Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 63, Bosnia and Herzegovina

We have arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where we have met our friend Maja, who sadly has a really tight schedule so we are going to pop in for a quick cup of coffee at her home in Novi Grad...

meet her family and then stop over in Prijedor

to drop her off at work before we leave her country.....
but of course not before Sita sees the Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad.
This bridge across the Drina River in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, was completed in 1577 AD by the Ottoman court architect Sinan on the order of the Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic.
It is characteristic of the apogee of Ottoman monumental architecture and civil engineering.

It numbers 11 masonry arches, with spans of 11 to 15 metres, and an access ramp at right angles with four arches on the left bank of the river.

The 179.50m long bridge is a representative masterpiece of Mimar Koca 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 unique elegance of proportion and monumental nobility of the property as a whole bear witness to the greatness of this style of architecture.

Three of its 11 arches were destroyed during World War I and five were damaged during World War II but were subsequently restored.

During the Bosnian War the bridge was a place of a brutal killings of a large number of civilians during the Visegrad massacre in 1992.

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. Its 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.

Hmm, if only all the walls of the different structures we have seen could actually talk....can you imagine what weird, whacky and wonderful webs they would weave??

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