Snapshot: Skopje’s Stone Bridge

Snapshot: Skopje’s Stone Bridge

If you do a quick research of things to see or do in Skopje, Macedonia, the first thing you will see is the multiple results mentioning the Stone Bridge.

Without a doubt, the Stone Bridge –also known by its lesser name the Dušan Bridge after Stephen Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia– is Skopje`s most famous symbol.

Skopje Stone Bridge, Macedonia

The bridge, which crosses the Vardar River, is not only a symbol of Skopje, but it is the main element of the coat of arms of the city.  Today, it connects Macedonia Square, in the center of Skopje, to the Old Bazaar.

In a way, it feels like crossing from an Eastern European city on the left bank with the city square and commercial buildings, to a Middle Eastern city on the right bank with its smaller scaled Old Town and Bazaar (though recently some ugly government and public buildings have been built on that side of the river… ugh).

Skopje Stone Bridge at Night, Macedonia
The bridge at night, with the Skopje Fortress on the background.

This bridge was originally built in the Roman Period, during the reign of Emperor Justinian the First, but the Ottomans later rebuilt it during the fifteenth century during the rule of Sultan Mehmed II.

Macedonia passed from the rule of Romans to Ottomans, to Bulgarians, to Serbs and Yugoslav Communists, and last but not least to the Macedonian Independent Republic.

In the same way, throughout history, everyone who entered Skopje as its conqueror did his part in building, rebuilding, or reconstructing the bridge.  But, even though it has been repaired and modified several times, it still preserves its original appearance.

Recently in history, the bridge almost came to an end when Nazis placed explosives on the bridge in 1944.  But, when Skopje was liberated, the activation of the explosives was prevented and the bridge was saved from destruction.

Some executions have also taken place on this bridge, such as the execution of Karposh in 1689 – the leader of the Christian anti-Ottoman uprising in the Central Balkans.


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14 thoughts on “Snapshot: Skopje’s Stone Bridge”

      1. Those Romans and Greeks they left behind too many artifacts, mosaics, roads, antiquities, ancient works of art and structures such as churches…
        The Macedonians that you have absolutely NO relationship to were epic!!!

        You are Vardarskian and that’s the short and the long of it.
        Question to you; what have you done with the Yugoslavian people???

    1. Yes the GREEKs were mathematical geniuses and built the most beautiful of bridges indeed… If fact whereever a Greek lived you will find bridges with that exact style… Round is stronger than square. The world copied that form of architecture… Amazing

    2. Yes it is … Greek Macedonians built it… In fact HELLENE builders as well as the Romans knew round was better and they would and did withstand the stress of time… Clearly they were are continue to be master builders. Can also be seen in the domes structues as in Agia Sofia in Constantinople and Agio Pantelemon on the lake lichnida and hundreds other sites in the territory of Macedonia… Which encompasses Bulgaria Skopje and Albania…

      1. what kind of political stupidity!! … according to you, Greek Macedonians who were barbarians according to Greeks… Greek Macedonians with Alexander have occupied Greece (Greek Greeks!) and go all the way to India. Macedonians are a distinct people different from the Greeks, to this day.
        In Macedonia, there is no Hellenic influence in the arts and culture.
        Truth and Politics are two opposites…never use it.

  1. Interesting city, Skopje. For some reason, I remember a plaque on the Stone Bridge, commemorating an opposition leader who was executed there in the 1600s. Cool night time photo.

    1. The stone bridges with arches are all built by the GREEKs that lived there in ancient times…
      Let no other tribe take credit for them…

    2. Yes and the bridge has nothing do with someone’s passing…
      The plaque should honor those that built it…
      …you would think!

  2. when we were there they were doing some big construction work around the bridge which kind of took away the beauty of it, but these photos are very nice!

    1. Actually, they are still doing big constructions around the bridge, and I agree, it takes away from the beauty of it. I was looking at older pictures of the bridge, from the early 2000’s and it looked so much more beautiful with the trees at the river banks and no ugly buildings surrounding it.

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