Old Bridge in Visegrad or Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge is a bridge on the Drina River located in Visegrad, near the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. It is one of the most monumental works of architecture that was created between the 15th to the 19th centuries. It is protected by UNESCO.
The Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic is a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The construction of the bridge was entrusted to the famous Turkish builder, Koca Mimar Sinan, the court architect and supreme builder of the Empire, one of the greatest architects of the world.
It was founded by Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic, the Grand Vizier of three sultans (1565-79) – Suleyman the Magnificent, Selim II and Murad III.
The bridge has been destroyed and repaired numerous times. When the Austrians withdrew from Visegrad in 1914, theydestroyed one window. The following year, the Serbian army destroyed part of the bridge. It remained such until 1939, when the bridge was brought back into proper conditions. When the Germans withdrew in October, 1943, a big part of the bridge was destroyed again.
The middle part of the bridge, called Gate Sofa, was expanded and soon became a popular meeting place for people from Visegrad and its surroundings.
Ivo Andric’s novel “Bridge on the Drina” is based on the history of this bridge. .