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Ivan Lovrenović: The World without Bridge

Every crossing of the Old Bridge in Mostar was each time wonderful; while the supple green mass of the Neretva flows deep under your legs, you feel that it is not the stone that holds you reliably in that bright space void. It is the pure thought that the stone turned into, becoming hard in the hands of the builder Hajrudin and his masters and turning into that slim white arch. You stand at the top, in the crown of the bridge, the green flow of water under you, the blue endlessness of the Mediterranean sky above you; every part of your body is filled with a sweet anxiety from the touch with eternity...

Yes, this bridge was a sacred place; a temple of unknown, universal energy with some simple ritual without words and gestures. A direct experience of light. In its fantastic appearance, in the incredibility of its hovering existence, it seemed for 427 years that it would disappear at this moment as if it had been a dream!

Sence and spirit of Bosnia are compressed in the image and sence of the Old Bridge.

The essence of a bridge is meeting and connecting, opposite to differing and dividing...

Only the biggest and the rarest human accomplishments touched by a pure spirit of creation become achievements of the planetary treasury. Old Bridge in Mostar was such an achievement. It was one of the rare places of universal beauty and universal sanctity. Whoever destroyed it, excuded himself from the world of sence and culture, he perpetrated a crime of planetary sacrilege:

the world without Old Bridge is not complete.


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  • Author: Ivan Lovrenović, writer, publicist, (Zagreb, 1943)
  • Title: The World without Bridge (fragment), Sarajevo, 1993

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  • 2004-11-06

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