About 45 minutes away from the “hidden gem” city of Mostar is the small town of Medjugorje. This town’s only industry is tourism, generated by the vast amounts of religious pilgrimages that stop there every year. Primarily Catholics, people embark to visit Medjugorje in order to hike to the top of apparition hill, where Mary appeared to a select few in the 1980s. St. James’s Church is nearby, where mass is celebrated in various languages every hour.
Many solo travelers have dubbed the small town of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a “hidden gem” in Europe. After my stay in this quaint little town, I absolutely have to agree. The town is a contrast between recently rebuilt urban areas and crumbling, broken buildings scattered amongst the bustling streets. In 1992, war broke out within Bosnia and Herzegovina, lasting until 1995. The effects of the war are starkly clear in Mostar; the front line is one of the main boulevards driven on today. While much of the city has been rebuilt, the effects of the war are still visible.
A moving, and yet simple and small, war monument resides in Mostar. A brick painted with the words “Don’t Forget” takes up a corner in the market. Not large and imposing, but the words and monument are powerful nonetheless.