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Visegrad is a small town and the center of the eponymous municipality in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the Drina River. It is located in a large valley of the Drina River, on the hilly slopes that gently rise in the high mountains over 1000 meters. Visegrad basin is one of the few extensions to the Drina River, which consists partly of high cliffs and mountains.
Visegrad was first mentioned in 1433 when it belonged to the powerful Serbian feudal family Pavlović, under whose administration was also the medieval city of Dobrun. At the top of the hill above the Drina bridge there are traces of the old town or Pavlovina (after the Duke Pavle Radenković). The ruins are located in two places and are called "Upper Town" and "lower city". At the bottom of the old town, on the rugged cliffs above the Drina is a tower, which is popularly known as the "Tower of Prince Marko", which acted as a watchtower. It is a round building whose height today is 8 m, and during the Ottomans she was buried under the rocks so that no outlaws and Serbian rebels could hide. As written by famous traveler Evlija Celebija, Mehmed Pasha built the lower Visegrad town around 1577, and since there was a village above the town, the city got the name Visegrad.
According to Turkish sources, in 1544 the city won the Osman Pasha and he remains under Ottomans rule until the Berlin Congress in 1878 when the whole Bosnia was taken under the Austria-Hungary Empire. With the arrival of Austro-Hungarians Višegrad takes the shape of urban areas. They build waterworks, introduce land registries, built narrow-gauge railway and public buildings.
After the First World War Višegrad became a part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, in the within the framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina. First and Second World War have left the city in ruins, most of the buildings were severely damaged, including the Visegrad bridge.
Visegrad is now in the context of the Republic of Serbian, one of the two entities of the independent state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Sights you can visit in Visegrad:
Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge (Old Bridge in Visegrad) is located in the town of Visegrad, near the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and is one of the most monumental works of architecture that occurred in the period from the 15th to the 19th century in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The bridge is one of the most important national monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in July 2007 was entered in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Visegrad bridge on the Drina was founded by Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic (tur. Sokollu Mehmet Paşa, 1505 or 1506-1579). He is one of the great Ottoman military leader of Bosnian origin. He was born in the village of Sokolovići near Rudo in 1505 or 1506, and was a child of Orthodox parents. At that time there was a tradition known as Divširma or "tribute in blood." Serbian children were forcibly abducted and taken to Turkey where they would be converted to Islam and trained in their military schools to become soldiers of the Ottoman Empire. So was the child Bajica Sokolovic taken and was named. He will become an officer of the Ottoman army, and at the height of its power he becomes a Grand Vizier or the Prime Minister by today's standards. At the height of his powers he orders others to build a Bridge on Drina, which will be unique.
The bridge was built in the period from 1571 to 1577, and was built by then most famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan Koca. It was built in the oriental style and is a masterpiece of then Construction.
Andric City or Stone City is a city, a cultural center and a type of ethno-village, located at the mouth of the river Drina and Rzav in Visegrad whose creator is the movie director Emir Kusturica. The city is built of stone and has fifty objects.
The statue of Ivo Andric is located on Plazza Nikola Tesla in the central part of Andrićgrad. The monument is 2.4 meters high. The monument was created as a reaction to the demolition of the Statue of Ivo Andric in Visegrad in 1991. Statue of Ivo Andric in Visegrad was destroyed by five Muslim extremists led by Murat Sabanovic and then thrown into the Drina River, that happened on 1st July 1991.
Monument Njegos, is located on the same square, in front of the church of St. Prince Lazar, keeping his back to Ivo Andric. The monument is identical to monuments in Podgorica and Belgrade. On the pedestal of the monument is the inscription "tragic hero of Kosovo's thoughts."
Driving Ciro Train
Narrow-gauge railroad Visegrad - Vardište was a part of the once famous "Eastern line" (It. "Bosnische Ostbahn" or stripes "Sarajevo - Ostgrenze" or Sarajevo-eastern border) built by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the period from 1903th to 1906th year, bringing together the eastern Bosnia with Sarajevo and the rest of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With a price of 75 million gold crowns (450,000 gold crowns per kilometer) it was one of the most expensive railways in the world built by that time. When you recalculate all the costs of building the railway it leads to the incredible price of 1 kilogram of pure gold for one meter of stripes. The construction of this railway line was motivated purely strategic importance, as Visegrad was then located on the border between Austria-Hungary and Serbia.
First Cirina composition passed through picturesque valley of the river Rzav on 4 th July 1906 to Dobrun and 1st August of the same year they opened a part of the railway to Visegrad. After World War II, they have started with the construction of the continuation of this line from Vardiste to Uzice in Serbia, and this route was officially opened on 25 January 1925. Since then the railroad was the lifeblood of the whole region and an important railway link between Bosnia and Serbia for 49 years.
Cruising the Drina
Ask yourself when did you last time enjoy the charms of the natural environment, without the noise, polluted air, concrete around you. If you want to take a break from all this and enjoy the unspoiled nature, listening to the sound of the river, breathe fresh air, eat naturally processed food and forget about all your obligations, we suggest that you visit Visegrad and to plan a full day for a boat trip through the canyon of the Drina, the second largest canyon in Europe.
Dobrun Monastery, according to sources known as Krusevo, located in the picturesque mountainous region on the road Višegrad -Užice, 12 km from Visegrad in a gorge of the river Rzav. It is dedicated to the Annunciation was erected by the mayor Pribyl and his sons Stefan and Peter in 1343. This last one as the monk John, built and described the narthex in 1383. Already in 1393, when the Turks first attacked Bosnia, the monastery was destroyed. Renewed by Despot Stefan Lazarevic and Princess Milica. Somewhere on the border of 18 and 19 century monastery was deserted. About the formation and early history of the monastery there is no reliable data. It is known that at one time he was the seat of the Metropolitan's residence.
In its history he was many times destroyed and rebuilt. The greatest suffering the monastery has experienced was during the World War II, when the Germans used it as a weapons depot and during the withdrawal in 1945 they raised him in the air. Renovated in 1946.
The monastery was completely vivid. The best known, until now preserved frescoes are the fresco of Emperor Dusan with his wife Jelena and their son Uros, and also fresco with founder of the monastery, Mayor Přibil, and his sons and son in law Stan.
Monastery served for a long time as Dobrunska church, and since 1993 it was renewed and Dobrun becomes again an active monastery. Within the monastery complex is the Museum of the First Serbian Uprising, Gallery, and the Museum of Metropolitan Bosnian.
Visegrad Spa is located 5 km north of Visegrad. It is located in a pine forest at an altitude of 414 m. Due to its altitude and the natural environment it has features of air spa. Thermal waters of the Visegrad spa have characteristics radioactive carbonate homeotermi, temperature 34ºs. The main medicinal properties are originate from its radioactivity, which is led by radon and its decay products. After radioactivity Visegrad spa is the first in Bosnia and Herzegovina and second one in the former Yugoslavia.
Hamam in Visegrad spa
There is an interesting story about the origin of the bathrooms. Hamam was created during the construction of the famous bridge on the Drina in 1575. For the construction of the bridge was used a stone that was imported from the quarry in the area of today's Visegrad spa. When removing the stones workers have found a source of mineral water, and soon discovered that the wounds that they had healed faster than they should. These beneficial effects are attributed to the mineral water in which they swam, then they decided to make there a hamam.
The church of St. Jovana
In the past it was built entirely of wood. It has a form of single-nave basilica and was not with frescoes. An interesting fact is the space in which it is located, but it is a mountainous plateau covered with grass, surrounded by a tall pine forest.
Memorial classroom of Ivo Andric
Memorial classroom of Ivo Andric in Visegrad is located in the building where our Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andric learned to read and write. Former National Elementary school was opened in the late 19th century and operated for many years, till they built new facilities in Visegrad.
2007 Municipality Visegrad is governing a museum exhibition of Andric's classroom and they open it for visits. Andric's classroom contains a setting of a typical school in the late 19th century, as well as a collection of Andric´s photos.
City Gallery Visegrad
City Gallery Visegrad is located on the ground floor of the Cultural Center. It is located about 150 meters from the complex Andrićgrad, or about 450 meters from the Visegrad bridge. Visitors to the gallery can see the setting of paintings, graphics, sculptures, mainly incurred at the International Art gathering, held in Visegrad, each year in August.
Church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin
Cathedral of the Visegrad is dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary or the Small Nativity.
Church of the Nativity of the Virgin in Visegrad, built from 1884 to 1886. Serbs tried before to build a place of pray, but the Turkish authorities hindered the construction of the church. During the Austro-Hungarian occupation in 1878, favorable conditions were made for the realization of the building a temple. The strong Turkish influence in the city disturbed the plans of building an Orthodox church into the city or near the city. According to the data from the Chronicles, the Turks gave the land for the construction on the Ban hill - two kilometers above Visegrad - which Serbs did not want to accept. Finally, Austro-Hungarian government gave the land on Megdan, where the church is today located.