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The magical Mesi Bridge is an understandably treasured Albanian monument, with a rich visible history, crossing the beautiful crystalline waters of the river below.
Bridges, as the Bosnian author Ivo Andrić poetically claimed, are God’s angels, sent to earth to spread their wings in order to unite people who have been separated from Satan’s rivers. When built, in the beginnings of the 18th century in the village of the same name, this bridge spread its wings to finally unite the city and people of Shkodra with those of Drishti and Cukali.
The construction made of round slick rocks and stone plates, extends over 108m and a total of thirteen arches across the Kir River. The marks that history has left on this bridge are evident in the various shapes and sizes of its arches, resulting in not only a picturesque structure, but one which radiates personality. The bridge has the power to move you, and at times, it even seems as if it speaks. Here, Kafka’s description of the weight of history that bridges must endure has the voice it so richly deserves.
The Mesi Bridge is the largest bridge in Albania that remains from the Ottoman period, and as such, is a highly-treasured cultural monument. As its name suggests, the bridge is a central attraction, the most prominent bridge among locals as well as tourists. Voted as the top bridge to visit in Albania by Tripadvisor, the Mesi Bridge touches the sensibilities of any painter, poet, or photographer. In fact, Edward Lear, in his well-documented journey across Albania in 1848, included it in his gorgeous sketches of the land.
During springs and summers, many locals and tourists take bicycle tours around the area, and upon completing the tour, bathe in the refreshing waters of the river. The natural landscape and the crystalline waters of the river flowing beneath make this bridge a magical sight, a symbol of the unity of nature, humanity, and history.
For more visitor experiences of the Mesi Bridge, click here.