Tourist Attraction in Višegrad: Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge
Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge is a historic bridge in Viegrad, over the Drina River in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was completed in 1577 by the Ottoman court architect Mimar Sinan on the order of the Grand Vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolović. UNESCO included the facility in its 2007 World Heritage List. It is characteristic of the apogee of Turkish monumental architecture and civil engineering. It numbers 11 masonry arches, with spans of 11 to 15 meters, and an access ramp at right angles with four arches on the left bank of the river. The 179.5-meter-long (589 ft) bridge is a representative masterpiece of Mimar 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 UNESCO summary states: The unique elegance of proportion and monumental nobility of the property as a whole bear witness to the greatness of this style of architecture. The Viegrad Bridge was commissioned by Grand Vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolović, who exercised power over a long period at the summit of the Ottoman Empire during the reign of three sultans as a tribute to his native region and a symbol of trade and prosperity. Construction of the bridge took place between 1571 and 1577. Major renovations of the bridge have taken place in 1664, 1875, 1911, 1940 and 195052. Three of its 11 arches were destroyed during World War I and five were damaged during World War II but subsequently restored.