The Old Bridge at Mostar
Mostar has long been celebrated for its beautiful bridge, “It is of a single arch, 95 feet 3 inches in span, and, when the Narenta is low, about 70 feet from the water, or, to the top of the parapet, 76 feet. The river, at the season I visited it, being unusually high, it was only 44.9 from the water’s surface; but even then the beauty of its arch and the lightness of its proportions were not diminished, and I have seen none that can surpass it. The depth of the water was said to be about 34 feet, and in summer not more than 10. The breadth of the arch is only 14.2, the road over it 13.2, and, with the two parapets, 14.10.
On its north side is a raised conduit of stone, looking like a footway, which conveys water over the bridge to the eastern part of the city, and is supplied from a source in the undulating valley to the west. The bridge rises about 10 feet in the centre; but this does not appear to have been so originally; and, though the lightness of its appearance may have been increased by lowering the two ends, the convenience of the bridge is much diminished, as it abuts on the east against a rising ground. On each bank is a tower, built to command it; and the passage may be closed by the gate of the guard-house at the west end, in case of need. Tradition pretends that the towers are on Roman substructions, and that the one on the eastern side is the most ancient. The building of the bridge is attributed to Trajan, or, according to some, to Adrian; and report speaks of an inscription that once existed upon it with the name of one of those emperors. The Turks attribute its erection to Suleyman the Magnificent; but the Visir, in answer to my question respecting its date, said that, though they claim it as a work of that sultan, the truth is it was there long before his time, and was probably built by the Pagans.’
excerpt by Sir J Gardner Wilkinson from The Gentlemans Magazine Volume 31 1849