Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge In Višegrad- World Heritage Site | Kidadl


Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge In Višegrad- World Heritage Site

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If you want to witness Ottoman architecture and civil engineering, you must visit the Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge in the town of Visegrad.

This masterpiece was built in the year between 1571 and 1577, obeying the instructions of the Grand Vizier-Mehmed Paša Sokolović. This Historic Bridge was designed by the Ottoman court architect Mimar Sinan.

Ivo Andrić, a novelist, short-story writer, poet, and Nobel Prize-winning author in Literature in 1961, from Yugoslav, mentioned the Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge in his novel name 'The Bridge on the Drina' and made it notable to the world. His writings are mostly related to the people's life of Bosnia under Ottoman rule. The author describes the history of the Bridge as the only witness that stands from its construction until its destruction during both the World Wars.

Tourists from around the world come to Visegrad especially to see this beautiful masterwork. The Bridge is situated in the center of Višegrad, so it hardly takes two hours to reach there from the capital of Sarajevo. There is much transportation, like a car, taxi, or bus trip, which will help reach the destination.

Please continue reading this article to learn more about this fantastic location and its history.

Geographical Location

The historic Bridge in Višegrad is a perfect example of the finished masonry work in stone, with many exciting features related to the Bridge. It is named the Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge, which was built at the end of the 16th century under the leadership of the Ottoman Empire.

The Bridge is built beautifully on the River Drina in the eastern architectural style, which will mesmerize you while crossing over the Drina River in Herzegovina and eastern Bosnia. Another interesting thing about this Bridge is that the tourists can enjoy the walk across the Bridge. There are a few benches constructed on the Bridge to permit the visitors to regard the view and relax. The most important attraction was the wooden house in the middle of the Bridge with a guard, where the tourists could rest.

History & Cultural Significance

As every monument has a story behind it, similarly is the case with the Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge in the east of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has a long and dark history too.

Now people talk about the beauty of the Bridge, but it was not the same in ancient times. During the Višegrad massacre, this Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge situated in Herzegovina and eastern Bosnia was known to be dangerous. It was said that so many dead bodies were floating down the river that it obstructed the passage of the hydroelectric dam in Serbia. The Bridge is also famous for its happenings during the Bosnian War.

During the Bosnian War, Bosnian Serb paramilitary leader Milan Lukić used the nearby areas for his headquarters, camp, and other military activities. While maintenance work was going on for Perućac lake in 2010, 300 dead bodies were found in the river.

This Bridge also exhibits the transmission and adaptation of techniques of a long historical process and represents the architecture and civil engineering at its classical apogee. This Bridge was authorized by the Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Sokolović, who ruled Ottoman Empire for a very long period.

The Bridge was built during the tenancy of three sultans as a tribute and love towards their native province and a symbol of trade and prosperity. The Bridge also represents the cross-culture exchange over time. The actual construction of this Bridge happened between 1571 and 1577.

During World War I, 11 arches were destroyed, and again five arches were destroyed during World War II, but the construction of the Bridge was restored accordingly. The renovation mostly took place from 1664-1952.


The Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of them.

The Bridge was constructed by Mimar Sinan, the chief Ottoman architect and civil engineer for the sultanates of Suleiman the Magnificent. He also constructed many mosques for the sultanates during those days. Mimar has showcased his architectural talent in over 300 projects. Mimar Sinan's work was appreciated and often compared with the Italian Renaissance's.

The Bridge measures a total length of 589 ft (179.5 m), with 11 masonry arches, a distance of 36-49 ft (11-15 m), four arches on the left bank of the river, and an access ramp at right angles.

The Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.

World Heritage Site

The Bridge's foundation faces a significant threat using the two hydroelectric power stations, one in Bosnia and another in Serbia, which affects the Drina river's water level. The other threats are the load-bearing capacity of the bridge pillars, and their bases threaten the stability of the Bridge.

The Bridge gained more popularity after adding the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge 2007 to the World Heritage List by UNESCO. According to UNESCO, the Bridge is a unique refinement of proportion and monumental nobility constructed in the eastern architectural style. The Serbian Ministry of Mines and Energy reported these threats to the Bridge to the Bosnian Commission to protect and preserve National Monuments on June 27, 2007.

To protect and help Bosnia restore the Bridge, TIKA (Turkish International Co-operation and Development Agency) donated 3.5 million euros. The Bridge got its final legal permission on April 19, 2010, from the Višegrad municipality and the Republika Srpska Cultural Ministry by signing an agreement to help Bosnia restore the Bridge.

In 2007, UNESCO described the Bridge as the monumental integrity and distinctive elegance of the property, which witnessed this architectural style's greatness.

Other Miscellaneous Facts

Despite its dark history, the Bridge gained its recent popularity from the book written by Yugoslav writer Ivo Andrić, where he describes the Bridge as a strong and a single witness from its construction until its destruction during the World Wars and the Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge was listed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.

Last but not least, though the Bridge has a mourning story, it still attracts and inspires tourists to be part of this great Ottoman memorial.


What is Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad famous for?

The Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge in Višegrad is one of the most outstanding examples of Ottoman fine engineering and architecture. The sultans constructed it as a tribute to their native region and a trade symbol and prosperity.

What country is Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge located in?

The Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad is an ancient bridge in a small town in Hungary, which cross over the Drina River in Herzegovina and eastern Bosnia.

What is the significance of the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad?

The Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge was built by the popular and talented architect Mimar Sinan, which was an order by Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Sokolović, who sustained the power over a long period of the Ottoman Empire, and it was constructed to dedicate and was a tribute to his country, region and a symbol of trade and prosperity. It also signifies a major portion of the history of civil engineering and bridge architecture.

When and why was Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad declared a World Heritage Site?

The Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad was declared a World Heritage Site in 2007 by UNESCO because the Bridge experienced a sad history as that of the wars and floods starting from its construction until the World Wars. UNESCO describes the Bridge as the monumental integrity and distinctive elegance of the property, which altogether witnesses the greatness of this architectural style.

<p>With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".</p>

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