A beautiful bridge…
The most beautiful architectural feat in Montenegro is undoubtedly Tara Bridge, 23km from the town of Žabljak. This concrete arch bridge which perfectly fits into the canyon landscape was built between 1937 and 1940 and cost only slightly more than the initial budget.
When finished, it was the tallest vehicular concrete arch bridge in Europe. Lack of sophisticated equipment that is available today and the simplicity of manual tools had to be compensated by the skills, strategy, originality, hard work and courageousness of the designer and the engineers who built it.
The bridge was designed as a combination of the main arch, 136 meters long, over the Tara River, and a viaduct composed of four arches of 44 meters each, at the approach to the bridge from the west side, followed by an extra 51m beam construction making connection with the road. The total length of the bridge over the Tara Canyon reaches 365 meters with a height of 150 meters above the river bed.
During WWII, a small part of the bridge was blown up to prevent the Axis forces from crossing the river (it was later rebuilt in 1946). The devastation plan was devised by one of the bridges’ original engineers, Lazar Jauković, who was subsequently captured and executed by the enemy, on the bridge! A monument to honour engineer Lazar Jauković stands right next to the bridge.