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Only 12 kilometers from Mostar, on the Buna River, is the magical town of Blagaj, the medieval city of the Hum State, from which today's Herzegovina emerged in the middle of the 15th century. From the ruins of the old town or the Tower of Herceg Stjepan, (the ruler of this area before the arrival of the Ottoman Empire in 1465), which was built in a strategic position, on the cliffs above the source of the Buna River, there is a beautiful panorama of the Neretva Valley, a picture that justifies the entire hour of climbing the top of these ruins.

Nearby you can find the Velagić House (a beautiful example of Ottoman residential architecture from the 17th century), the Mosque of Sultan Suleiman (built around 1520), the Karađozbeg Bridge, which dates from 1570, and the Hamam built at the transition between the 16th and 17th centuries. century. On the right bank of the river, in a wonderful environment that only nature can create, is Tekija, a house of dervishes from the 16th century that seems to be floating between rock and water; for centuries it was a place of prayer and meditation. Inside the building there are rooms for study, prayer, a room for guests or travelers, a kitchen and a hammam. Near Tekija there is a chamber (turbe) that preserves the memory of the dervishes Sari-Saltuka and Acik-pasha. Tekija, open to visitors throughout the year, is one of the most relevant examples of sacral-residential Islamic culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Blagaj, with its Šćepan town, beautiful landscape and spectacular source of the Buna River, is one of the treasures that should not be missed when passing through this region. Take the opportunity to enjoy trout in one of the restaurants near the spring.

What to see in Blagaj
Before we begin, it is important to clarify that Blagaj is the name of the town where the Blagaj tekija (monastery) is located.

It probably goes without saying, but the most important thing to see in Blagaj is the monastery, so let's see why:

Blagajska tekija, the most unique monastery in Bosnia
Blagajska tekija is a dervish monastery that dates back to the 16th century. Dervishes are members of the Sufi religion, which is a mystical branch of Islam known for its whirlwind dance or form of exercise. You may have heard of this religion if you've visited Turkey and seen one of the dervish dances where they spin in a circle dressed in long white robes while praying (and if you haven't yet, add it to your list because it's worth it!).

The Blagaj Dervish Monastery is one of the best examples of Ottoman style architecture in the area. It is actually a complex of buildings with a beautiful courtyard.

One of the things that was most incredible to me was that the Blagaj monastery is still active today. It was abandoned for several years while Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of socialist Yugoslavia, but the dervish monks returned to Blagaj in the 1980s. The monastery was completely renovated in 2012 and has since become one of the main tourist attractions of the region.

Tickets for visiting the Blagaj tekija cost EUR 5 (KM 10). The visit can be very short, in about 30 minutes you can check all the rooms, but you can stay as long as you want. It is important to know that you need to wear appropriate clothing to enter (women are asked to cover their shoulders and given a cloth to cover their hair).

The best angle for photographing the Blagaj monastery
If you've been exploring Blagaj or Bosnia in general, there's a good chance you've already seen amazing pictures of the monastery in perfect reflection in front of the river, like the pictures above. To get to the place where all these photos were taken, you first need to cross the bridge to the other side of the river.

Behind the restaurant there is a small path that goes a little above the hill and then descends right in front of the monastery. This is the best angle for taking pictures of Blagajska tekija and where you can fully experience its beauty with the surroundings.

This is also the best place to see the cave in front of the monastery. During the high season you can buy a quick boat trip that goes into the cave to get close to the source of the Buna River.

Visit to the Treasury: Infrastructure
The highlight of the visit is the monastery itself, but the locals have built the whole area based on the tourists who visit every year.

Along the river you will find many restaurants. On the path leading to the monastery you will also have small tents where locals sell souvenirs. In addition to the traditional magnets and postcards, some handmade items were also being sold when we went.

Would you like to experience Blagaj first hand, enjoy the stunning architecture, the picturesque view of the source of the Buna River and learn all about its rich history? Contact our partners - ERO Travel Tour Agency.

ERO Traveand teamrofessionals will create a trip according to your preferences.

🚴‍♂️ Herzegovina-Neretva County/Canton

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They wrote about us 📝

In 2017, the British media "The Guardian" published an article about the Ćiro trail from Mostar to Dubrovnik 👉 LINK.

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