Archaeologist Omer Peročević has been trying to revive the Old Town Bar for almost four decades. He has fought for the future of the museums, for years exploring the past of the ancient city, finding traces in ruins to build a picture of the life that took place in this area. In this constant endeavor, he came up with an idea to restore the old stone bridge on Suvi Potok (Pero’s bridge).
One of the five historic bridges built at a distance of about 800 meters, which is a unique rarity, a stone bridge on Suvi Potok, beneath the walls of Old Town of Bar, was reconstructed at the end of December. In order to protect the natural and cultural heritage, the Association of olive growers Bar was pleased to accept the proposal of archaeologist Peročević to jointly renovate and preserve the old bridge on Suvi (Pero’s bridge).
"About 40 years I have been fighting for the future, and the past of the Old Town, in which, unfortunately, there are mostly remains of ruins. The Old Town is unique, its surroundings dramatic, this geological landscape and what the man has made in this area. The bridge on Suvi potok is the entrance gate to the natural museum of olive, culture and religion. The significance of the bridge was introduced to us by an unknown founder, who made a legacy so that it can be passed beneath the walls of Old Town to the area where there are almost 10,000 olive trees, of which about 1,000 trees are older than 1,000 years old. At the end of the 17th century, the stone bridge was the only possible route in this area for people and livestock, because in that period the olive groves were continuously treated," says archaeologist Peročević for the Portal Jedro Bar.
photo: Jedro Bar
According to the archaeologist, in the slope beneath the Old Town, from Bar Spil to Veliki most, there were as many as 10 bridges on the canyon of the Mikulić River.
"Five of them are preserved. The stone bridge on Suvi Potok was sloping, prone to falling, neglected and barely visible. Fortunately, the stone barriers that were made in the 1960s, partly saved it because they reduced this torrential strike, otherwise it would be destroyed. Today, only one of the 10 bridges kept its original form, carrying the central arch with its elevation in the middle. By renewing it we have prolonged its age, as any old being that looks for care and attention. It brings me great joy knowing we have managed to save the bridge," says Omer.
In addition to the stone from this space, the spontaneous opus of building was repeated.
"We were guided by the principles of restoration and conservation as far as possible, but it was a problem to find proper craftsmen. Luck followed us from the beginning, funds were provided from the Tourist Organization of Bar, those 4,000 euros, but we were also happy with the contractor Suvad Osmanovic, who surpassed all my expectations, although I was skeptical from the beginning. However, I am very grateful to him. You know, you can have an idea, a project you want, but when you do not have a proper "hand" that realizes what you have imagined, then the whole story becomes worthless," says the archeologist.
photo: Jedro Bar
The story of the members of the Olive Tree Society, he adds, was a constructive one.
"We have managed to accomplish this work with common energy and cooperation. The guys from the Society added a cultural dimension to the olive cultivation. Olive is not only a sign of Bar, a cultural and natural phenomenon but a culture that allows people in this region to live for more than 2,000 years. Through these works, we reveal to the citizens of Bar and tourists, a beautiful, exciting ambience, and on the other hand, our present-day activities are a debt to our ancestors, the heritage they have given us. Olive growing, the walk through the olive groves, offers perfect peace, a kind of therapy," Peročević pointed out.
You can now get to Dzidzarins’ olive groves across the Old Stone Bridge. The length of the bridge is twenty meters, and its width in the middle is slightly more than two meters.
A shorter bridge with more names rarely exists in this area - Old bridge on Suvi Potok, Pero’s Bridge, Love Bridge ... Anyway, no matter what it is called, the bridge was bounced from decaying and remained to testify to the generations to come.
"The whole move towards Rumija is called Pero’s Potok. Mountains in the slope of Rumija are fields, gardens, springs, some call it Pero’s Gardens. It is true that they call the bridge on Suvi Potok - Pero’s Bridge. Someone would ask - what is the purpose of a bridge when the stream is dry? The brook is dry for seven - eight months, but when the "sky" falls over Rumija the torrential torment carries everything in front of you. The torrent destroyed a part of the bridge, so people, by building bulkheads, reduced the power of the torrents," said the interlocutor to Jedro and jokingly said that the bridge "guarded" the honor in the past.
It has long been said that bridges are the most noble buildings that man has made. How much is the burden transmitted over bridges, how much energy is built into construction, how much work to bring the stone, to restore it... enthusiasm that today the stone bridge has a credible appearance. It is pure benevolence to save the bridge," concluded the archaeologist who as only few others, knows the life and soul of Old Bar.
Text by Jedro Bar, on January 8th 2019, read more at CdM