Visegrad was located on a frequent tourist route, which was used by the tourists from Serbia and the surrounding areas to travel Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Coast. In the early 1992, because of the war, Visegrad almost completely lost its importance. Over the past few years, tourists have started using its route again, thanks to the restoration of tourist railway, as well as the construction of the Andric Town complex.
Andric Town is a tourist, cultural, administrative and educational complex, situated on a peninsula between Drina and Rzav Rivers, about 300 meters away from the Visegrad Bridge. The complex is managed by Andricgrad Ltd., owned by the famous Serbian film director Emir Kusturica, as well as the Visegrad municipality, together with the Government of the Republic of Srpska.
Andric Town has emerged as Emir Kusturica’s idea of a stone medieval town inspired by the works and characters of the Nobel prize winner Ivo Andric. This was actually a vision of how Visegrad could have been looked, which had not been overlooked by the Renaissance and other historical periods. Construction costs for Andric Town was approximately 15 million Euros.
“Bridge on Drina” in Visegrad is the endowment of the Grand Vizier Sokollu Mehmed Pasha. He was born as Bajica, into an Orthodox family in 1505 or 1506 in the village of Sokolovici. At that time, there was a tradition known as “Devşirme” tribute in blood, so he was forcibly kidnapped and taken to Anatolia ( today Turkey ). He had to convert to Islam and was trained in Ottoman military school, where he became a janissary (in Turkish yeniçeri), an elite soldier of the Ottoman Empire, which was when he was given the name Mehmed. At the height of his power, when he became the Grand Vizier - equal to Prime Minister today’s standards - he ordered the construction of a bridge in Visegrad, like no other on Drina. It was built in oriental style and it was a masterpiece of that era in 1577 by Mimar Sinan, famous Ottoman Architect. It has 11 arches and the total length of 179,5m. The bridge is one of the most important national monuments of Bosnia and Herzegoina and in July 2007, it was added in UNESCO World Heritage List.
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