Coordinates: 43°46′58″N 19°17′28″E / 43.78278°N 19.29111°E / 43.78278; 19.29111
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coat of arms of Višegrad
Location of Višegrad in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Location of Višegrad in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Location of Višegrad
Coordinates: 43°46′58″N 19°17′28″E / 43.78278°N 19.29111°E / 43.78278; 19.29111
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
Entity Republika Srpska
Geographical regionPodrinje
 • Municipal mayorMladen Đurević (SNSD)
 • Total448.14 km2 (173.03 sq mi)
389 m (1,276 ft)
 (2013 census)
 • Total10,668
 • Density24/km2 (62/sq mi)
Postal code
Area code+387 58

Višegrad (Serbian Cyrillic: Вишеград, pronounced [ʋǐʃeɡraːd]) is a town and municipality located in eastern Republika Srpska, an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It rests at the confluence of the Drina and the Rzav river. As of 2013, it has a population of 10,668 inhabitants, while the town of Višegrad has a population of 5,869 inhabitants.

The town includes the Ottoman-era Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge, a UNESCO world heritage site which was popularized by Ivo Andrić in his novel The Bridge on the Drina. A tourist site called Andrićgrad (Andrić Town), dedicated to Andrić, is located near the bridge.


Višegrad is a South Slavic toponym meaning "the upper town/castle/fort".


Višegrad is located at the confluence of the Drina river and the Rzav river in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the road from Goražde and Ustiprača towards Užice, Serbia, which is part of the geographical region of Podrinje. It is also part of the historical region of Stari Vlah; the immediate area surrounding the town was historically called "Višegradski Stari Vlah",[1][2] noted as an ethnographic region[3] in which the population[which?] was closer to Užice, located on the Serbian side of the River Drina, than to the surrounding areas.[1]


Višegrad has a temperate climate (Köppen: Cfb/Cfa) with cold winters, hot summers, and moderate precipitation year-round.

Climate data for Višegrad (1991–2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.6
Average low °C (°F) −2.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 47.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8.4 8.8 8.8 10.7 10.9 10.8 9.1 7.3 8.1 8.3 8.8 9.8 109.7
Source: NOAA[4]


Middle Ages[edit]

The area was part of the medieval Serbian state of the Nemanjić dynasty; it was part of the Grand Principality of Serbia under Stefan Nemanja (r. 1166–96). In the Middle Ages, Dobrun was a place within the border area with Bosnia, on the road towards Višegrad. After the death of Emperor Stefan Dušan (r. 1331–55), the region came under the rule of magnate Vojislav Vojinović, and then his nephew, župan (count) Nikola Altomanović.[5][6] The Dobrun Monastery was founded by župan Pribil and his family,[7] some time before the 1370s. The area then came under the rule of the Kingdom of Bosnia, part of the estate of the Pavlović noble family.[8]

The settlement of Višegrad is mentioned in 1407, but is starting to be more often mentioned after 1427.[9] In the period of 1433–37, a relatively short period, caravans crossed the settlement many times.[9] Many people from Višegrad worked for the Republic of Ragusa.[9] Srebrenica and Višegrad and its surroundings were again in Serbian hands in 1448 after Despot Đurađ Branković defeated Bosnian forces.[10]

According to Turkish sources[citation needed], in 1454, Višegrad was conquered by the Ottoman Empire led by Osman Pasha. It remained under the Ottoman rule until the Berlin Congress (1878), when Austria-Hungary took control of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ottoman period[edit]

The Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge was built by the Ottoman architect and engineer Mimar Sinan for Grand Vizier Sokollu Mehmed Pasha. Construction of the bridge took place between 1571 and 1577. It still stands, and it is now a tourist attraction, after being inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.[11]

In 1875, the Serbs from the area between Višegrad and Novi Pazar revolted and formed a volunteer military corps, who fought in the valley of the River Ibar in 1876.[12]

Austro-Hungarian period[edit]

The Bosnian Eastern Railway from Sarajevo to Uvac and Vardište was built through Višegrad during the Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Construction of the line started in 1903. It was completed in 1906, using the 760 mm (2 ft 5+1516 in) track gauge. With the cost of 75 million gold crowns, which approximately translates to 450 thousand gold crowns per kilometer, it was one of the most expensive railways in the world built by that time.[13] This part of the line was eventually extended to Belgrade in 1928.[14] Višegrad is today part of the narrow-gauge heritage railway Šargan Eight.

World War II[edit]

On 18 April 1941 Ustashe murdered ten Serbs including Dragiša Jakšić, a president of Dobrun municipality.[15] Many Serbs were executed by the fascist Ustashe regime along the Drina Valley for a month during the Genocide of Serbs, especially near Višegrad.[16] Jure Francetić's Black Legion killed thousands of Bosnian Serb civilians and threw their bodies into the Drina river.[17] In 1942, about 6,000 Serbs were killed in the village Miloševići and Stari Brod near Rogatica.[18][19][20]

In November 1941, with Italian help, the Serbian royalist Chetniks established a civil and military government in the area of Višegrad, and engaged in genocidal killing of local Bosniaks. Thousands of civilians were massacred in Višegrad in December. In March 1942, 42 Bosniak villagers were burned to death in the village of Drakan.[21]

During the Battle for Višegrad in October 1943, the Chetniks attacked the German garrison and captured the town whose Axis garrison had 350 dead and 400 wounded soldiers.[22] 2,000 Bosniak civilians were killed after the capture of Višegrad.[23] The Yugoslav Partisans took control of Višegrad on 14 February 1945.[24]

Bosnian War[edit]

Višegrad is one of several towns along the River Drina in close proximity to the Serbian border. The town was strategically important during the conflict. A nearby hydroelectric dam provided electricity and also controlled the level of the River Drina, preventing flooding downstream areas. The town is situated on the main road connecting Belgrade and Užice in Serbia with Goražde and Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a vital link for the Užice Corps of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) with the Uzamnica camp as well as other strategic locations implicated in the conflict.[25][26]

On 6 April 1992, JNA artillery bombarded the town, in particular Bosniak-inhabited neighbourhoods and nearby villages. Murat Šabanović and a group of Bosniak men took several local Serbs hostage and seized control of the hydroelectric dam, threatening to blow it up. Water was released from the dam causing flooding to some houses and streets.[26] Eventually on 12 April, JNA commandos seized the dam. The next day the JNA's Užice Corps took control of Višegrad, positioning tanks and heavy artillery around the town. The population that had fled the town during the crisis returned and the climate in the town remained relatively calm and stable during the later part of April and the first two weeks of May.[26] On 19 May 1992 the Užice Corps officially withdrew from the town and local Serb leaders established control over Višegrad and all municipal government offices. Soon after, local Serbs, police and paramilitaries began one of the most notorious campaigns of ethnic cleansing in the conflict.[26]

There was widespread looting and destruction of houses, and terrorizing of Bosniak civilians, with instances of rape, with a large number of Bosniaks killed in the town, with many bodies were dumped in the River Drina. Men were detained at the barracks at Uzamnica, the Vilina Vlas Hotel and other sites in the area. Vilina Vlas also served as a rape camp, in which Bosniak women and girls (some not yet 14 years old), were brought to by police officers and paramilitary members (White Eagles and Arkan's Tigers).[27] According to victims' reports some 3,000 Bosniaks were murdered in Višegrad and its surroundings, including some 600 women and 119 children.[28][29] Bosniaks detained at Uzamnica were subjected to inhumane conditions, including regular beatings, torture and strenuous forced labour. Both of the town's mosques were razed.[25][26][27] According to victims' reports some 3,000 Bosniaks were murdered in Višegrad and its surroundings, including some 600 women and 119 children.[28] According to the Research and Documentation Center, at least 1,661 Bosniaks were killed/missing in Višegrad.[30]

With the Dayton Agreement, which put an end to the war, Bosnia and Herzegovina was divided into two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, the latter which Višegrad became part of.

Before the war, 63% of the town residents were Bosniak. In 2009, only a handful of survivors had returned to what is now a predominantly Serb town.[31] On 5 August 2001, survivors of the massacre returned to Višegrad for the burial of 180 bodies exhumed from mass graves. The exhumation lasted for two years and the bodies were found in 19 different mass graves.[32] The charges of mass rape were unapproved as the prosecutors failed to request them in time.[33] Cousins Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić were convicted on 20 July 2009, to life in prison and 30 years, respectively, for a 1992 killing spree of Muslims.[25][34]



Population of settlements – Višegrad municipality
Settlement 1879. 1885. 1895. 1910. 1921. 1931. 1948. 1953. 1961. 1971. 1981. 1991. 2013.
Total 12,118 14,561 18,171 24,350 21,333 28,425 29,897 36,742 25,389 23,201 21,199 10,668
1 Donja Crnča 907 491
2 Dušče 841 323
3 Kosovo Polje 167 546
4 Šeganje 308 283
5 Višegrad 4,866 5,988 6,902 5,869
6 Vučine 151 257

Ethnic composition[edit]

Ethnic composition – Višegrad town
2013. 1991. 1981. 1971.
Total 5,869 (100,0%) 6,902 (100,0%) 5,988 (100,0%) 4,866 (100,0%)
Bosniaks 3,463 (50,17%) 2,854 (47,66%) 2,429 (49,92%)
Serbs 2,619 (37,95%) 2,446 (40,85%) 2,141 (44,00%)
Others 527 (7,635%) 23 (0,384%) 31 (0,637%)
Yugoslavs 270 (3,912%) 518 (8,651%) 107 (2,199%)
Croats 23 (0,333%) 52 (0,868%) 53 (1,089%)
Montenegrins 76 (1,269%) 94 (1,932%)
Albanians 10 (0,167%) 7 (0,144%)
Macedonians 6 (0,100%) 2 (0,041%)
Slovenes 3 (0,050%) 2 (0,041%)
Ethnic composition – Višegrad municipality
2013. 1991. 1981. 1971.
Total 10,668 (100,0%) 21,199 (100,0%) 23,201 (100,0%) 25,389 (100,0%)
Serbs 9,338 (87,53%) 6,743 (31,81%) 7,648 (32,96%) 9,225 (36,33%)
Bosniaks 1,043 (9,777%) 13,471 (63,55%) 14,397 (62,05%) 15,752 (62,04%)
Others 254 (2,381%) 634 (2,991%) 127 (0,547%) 77 (0,303%)
Croats 33 (0,309%) 32 (0,151%) 60 (0,259%) 68 (0,268%)
Yugoslavs 319 (1,505%) 858 (3,698%) 141 (0,555%)
Montenegrins 86 (0,371%) 106 (0,418%)
Albanians 15 (0,065%) 15 (0,059%)
Macedonians 6 (0,026%) 3 (0,012%)
Slovenes 4 (0,017%) 2 (0,008%)


Drina near Višegrad
Forrest complex, a part of Višegrad spa

The following table gives a preview of total number of registered people employed in legal entities per their core activity (as of 2018):[35]

Activity Total
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 138
Mining and quarrying -
Manufacturing 259
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 377
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 77
Construction 7
Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 199
Transportation and storage 64
Accommodation and food services 210
Information and communication 28
Financial and insurance activities 23
Real estate activities -
Professional, scientific and technical activities 28
Administrative and support service activities -
Public administration and defense; compulsory social security 284
Education 142
Human health and social work activities 165
Arts, entertainment and recreation 20
Other service activities 29
Total 2,050


Inside Andrićgrad
The House of Culture

Andrićgrad, town built by filmmaker Emir Kusturica, dedicated to Ivo Andrić, it was officially opened on 28 June 2014.[36] The House of Culture was founded in 1953. Film screenings and other cultural activities take place in there, including amateur drama programs. The City Gallery, which was opened in 1996, is located in the House of Culture.[37] There is also a folk dance ensemble operating in Višegrad under the name KUD "Bikavac".[38]


Dobrun Monastery, a Serbian Orthodox monastery founded one of the most notable monasteries of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[39]


The local football club, FK Drina HE Višegrad, competes in the First League of the Republika Srpska.


  1. ^ a b Biblioteka Nasi Krajevi. Vol. 4. 1963. pp. 16–22.
  2. ^ Petar Vlahović (2004). Serbia: the country, people, life, customs. Ethnographic Museum. p. 31. ISBN 978-86-7891-031-9.
  3. ^ Etnološki pregled: Revue d'ethnologie. Vol. 12–14. 1974. p. 83.
  4. ^ "Visegrad Climate Normals 1991–2020". World Meteorological Organization Climatological Standard Normals (1991–2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on 8 September 2023. Retrieved 8 September 2023.
  5. ^ Синиша Мишић (2010). Лексикон градова и тргова средњовековних српских земаља: према писаним изворима. Завод за уџбенике. pp. 73–. ISBN 978-86-17-16604-3. У ово време Добрун је у саставу државе Немањића и то у пограничном подручју с Босном, на путу који води за Вишеград. После смрти цара Душана (1355) припадао је кнезу Војиславу Војиновићу, а затим његовом синовцу ...
  6. ^ Etnografski institut (1950). Zbornik radova Etnografskog instituta. Vol. 17–18. SANU. p. 18.
  7. ^ Драгиша Милосављевић (2006). Средњевековни град и манастир Добрун. Дерета. p. 104. ISBN 978-86-7346-570-8. Били су то жупан Прибил н>егови синови Петар и Стефан и једна ман>е позната лич- ност знатно вишег ранга - nротоовесrajар Стан - юуи је као такав и представл>ен у ктиторскоj поворци у Добруну.20 Вероватно пе временом ...
  8. ^ Историјски гласник: орган Друштва историчара СР Србије. Друштво. 1981. ... земље Павловића простирале су се од Добруна, на истоку, до Врхбосне на западу. ...
  9. ^ a b c Desanka Kovačević-Kojić (1978). Agglomérations urbaines dans l'état médiéval bosniaque. Veselin Masleša. p. 99.
  10. ^ Milan Vasić (1995). Bosna i Hercegovina od srednjeg veka do novijeg vremena: međunarodni naučni skup 13-15. decembar 1994. Istorijski institut SANU. pp. 98–99. ISBN 9788677430078.
  11. ^ "Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  12. ^ Gale Stokes (1990). Politics as development: the emergence of political parties in nineteenth century Serbia. Duke University Press. p. 335. ISBN 9780822310167.
  13. ^ "Narrow-gauge railway in Višegrad". Tourist organization of Višegrad. Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Uskotračne željeznice - Grafikoni" [Narrow-gauge railways - Graphs]. (in Croatian). Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  15. ^ Милутин Живковић - НДХ У СРБИЈИ Усташки режим у Прибоју, Пријепољу, Новој Вароши и Сјеници (април–септембар 1941, Последице усташке управе НДХ и рецидиви њене политике према муслиманима, Publishers: ДРУШТВО ИСТОРИЧАРА СРБИЈЕ „СТОЈАН НОВАКОВИЋ“, ИНСТИТУТ ЗА СРПСКУ КУЛТУРУ ПРИШТИНА-ЛЕПОСАВИЋ, Belgrade 2017 p.176"
  16. ^ Levy, Michele Frucht (2009). ""The Last Bullet for the Last Serb": The Ustaša Genocide against Serbs: 1941–1945". Nationalities Papers. 37 (6): 807–837. doi:10.1080/00905990903239174. S2CID 162231741.
  17. ^ Yeomans, Rory (2011). ""For us, beloved commander, you will never die!" Mourning Jure Francetić, Ustasha Death Squad Leader". In Haynes, Rebecca; Rady, Martyn (eds.). In the Shadow of Hitler: Personalities of the Right in Central and Eastern Europe. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 194. ISBN 978-1-84511-697-2.
  18. ^ Sokol, Anida (2014). "War Monuments: Instruments of Nation-building in Bosnia and Herzegovina". Croatian Political Science Review. 51 (5): 105–126.
  19. ^ Ostojić, Predrag (2019). Ustas̆ki zloc̆in u Starom Brodu kod Vis̆egrada 1942. Svet knjige. ISBN 9788673966984.
  20. ^ "Prime Minister Višković attends the commemorating ceremony in memory of the Serbs killed in Stari Brod and Miloševići in 1942". Republic of Srpska Government. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  21. ^ Hoare, Marko Attila (2006). Genocide and Resistance in Hitler's Bosnia: The Partisans and the Chetniks 1941–1943. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 145–147. ISBN 978-0-19-726380-8.
  22. ^ Dušan Trbojević (1998). Cersko-Majevička grupa korpusa, 1941-1945: pod komandom pukovnika Dragoslava S. Račića. D. Trbojević. ISBN 9780966856507.
  23. ^ Hoare, Marko Attila (2013). Bosnian Muslims in the Second World War. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-231-70394-9.
  24. ^ Hoare, Marko Attila (2013). Bosnian Muslims in the Second World War. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-231-70394-9.
  25. ^ a b c "ICTY: Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić judgement" (PDF).
  26. ^ a b c d e "ICTY: Mitar Vasiljević judgement" (PDF).
  27. ^ a b Annex VIII - Prison camps; Under the Direction of: M. Cherif Bassiouni; S/1994/674/Add.2 (Vol. IV), 27 May 1994. Final report of the United Nations Commission of Experts, established pursuant to security council resolution 780 (1992). New York: United Nations. 1994-05-27. Archived from the original on 2007-02-03.
  28. ^ a b Kaletovic, Damir (2005-06-09). "Bosnia's ideal fugitive hideout". ISN Security Watch. Centre for Security Studies. Archived from the original on 2005-11-27. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  29. ^ "Hope for Bosnia town whose bridge will shine again". Reuters. May 26, 2007.
  30. ^ "IDC: Podrinje victim statistics". Archived from the original on 2007-07-07.
  31. ^ "Visegrad in Denial Over Grisly Past". Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  32. ^ "Bosnian Institute News: Has anyone seen Milan Lukic?". Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  33. ^ Investigation: Visegrad rape victims say their cries go unheard Archived June 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ "Hague: Bosnian Serbs Sentenced". The New York Times. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  35. ^ "Cities and Municipalities of Republika Srpska" (PDF). Republika Srspka Institute of Statistics. 25 December 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  36. ^ Aspden, Peter (27 June 2014). "The town that Emir Kusturica built". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  37. ^ "Javne ustanove za kulturu" [Cultural institutions]. (in Serbian). Tourist organization of Višegrad. Archived from the original on 2016-09-05. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  38. ^ "Kulturno umjetnička društva" [Culture and art associations]. (in Serbian). Tourist organization of Višegrad. Archived from the original on 2016-10-03. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  39. ^ Политика, издање од 6. јануара 2008. године


External links[edit]

Media related to Višegrad at Wikimedia Commons