UNESCO World Heritage Site #309: Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge in Višegrad

Posted: May 13, 2016    Categories: World Heritage Sites

Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge in Višegrad

UNESCO World Heritage Site: Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge in Višegrad

From the World Heritage inscription:

The Mehmed Paša Sokolovic Bridge in 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 Mimar Koca Sinan on the orders of Grand Vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolović. Characteristic of the apogee of Ottoman monumental architecture and civil engineering, the bridge has 11 masonry arches with spans of 11 m to 15 m, and an access ramp at right angles with four arches on the left bank of the river. The 179.5 m long bridge is a representative masterpiece of Sinan, one of the greatest architects and engineers of the classical Ottoman period and a contemporary of the Italian Renaissance, with which his work may be compared. The unique elegance of proportion and monumental nobility of the whole site bear witness to the greatness of this style of architecture.

My original plan was to do a day trip to Visegrad from Sarajevo. As it turns out, without even realizing it, I passed right by the bridge on the way to Sarajevo from Serbia. I pulled over my car immediately when I realized my dumb luck, and not having paid close enough attention to my route in Google Maps.

The bridge is……a bridge. From a visitation standpoint, there isn’t much about the bridge per se which will draw people. The city is nice and the river valley is beautiful, but the reason why it is listed is for historic and architectural reasons.

Visegrad is about a two-hour drive from Sarajevo, so it can easily be visited on a day trip. The bridge is for pedestrian traffic only, so you can’t drive on it, but there is a place to park just off the highway, near the start of the bridge. As there is really only one major road going through town, the bridge is almost impossible to miss.