water at approximately 80km/h in three seconds! Locals believed that if the boys did not take the plunge then they would be a complete life failure – and so a tradition began.

Today, tourists can also participate by paying the locals a fee of 25 Euros to take the jump themselves. Or, if they aren’t quite that brave, they can pay the money to have one of the local boys jump. If a tourist does the jump successfully, they are welcomed into the Mostari diving club and can jump for free for the rest of their life – a souvenir of a different kind for some daring tourists.

Here’s a video our consultant Monica took of people participating in the jump on her recent visit. Monica went on Intrepid’s Balkan Adventure – taking her on a 15-day journey from Budapest to Dubrovnik. A tour she highly recommends to get an insight into interesting cultures and a fascinating history.

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