Sunday, May 11, 2014

Remains of the Past [Part 5/5]: Goodbye to the Past

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 rebuiltThe 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.

The End

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.


  1. Wonderful photographs. It is good to see things getting back to normal even if it has taken almost twenty years.

  2. AnonymousMay 11, 2014

    What a beautiful documentary of a special place. Because of your work, its memory will be preserved in a respectful way. Some of these photos would look great on a wall! blessings, Sarah

  3. This has indeed been a beautiful, awesome documentary, Mersad. I have truly enjoyed it! Sad history, but so much beauty! Thank you!

  4. I have greatly enjoyed all five parts of this series. Your photos tell a story of beauty with some tragic history. Your work here is impressive. I'm also surprised that someone didn't drive off in that school bus. Perhaps it is no longer functional, or locals, if there are any, protect it?

    1. Thanks for your continued visits and comments. The school bus thing surprised me as well. But it is in no driving condition as far as I could see. Still it's surprising that no one got rid of it by now.

  5. You visited very beautiful places. Fantastic pictures! I love the little house with red roof hiding in the mountains.

    1. Thanks Kaya. I like that house as well, because it's tucked away.

  6. Thank you for taking us on this journey. The images and history are fantastic!

  7. Wonderful journey documented by wonderful photos.

  8. A fascinating journey. You had good light on the areas of focus despite the threatening skies.

  9. The first photo is so perfect, it almost doesn't seem quite real. The sky is very dramatic.

  10. Mersad, thank you so much for taking us on a wonderful journey. It was also sad somehow.

  11. Quite the series, glad you shared it!

    The sun shining on the foreground with the dark skies in the background in the first several pictures made for some very dramatic photos!

    1. Thanks Paul for visiting. Really glad you enjoyed it.

  12. The weather seemed appropriate in this series of photographs, yet there was light shining through the dark clouds ... as in life.

    1. Thanks Valeire. I agree the weather provided a great setting for this story.

  13. oh i really enjoyed the whole series...just wonderful! thank you!

  14. Es sind ganz gigantische Fotos, hauptsächlich die ersten drei, mit diesen dunkelem Himmel und trotzdem der Vordergrund in Sonnenschein. In den Tagen hätte ich jetzt auch so was machen können, wenn zeit gehabt hätte, weil das Wetter bei uns schon seit drei Tagen so wechselhaft ist, manchmal regnet es gewitterlich stark und währeddessen scheint die Sonne. Wunderbare Bilder!!! Liebe Grüße

    1. Das Wechselhafte Wetter bietet sich wunderbar an für solche Bilder wo man dramatische Wolkenformationen haben will.

  15. As Adrian said, wonderful pictures. I especially enjoyed the one with the open door and the blue window, and the look back at the town from the swamp. Excellent series.

  16. Yes i enjoyed it, i said earlier i love your style of narrating with awesome photos of the landscape. The effect is i very much wanted to live there, because it is so serene, simple with beautiful landscape. I just wonder about the climate! In anl archipelagic country like ours, we cannot see contiguous landscape like that, except for an island in the north not easily visited by many people than a few tourists. We call it the Scotland of the country, we call it Batanes. I hope you can visit our country too.

  17. You are so creative and productive that I had to scroll down and down to see this series of post which is continued from my last visit. This is such a small, laidback, but truly beautiful village. It was a rare opportunity for me to see abandoned school in the previous post in such a grand nature. Ruins and remainders are evocative. Hope the people living there will live in peace not being affected by any wars.

    I didn’t know about the floods. Affected people are in my thoughts.


  18. Such a pretty little village in a gorgeous setting. I even love those amazing weathered walls. That is a special kind of art.

  19. AnonymousJuly 12, 2015

    The village caught my eyes first as a fav for me. . I do like the rest though.

    Very delightful takes.



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