Beautifully Constructed Mes Bridge, Shkoder
Built in the 18th century to connect Shkoder to North Albania. This 108m, multi arch, round stone built bridge is one of Albania's hidden gems.
A bit of time to spare saw us take the short 15 minute road trip from the city of Shkoder to Mes Bridge – Ura e Mesit. It was breathtaking. This bridge situated in a small village, Mes attracts tourists from all over and as soon as we arrived it was clear as to why.
Built in the 18th century to join Shokder to northern Albania its form of architecture is something to be appreciated from the start. Round stones form the main construction and it is said to be built in two half’s, firstly the central arc and surrounding ones, then secondly the further 11 arches to form the full 108m long bridge.
There is an apparent beauty around it, a natural beauty spot full of greenery, white rocks and grooves where the river Kir flows through it (normally dried up in the summer).
As there was no way to get onto the bridge, The Albanian Development Fund have spent millions of Leke building steps joining to it to allow tourists access. This was a big blessing, it allows you to get the full appreciation and take in the surroundings. However there is also a saddened down side where so much rubbish is being dumped close by making you feel like there maybe a lack of respect for this piece of history. Truth being this is common trend across a lot of Albania.
Another part of this bridge’s beauty is also one that puts it at risk, one that strikes most historical architectural sites and that is age. Weathering has taken its toll with cracking and arches wearing away from devastating flooding and fluctuating weather conditions.
As sad as it is that the natural climate could eventually destroy the bridge it adds to the realism, it makes it intriguing and makes it one of Albania’s hidden gems.