The current Stone Bridge in Skopje across the Vardar River was built on Roman foundations under the patronage of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror between 1451 and 1469. Most of the bridge originates from the Ottoman period and 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. Renovations were carried out the same year. Some executions have also taken place on this bridge, such as the execution of Karposh in 1689.
In 1944, explosives were placed on the bridge by Nazis. Upon a request from city notables, the Germans give up at the last minute and the bridge was saved from destruction. The last reconstruction of the bridge began in 1994. Over seven years during the Stone Bridge refurbishment of the 1990s, people were not allowed to cross the structure and for many craftsmen from the nearby Old Bazaar it resulted in negative economic effects. The watchtower shaped like a mihrab was reconstructed in 2008.
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 is built of solid stone blocks and is supported by firm columns that are connected with 12 semicircular arcs. The bridge is 214 m long and 6 m wide. The guardhouse has recently been reconstructed.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.