Mehmed Pasha Bridge

Posted on February 13, 2023

The Bridge on the Drina is a heritage of the Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic (in Turkish Sokollu Mehmed Paşa, 1505. or 1506-1579). He is one of the greatest Ottoman war generals by origin from Bosnia. He was born in the village of Sokolovići near Rudo in 1505. or 1506, as a child of Orthodox parents.
At that time, there was a tradition known as Devsirme, or „The contribution in blood”. Serbian children were taken away by force to Turkey where they would be converted to Islam and taught in their military schools to become Janissaries, the elite soldiers of the Turkish Empire. So Bajica Sokolovic was also taken as a child from the surroundings of Višegrad and was given the name Mehmed.
He would later become an officer of the Ottoman army thanks to his skills, and at top of his power he became the Grand Vizier, equal to the Prime Minister, by today`s standards.
At the highest peak of his rule, he ordered a bridge to be built like no other in Višegrad on the Drina River.

The bridge was built in the period from 1571 to 1577 by at that time, the most famous Turkish architect Koca Mimar Sinan.
The bridge consists of 11 arches with mild ascend towards the middle section and it has a descending ramp on the left bank.The total length is 179.5 m, height above the normal water level of the river is 15.40 m and the width of the bridge is 6.30 m.There are extensions above the sixth pillar on both sides of the bridge.
In the middle of the bridge a sofa was built and it was designed for passengers to rest and across from the sofa a stone portal was built. There are two plates made of white marble with verses of the poet Nihadi in Arabic alphabet, talking about the constructor and the year of construction.

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