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File:Pocitelj 2009.jpg

Citadel, July 2009

Počitelj is a village in the Čapljina municipality, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Bosnian War

Dotted with several notable works of Ottoman architecture from the 16th and 17th centuries, this small village was extensively bombed by Croatian forces during the 1993 Bosnian War.[1][2][3] Following the bombing, Pocitelj's sixteenth-century master works of Islamic art and architecture were dynamited and most of the town's Bosniak population was either killed or removed to concentration camps in one of the war's most brutal instances of ethnic cleansing.[2][3] To mark the expulsion of Bosniaks and destruction of Islamic monuments, a huge cross was erected on the roadside next to the town.[3][4][5][6] [7][8][9] [10]

Pocitelj, an old walled-in Bosnian town that resisted army attacks from both east and west for nearly 600 years, has come under attack again. As the oldest art colony in southeastern Europe, Pocitelj is a well-known refuge that continues to offer shelter, peace and inspiration to artists from around the world. But that is about to end if we do not stand up and protect the rights of history and the arts. Pocitelj -- its beauty, integrity and purpose -- will be the victim of so-called Project Highway, which if built will forever and irreversibly destroy the view from the city's towers -- the towers that offer a view equally appreciated by generals of the Middle Ages on thru the Renaissance period and by talented painters of today. Immune to the importance and irreplaceable nature of Počitelj, Project Highway views it as nothing more than a tract of land, a piece of unused, nonprofitable, property, and will diminish if not destroy this architectural diamond that combines the best of Mediterranean and Ottoman aesthetics. Festival MESS in Sarajevo is calling upon citizens and artist from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Europe and all caring members of this artistic world to sign this petition and help save this historic and important sanctuary. Please Google: "spasimo pocitelj" and sign the petition.


Ethnic composition, 1991 census

total: 905

  • Bosniaks - 660 (72.92%)
  • Croats - 172 (19.00%)
  • Yugoslavs - 36 (3.97%)
  • Serbs - 20 (2.20%)
  • others and unknown - 17 (1.87%)


  • Official results from the book: Ethnic composition of Bosnia-Herzegovina population, by municipalities and settlements, 1991. census, Zavod za statistiku Bosne i Hercegovine - Bilten no.234, Sarajevo 1991.

People connected with Počitelj

  • Vittorio Miele, italian painter