The Stone Bridge
is a bridge across the Vardar River in Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...
, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...
. The bridge is considered a symbol of Skopje and is the main element of the coat of arms of the city, which in turn is incorporated in the city's flag. The Stone Bridge connects Macedonia Square
Macedonia Square is the main square of Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia. The square is the biggest in Macedonia with total 18.500 m2....
, in the center of Skopje, to the Old Bazaar
The Old Bazaar in Skopje is the largest bazaar in the Balkans outside Istanbul. Situated on the eastern bank of the Vardar River, the bazaar had been the city's centre for trade and commerce since at least the 12th century. It rapidly grew and reached its peak during Ottoman rule, evidenced by...
. The bridge is also less frequently known as the Dušan Bridge
after Stephen Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia.
The Stone Bridge is built of solid stone blocks and is supported by firm columns that are connected with 12 semicircular arcs. The bridge is 214 m (702 ft) long and 6 m (20 ft) wide. The guardhouse has recently been reconstructed.
The current Stone Bridge was built under the patronage of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror between 1451 and 1469.Throughout the centuries, the Stone Bridge was often damaged and then repaired. There is historical evidence that it once suffered during the great earthquake of 1555 which heavily damaged or destroyed four pillars. In 1944, explosives were placed on the bridge by fascists. When Skopje was liberated, the activation of the explosives was prevented and the bridge was saved from destruction. Many executions have also taken place on this bridge, such as the execution of revolutionary Duke Karposh, King of Kumanovo, in 1689.