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THE STONE BRIDGE


According to some Turkish documents, the bridge was built in the second half of the fifteenth century under the rule of Mehmed II. There is, however, another belief that the bridge was erected earlier, in the first half of the same century during the time of Murat II (1421 - 1451). This latter belief is supported by the fact that on the eastern parapet of the bridge there is a panel on which is inscribed the date of its construction. Further support is given to this view by records in the monuments room of Issa Bey's mosque, where it is recorded that the Stone Bridge was built in the time of Sultan Murat II.

The Stone Bridge is one of the hallmarks of Skopje. It is constructed from high quality ready-worked stone blocks and its massive construction is supported on powerful piers linked by semicircular arches.

The bridge over the Vardar has undergone many repairs: during the time of Suleiman the Magnificent, in 1596-97 after the catastrophic floods in Skopje, in 1905 when the concrete pedestrian sideways were added and when the bridge was widened, in 1937 when the approach from the new town was built. Although the Stone Bridge has been repaired several times, it has preserved its essential form. It was the only structure which suffered no damage during the 1963 earthquake.

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