Balkans settlements have a very strong relation with their environment because of a close connection between architecture and public space, architecture and nature. This has its roots in the Ottoman attitude toward landscape, so as to establish a continuum of links between different architectural scales. The Neretva territory is representative of this. It is made by a network of settlements based on a variable relation with the river landscape system. Because of its different configurations, it can be divided into at least three regions with diverse natural and anthropogenic characteristics: the region of Konjic and Jablanica, the region of Mostar and Počitelj, the delta region. The chief town along the Neretva is Mostar, which represents its territorial ‘nodality’ (hub), focus of a series of routes that innervate Bosnia and Herzegovina; other small towns and settlements such as Počitelj, Opuzen and Vid are paradigms of simple urban organisms, of smaller ‘nodalities’ along the river course. Because of their territorial structure and urban history, these cities and towns are examples of a set of typical behaviors between architecture and landscape. Počitelj may be considered as the elementary systems at the base of the complexity of Mostar. Opuzen and Vid are the elementary systems of the delta region: because of their lowland location, in their urban organization there is a different relation between architecture and context. To describe the Neretva River landscape system it is necessary to analyze these settlements structure. The aim of this paper is to describe the Mostar region and delta region characteristics, identifying a set of configuration categories between city and territory, mahallas (neighborhoods) and site morphology, mahallas and landscape, which will be analyzed both at the territorial and architectural scale. It follows that it is possible to recognize the Počitelj old town as the elementary system. It can be considered as the very landscape system, whose urban fabric is an example of the typical Balkan relationship between architecture, city and territory. It is a small urban organism on a promontory on the left bank of the Neretva, which building fabric arranges to the orography of the hill overlooking the river; a cluster of public buildings represents its ‘nodality’. Housing, made by stone, at the first floor open with sets of windows to the river environment and to the entire landscape. In the arrangement of each one of the 32 Ottoman mahallas, which were planned in the Stari Grad of Mostar, we can discern the same relationship between architecture, city and landscape, which is legible in the Počitelj old town. The settlement characteristics of the small towns on the Neretva’s delta significantly differ from those in the Mostar region. Here the different urban history and the flat territorial condition led to an urban arrangement much more related to the man-made agricultural landscape than to the natural river configuration. The area of the delta is, in fact, characterized by a much more indirect relationship between city and landscape which, because of the strong agricultural vocation of the site, changes just outside the city, where the architecture finds a connection with nature, this time strongly marked in the agricultural sense. This is evident in the old towns of Vid and Opuzen.
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