Drina River House – Bajina Bašta, Serbia - Atlas Obscura
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Bajina Bašta, Serbia

Drina River House

For over 40 years, this quaint little house has teetered on a rock in the middle of a river.  

Outside the town of Bajina Bašta, at the narrows of the Drina River, a curious little house has rested on its rocky perch since 1969.

For more than 40 years, this increasingly famous, nameless cabin has balanced atop a rock in the middle of the river. It has been miraculously spared by the annual rising and falling of waters. According to the story of its construction, a group of youth became enamored with the spot after noting the outcropping in the middle of the Drina River was an ideal place to tan and swim. In the following year, the owner undertook the laborious task of building the house on the rock by hand, which he acknowledges could not have happened without the help of his friends. Since that time, the one-room cabin has served as a holiday respite for its creator.

At the time of its construction, all the house’s building materials were rowed out by the boatload. Little has changed today, as a watery traverse through the swiftly flowing currents of the Drina remains the only way of reaching the rock on which the house sits.

After National Geographic published an image of the unnamed little house as its “Photo of the Day,” outsiders began making pilgrimages to the banks of the Drina in order to verify its existence with their own eyes. In the process, they’ve been given a glimpse into the greater beauty of the surrounding Tara National Park, which has been shortlisted by UNESCO to receive coveted protection status since 2002. The park is a mountain refuge known for its dense forests, steep limestone cliffs, and deep canyons formed by the Drina’s upper reaches. Sometimes referred to as the “River of Life,” the Drina itself first gained pre-Internet fame more than half a century ago thanks to Nobel Prize-winning author Ivo Andrić, who introduced the world to its waters as an immortal bearer of life’s greatest struggles, through works such as 1945’s The Bridge on the Drina.

Though not exactly off-limits to outsiders, the budding landmark is a piece of private property and should be respected as such.