On my 500th post I posted a preview of the location in this new series. My cousins and I visited the old fortress of the medieval Bosnian King Herceg Stjepan last weekend. The medieval building – also known as Stjepan city, is situated on the late antique fort above Blagaj, and was actually a city palace enclosed by hard walls with jagged peaks, that are still visible today.
This Series Includes:
click on the images for a bigger view
The journey to the fortress brought us far away, since we made a wrong turn and ended up deep in the mountains. But let me start at the beginning...
Everything started in Blagaj, a small town nearby Mostar, where we parked the car. Immediately a sign welcomed us, and informed us that a 30 minute hike was upon us.
So we took the road as shown on the picture above. It was a very steep hike, and most of the 30 promised minutes take place going up the road.
The sky was very moody that day, with the fortress looking down on us, waiting. There is really only one road you have to follow by foot once you park your car. But something seemed off after 30 minutes passed and we still didn't arrive there.
The fortress became smaller and smaller, moving off into the distance. This only path we were on was leading us further and further away into the mountains...
The road just kept on going and after an hour it really didn't seem like we were ever going to get there. So we decided to go back, and look for the fortress. It's really a big shame that there are no signs at all to lead you there. We stopped for some portraits.
And then we discovered this stone structure. Far away on the top of the hill, it was all that was left from an older fortress that was also part of this medieval city.
As we returned on the same road, we actually saw a small path hidden on the mountain slopes. The path goes along rocky, rather arid terrain, with constant zigzag rise up the mountain. After a 30 minute walk, you reach the medieval fortress of Herceg Stjepan.
This is looking down at the narrow path. And even here you can barely see that this is a path you should be following up. No signs here.
This shot was taken in the small mountain path that leads directly to the main entrance of the fortress today.
As you can see the path is very narrow and steep, not much secured, since the cliff is right beside the path, but it is secure enough to walk up to the fortress.
Finally the winding path ends at the entrance, and only a couple of footsteps parted us with the main destination. Dark clouds began to from on the sky promising a coming storm...
That's it for the first part. It's funny, even though we ended up taking a wrong turn, it gave us some great images from the mountains, and even better angles of the fortress itself. The second part takes us inside the old walls, where we examine what is left over from the centuries.