Uniting History of Anatolia: Bridges

Uniting History of Anatolia: Bridges

For centuries, the bridges of Anatolia have been the most striking examples of both civilization and architecture.

Thanks to these bridges, high slopes, distant houses, flowing streams, and people who have stayed apart have met. Turkey, both in terms of its architecture and location, is the geography of Anatolia’s fascinating bridges… As you are browsing the uniting history of Anatolia, let the bridges carry you from one side to the other…

Legendary beauty: Malabadi Bridge

So big that it is claimed that the dome of Hagia Sophia could fit under the wide arch of this bridge. Albert Gabriel, who came to Diyarbakır in 1940, did not hide his admiration for this monumental bridge he saw and said, “At the time when there were no modern calculations, such a calculation is admirable and praiseworthy. The dome of Hagia Sophia can easily fit under this bridge.” On Bitlis-Diyarbakır highway, the Malabadi Bridge on the Batman Creek, which meets the Tigris River, is among the bridges that has the widest arch span in the world and it is one of Turkey’s most beautiful bridges. On both sides of the bridge, there are two rooms built for the protection of guards and trade caravans from the cold and summer heat and to ensure the safety of the bridge.According to the inscription on it, it was built by Temurtaş İbn İlgazi Bin Artuk, one of the Artukites, who once reigned in the region in 1147-1148, at his own expense. The bridge made of cut limestone was built not only for passage but for accommodation. The height of the bridge from the water surface to the keystone is 19 meters.There are reliefs on the fender piles on both sides of the bridge similar to those found in the Hasankeyf and Tigris bridges. Watching the light games on the bridge at sunset is a feast for the eyes.

The bridge of art: Irgandi

It is an extraordinary bridge thanks to its unique architectural style… It is one of the four bridges in the world that have shops on them. The others are namely the Covered Bridge in Lovech, Bulgaria; Ponte di Rialto in Venice, Italy; and Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy.

The Irgandi Bridge was the center of handicrafts of its time, as well as an important trade area and marketplace frequented by travelers and merchants. The Irgandi Bridge, built in 1442 by Hacı Muslihiddin, the son of Ali Irgandili, was a dynamic living space with nearly thirty shops, masjid, and two stables in accordance with the guild system. The name of the bridge is derived from the word “ırgamak” which means “to move”. It connects the elite districts of Bursa, Yeşil, Yıldırım, and Emirsultan, on Gökdere. The bridge, which was damaged in the Great Bursa earthquake of 1854 and destroyed by the Greek army in the War of Independence, was faithfully restored in 2004. Irgandi, with its shops painted in yellow lined on its gray arched body, has become a classic part of a Bursa tour that tourists won’t miss seeing. In this bridge-market, it is not only pleasant to shop for traditional crafts but also to have a break in the coffeehouses.

The magnificence of the Antiquity: Köprüçay Bridge

Located on the route that used to reach Side, one of the magnificent cities of Pamphylia, it is one of the bridges that left its mark in antiquity. 96 km northeast of Antalya, 2 km south of the Aspendos Acropolis, near the ancient settlement of Aspendos, also known as Belkıs, this historic Köprüçay Bridge is also known as Köprüpazar Bridge because of the market around it. Belkıs Bridge or Eski (Old) Bridge are among its other known names. It is estimated that the bridge, which connects the two sides of the river of the same name that crosses the borders of the Köprüçay National Park, was built by the Romans under the name Eurymedon Bridge in the early 4th century AD. According to the construction inscription of the bridge, which was thought to have been destroyed by an earthquake, the bridge was built by Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I’s son Sultan Gıyâseddîn Keyhüsrev II in 1239-1240. Stones belonging to the structures of the ancient city of Aspendos were used in the construction of the bridge. Rumor has it that once upon a time, small ships used to pass under the bridge with seven bays, the largest of which was 17 meters wide.

The giant stone symbol: Taşköprü

With its unique culture and food, Adana is a city worth seeing and visiting. Taşköprü is a symbol of the city that embellishes the logo of the city, which is the indispensable of the most typical postcards of the city that every visitor stops by. The historical bridge over the Seyhan River, which divides the city center in two, was built by architect Auxentus during the reign of Roman Emperor Hadrianus. In ancient times, small merchant ships, traveling around the Mediterranean Sea, could come close to the bridge via the Seyhan River bed. The bridge, which connects Seyhan and Yüreğir districts and is also known as Seyhan Bridge among people, is 310 meters long. The bridge is closed to traffic, so it can be crossed on foot. Although the burning heat of Çukurova makes the area arid with the arrival of summer, this giant stone symbol retains the title of the city’s most magnificent historical monument. Throughout history, the bridge has been severely damaged by floods and earthquakes. The biggest repair took place in the 17th century. The frequent flooding of the Seyhan River also left the bridge in a difficult situation, and some of its bays remained under the ground. Originally built with 21 bays, the bridge now has only 14 arch bays visible. The Latin inscription, which was hung on the body of the bridge in the past, is now on display at the Adana Archeology Museum.

Reaches out as far as the eye can see: Uzunköprü

Its liveliness, with the market established on Thursdays, is worth experiencing. But the most striking aspect of Uzunköprü, which has fertile lands spreading to the Ergene Plain, is the 576-year-old stone bridge, which is still important in terms of transportation, according to some sources, estimated to be the longest stone bridge in the world. Uzunköprü district of Edirne, 6 km from the Greek border, is one of the first settlements of the Ottoman Empire in Thrace. Built on the Ergene River, which forms marshes with its wide bed, the 1.4-kilometer bridge with 174 arches was one of the important points of the Ottoman army’s transition to Europe.  According to the records, it took 18 years to complete the construction of this historical monument, which was built in 1443 by Murat Muslihiddin during the reign of Sultan Murat II. Some of the arches are pointed and some of them are arc-shaped, and there are reliefs and rosettes on the body. In summer, while the Ergene River flows calmly, only the middle bays of the bridge let the water pass through. When the river waters rise and the bed is flooded, the water flows through all the bays of Uzunköprü and disembogues into the Aegean Sea in Enez. Hürriyet Fountain, which was described as the first monument of democracy in the Second Constitutional Monarchy period, was added to the entrance of the bridge which was occupied by the enemy during the last battles of the Ottoman Empire.

Crimson sunsets: Çobandere Bridge

It is among Turkey’s most beautiful medieval bridges… The bridge, which has never lost its importance in any period of history, is on the route that crosses the Iranian border. The historic Çobandede Bridge, the Aras River flows under which, is located in the Köprüköy district of Erzurum. It was built by Emir Çoban Salduz, the vizier of Gazan Khan, during the Ilkhans period in the late 13th century. The bridge is located at the point where the Kargapazarı Stream, coming from the Hasankale direction, meets with the Aras River in the district of Köprüköy. The inscriptions of the bridge can not be solved due to damage over time. The bridge, which is 130 meters long and built with seven bays, now has only six bays left. Apart from its various types of stones, towers and geometric Ilkhani decorations, on a sunny or a snowy day, the bridge is striking with its crimson color before sunset. It is thought that the reason why the bridge is known as Çobandede Bridge among the people is the Çoban Abdal’s shrine located in the region.

Uniting architecture: Çifte Bridge

When bridges are the subject, it is not possible to skip the Eastern Black Sea. Especially without seeing Artvin, where the untouched geography of the Black Sea is felt at its most powerful state, it is difficult to give the bridges their dues. In addition to wildlife, old forests and plant diversity, Artvin also has stone bridges that defy time and that are important examples of local stonework. The Çifte Bridge is one of the most beautiful historical bridges in the region. The bridge near the Ortacalar suburb of Arhavi district of Artvin is one of the most frequently seen arch bridges that keep up with the mountainous terrain in the Black Sea. The Çifte Bridge consists of two different bridges that are connected in an upright position and complement each other to be a full circle. One of the bridges is on Kamilet Creek, which flows through Kamilet Valley, which is famous for its rich plant diversity, and the other is on Soğucak Creek. In accordance with the traditional Black Sea architecture, 35.5 meters long bridges, built with pointed arches and a single bay and built out of ashlar material are open to pedestrians only. It is not clear when the bridges, which were used to ship troops to the Caucasus at the time, were built but they are estimated to belong to the 1850s. It is possible to reach Mençuna Waterfalls, Lifestyle Museum at the Dikyamaç village, and villages where traditional life continues in a short journey from here.