It is not known when the stone fortress of the Roman bridge was constructed on an old and abandoned road near the main road near Sarajevo. This bridge is one of the four oldest preserved stone bridges in Sarajevo. Just as Kozija cuprija (Goat’s Bridge) is the eastern gate of the city of Sarajevo, in a symbolic sense, the Roman Bridge is its western gate. Although it is called the Roman Bridge, it was not built by the Romans…
The locality of Ilidza is placed in the nucleus of the oldest area of Sarajevo region, which includes the remains of Neolithic, Illyrian and Roman settlements, but also thermal baths that were used during the Roman, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires, as well as in the later period.
Because of the continuity of life in the locality of Ilidza from the Neolithic period until now, historians assume that there was a bridge that allowed crossing from one side to the other side of Bosna River. The Roman Bridge, which was named after the late-antic stone monuments that were engraved in it, was mentioned for the first time in the 16th century by Venetian deputy Katarin Zeno, and he wrote that there is a stone bridge with seven arches on Bosna River. It is believed that the bridge was constructed by the Ottomans in the 16th century on the ruins of Roman buildings, and it is known that it was reconstructed by the Ottoman statesman and the son in law of the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, Rustem pasha-Croat, at the request of citizens of Sarajevo. People of Sarajevo asked from Bosnian vizier to repair the bridge.
Just three days after the request, the commission was formed and it included Sarajevo’s judge Muhamed, Sarajevo’s Kajmakam Smail-beg and domestic architects with some other respectable figures, and they made an estimate for the repair of the bridge.
Today, only a few curious people, tourists, bikers and local residents are crossing over this bridge to get to Ilidza. Sometimes, on beautiful summer days and weekends, hikers enjoy making excursions on this place. Also, romantic couples come to the Roman Bridge on the day of their wedding in order for the photographers to record their smiles in the reflection on the river.
This monument represents one of the 101 National Monument on the territory of Sarajevo. Stories of these monuments are part of the project “The 101 Media Story on National Monuments in Sarajevo”, which is conducted by the Association “Bosanski stecak”, and the main aim of this project is promotion of cultural and historical heritage of BiH.