Old bridge in Višegrad is built between 1571 and 1577 over the river Drina on the road that connected Bosnia with Ottoman empire capital Istanbul.
Dream of Mehmed-paša Sokolović
The main constructor of the bridge was the most famous architect in Ottoman Turkey Kodza Mimar Sinan that was the chief architect on the sultan's palace. The bridge is built by the funding of Mehmed-paša Sokolović, the Great Vizier of three Ottoman sultans - Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II and Murat III. Mehmed-paša's origin was from Bosnia and Herzegovina and he never forgot his homeland.
This bridge was the most important communication point on the road that connects Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Ottoman empire, but also was very important for the locals that always had huge problems with crossing the wild and wide Drina river.
The bridge was repaired several times due erosion of water and floods, but several times it was damaged by the withdrawing forces in First and Second World War.
It has 11 masonry arches with spans of 11-15 meters and an access ramp at right angles with four arches on the left bank of the river Drina. The bridge itself is 179,5 meter long with the width of the road of 6 meters. Until the 1886 on the middle of the bridge was located a small wooden tower that was guarded by the several canons. This architectural marvel survived several very serious floods with the most dangerous one in 1896 when the level of water was 1,6 meters over the bridge.
Listed as endangered monument
Current state of the bridge is very disturbing. This is the most endangered national monument in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the hundred most endangered monuments in World Monuments Fund organization. There is not enough financial support for it's preservation and restoration.
The embedded video is made by Aleksandar Savić.