Neretva Travel Guide

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Smerdan Grad

Smerdan Grad

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The Neretva Valley is an area where tribes, nations and their armies have fought for dominance since the beginning of time. The trade routes have gone through Neretva Valley since prehistoric time. Those who controlled the valley and its many robbers and pirates could control the trade for all of presentday Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Neretva River emerges beneath Zelengora Mountain in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina. Through canyons, cliffs and hollows in its upper and middle courses, it forces its way through the Dinaric 

Alps to spread downstream of the village of Pocitelj in Hercegovina over a vast wetland valley and to flow through its large delta into the Adriatic Sea.
Neretva is this largest river of the eastern part of the Adriatic Basin . It has been harnessed and controlled to a large extent by several hydroelectric power-plants and their storage lakes, but it still remains unique in its beauty and the diversity of its landscape.

The Lower Neretva valley contains the largest and the most valuable remnants of the Mediterranean wetlands on the eastern Adriatic coast and one of the few areas of this kind remaining in Europe .

The valley has a rich monumental heritage witnessing the presence of man in this area for thousands of years. Turning of wetland into fertile land and establishment of transportation routes to the hinterland created the conditions for the development of settlements. Many prehistorical fortifications and settlements are scattered on high and low grounds along the Neretva River . This area seems to have been inhabited by Illyrian tribes as far back as in the Iron Age. In the 4th century B.C., the Greeks founded an emporium (port) here, which developed into the well known market town Narona, today Vid near Metkovic. All over the delta around Narona there were suburbs and estates the remnants of which are now covered by the marsh and deposited sediments. Many monuments from the Roman time are present, too, such as city walls with towers, Roman villas, mosaics, epitaphs.

The medieval monuments are few. During the Turkish invasion at the end of the 1400’s, several churches were destroyed and the memory of those times is kept alive by the fortress Norinska Kula situated at the mouth of the small Norin River into the Neretva River . Due to frequent wars in this area, no significant monuments from the time of the City/State of Venice have been left.

More information on sightseeing here.

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: Podgora

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April 28, 2005 new by janskov

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