After having spent quite some time in the countryside, it's time to finish the journey. In this final installment of the "Remains of the Past" Series we made our way to one more village, after having visited an abandoned school previously.
The road took us to a village called Presjeka. It is also a small village, just like Krusevljani, from part two. The main difference nowadays is, that life, for the most part has returned here. In the afternoon we spent here we saw remains of the past as well as new structures, built after the war.
The sky remained dark, cloudy and dramatic and rain would greet us on our way back home. Let's take one final look back into the past, before we say goodbye...
This is a multi-part series. Other parts include:
Part One: The Drive East
Part Two: Inside the Village
Part Three: Plains and Mountains of Herzegovina
Part Four: The Abandoned School
Part Five: Goodbye to the Past
click on the images for a bigger view
As I said, this village is very small, and on the last census in 1991, counted a population of 134 people. The houses where people live in have been rebuilt.
The houses are dotted throughout the landscape, and various paths lead from one to the other.
This village was one of the first in these regions to have fresh water supply. Usually when villages are so remote from main water sources, like rivers and lakes, people buy drinking water which is stored in wells. In this case, water from the local mountain "Crvanj" has been derailed into the village. A new fountain has been places in the village in 2001. The project was commissioned by the European Union.
Of course, not everything is rebuilt here. Old houses can still be found in the landscapes.
In some cases, people have repaired parts of the destroyed houses to keep them from further diminishing.
We made our way to another newly build structure in this village. We took a path through the plains, and once we made the corner...
...the sight of the new mosque greeted us. It's very isolated, and I'm not sure that anyone is using it, since they are so few people living here.
We entered the premiss and looked around. Over the stone fence nature was blooming, and houses could be seen in the distance. This is a very quite place.
There is a memorial here for the people of the village, who have been killed in the war.
You can see the names of the families, as well as the people who are listed under each family name. A sad note was, that there was even a newborn baby killed here. You can see the name in the middle with the engraving 1992-1992.
We left this place, and returned to the car, ready to drive home.
I saw a swamp while we made our way out of the village. The dark skies provided a nice backdrop for the image.
On our way back, we saw another remainder of the past. These stećci were hidden beneath the trees along the road. A stecak is a tombstone from the 14th and 15th century. The word itself is a contracted form of the older word stojećak, which is derived from the verb stajati (v. stand). It literally means "the standing thing".
Although its origins are within the Bosnian Church, all evidence points to the fact that Stećci were erected in due time by adherents of the Orthodox, Catholic and Islamic faith alike
The drive was taking us back west to Mostar, and there was even a promise of better weather in the far.
Once we drove out of the valley, the blue sky returned and the clouds began to clear. It seemed as this was a perfect message, after everything that we saw. Yes, the past can be haunting and sad, but there is so much to be gained from it.
If there is one thing that the past can't infiltrate, then it's the hope for a new beginning, a fresh start. Wounds will heal and life will go on. It's what really keeps us going.
Thanks again for visiting. I hope you liked the final part of this series, and that you have enjoyed this series as a whole. It was probably the biggest undertaking in crafting a series that I have made to this date, since it wasn't just a history lesson, but a bit more personal.
Let me know if you liked it in the comments below.