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Nomination of the Properties for Inscription on the World Heritage List
Mehmed pasha Sokolovic Bridge in Višegrad
Bosnia and Herzegovina




This section describes the property and the context within surrounding region, provides cultural and environmental information and interests.


1.1. General information

1.1.1. Country (and State Party if different)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

1.1.2. State, Province or Region

Entity Republika Srpska

Sarajevo Macro Region

Višegrad Municipality

1.1.3. Name of Property

Mehmed paša Sokolovic’s Bridge in Višegrad

Historical monument

1.1.4. Geographical coordinates to the nearest second

Višegrad: 43.78°N 19.30°E

Mehmed paša Sokolovic’s Bridge in Višegrad: 43°46’53,2’’ N 19°17’16,89’’ E


1.2. Summary description of the property

The historical monument - the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge in Višegrad - is a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as laid down in the Decision no.08.2-6-101/03-5, issued by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments. The national monument benefits from the highest degree of legal protection. All executive and development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of the Decesion are hereby revoked

The Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge was built in 1571-77 over the River Drina, on the main route between Bosnia and Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, it was a key point in the development of the town of Višegrad, and the surrounding region.

This is an outstanding example of bridge architecture, founded by the locally-born Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic, later the Grand Vizier to three sultans, and designed by the great court architect Sinan. The Bosnian novelist Ivo Andric was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1961 for his epic novel The Bridge over the Drina, which celebrates its long and dramatic history and the role it has played in the lives of the people.

The Bridge has been glorified by folk tradition and folk poetry, by historiography and writers, artists and visitors more then any other piece of human work in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The bridge is one of the most magnificent works of architecture. The uniqueness of the Višegrad

bridge is associated largely with its form – a geniculate structure composed of a section with eleven arches spanning the Drina, and a four-arched ramp by means of which the bridge takes a right angle to join the left bank, following the lie of the land. The bridge is carried by nine great stone piers. The width of the road over the bridge is 6.00 m. The parapet walls are 60 cm thick and 179.44 m. long. The access ramp is about 6.60 m. wide including the parapet walls, and about 120.00 m. long. There are four arches in the ramp, a larger one in the angle (4.50 m. wide) and three smaller ones spanning a brook that flows into the Drina. The arches are classical depressed arches with relatively small eccentric centres - about 1.00 m., with a depth of 85cm – making them almost semicircular.

Above the facing walls, at the level of the roadway, is a moulded limestone cornice 30 cm high on

which rests a solid stone parapet. The sixth pier is ornamented. On the upstream side, it is of triangular profile, grading into a rectangular extension bearing a blind portal with chronogrammatic inscription. On the downstream side it is polygonal in shape, grading into a rectangular extension with built-in seats, which are still used to this day. The stone from which the bridge was built was quarried in Banja, about five kilometers downstream on the right bank of the Drina.

Beyond its local significance, the immediately recognizable Višegrad Bridge is one of the few

features that could be accorded the role of iconic representation of the identity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The bridge is the symbol of the potential of Bosnians and Herzegovinians.

“By comparison with every other major bridge in the Balkans, the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge in Višegrad is the most important engineering and architectural achievement, preserving the highest degree of authenticity, thereby representing a valuable and unique testimony to classical Ottoman bridges erected in the Balkans in the 16th century”.

As returned for pedestrian, the management plan provides for it to be revived by holding summer

meeting, "Coffee on the Bridge," discussions, poetry evenings, art exhibitions on the bridge and the like.

The original use of the bridge can thereby also contribute to its presentation and sustainability of use.


1.3. Location and Setting

The bridge was built to span a fast-flowing, capricious river Drina, which dictated the engineering

treatment based on lateral forces. The original location of the bridge remains unaltered.

With the construction of the Bajina Bašta hydroelectric power plant in 1968, followed in 1990 by the Višegrad hydroelectric power plant, the setting of the bridge has lost its original features. The construction of the dam raised the water level of the Drina, which has markedly altered the proportions of the visible part of the bridge. Since the power plants were built, the piers have largely been submerged in calm, deep water.


1.4. Boundary

The boundary of the Bridge, encloses structure itself and a zone extending 100 meters upstream and downstream from the bridge, and 100 meters in width on both sides, covers area of app. 0,2 hectares, was formally designated as the First protection zone. Within I protection zone strict measures are designated forbidding new constructions except conservation-restoration works.


1.5. Appendices to part 1.1. – 1.4.

Annex II: Maps



















Annex III: Technical documentation





Annex IV: Photo documentation

AIV: AIVb-1 Mehmed-pasha Sokolovic bridge in Visegrad, view from the approach road, 2002.

AIV: AIVb-2 Mehmed-pasha Sokolovic bridge with surrounding, downstream façade, view from North, on the left side of the photo, the right river bank with Orthodox Church is showed, 2005.

AIV: AIVb-13 Mehmed-pasha Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad, downstream façade, view from the left river bank during the high water level, 2004.

AIV: AIVb-15 Mehmed-pasha Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad, downstream façade, view from the left river bank, 2005.


1.6. Cultural information

There are many prominent persons – the architect, picture conservers, and writers – associated with the bridge in Višegrad. The works of three of them have left a significant mark on the history of human kind: Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic, who endowed the bridge; the architect of the bridge in Višegrad, Sinan; and the writer Ivo Andric, whose lyrical reflections on the bridge, in the form of the novel Na Drini cuprija (available in English as The Bridge over the Drina), received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Mehmed-paša Sokolovic (1505-1579), founder of the bridge and Grand Vizier to three sultans –

Suleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566), Selim II (1566-1574), and Murat III (1574-1595), was one of the

most prominent characters in the Ottoman Empire of the second half of the 16th century and, concerning

political life, the most prominent Bosnian in Ottoman period.

Mimar Koca Sinan ibn Abd al-Mannan, the architect of the Višegrad Bridge, was the most famous of all the architects of the Ottoman Empire (from 1548 to 1588) and one of the greatest architects the world has known. The Višegrad Bridge is one of his two most important designs of this type.

Ivo Andric (1892-1975), the most important prose writer from this region in the past century, received the highest recognition in literature, the Nobel Prize in 1961 for the novel “The Bridge over the Drina”. Published in 1945, the Novel is a chronological account of great event surrounding the Bridge over the Drina, testimoning: Everything passes, only the bridge remains to show the frailty of human destiny.

Literary evenings entitled "Down the Višegrad Trails" are traditionally held in Višegrad to honour the country's Nobel Laureate.

“The Bridge over the Drina left an impression on travelogues of all epochs, from Evlija Celebija in

the 17th century to authors from the 20th century such as Peter Handke, Joe Sacco, Peter Maas”. ..“The

legends relating to the Višegrad Bridge have been recorded in older Bosnian-Herzegovinian periodicals—in almanacs published at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, as well as in the first professional journal for history, archaeology and ethnology—the Annual of the National Museum in Sarajevo”.

The Bridge inspired the folk poetry; has become motiv and inspiration in visual art.

The oldest known drawing of the Višegrad Bridge was published in the Allgemeine Bauzeitung in 1873. The Bridge has been a motif and inspiration for the artists; the Bosnian-Herzegovinian prominent ones from the second half of the 20th century: Vladimir Vojinovic, Mario Mikulic, Ibrahim Ljubovic, Vojo Dimitrijevic, Mica Todorovic and Mladen Kolobaric, Hasan Fazlic and Mersad Berber. “In the Višegrad Town Gallery, various transpositions of this motif can be seen in the works signed by Veljko Mihajlovic, Biljana Vukovic, Divna Jelenkovic, Zdravko Mandic, Branko Nikitovic, Melisa Poper, Erika Marija Gutenšvager, Julija Suhoveckaja, Hadik Ðula and many other artists whose works are prominent on the contemporary domestic and international art scene”.

Višegrad Bridge was featured in documentaries, a Film News segment on old stone bridges on Drina and Žepa in 1970s; and later immortalised in the film by the famous Yugoslav director Žiko Ristic.

“..at the moment the 200 Convertible Mark bill is decorated by a portrait of Andric and the splendid Bridge over the Drina”.


1.7. Environmental information

The Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge is situated in Višegrad, a town where the river Rzav flows into the river Drina.

The Bridge was built at the 93rd kilometre of the Drina river which measures a total of 350 km. At

the location of the Bridge, there is a small valley in Drina's canyon system, immediately to the south of the

mouth of the river Rzav. The local relief conditions, as well as the Višegrad lake and the relatively low altitude make for a moderate continental climate with certain microclimatic characteristics. The valley is enclosed by mountain ranges of the karst relief on the west and mountain ranges of the fluvio-denudational relief on the east. This is where the river Drina moulded its bed at a depth of some 800 m.

The town is situated in the middle of the municipality positioned on the eastern border of Republika Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina, towards SR Serbia on the east. Due to its position, Višegrad has always gravitated towards Sarajevo, but it also represented a link between BiH and Serbia. The Sarajevo-Višegrad-Užice highway passes through town. In the past, traffic on this highway used to pass over the old bridge. When a new bridge was built in 1991, about a kilometre downstream, the traffic was redirected towards it. Following the Decision of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments which proclaimed the Bridge a national monument in January 2003, it was taken out of the motor traffic system completely.

The town developed on the mobile ground morphology of the steep river banks which came together so that the elevations were integrated into the urban structure of the central part of town. These elevations make up the immediate surroundings of the Bridge, especially on the left bank where there are no buildings since it is made up of the steep sides of the surrounding hills.

The specific morphology conditioned the construction in the narrow belt along the road parallel with the river. Other buildings were added in a narrow belt along the road, some 60-50m from the bank. Dynamic traffic activities around the Bridge prompted the development of accompanying functions (trade,

catering, services). Residential areas developed at the same time. The land portion at the place where the Rzav river flows into the Drina, which is like a narrow peninsula invading the water, has developed as a residential and commercial block ending in a sports and leisure zone. This attractive space with significant tourist and recreation potential is located some 600m downstream from the Bridge.

The zone surrounding the Bridge has always represented a place of central town functions. In this

part of town, some 500m from the bridge, the town administrative centre developed. Today it is the town of Višegrad, the centre of the Višegrad Municipality which, according to the estimates of the RS Institute of Statistics from 2004, has a population of 19,419.

There are no buildings on the steep left bank. The highway passes along it from upstream coming

from Sarajevo and Rogatica and continuing on towards the new bridge, downstream from the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge. The natural environment of the left bank and the space upstream from the Bridge, also without buildings, is an extraordinary natural environment that brings out the beautiful architecture of the Bridge even more.

Today, the steep hills above the Bridge contains some buildings with the church dominating one of the hilltops. Southeast from the Bridge, railroad tracks cut across the Drina canyon and pass through the town along its southern edge.

With this development of urbanisation, the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge found itself in the southern zone of town which is also the urban centre of Višegrad, but which cannot spread upstream or to the west of the Bridge due to the configuration of the terrain. Therefore, the Bridge's form and architecture are made even more dominant in this specific natural environment.

The area around Višegrad is rich with sources of thermal waters with healing qualities. At one such source, in the mountain larch forest only 5 km from the centre of town, there is a hotel with cottages offering tourism, spa and recreational contents. The thermal waters gush by the hotel, cascading down towards the valley of the Drina. The hotel was named after an endemic plant called "fairy whisp" that grows by the stream. (Adianthum capillus – veneris (fairy whisp), found in Banja Luka (Vrucica), Srebrenica (Crni Guber), Višegrad (area around the spa. The species is characterised by an exceptionally narrow ecological primary property and can be found only near thermo-mineral springs of a certain temperature and a certain chemical composition).

The potential of the thermal waters was grasped by urban planners some ten years ago when, under the auspices of the town, they devised a plan of a tourist village on the right bank of the Drina, in the beautiful environment of the valley where the Drina spreads out into a lake. At that location in the immediate vicinity of the thermal springs, they envisioned a modern tourist centre based on the principles of eco-tourism, and the bio-climactic and natural advantages of the location. The tourist, recreational and

health potentials of the thermal waters were included in this concept, but were also seen as an energy resource that could be used to heat buildings and provide hot water in the tourist village.

Unfortunately, this project was never realised due to a lack of material means in the local community.

To the east of the town, near the village of Dobrun, there is a Christian Orthodox monastery from the 14th century. Today it is a complex with a church and accompanying buildings. This tourist destination is located near the Višegrad-Dobrun-Vardište railroad tracks which are being reconstructed in order to revive railroad transport methods from the past as a tourist attraction.

The railroad will connect to the already constructed tourist railroad in SR Serbia known as the "Shargan 8". The "Shargan 8" with its sites was a tourist attraction of cultural, historical and traditional significance. The last film of the famous director, Emir Kusturica was about the fate of the people who lived along this railroad during the recent tumultuous period of history in this region.

1.7.1. Climate

The local relief conditions, as well as the Višegrad lake and the relatively low altitude make for a

moderate continental climate with certain microclimatic characteristics.

The average annual air temperature in Višegrad is approximately 11ºC. In Višegrad, the winters are moderate with temperatures of 0.5 ºC above freezing point on average (Tab.1). The first snowfall occurs usually around 1 December and the last around 16 March, so that the snowfall period in the Višegrad valley is on average some 30 days shorter in comparison to the valleys along the upper portion of the Drina.

Average summer temperatures in Višegrad are around 20.5ºC, and due to a low occurrence of

cloudiness and pronounced frequency of calms, the summers are mostly sunny, warm and calm.

1.7.2. Relief

As stated earlier, the Višegrad Bridge is located in a smaller valley in the canyon system of the Drina river. The valley is enclosed by mountain ranges of the karst relief on the west and mountain ranges of the fluvio-denudational relief on the east. This is where the river Drina moulded its bed at a depth of some 800 m. The inclination of slopes towards the Drina varies between 20 to 30%. The western mountain slopes are generally steeper. Some 400m southeast of the Višegrad Bridge, the valley narrows and the Drina enters a canyon. Downstream from the Bridge, the Drina flows in a moderate arc – changing its direction from northeast towards the north and northwest.

1.7.3. Hydrography

The river Drina is the main water flow and lowest erosion level in the Višegrad area. Surface and subterranean waters are drained from the surrounding mountain ranges, down their sides and along numerous gulches. Some 200 m downstream from the Bridge, the torrent creek Jablanica flows into the Drina from the west, and some 800 m downstream the torrent stream Rzav flows into the Drina.

With the building of the Bajina Bašta hydroelectric plant in 1968, an accumulation of water 54 km long was created in the Drina reaching the upstream area of the Bridge. The Bridge piers are thus often 5 m deep in water.

With the building of the Višegrad hydroelectric plant 2.5 km upstream from the Bridge which causes disturbances in the regular flow of the Drina and has a direct effect on the foundation ground of the Bridge's piers, the Bridge is endangered further.

1.7.4. Geological Composition and Structure of the Area

The area where the Višegrad Bridge was built is made up mainly of Triassic -Jurassic rock of diabase igneous formation, Triassic quartz arenite, clay minerals, shale, breccia sandstone and conglomerates as well as massive and layered microspars and biointra-packstones and dolomites.

The above rock base is covered on the surface by diluvial, diluvial-proluvial and proluvial deposits

of varying depth.

The riverbed is filled with deposits of sand, gravel and muddy sediments of various thicknesses.

In this area, the river Drina separates the structural tectonic unit (zone) of Praca—Drina—Lim on the west from the structural tectonic unit (zone) of Višegrad in the east.

1.7.5. Geological Engineering Qualities of Rocks and Rock Complexes

Deposits of gravel and sand make up the Drina riverbed. They are Pleistocene-Holocene sediments. Although mainly made up of sand and gravel, the structure of this complex is partly made of clay and mud sediments as well. Their thickness varies as to their physical and mechanical qualities. These sediments are mainly permeable.

The alluvial sediments of the riverbed are exposed to processes of erosion and suffusion.

1.7.6. Seismic Characteristics

According to the data from the Seismic Chart of the Rulebook on Technical Norms for Building Construction in Seismic Areas, this area is located in a zone of maximum expected earthquake intensity of 8ºMSC, seismic coefficient Cs=0.050 for a tertian period of 500 to 10,000 years.


1.8. Resource use history

Occupation: In regular use

Current use(s): Currently in use as a pedestrian bridge.

After listing the Bridge of Mehmed paša Sokolovic, in January 2003, the Commission has urged the authorities of municipality Višegrad to forbid use of the Bridge for traffic. In August 2003 vehicle traffic was forbidden on the Bridge.

Through its 430 years of existence “the bridge in Višegrad has retained its original function as a crossing point, meeting place and public space, but the way it has been used has differed at various times in the past…Above all, it was originally a strategic structure, linking two sections of the road between East and West. …, was the one real and permanent crossing in the whole middle and upper course of the Drina and an indispensable link on the road between Bosnia and Serbia and further, beyond Serbia, with other parts of the Turkish Empire, all the way to Stambul."

“Once completed in 1577, the bridge was used by pedestrians, ox- and horse-drawn carts, combat vehicles, horsemen, merchants and the army. Wedding and funeral processions wended their way over it. Changes in communications and in particular in methods of transport led to changes in the load borne by the bridge. In the 20th century, motor vehicles used the bridge; … the incompatibility of pedestrian and motor traffic on a narrow bridge such as the one in Višegrad, even though the original primary function was preserved, had an impact on the original way in which it was used. The use of the bridge for motor traffic was the reason the parapet was removed from its original position where it met the ramp at a right angle, parallel with the river (1952). This provided motor vehicles with direct access from the road to the bridge, avoiding the tight right-angled turn that the bridge originally had. The parapet and original form of the bridge were restored in 1986 after the new road bridge over the Drina was built.

By Decision of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments no. 08.3-6-101/03-5 of 2003, and Decision of Višegrad Municipality no. 01-022-6/03, which followed hard upon the publication of the Decision of the Commission, all motor vehicle traffic over the Višegrad Bridge was banned. Since March

2003 the bridge has been used solely by pedestrians, more as a promenade than an everyday, obligatory

route. The extent to which the original function and use have been preserved in this case is considerable,

albeit adapted to changing ways of life in the modern age by comparison with the time when the bridge was first built…

The second function of the bridge from its very completion derives from its use as a place of the

greatest significance in the town of Višegrad. The bridge also served as town square, meeting place, an open-air coffee shop, a place to idle away the hours and for the public proclamation of official decisions, and even, at times, of verdic ts. The central, wider part of the bridge, known as the kapija (gate), denoted this focus of the public life of the town. In the award-winning novel by Ivo Andric, the bridge is described as follows: "The [central terrace] on the right as one came from the town was called the sofa. It was raised by two steps and bordered by benches for which the parapet served as a back; steps, benches and parapet were all made of the same shining stone. That on the left, opposite the sofa, was similar but without benches. In the middle of the parapet, the stone rose higher than a man and in it, neared the top, was inserted a plaque of white marble with a rich Turkish inscription, a tarih, with a carved chronogram which told in thirteen verses the name of the man who built the bridge and the year in which it was built. Near the foot of this stone was a fountain, a thin stream of water flowing from the mouth of a stone snake. On this part of the terrace a coffee-maker had installed himself with his copper vessels and Turkish cups and ever-lighted charcoal brazier, and an apprentice who took the coffee over the way to the guests on the sofa. Such was the kapia."

At the time when the bridge was used for motor traffic, this original and extremely important function for the preservation of the authentic use of the bridge was neglected. The management plan provides for it to be revived by holding summer meeting, "Coffee on the Bridge," discussions, poetry evenings, art exhibitions on the bridge and the like. The original use of the bridge can thereby also contribute to its presentation and sustainability of use.

In both folk tradition and literary works the bridge is often shown as a place where harsh punishments were publicly carried out. This aspect of the bridge is perhaps most strikingly described in the Bridge over the Drina…. In 1992 the bridge was used in this way in reality, as a place of public torture and the brutal mass execution of several hundred of the inhabitants of Višegrad. … – and this aspect of authenticity could be presented through the memorial function of the bridge as the place where people were killed, a place of reconciliation and mutual understanding, as provided for in the management plan.”


1.9. Land use history

“The bridge over the river Drina, which “is one of the most monumental examples of the architectural heritage of the Turkish period,” was built between 1571 and 1577, on the spot where a road linked Bosnia with the East. In the mediaeval period this was already a strategically important place, as a result of which a settlement grew up there for the purpose of both controlling merchants’ caravans and serving them as a way station. The town then belonged to the powerful feudal Pavlovic family. In the first

half of the 16th century, the Drina was spanned by a wooden bridge, which is shown on Kuripešic’s drawing. This suggests that the Sokolovic Bridge was not built at some arbitrarily-chosen spot, but at a place where the need to cross the Drina served the state economy and the Empire’s expansion strategy.”

The oldest documents about the Bridge are concerned with the expropriation of land necessary for its construction (protocols from the Višegrad administrative area from the Ottoman period).

The town of Višegrad developed around the Bridge, in the tame and spacious valley of the Drina

river, in the past 4 and ½ centuries. The Višegrad caršija stretches from the Bridge on the right bank. The caršija is partly in the valley and partly on the hillside. At the edge of the main part of the caršija, the river

Rzav flows into the river Drina. The main part of the caršija is situated in the triangle between the right bank of the Drina and the left bank of Rzav. Nova Mahala, a newer part of town, is situated on the right bank of Rzav. Beyond Nova Mahala are the residential quarters of Bijelo Polje, Vucine, Glavica, Garce and Kalata.


1.10. Public and private interests

“The Bridge was built at the peak of power and glory of Ottoman Empire, in the period when several men originating from Bosnia were influential and authoritative in the very heart of Empire. Their influence resulted in ability to build glorious endowments in their homeland. Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic was the most famous among them and his legacy is immense – but the bridge across the river of his origin – this bridge in Višegrad - is in fact the most famous… The bridge is associated with important historical events from different periods of Bosnia -Herzegovinian history. It has been glorified by folk tradition and folk poetry, by historiography and writers, artists and visitors more then any other piece of human work in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It is a place that lot of citizens associate with the memories of historical and social changes, rebellions, wars, persecution of civilians – what adds to this old structure built in 1551-1557 – a new symbolic and semantic layer that some World Heritage sites have as a basic and prevailing value.”

Both in the past and in the present, the Bridge has been part of the history and everyday life of the local population. For centuries, Višegrad has integrated the arches of the Bridge and its significance in connecting banks, people and histories. In that context, the local population, in the widest sense of the word - meaning the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, sees the Bridge as their heritage and their treasure.

Since 1951, the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge was placed under the state protection, by Ordinance no. 1099/51, issued by the Institute for Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of

Bosnia and Herzegovina.

By Ordinance no. 02-741-3, dated 18 April 1962, it was registered in the Immovable Cultural Monuments Register, under the number of 208, as a cultural monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During a session held on 27 and 28 March 1990, the Commission for Categorization of Architectural Heritage, appointed by Ordinance no. 10-338-8/89, issued by the Institute for Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, issued an Opinion that the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge should be listed as a Category I asset of cultural and historical heritage, pursuant to Article 14 of the Law on Protection of Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Bridge was classified as Category 0 - monument of international importance in the Regional

Plan for BiH up to 2002.

The historical monument - the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge in Višegrad - is a national

monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as laid down in the Decision.

The Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge is public property owned by the state.

In the first protected zone there are no buildings on the left bank of the Drina, while on the opposite bank, there are 8 privately owned buildings in the protected zone.

The narrow belt along the bank (5-10m) is public property.

The remainder of the regulated natural environment is contained in the green terrace beneath the

hotel, immediately next to the Bridge.

Before 1992, some buildings and plots of land in the immediate surroundings of the Bridge were

owned by the state. These were the hotel, two residential and commercial buildings, a shopping centre and a high school. After 1992, the above buildings became privately owned through the privatisation process. The high school building, however, remained the ownership of the state.

Immediately before the war in 1992, private investors set up prefabricated buildings – shops along the road in the immediate vicinity of the Bridge.

The hotel complex is the most valuable construction potential in the 1st protection zone.

This zone contains physical structures which are not representative due to the state of the buildings. In the long period of the Bridge's existence, the space surrounding it, although the central part of town, did not manage to develop or grow into a firmer urban centre that would make a complete whole along with the Bridge.

The main problem of the squalid state of the buildings and spaces in the zone around the Bridge is the unfavourable investment potential of their present owners and the absence of a vision for the design of this important urban environment.

It is necessary to plan the design of private plots of land with individual residential building upstream from the Bridge in accordance with the values of their environment.

The planning and design of the space and protected zone is of public interest from the town and the state.


1.11. Economic interests

The Višegrad region is currently economically underdeveloped, and the inscription of the Bridge to the World Heritage List would act as a spur to sustainable development programmes and strategies, potentially bringing back displaced persons and encouraging cultural tourism, as well as saving a monument of international significance.

For reviving economic potentials and individual economic systems, tourism should be seen as a

source of income for companies, entrepreneurs and the municipality as far as the activation of certain capacities is concerned.

The existing potentials of the Municipality imply the possibility of developing a tourism offer intended for various market segments:

¾      cultural and historical heritage of the Municipality, primarily the Višegrad Bridge, but also the childhood home of Nobel Laureate Ivo Andric are important preconditions for the development of cultural tourism,

¾      the Dobrun Monastery with a collection of icons and its accompanying elements of religious architecture is another potential for tourism development intended for tourists and visitors interested in religious sites,

¾      health spa services,

¾      various activities related to eco-tourism, outdoor activities, tours in environments of untouched nature, study of endemic plant life,

¾      hunting, fishing and rafting,

¾      art colony events and activities, literary meetings dedicated to the life and works of Ivo Andric,

¾      additional activities that could be organised during the height of the tourism season in relation to the history of the Bridge – various performances, meetings, catering events that would enliven the Bridge and its surroundings.


With respect to the current state of (under)development of the Višegrad Municipality and the absence of significant plans (according to the existin g Municipal Development Strategy) for reviving economic potentials and individual economic systems, tourism should be seen as a source of income for

companies, entrepreneurs and the municipality as far as the activation of certain capacities is concerned.

In that respect, increasing tourist visits would contribute to increasing the income and business for the recreation centre (health spa), the Višegrad hotel, a museum that could be established in Ivo Andric's childhood home, as well as room and board income for the monastery inn (pending completion of

construction works) and income of all accompanying contents such as local shops, restaurants and catering establishments, shops that would sell souvenirs and other products related to the cultural sites of Višegrad.

According to the data and results of the survey, income from tourism (presented in Bosnian-Herzegovinian statistics only as income from catering, but pertaining to room and board) has multiplication effects in the amount of 1.20 to 1.64 depending on the quality and scope of accompanying contents. In any case, visits to certain locations cause chain reactions of spending and income generation at the location, and the amounts depend primarily on the originality and quality of goods or services on offer.

In this context, income for the Municipal budged would be directly secured through tax and other

duties imposed, and also from residential taxes and tariffs associated with certain locations.

Apart from these fiscal foundations for the development of tourism, Višegrad already has a developed basis for organising various tourism events and activities that facilitate a seasonal increase in the number of visitors and, hence, the necessary preconditions for being "introduced" as a tourist attraction on the tourism map of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. Namely, there is the art colony organised at the monastery and spa, the "Down the Višegrad Trails" Literary Evenings dedicated to the life and works of Ivo Andric and librarianship meetings.

The event dedicated to the life and works of Ivo Andric is an underexploited potential for attracting tourists from abroad interested in literature for various reasons, including Nobel Laureates (in both this and other categories). This is a very diverse set of potential visitors that can serve as a basis for spreading information about the site.

The natural potentials of the area facilitate the development of other forms of tourism, primarily relating to preserved natural environments and hunting and fishing facilities, as well as various outdoor activities and winter sports. In that context, Višegrad should be promoted as a destination not only of cultural tourism, but also offering spa and eco-tourism.

The basis for these activities should be a network of all potentially interested participants (bearers of tourism offers) including the owners of private houses or summer houses that could provide accommodation for tourists in natural (untouched) conditions and contribute to activities unrelated to urban life. Namely, this would be a type of tourism whose significance and number of customers have increased considerably in the past few years, however, not as mass tourism, but as a result of focusing on special groups interested in this type of tourism. In that sense, when promoting these potentials, it is necessary to establish a web page and use the Internet as the best way to reach these groups.

According to everything stated above, the key bearer of tourism development is the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge. Its place and role in the history of this area, but also in that of the Ottoman Empire, place it on the historical map which is indispensable for all those in any way connected with this field. The Bridge should therefore be used as:

¾      the primary element of tourism to be complemented by other activities, and

¾      as an exceptionally important secondary factor of the offer to be presented in various tourist package deals for the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, making it a "secondary bait" for opting for the "Vilina vlas" recreational centre and spa as opposed to a similar destination elsewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Diverse offer primarily determined by cultural and historical promotion is an advantage of the

destination and the Municipality of Višegrad and that it should be used in advertising geared at tourists and visitors.


1.12 Appendices to part 1.6. – 1.11.

Annex I: Documentation relating to the Bridge of Mehmed pasha Sokolovic in Višegrad

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