The Visegrad Bridge is one of the best examples of Ottoman Turks architectural masterly.

    Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad

In historical and architectural terms, the Visegrad Bridge is one of the most important monuments in Republika Srpska, Sarajevo Macro Region. It is an eminent example of the evolution of civil engineering and bridge architecture that culminated in construction of celebrated bridges. The Visegrad Bridge is one of the best examples of Ottoman Turks architectural masterly.

The bridge was constructed through transmission and adaptation of bridge construction techniques emanating from different cultural and architectural civilizations. The exceptional Ottoman architectural masterpiece is representative of the apogee of construction in the classical times.

The bridge’s symbolic role has played an important role especially during the many conflicts of the 20th century. The cultural value of the bridges transcends both cultural and national borders.

The bridge features 11 masonry arches with spans measuring 11 meters to 15 meters. It also has right angled access ramps on the river’s left banks. The 179.5 meters bridge is the work of the great classical Ottoman architect, Sinan. He was a contemporary of the Italian Renaissance, to which most of his work is comparable. The elegance, proportion and monumental aspects of this bridge are clear testament to the nobility of this type of architecture.

The bridge was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2007. The listed property occupies 1.5 hectares but has been given a buffer zone of 12 hectares. Several factors necessitated its inscription into World Heritage Sites. Below are a couple of them;

  • Geostrategic Importance – The Bridge’s architecture represents the cultural exchanges between the Balkans, Mediterranean World and the Ottoman Empire. It also transcends both Christianity and Islam to make it one of the modern world monuments with as many cultural influences. The Ottomans, Austro-Hungarians, Yugoslav Federation and finally the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina are some of the political powers that have had influence on the bridge.
  • Conservation Purposes – The property’s buffer zone protects the Drina River ecosystem and by extension the Sava and Danube Rivers in the Balkans from which it draws its waters from

Despite having been destroyed during the WWI and WWII, the bridge was reconstructed in 1950s.

If there is one place that you should visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it should be Visegrad Bridge and its surrounding landscape. It is the kind of place you go for a romantic walk in beautiful landscape.

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