WHERE IS IT?
The Mehmed-Pasha Sokolovic fountain is located in the upper town of the Belgrade fortress, near the ''Victor'' monument in the immediate proximity of Defterdar's gate.
WHO WAS MEHMED-PASHA?
The Grand vizier on the court of the Turkish Sultan from 1565-1579. The modern equivalent of his position would be Prime Minister in the service of Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent, Selim II and Murat III. Originally a Bosnian Serb, Sokolovic led wise politics which made the lives of Christian citizens in the Empire easier. He contributed to the renovation of the Serbian Patriarchate of Pec, and with his commitment he supported the construction of many foundations (on the modern territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina). On his request, architect Sinan built a bridge over the river Drina in Visegrad. He died tragically, as a victim of a public conspiracy aged 74.
Mehmed-Pasha Sokolovic was the intitator of the construction of various infrastructure which made everyday life easier. Out of everything he left behind, the most important foundations are the bridge on Drina, Visegrad, and the fountain in Kalemegdan. His fountain presents the oldest preserved fountain in Belgrade.
According to the testimony of traveller Evlija Celebi, the fountain was built between 1576 and 1577. Under the Turkish regime, Belgrade had a water supply system. One plumbing channel supplied the upper town with water. The fountain may have also served as a water supplier for Suleiman's mosque, which was in close range. The fountain was buried up until 1938, and since then only partially, with two sides thereof being visible. The reconstruction of the fountain was financed from 2015-2017 by Turkish agency TIKA, whereas the Cultural Monument Protection Institute was in charge of conservation supervising. It's particularly interesting that during the renovation, multiple archeological remnants were unearthed - part of a Roman fortification from the 2nd century AD and remnants of a neolithic house, which is testament to the fact this was the place where the urban part of town began to develop.
The object's dimensions were 7.5 x 6.3m, and the height was 4.5m . It was made of cubic limestone, set against the walls, and decorated with niches from the other three sides along with water faucets merging into stone troughs. The niches are decorated with oriental horseshoe-shaped arches. Just next to the fountain are remnants of an 1800-year old Roman wall.