Pocitelj is a town on the left side of the Neretva Rive, located about half an hour’s drive from Mostar, less than 30km. Počitelj as city splendid Ottoman city dating back to the Middle Ages. Here, King Tvrtko built a fortress in 1383, later conquered by the Ottomans in 1471, as can be seen by the many Ottoman monuments still existing: the Hadži Alija Mosque (16th century), the Madrasa (or Islamic School), Sinan-Ibrahimpaša (17th century), the hammam (17th century), and the public kitchen («im-aret»), the inn («han») and the Clock Tower (17th century), situated on top of the hill on which the town soars.
Počitelj is a real, open-air museum and a much cherished place by numerous artists who, in this magical scenery, ﬁnd inspiration for their works of art. Walking through the streets of Počitelj is an experience not to be missed.
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. The Hadzi-Alija Mosque has been reconstructed as well as the Sisman-Ibrahimpasina medresa and the Gavran Kapetanovic house, all of which are open to visitors. The most impressive object in Pocitelj is the Sahat-kula, a silo-shaped fort that towers from the top of the hill above the town. It housed watchmen and military to guard against possible invasion from the Neretva Valley.
Besides its beautiful oriental architecture and Ottoman feel, Pocitelj hosts the longest operating art colony in southeast Europe. 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. The International Art Colony Pocitelj was established in 1964. The Association of Visual Artists of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the owner and founder of the Art Colony Pocitelj. Within the scope of its work, the Colony gathers artists not only from the whole country, but also from all over the world. In the area of an extraordinary beauty, miraculous environment and noneveryday creative atmosphere, the sculptors, painters, artists and printmakers- get together, exchange experiences and make contacts.
Thousands of artists, writers, critics, actors and other cultural workers from Germany, Austria Italy, England, Turkey Denmark, Holland, USA, Greece, France, Cyprus, Egypt, Poland, Sweden, Japan, Mexico, China, etc. have participated in the agenda of the Colony. They donated their works- paintings, sculptures, prints to the benefit of an extremely valuable art collection, i.e. holdings of the International Art Colony Pocitelj.
The Colony had been devastated during the war (1992-1995), but with great efforts of the AVAB&H and understanding of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina it was renewed in 2003. Every first Sunday in the month of June artists and devotee of Pocitelj gather in the Colony Pocitelj at the traditional manifestation ”Cherry Sunday”. Throughout the year the Association organizes working colonies, which is of a great interest to the artists from all over the world.