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The Ottomans respond harshly, impaling the one caught saboteur.
The young boy is converted to Islam and assigned the Turkish name of Mehmed, becoming known as Mehmed-paša Sokolović.The first nationalist tensions arise in the 19th century, with the outbreak of the First Serbian Uprising in present-day central Serbia.The Turks construct a blockhouse on the bridge, decorating it with stakes on which they pin the heads of suspected rebels. In the ensuing decades, as the Ottoman Empire continues to decline, Bosnia is ravaged by plague.Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica is planning a cinematic adaption of the novel, for which he has constructed a mock-town named after Andrić not far from the bridge, which was reconstructed after World War I and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.A young Serb boy from the vicinity of Višegrad is taken from his mother by the Ottomans as part of the devşirme levy, one of many Christian boys to experience this fate during the Ottoman Empire's 500-year-long occupation of the Balkans.
Local children begin to be educated in Sarajevo, and some go on to continue their studies in Vienna.