Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Country / Bulgaria

Bridge over the Yantra River

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Bridge over the Yantra River

About the site

Corridor: Danube Road, Eastern Trans-Balkan Road
Country: Bulgaria, Byala
Type: Industrial Site
Epoch: Modern Times
World Heritage:
Modern TimesIndustrial Site

The bridge spanning the Yantra river by the town of Byala is the work of the famous builder from the period of the Bulgarian Revival, Master Kolyo Ficheto. The monumental construction equipment was built in 1867 using strong local limestone. They say that it is a technical miracle of its time. It is 267m long and 9m wide. With its 14 openings it became known as “The bridge with the 14 vaults”.
What is interesting is that unlike all other known up-to-now br idges, where the task of the piers did not exceed its construction functions, the master used them here as main element in the composition. Thus the engineering equipment became a unique architectural work of art. Kolyo Ficheto raised high the piers, over 5m thick, and connected them to the main cornice by arch-shaped ends. The master treated the stone faced piers as a building façade: he shouldered the side openings, letting the high waters pass through, softened the sharp edge with a groove, crowning it by a sculpture figure with nymphs, swans, griffins and lions.
Along the years, the wild waters of Yantra dug under the foundations and there are only four piers preserved at present. With its extremely stable and simple construction, with its dynamic plain form, the bridge of Kolyo Ficheto bends majestically over the river.

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