The Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic
Bridge of Visegrad (2007)
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The Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge of Višegrad across the Drina River in the east of Bosnia and Herzegovina was built at the end of the 16th century by the court architect Sinan on the order of the Grand Vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolović. It is characteristic of the apogee of Ottoman monumental architecture and civil engineering.
|It numbers 11 masonry arches, with spans of 11 to 15 metres,
and an access ramp at right angles with four arches on the left bank of
The 179.50m long bridge is a representative masterpiece of Mimar Koca Sinan, one of the greatest architects and engineers of the classical Ottoman period and a contemporary of the Italian Renaissance, with which his work can be compared.
The unique elegance of proportion and monumental nobility of the property as a whole witness to the greatness of this style of architecture.
||The Mehmed Paša
Sokolović Bridge in Visegrad across the Drina River in the east of
Bosnia and Herzegovina was built at the end of the 16th century by the
court architect Sinán on the order of the Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha
Three of its 11 arches were destroyed during World War I and five were destroyed during World War II, but were subsequently restored.
The bridge is the most widely known cause of the book "The Bridge on the Drina" , written by Ivo Andric, Nobel Prize winning author in 1961.
Ivo Andric (1892-1975), was a Yugoslav novelist and short-story writer, and Nobel laureate, born in Doc, near Travnik, Bosnia (then part of Austria-Hungary). He was educated at the universities in Zagreb, Kraków, Vienna, and Graz. Before World War I he was a member of a revolutionary nationalistic movement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Because of his political activities, Andric was interned by the Austrian government during World War I.
Under the newly formed Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia), Andric held a number of diplomatic posts, including that of ambassador to Germany. He resigned his ambassadorship in 1941 and spent World War II in Belgrade. The material for his works was drawn from the history and life of his native Bosnia. Andric wrote in the Serbo-Croatian language.
|Among his works translated into English the best known is The Bridge on the Drina (1945; trans. 1959), He received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1961.
The book describes the relations between Orthodox Christian Serbs and Muslims in the town of Visegrad. in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina during the centuries of the Ottoman occupation. The story spans about four centuries and is in some sense a collection of short stories. What unites the book and becomes in a sense the main "character" is the bridge over the Drina River in Visegrad, now eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Already then, even before it has been built, Andrić is portraying the bridge as something with the power not merely to bridge a river but to heal divisions; yet it is quickly to become clear that in this role it is a flawed unifier.
Sources and links:
Microsoft Encarta 2002.
Many thanks to Mr. Miomir Zivkovic (Serbia), for providing stamp images and appropriate information about Ivo Andric, and the story behind the bridge.
Other World Heritage Sites in Bosnia Herzegovina (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing (Bosnia-Herzegovina), for more information about the individual properties including the criteria for their inscription
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Revised 18 aug 2007