History

The oldest traces of life in this area were discovered during the period of Illyrians (1500 BC), when this territory was inhabited by Illyrian tribes Autariats and Ardies. Their thumb stones were discovered in the nearby area. Later on this area became part of the Roman Province named “Malavico”. The road called “Via Drina” was passing through the Drina river valley, and at about that time the German miners Sas also arrived, therefore one part of Visegrad is today called Sase.

The Roman coins called Constantinus I and II have been discovered in Zupa, which is located down the river at Visegrad. Also, the remains of the Slovene ceramics form the VI and VII century were discovered during the research made by The Museum of Natural Science in Sarajevo back in 1966 in the area of village Musici, as a proof of Slovenes being settled down in the region. Nearby Visegrad numerous localities are located with the medieval Stecak, most famous are Velika and Mala Gostilja.

Due to its geographic, strategic and economic position Višegrad had very disruptive history, and was a target of many conquistadors. In the time of Stefan Nemanja the whole area was part of Serbian country of Nemanjići. In the mid 14th century it was under the control of Serbian County Head,  Nikola Altomanovic. Afterwards the area was ruled by Bosnian King Tvrtko I and it was annexed to Bosnian Kingdom.

Visegrad was mentioned for the first time in 1433 when it belonged to mighty ruling house of Pavlovic, who as well ruled the medieval city of Dobrun. On the top of hill, and just near the Drina bridge one can see traces of the old city, so called Pavlovina (after the Duke Pavle Radenkovic). The ruins itself are located at two locations and they are called “Gornji grad” and “Donji grad”. At the bottom of the “Stari grad”, and on the top of rocks, difficult to approach above the Drina stands a tower called „The Tower of Kraljevic Marko“ that was used as a watchtower. It is a round object 8 m high, which was covered by stones during the Turkish rule, in order to prevent outlaws and Serb insurgents to hide in it. Mehmed Pasa constructed the Višegrad town around the year 1577, it was written by famous Turkish traveler Evlija Celebija. However, because there also was a settlement above that one, the city was named Visegrad.

According to Turkish sources the city was beaten by Osman Pasa in 1544, and the city stayed after that point under the Turkish rule until the Berlin Congress in 1878, when whole Bosnia was taken over by Austro-Hungarians. With the arrival of Austro-Hungarians Visegrad became more urban center. They built water system, introduced land registries, built narrow-gauge railway and other public buildings.

After the First World War Visegrad become part of The Kingdom of Yugoslavia, within Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The city was completely ruined during the First and the Second World War, and the most buildings were heavily damaged, including the Visegrad bridge.

At present time Visegrad is part of Republic of Srpska, which is an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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