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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 235

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Since The Bridge on the Drina is a story that is comprised of many smaller stories, there are many widely varied characters, many of which you can see by visiting the eNotes character list attached below. However, the most important character in this book is not a person, but the bridge itself. This novel tells the life story of the bridge, from its birth to its death (and all of the life that happens in between). It is the main character of the novel, as it is responsible for all of the actions that take place. It is the heart and the soul of the piece, and it takes on a life of its own in this story.

Another very important character is Mehmed Pasha Sokolli, the Grand Vizier who has the bridge built in the first place. He builds it on the Drina River, the last place he saw his mother when he was taken away from her as a boy. It is because of him that the bridge was able to unite two different cultures and open up a new world to each of them.

The rest of the characters (again, see attached) are the people responsible for building the bridge, and the people whose lives were changed by it. At the end of the day, though, it all comes back to the bridge, without which there would be no story at all.

Characters Discussed

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 572

Mehmed Pasha Sokolli

Mehmed Pasha Sokolli (SOH-koh-lih), a grand vezir at the Ottoman court. When he was ten years old, he was taken away from his Serbian parents as a part of the so-called blood tribute. He is trained in Istanbul to be a janissary, and he becomes a grand vezir, the highest position a non-Turk could attain at the court. To still his nostalgia for his home country, he orders a bridge to be built at his expense across the Drina river at the town of Viegrad, which was the last place he saw his mother, who could not cross the river and follow him any longer. He appoints his brother Makarije to the highest position in the Serbian Orthodox church. He is stabbed to death by a deranged dervish when he goes to the mosque.


Abidaga (ah-bih-DAH-gah), the first builder of the bridge on the Drina. He is known far and wide as very stern, even cruel, especially when his orders are not fully carried out. He orders a Serb laborer, Radisav, to be impaled at the bridge site because he sabotaged the building of the bridge. Abidaga is replaced when the news reaches Istanbul that he had embezzled the vezir’s money and forced laborers to work without pay.


Radisav (rah-DEE-sahv), a Serbian peasant and laborer at the bridge. He is caught destroying at night what had been built during the day, and for this he is impaled at the bridge site as a warning to the opponents of the bridge. The impaling takes place over several days and is watched by the frightened populace. Radisav is admired by the Serbs as a hero and a symbol of their suffering under the Turks.


Fata (FAH-tah), a beautiful young girl from a well-to-do Muslim family. Her father forces her to marry a man she does not love. During a wedding procession, she jumps to her death from the bridge into the Drina. This is one of many dramatic events that takes place on and around the bridge throughout the centuries.

Alihodja Mutevelic

Alihodja Mutevelic (ah-lih-KHOH-djah mew-teh-VEH-lihch), a Bosnian Muslim who was supposed to become a hodja but declined and continued managing his father’s shop. When the Austrians occupy Bosnia in 1878, he is nailed by his ear to the bridge because he did not believe that the infidels would ever come to Viegrad, yet he did not want to oppose them. When World War I breaks out, the bridge is bombarded. Alihodja dies on the bridge as a symbol of the end of the Turkish reign.

Salko Corkan

Salko Corkan (SAHL-koh CHOHR-kan), the One Eyed, a powerful young Gypsy who lives off temporary jobs. The whole town feeds him; he belongs to everybody and nobody. He plays the role of the town fool, falling in love with every pretty woman; his love affairs, however, never amount to anything. He embodies the constant yearning for love and happiness that is never fulfilled but is never extinguished.


Lotte (LOH-teh), a young and pretty widow with a free tongue and masculine energy. She is one of many Ashkenazi Jews who came from Galicia to Bosnia to try their luck in business. She builds a hotel next to the bridge and spends many years providing travelers with rest and the townspeople with entertainment. With the passage of time, her fortunes dwindle. She disappears together with the Austrian hold on Bosnia.