”People remember and retell, what can be understood and what can be turned into a legend. Everything else passes by, with no trace left, with the silent ignorance of nameless natural phenomenon, which make no impact on their imagination and are not remembered.”
Ivo Andric, The Bridge on the Drina
Legend about Fata, daughter of Avdaga
This is a story of two hamlets of Visegrad, the one called Velji Lug, and the other Nezuci, which are positioned in two opposite ends of the town. In Velji Lug lived the family of Osmanagic, led by the great host of the family, called Avdaga Osmanagic. His daughter Fata was unusually beautiful and smart girl, that managed to connect these two hamlets of Visegrad…
The road from kasaba goes to Nezuci, and from Nezuci there are no other roads for anywhere else to go. At the steep rock the house of Mustajbeg Hamzic is located, equal in size to the house of Osmanagic. Mustajbeg Hamzic had the only son, called Nail, who was amongst the first to notice the beautiful Fata… As time went by, Fata’s father made a promise to give her to Hamzic family, although it was against her will. However, Fata firmly said she would marry Nail „when Velji Lug went down to Nezuci“, or in other words, that she would never do so. People were daily retold the event, mentioning the downfall and humiliation of Fata, by saying „Velji Lug will come down to Nezuci“. Fata had to fulfil her father’s word and will, and to accept the wedding, but also to fulfil her own promises given to herself never to do it.
While preparing for the wedding, Fata was seeking at the same time the way out. Her thoughts were roaming from the sofa, made of stone, where people sit and talk, above the roaring green, deep river … That is the place where she found a solution for her difficulties.
On the last Thursday in the month of August, Hamzics came to get the girl. Fata was sitting on the horseback, while the group was moving towards Nezuci. Moving slowly they arrived to the gate, when Fata asked her youngest brother to shorten a little the stirrups of her horse .While brother was busy with it, she led the horse next to the edge of the bridge, put her right leg at the stone fence, and jumped down from the saddle, over the wall into the noisy river…In such way she fulfilled her father’s wish to go and merry in Nezuci, and at the same time her own promise to never merry the one, she is not in love with.
That is how this unusual and unheard thing happened, at the gate. Velji Lug did not get down to Nezuci and Avdaga’s Fata did not merry Hamzic. People spoke of it for a while, and only the shiny song of the beautiful and wise girl was left as a shiny reminder, that lasts forever…
Shortened text of the legend from the novel „The Bridge on the Drina“
Legend about Stoja and Ostoja
The bridge on the Drina River was constructed by the great vizier Mehmed-pasha Sokolovic, and was built by Rade Neimar, who needed to live for hundred years, in order to be able to build all that is nice and permanent. However, the construction was obstructed by the fairy Brodarica, who would ruin all at night, that was constructed during the day. Than „something“ spoke out of the river and offered advice to Rade Neimar, to find two children, a twins, a brother and a sister, Stoja and Ostoja and to built them into the middle pillars of the bridge, if he wanted to construct the bridge completely. The search started right away, and a price was promised for those who find and bring them.
In a far away village, the two twins were found and taken by force, away from their mother as ordered by vizier. Mother did not want to get separated from them, but was following them while crying and stumbling, not reacting to curses and punches.
Rade Neimar put children inside the pillars of the bridge. Still he felt sorrow, and left the opening at the pillars, through which their unfortunate mother would be able to breastfeed them. As a reminder of this event, the breast milk is leaking from the walls and leaves indelible trace on the stones.
Shortened text of the legend from the novel „The Bridge on the Drina“
Legend about the Tower of Marko Kraljevic
Upstream from the bridge, on the steep bank made of gray limestone on both sides, there are two visible recesses, lined up two by two, in the regular spaces as if a coltsfoot of a supernatural sized horse are engraved in stone; they go down from the old town, down the river cliffs and appear again on the other side of the bank, and then disappear under the dark soil and bushes.
Children, who were fishing along the solid bank, during the summer days, knew that those were the traces of old times and ancient warriors. At that time the land was inhabited by big heroes, the stones were still soft as was the soil, and horses were, as well as the heroes, giant in size. For the Serbian children those are the traces of Sarac hoofs, left since the time when Marko Kraljevic was imprisoned in the Old City and had escaped from it, went down the hill and went across the Drina, when there was no bridge. Turkish children know it was not Kraljevic Marko, nor possible („for how could Vlah and a bastard have such a force and a horse! “), but it was Djerzelez Alija on his mare with wings, because he despised the ferries and ferrymen, and was jumping across the rivers as if they were just small streams. They do not argue about it, as they both believe in the accuracy of their beliefs. There is no case that anyone has ever managed to reassure someone to change one’s mind.
Ivo Andric, “The Bridge on the Drina”
Legend about medieval town of Dobrun
The priest Aleksa Djurovic from Bijelo Brdo, wrote in the “East“, in 1887 the story told by people about the town of Dobrun. It is said that the town was built by Djuradj Smederevac, after the Kosovo battle. The Turkish Sultan Selim decided to conquest the town and he brought with him the powerful army from Sandzak. The army surrounded the city, but was not able to conquest it, as it was built upon the rocks, so it could not be reached from any side.
At that time, one serf lived in Dobrun fields, and his name was Jovan Kalauz. He went to the Sultan and said, he came to betray the town. The Sultan promised the prize to Jovan, and asked him about his idea of conquering the town. Jovan said that on particular day, the nuptial will leave the town to bring the girl from Hisardzik near Prijepolje. The Sultan needs to bring back the army, waits for the nuptial once they come back with the girl, attacks them and goes back to Dobrun. In front of the wedding guests all army will come out, as well as the elite of the Dobrun, so it will not be difficult to concord the town. The Sultan accepted the advice from Jovan. Close to Priboj he attacked the wedding guests. It was a big battle with a lot of spilled blood. There are many graves from that time at the place, and the graveyard is called “the graveyard of the weeding“.
Instead of the wedding guests, the Turkish army was going along the river Budimlia, towards the place Dobrun, while singing the wedding songs. At the bridge before the town, everyone came to see the wedding ceremony. There happened the bloody slaughter. The Turks conquered the town, devastated it to the grounds, went to the town and burnt it all down. The church of Dobrun was also destroyed. The Sultan confirmed by the decree, that all of Dobrun field was given to Jovan Kalauz, and is called “Kalauzovina” even today. At the bridge in Dobrun, where the battle took place, the Sultan Selim raised a mosque that still stands there. Of the former town, just ruins and graves remained.
Monography of the local community, from 1979 pages 19, 21 and 22
Legend about the rock with writings
At the steep rock in the village of Zlijeb, at the banks of rivers the Tara and the Dikava, exist pre historic drawings for which experts claim to be the first traces of pictographic and picture writings. Very interesting legend is related to this rock, which is called “the rock with writings“, by people. According to that legend, there was the spring of water that expanded into a river that was flooding the agricultural households and other land, on its way to the Drina. In order to protect their property the inhabitants started throwing in the water spring unwashed wool of sheep, not boiled eggs, honeycombs and soil with rocks. They were successful and the spring became dry. However, the water started to source at the other side of the Tara, in Perucac, where it still springs up, and makes 365 meters long river, for what the river is named „The yearly river“. The legend says that this event was also written down at „the rocks with writings“. Until these days nobody managed to read the writings. But the legend says that at the time when the writings become completely erased or correctly red from „the rock with writings“, the water will flow again as it did before. The water that springs out from the rocks on top of writings is erasing the text, particularly during the springtime, and the inhabitants are worried, because they believe that the prophecy will become real for sure.
Text author: Radoje Tasic, the journalist