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Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Balkan Bridges; Stari Most, Mostar; Zagori Brdges, Epirus.

"From Zagori to Mostar the same magnificent stone bridges link the Balkan peninsula prolonging its historic unity" (Alexandros Yannis).

"(We) were in Mostar, "Stari Most", old bridge. Presently we were looking at that bridge, which is falsely said to have been built by the Emperor Trajan, but is of medieval Turkish workmanship. It is one of the most beautiful bridges in the world. A slender arch lies between two round towers, its parapet bent in a shallow angle in the centre. To look at it is good; to stand on it is good. Over the grey-green river swoop hundreds of swallows, and on the banks mosques and white houses stand among glades of trees and bushes. The swallows and the glades know nothing of the mosques and houses" (Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon).

YouTube: The Destruction of the Old Bridge of Mostar

The 16th Century Stari Most was destroyed on 9 November 1993.

The reopening of the bridge  eight years ago (BBC, 23 July 2004)

The Australian, October 1, 1997:
"Ethnic hostility mars rebirth of famed bridge", by Tom Walker in Mostar

From "By the old bridge in Skopje", Gane Todorovski, translated Ewald Osers
 ('Contemporary Macedonian Poetry', 1991):

"The Vardar is silent, there is no gallows,
not even a plane-tree!
This century has changed a lot of things,
today they kill without ceremony,
without drums, judges, bemedalled hangmen,
today the bridges have no privileges
as participants in famous deaths."


Two Zagori Bridges:

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps the greatest book I've read in the last decade - Ivo Andrić's The Bridge on the Drina. Aren't these bridges sublime. I want to visit the bridge at Arta which is referred to in the Chelidoni song by Theodorakis, in which the architect buried his wife alive. All bridges - crossing water - angered the god of that piece of water who expected a sacrifice. How moving it was to see the remaking of Mimar Hayruddin's great bridge at Mostar, and how unsurprising it was that Slobodan Praljak should have ordered its deliberate destruction in the first place. Such loathsome perfidy to try to kill history and so wonderful that so many people ensured his utter failure And honour to our Royal Engineers who started the process with a temporary military bridge.