Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Old Fortress [Part 1/3]: A Wrong Turn

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.

33 comments:

  1. What a fabulous post! Beautiful place and your images, as always, as superb. The portraits are fantastic as well as the images of your climb.

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  2. I would so very much like to see this. Amazing and as I enjoyed each photo, I went through them twice, i started to think about how in the world they built that amazing stone castle way up on top of the mountain. i can't even begin to think how they did it... love this post. waiting for the inside and all the portraits are beautiful.

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    1. Glad you enojed the images. It's baffeling to me too, how they made this.

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  3. Sometimes those "mistakes" are gifts from God. You got some really wonderful photos out of this hike. The landscapes are stunning, and the portraits are beautiful.

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  4. Beautiful post Mersad all these pictures are great...... nice landscape / nature.

    Greetings from Holland , Joop

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    1. Thanks Joop. Greetings to Holland.

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  5. I love hikes to something interesting. I'd love to hike to an old castle. Beautiful portraits!

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  6. just spectacular views! those hills, that fortress. magical place.

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  7. Superb captures as always, Mersad, and such a wonderful post as well! I would love to visit there, but your post is the next best thing!! I look forward to the next installment!! Hope your week is going well!!

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    1. I hope you enjoyed part two.

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  8. A wonderful post! Beautiful views!

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  9. Bosnia is lovely! Your unexpected views because of the wrong turn were fortuitous, especially since you found the stone tower. But at last you found your way back to the castle. So gorgeous! Love your photos!

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    1. We were so tired walking up the hill, but I'm glad it happened the way it did.

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  10. Wunderschöne Bilder wieder! Ich mag besonders das vierte, mit der Burg und von hinten das 6. mit dem blonden Mädchen. Fantastisch scharf und farbenfroh sind alle. LG

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  11. Wow - what a truly magnificent place to visit! The photos are all wonderful.

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  12. Gorgeous scenery! Even if I never made it to the castle, the views are so spectacular I'd be happy with those shots. The castle is very impressive and I look forward to more photos!

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    1. The view from underneath the castle really is impressive.

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  13. Das ist natürlich doch ein wenig doof. So könnten sie doch kleine hölzerne Schilder mit in die Landschaft einfügen oder "Steinmännchen" bauen die einem dem Weg aufzeigen. Allerdings auch witzig dass der Turm dann doch ein ganz Anderer war. Klasse dass ich euch aber weiter vorbegeben habt, auch wenn der Weg etwas mühsam war. Jedenfalls kann ich dir auch nur zustimmen dass der Umweg, wenn man ihn dann so nennen darf, wirklich tolle Fotos gebracht hat. Sei es von der Landschaft sowie den Portraitaufnahmen.

    Liebe Grüssle

    Nova

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    1. Ein Wegweiser wäre wirklich hilfreich gewiesen.

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  14. such a beautiful spot. I imagine it would look just lovely with a bit of snow

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  15. Lovely pictures and a great setting for the portraits. By getting lost you actually saw more than you expected. May I suggest you go back sometime to erect proper signs for the benefit of others... smiles.

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    1. That would be a good thing, but I doubt I'll climb that hill anytime soon. :)

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  16. I love that 4th shot. The set up was just perfect.

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  17. Beautiful photos! Ive found this post a while ago and saved it in my favourites in case i went up during my visits back home. Hope you dont mind me adding a link on one of my posts to show my readers, as i didnt get to go.

    thebosnianaussie.wordpress.com

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  18. Even if it had only been the promised 30 minutes with all the twists and turns up a steep hill it seems like quite a challenge. You got some great photos out of it. Can't wait to see the next set.

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