The architects appropriately describe the Old Bridge in Mostar as the most daring and the bridge in Višegrad as the most robust, so could this bridge, as the most elegant, have also been put under the protection of UNESCO long ago, if only it had not been removed from its original location to continue connecting the banks of the River Trebišnjica
According to the “Lettre e comissioni di levante XXXIII,” a chronicle from Dubrovnik archives, the bridge was built in the XVI century as an endowment of Mehmed Pasha Sokolović. It was most probably named after Arslan-Agha who came from Herceg Novi to Trebinje at the end of the XVII century and who, together with his heirs, was assigned by the Sultan to collect the bridge toll. The bridge had a strategic role on the route from Dubrovnik to Bosnia, Serbia and other surrounding countries.
At the end of the XIX century, many authors qualified all of the imposing old bridges on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina as Roman, and, as a consequence, this bridge was compared to the famous Alcántara Bridge in Spain. The exceptional beauty and architecture of the bridge surpasses many old edifices in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and an article from the journal “Bosnian Fairy” from 1888, in its thirteenth edition, ascribes its elegance to the mastery and glory of the ancient Romans.
Archaeological excavations—carried out at the time the bridge was reassembled at a different location due to the construction of hydro power plant on the River Trebišnjica—unearthed remains of hewn stone used for the construction of the old bridge, which, apart from the Trajan Bridge on the River Danube, is the oldest bridge in the former Yugoslavia. Oral tradition has it that the stone pears were destroyed and white oak beams burned during some skirmishes in the past.
The Arslanagić (Perović) Bridge was disassembled and transferred from the old location near the medieval Town Mićevac to the new location 5 kilometres downstream. It took two years, 1970 to 1972, for this impressive engineering enterprise to be accomplished. The bridge had to be disassembled stone by stone and then rebuilt at the current location at the Gradina area in Trebinje.
The fact that the Arslanagić (Perović) Bridge is well preserved and that only the structure on its “gate” was destroyed, gives us a clear insight into the quality of construction in general, especially when it comes to bridge construction during the Ottoman rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Arslanagić (Perović) Bridge is a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Latitude: 42.7146957, Longitude: 18.353975799999944