Project Description

Stoyan and Aysha

The White Bridge in Vranje was built during the Ottoman occupation, in the middle of the 19th century. It is situated in the upper north part of town and bridges the banks of Vranje river. It is also known as ‘The Bridge of Love’. The name has its origins in the legend of love between two young people from different religions. The legend says that in Vranje, Serbia, lived a Pasha who had a beautiful daughter named Aysha. Fortune tellers told her father that she would fall in love with a young Serbian, and he imprisoned her in a castle to keep her away from her destiny. In that time it was forbidden to be involved with a person of a different religion. In the castle she had only a small window and every day a young Serbian shepherd named Stoyan passed in front of it. Naturally they fell in love. One day she sneaked out to see him but her father caught them together. When he saw Aysha and Stoyan embracing by the river, in his anger he decided to kill Stoyan. He came with a gun. When Aysha saw her father’s intentions she threw herself in front of him to protect Stoyan. The bullet hit her in the heart and she died instantly. When Stoyan saw the tragic death of his love, he pulled out his knife, cut his throat and fell down dead beside her. On the site of this tragic scene, the Pasha decided to build a white marble bridge. A plate or the so called “tarih” was installed on the bridge with an Arab inscription reading ‘May he be cursed who unjoins what love joins’. Nowadays, The White Bridge is a symbol of the town of Vranje and it is on the city’s emblem.