Počitelj is a village in the Čapljina municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Počitelj lies on the banks of the emerald green River Neretva, some 30 kilometres south of Mostar and 20 kilometres from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s border with Croatia. It is a fortified village set within a natural karst amphitheatre, with a current population of 869 inhabitants.
This unique settlement, listed as a UNESCO heritage site and recent reconstruction has returned the town to its original form. It was first mentioned in 1444 but some documents show that it was built in the late 14th century upon the order of the Bosnian King Tvrtko. Besides its stunning oriental architecture and Ottoman feel, Pocitelj hosts the longest operating art colony in southeast Europe.
Its unique cultural value has been recognised by the fact that since 1964 it has hosted the Počitelj International Art Colony. Since that time, the Art Colony has hosted thousands of artists and cultural actors from all over the world. The Association of Visual Artists of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the owner and founder of the Art Colony, organizes working colonies throughout the year.
Artists from around the world gather here to paint, among other things but importantly, the shiny red pomegranates and figs that grow in abundance on the hills of Pocitelj.
Towering over this dreamlike scene is the Kula (Fort of Počitelj), the original structure of which is supposed to date back to the construction of the original fortified citadel by Bosnia’s King Stjepan Tvrtko I in 1383. At 45m above sea level, it offers stunning views along the River Neretva and across the village itself.
The view is dominated, as is the central part of the village, by Hajji Alija’s mosque (or Šišman Ibrahim-Paša Mosque), one of the most impressive Ottoman-period single-room domed mosques in Bosnia and Herzegovina.