The Bridge on the Drina

Samsung Digital Imaging has provided the author of this article with the mentioned digital imaging device.
Last weekend I went to rafting on river Tara in Bosnia. It was amazing (you’ll see photos in my next post). But while we were traveling there, one more time I realised how and Serbia and Bosnia and all ex Yugoslavian republics are truly beautiful!! In one moment we stopped at famous bridge on Drina river, it’sa bridge with heavy and long history just like entire Balkan. So, this time, for all of you who love history we will take a little ride trough part of Balkan history and famous novel of writer Ivo Andric.
The Bridge on the Drina is real bridge but it’s also famous novel written by the most popular ex
Yugoslavian writer Ivo Andrić. Andrić wrote the novel while living quietly in Belgrade during World War II, publishing it in 1945. Andrić was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for the novel in 1961.
Samsung ST550(TL225) / shutter speed: 1/250 / lens aperture: F3.5 / ISO: 80
The Bridge on the Drina centres around the town of Višegrad and the Mehmed Paša Sokolović
Bridge over the Drina river. In Andrić’s story spans about four centuries during the Ottoman and
subsequently Austrian administrations of the region and describes the lives of local people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Samsung ST550(TL225) / shutter speed: 1/250 / lens aperture: F3.5 / ISO: 80
This bridge has very long and rich history and Andrić has written it so well. Andrić describes how
the mothers of these children follow their son wailing, until they reach a river where the child is taken across by ferry and the mothers can no longer follow. That child becomes a Muslim and, taking a Turkish name (Mehmed, later Mehmed pasha Sokolović), is promoted quickly and around the age of 60 becomes Grand Vizier. Yet, that moment of separation still haunts him and he decides to order the building of a bridge at a point on the river where he was parted from his mother.
The middle of the bridge, called “the gate”, is wider, and it quickly becomes a popular meeting
place for people from Višegrad and the surrounding area in a relaxed mood which is still typical of present‐day Turkey and most of the Balkans.
Samsung ST550(TL225) / shutter speed: 1/125 / lens aperture: F4.4 / ISO: 80
In this novel, reader also learns that there are no tensions between the Muslims (referred to as
Turks throughout the novel), Christians (the Serbs), Sephardic Jews and the Roma people. Rather, they stand in solidarity with one another during the regular floods of the Drina.
Samsung ST550(TL225) / shutter speed: 1/350 / lens aperture: F3.5 / ISO: 80
About a century later, Habsburg Austria conquers what is now Hungary, and thus a crisis within
the Turkish empire begins. The first nationalist tensions arise in the 19th century when the Serbian uprising in the neighbouring Belgrade pashaluk (todays Serbia) begins. After the Congress of Berlin, Serbia and Montenegro become fully independent countries while the Austro‐Hungarian Empire receives a right to occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina and thus turn it into a protectorate. Since the completion of the bridge, time has seemed to stop, and the local people have many difficulties in accepting the numerous changes that come with Austrian rule.
Samsung ST550(TL225) / shutter speed: 1/180 / lens aperture: F3.5 / ISO: 80
Town suddenly experiences a substantial influx of foreigners. People from all parts of the
Austro‐Hungarian kingdom arrive, opening their businesses and bringing the customs of their native regions with them. A narrow gauge railway line is built to Sarajevo and the significance of the bridge is soon reduced, but not completely, as will become apparent subsequently. Thanks to this modernisation, children begin to be educated in Sarajevo, and later some of them continue their studies in Vienna. They bring home ideas from the rest of the world and, along with the newspapers that are now available in Višegrad, nationalistic ideas emerge, especially among Serbs.
Samsung ST550(TL225) / shutter speed: 1/250 / lens aperture: F3.5 / ISO: 80
Another “contribution” to these changes is the crisis of the year 1908, when troubles in Turkey give Austria an excellent opportunity to formally annex Bosnia and Herzegovina. During this Annexation Crisis, it becomes evident that Austria sees the Kingdom of Serbia and its royal dynasty, the Karađorđevićs, as a serious obstacle to their further conquest of the Balkans. The Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913, when Turkey was almost completely pushed out of the Balkans, do not help to foster better relations between Serbs and Austrians as they undermine the significance of the middle span of the bridge, with its friendly inter‐ethnic relationships and camaraderie. Many young Serbian men pass over it at night and smuggle themselves across the border to Serbia. The reader never learns if the most famous of them, Gavrilo Princip, passes across this bridge, although historically it would have been a possibility.
Samsung ST550(TL225) / shutter speed: 1/500 / lens aperture: F3.5 / ISO: 80
In 1914 Gavrilo Princip assassinates Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo and that’s how World War I started. The Kingdom of Austria and Hungary declare war on Serbia, and the Austrians begin to incite the non‐Serbian population of Višegrad against the Serbs living in the town. The bridge with the old road to Sarajevo suddenly regains its importance, as the railway line is not adequate to transport all the war materiel and soldiers who will soon invade Serbia. As we learn from the historical account, the Serbian army defeats the Austrians on their first invasion and starts to advance towards Bosnia, so the Austrians decide to establish the front line on the Drina. They evacuate Višegrad and blow up portions of the bridge.
Some time after that we have World War II and some time after that we got beautiful country called Yugoslavia with famous president Tito. For years we lived in prosperity and peace (all 6 republics and nations together). Later we realised it was a mask, because during the 90’ we had terrible, teribble war, previous “brothers” were killing each other and ex Yugoslavia fall apart and republics separeted from each other. Now we all have our countries but most of the people are still quite nostalgic.
Samsung ST550(TL225) / shutter speed: 1/250 / lens aperture: F5.9 / ISO: 80
All photos, above, may not otherwise be reproduced, distributed, cropped, re sized, or otherwise altered without the written permission of the contributor. All photos represent the sole opinion of their individual authors and contributors and don’t express the opinion of Samsung Digital Imaging Co., Ltd., or the opinion of any affiliates unless specifically marked as such.
All photos, above, have been shot with the Samsung ST550(TL225), which has been provided by Samsung Digital Imaging Co., Ltd.

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