Stone Bridge (Prizren)

The Lumbardh River goes through Prizren city, thereby dividing the city in two almost identical parts. Over the Prizren Lumbardh, many bridges have been built in history, but undoubtedly the most special one, which also became a symbol of the city, is the Stone Bridge. The Stone Bridge is located in the centre of the old town. On the eastern side to it, there is the Arasta Bridge, while on the western side, there is a Nalet Bridge. The bridge connects the “Shatervan” square (on the left) and Saraçhane (on the right side of the river). Historical resources do not provide any information on the accurate time of its construction. Based on materials used, the style, technique of construction, it may be assumed that the bridge was built by the end of the 15th Century, or the early 16th century. The old bridge is built in quality carved stones, connected by lime plaster. The old bridge used to have three arches, the middle one being the highest, and the side arches were smaller. The length of the former bridge used to be approx. 30 m, while the current bridge is 17 m long. The width of the major arch is 10 m, and 5 m in height. The length of side arches is 4 m, 3 m in height.

The bridge also has an additional minor arch, 103 cm long and 160 cm height. The width of the bridge route is 4,20m, paved in stone cobble. The bridge also has a 40 cm high fencing, following on its level surface, and was used only for pedestrians. In history, the bridge has undergone major changes. It suffered serious structural damages during the construction of the Lumbardh riverbed in the 60-es. At this time, its left side arch was closed entirely. The right hand arch was damaged due to the construction of the road on the right side of the river in 1963. Nevertheless, the bridge is mostly endangered by natural factors. The flooding on 17-18 November 1979 destroyed the whole bridge. Enamoured with the bridge, the Prizren population mobilized itself, and used a design made by Engineer M. Gojkovic, and started, on 5 June 1982 the works on its reconstruction. The restoration was lead by “Elan” Company, under the supervision of the Institute for Protection of Cultural monuments in Prizren. The reconstructed bridge was solemnly inaugurated on 17 November 1982. Hence, the bridge found its natural place again, and still continues to perform its function as a pedestrian bridge. Due to the values of heritage, the Stone Bridge was subject to state protection by Decision 2345, of 31 December 1948.