In one of the most picturesque spots of the Balkans, famous movie director Emir Kusturica has created a stunning Andrićgrad, a time machine within the town of Višegrad. This architectural & cultural masterpiece is Kusturica’s homage to Ivo Andrić, a Nobel Prize winner for literature.
A bit of history
Kusturica, twice-garlanded with the Palme d’Or at Cannes Festival, previously built a traditional village called Drvengrad in neighbouring Serbia, where he filmed his movie “Life is a Miracle”. Likewise, his last movie, “On the milky road” (2016), was partially filmed in Andrićgrad.
The very first idea of the project dates back to 1978 when he stopped in Višegrad during his honeymoon. Thirty-five years later, this cultural & educational complex arose in its full glory. Nested in a small peninsula between the river Drina and its tributary, Andrićgrad is just next to the legendary Bridge on the Drina river, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Andrićgrad, also known as Stonetown, is a project inspired by the literary works of the Nobel laureate. Its architecture is a fusion of different eras that, over the centuries, shaped the history of Višegrad but also Bosnia & Herzegovina in general.
When you observe the architecture around the complex, you will distinguish the traces of Byzantine style, the Ottoman period, the Classicism, and a bit of Renaissance. It consists of the Institute of Slavic Languages, a Fine Arts Academy, an Ottoman caravanserai, an Orthodox church, a Town Hall, a theatre, an opera house, a multiplex cinema, a hotel, a marina, a heliport, etc.
Where to stay and what to do
If you are coming from Sarajevo to spend one day in this region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In that case, I suggest you take this tour to see Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge and Andrićgrad in Višegrad, but also to ride along the Sargan Eight Railway and explore Kustendorf, a replica of the traditional Serbian village built by Emir Kusturica. If you stay overnight in Višegrad, keep in mind that this small town does not have a lot of accommodation options. Hence, we suggest booking Andrić Apartment, which is conveniently situated within walking distance from all the attractions, restaurants and the river. Alternatively, if you fancy wooden cottages snuggled in nature, you can book your stay at Stara pruga Jaz, which also offers a free shuttle to the closest airport in Sarajevo.
In every aspect of its existence, the time machine in Andrićgrad echoes the region's greatest masterpiece – The Bridge on the Drina. Together with the bridge and the Drina river boat cruise, it is a top-niche attraction for tourists, but also world-famous stars, such as Jose Mujica (ex-president of Uruguay), Monica Bellucci (actress), Novak Djoković (tennis star), just to mention some of them who admired this exceptional place.
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