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Prince Philip and Princess Danica of Serbia visit Mostar

Prince Philip, Princess Danica, Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Kathrine. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

Over the weekend, Prince Philip and Princess Danica of Serbia visited the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with their son, Prince Stefan.

The royals started their visit at the Temple of the Resurrection of Christ in Prebilovci, which was built in memory of the 4,000 Serbs who were killed there during World War II. In 1992, the memorial site and church were finished in memory of those who were killed. The visit then continued to the Basilica of Ostrog in Blagaj, which was built in 1893. The church burned during the Balkan War in June 1992 and was later rebuilt and opened in August 2016.

During the visit, Prince Philip and Princess Danica also spent time in the city’s deep wells where there is a very special stone. On one of the stones is inscribed: “In the Faithful Treasure Chest of King Alexander.” King Alexander of Yugoslavia ruled also over Bosnia and Herzegovina during his reign, and he is the great-grandfather of Prince Philip.

Following the visit to Mostar, Prince Philip issued the following statement: “We are captivated by the beauty of Mostar and the warm welcome we have received. We are grateful for the great Mostar bridge. Here, every stone bears witness to the city’s rich history on the banks of the productive Neretva River.”

The bridge in Mostar. Photo: By I, Ramirez HUN, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Prince and Princess also visited the church of Francisco and the Convent of Saint Peter and Paul. The visit was concluded at the Serbian Orthodox Cemetery where Prince Philip and Princess Danica visited the grave of the well-known Serbian poet Aleksa Santic and the famous Serbian Corovic family.

Mostar is a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Old Bridge, built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, is one of the country’s most visited landmarks and is one of the most famous examples of Islamic architecture in the Balkans. Large parts of the city, including the famous bridge, were destroyed during the Balkan War in the 1990s, but the city was later rebuilt.

While in 1961 more than 21,000 Serbs lived in the city, today there are less than 5,000 Serbs in Mostar, which has a total population of 113,000.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.