World Heritage Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad

The Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge of 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 Mimar Koca Sinan on the orders of Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic. 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.

Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad
Continent: Europe
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Category: Cultural
Criterion: (II)(IV)
Date of Inscription: 2007

Pioneer of Civil Engineering

The universal value of the bridge at Visegrad is unquestionable for all the historical reasons and in view of the architectural values it has. It represents a major stage in the history of civil engineering and bridge architecture, erected by one of the most celebrated builders of the Ottoman Empire.

The bridge particularly bears witness to the transmission and adaptation of techniques in the course of a long historical process. It also bears witness to important cultural exchanges between areas of different civilizations. It is an exceptional representative of Ottoman architecture and civil engineering at its classical apogee. It's symbolic role has been important through the course of history, and particularly in the many conflicts that took place in the 20th century. Its cultural value transcends both national and cultural borders.

Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad Heritage
Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad Heritage

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Visegrad Bridge's Geostrategic Importance

Located in a position of geostrategic importance, the bridge bears witness to important cultural exchanges between the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire and the Mediterranean world, between Christianity and Islam, through the long course of history. The management of the bridge and repairs made it to have also involved different political and cultural powers: after the Ottomans came the Austro-Hungarians, the Yugoslav Federation, and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Visegrad Bridge is a remarkable architectural testimony to the apogee of the classical age of the Ottoman Empire, whose values and achievements mark an important stage in the history of humankind.

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