One of the reasons why I designed the project in this specific way, with trips to all these towns, was to travel a bit throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, because so far I have not had a chance to do so, to get to know towns through persons and visits. I have to admit that I nevertheless have not had a chance to see much, because I never had much time and I preferred meeting persons and hearing their stories. However, even the short time was sufficient to fall in love with most towns and have the wish to come back at least for a few days to get to know them better.

This also happened in case of Čapljina. One of the reasons why I chose was specifically the fact that there are many interesting things and many tourist attractions nearby. I therefore tried to arrange a meeting from someone from Čapljinka, their tourism organisations, to see on the spot what I can see in this beautiful town. This is how it happened that I spoke with Katja Stojić, the head of office of the tourism organisation Čapljinka.

Katja Stojić:

The tourism organisation Čapljinka is trying to promote cultural and historic attractions and natural resources we have through its activities. We organise two events – an adventure race, that is triathlon in June, which is also the opening of the tourism season. Our key event is the International Summer Carnival that is organised on the third Saturday of August.

In addition to these events, we also organise various environmental cleaning activities. We are trying to cooperate with other associations in order to adequately take care of our cultural and historic landmarks. We are also organising bicycle races. We are promoting ”Ćiro’s route” that passes through Čapljina. Ćiro’s route goes from Mostar to Konavle, and it passes through Čapljina, so that we are trying to offer spring and autumn activities and organise bicycle races. We are trying to promote activities in nature.

Čapljina is known as a green city?

Yes, the first projects involving the introduction and reconstruction of green areas started in the 60s in Čapljina, so that it has wide streets and green areas. It is one of the towns that was proclaimed to be one of the most beautiful in the former Yugoslavia. This year, Čapljina was presented with the Green Award for being the greenest town in Bosnia and Herzegovina thanks to the efforts of the competent authorities.

Which tourist attractions can be seen in Čapljina itself?

In Čapljina, there is Mogorjelo, the symbol of our town. Mogorjelo is one of the most beautiful buildings of late antique architecture. It is one of the most beautiful monuments from the Roman period in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This monument dates back to the first century. Vila Rustica Fructuaria was an agricultural farm. There is also Počitelj, which is on the tentative list to be added to the UNESCO cultural heritage monuments list. Počitelj is a medieval town located on the freeway M-17 towards Mostar. Then, there is also Hutovo blato nature park, which is 8 km away from Čapljina. There is also Gabela, a medieval town.

I have not mentioned the stone bridge on Bregava river. That bridge is 50 years older than the Old Bridge in Mostar. It is called Mustajbey’s Bridge. It is important because it is 50 years older than the Old Bridge, but it is not properly taken of. We organised environmental cleaning activities, but it is necessary to restructure the bridge in order for the monument to have a value.

On this occasion, I could say that we have been organising the International Summer Carnival for the past 20 years, since 1997. We are the only organisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina that is a member of the Federation of European Carnival Cities, FECC. This year we applied to host the FECC Dies Natales, or the birthday of the federation. It should take place in September 2018. All of our activities are now focused on this organisation. It should be prepared in an adequate manner and on time.

We are also attending international conventions that are held in various cities. Next year we are going to Šabac, where the international convention of the FECC is taking place.

When it comes to other events, we are organising the International Summer Carnival and Adventure Competition – Triathlon. Čapljina has four rivers – Neretva, Trebižat, Bregava and Krupa and 6 lakes in Hutovo blato nature park, so that it is truly full of natural resources.