Photographer's Note

Bridge of Arta

The stone-made bridge of Arta was built above the river Arachthos, at the entrance of Arta. Its present form is the result of many supplements and reconstructions of the initial structure. The bridge was originally constructed during the hellenistic period, as it is proven by its pedestals which were built using large regular stones, according to the isodomic masonry. Certain students claim that the bridge was founded in the hellenistic period and then the four big arches were constructed in the byzantine times. The bridge was reconstructed in 1612 and obtained its final form.
In 1881 the bridge became the border between the free and the Turk-occupied Greece. The length of the bridge reaches 145 m, whilst the width of the passing cobbled road is 3, 75 m.
It is the most famous bridge of Epirus and Greece in general. The relevant legend refers to the sacrifice of the master builder's wife, which was necessary for the propping of the bridge. Also renowned is the folk song that narrates this tradition.
Another legend mentions that, during the summer, the wife of the master builder becomes an elf and, dressed in black, lurks on the big arch. Whoever passes the bridge in afternoon hours, she throws him into the river and drowns him. There is a plethora of other legends and beliefs about the bridge of Arta, which all show the human awe about this extraordinary, for those times, construction.


Forty-five builders and sixty apprentices
laid the foundations of a bridge in Arta's river.
all day long they built, at night it collapsed.
the builders lamented and the apprentices wept:
"Woe upon our pains, alas for our labours,
building all day,for it to collapse the night!"
"Woe upon our fate, alas for our destiny!
three sisters were we,and all three ill-fated:
one buit the Danube,another the Euphrates,
and I,the last of all,the Bridge of Arta.
"If the wild mountains tremble,may the Bridge tremble,
if the wild birds fall,may those who cross it fall,
for i have a brother in foreign parts,

This folksong is widely encountered not only in GREECE
but also all the BALKANS and in Central EUROPE.

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Additional Photos by Aimilios Petrou (aimiliospet) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 63 W: 162 N: 486] (2355)
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