The most touristic medieval city of Dubrovnik has been cut off from the rest of Croatia for three decades by the Bosnian exit to the sea.
This is an important bridge for Croatia. It connects the south of its coast, including the most touristic city of Dubrovnik in the Middle Ages, with the rest of the country, passing through a small strip of the Bosnian coast that was created three decades ago after the breakup. in Yugoslavia. For the 90,000 inhabitants of this area and for tourists, the opening of the Peljesac bridge, inaugurated on July 26, 2022, means the end of waiting times at the border, especially during the summer, to enter Bosnia, then come. from ten kilometers ahead.
” We finally became part of Croatia », rejoiced Mario Radibratovic, shellfish farmer on the Peljesac peninsula, now connected to the coast by an elegant cable-stayed bridge, 2.4 km long, one of the biggest infrastructure projects since the independence of 1991. After the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, the borders of the federal republics became new states. The “pearl of the Adriatic”, cut off from the rest of Croatia by the Bosnian exit to the sea.
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From a few hours to a few minutes
” This is a great relief. We feel like second class citizens until now “Said this 57-year-old man, who returned from a visit by boat to his oyster and mussel farm in the bay of Mali Ston, which was organized for about twenty tourists. Because when he and his comrades from the peninsula went to take their shells to the north of the country, they equipped themselves with patience. Instead of waiting for hours at the border, it is enough to cross the bridge that connects the town in a few minutes of Brijesta, on the peninsula, to Komarna, opposite, and whose opening was celebrated Tuesday evening with a great bomb.
For the inhabitants of the beautiful peninsula, also known for its wines, its pebble beaches and also popular with surfers who take advantage of a mistral formed in the corridor between Peljesac and the island of Korcula, these are the last migraines caused by the thought of the Bosnian border or unusual ferries. ” It’s really tiring, waiting at the border has created a kind of bitterness among the people who live here said Sabina Mikulic, owner of a hotel, a luxury campsite and a vineyard in Orebic, in Peljesac. ” This is a historic project for Croatia “, he added.
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The opening of the bridge is long overdue. For years, Croatia intended to solve this nonsense by building a bridge spanning the arm of the sea facing the Bosnian town of Neum. The construction work was started for the first time in 2007, which was stopped immediately due to lack of budget. The project has also angered some Bosnian leaders who fear the bridge will block or even prevent the entry of large tonnage boats into Neum Bay. Zagreb finally agreed to increase the length of the bridge to 55 meters, although this change increased the cost.
The bridge will open in the middle of the tourist season, when Croatia, which in 2019 welcomed almost 20 million tourists, hopes for a further rebound in visits and numbers from the pre-pandemic time. ” The importance of the bridge is great, not only emotionally because of the connection with the Croatian territory but also for tourism and for the economy in general.said Croatian Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic recently. We are a privileged generation who have created this long awaited project. »
For Smilja Matic, a retired piano teacher who often spends his holidays in Komarna, now with his beach at the foot of the bridge, the book has many positive effects on locals and tourists:This means a new life for the people on this side and for the people on the opposite side, also for those who come by plane to Dubrovnik and who can now come here by road without having to cross the border. “.
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