The bridge of Plaka is considered the biggest single-arch bridge in the Balkans, with a 40m arch span and 21m height.
A protected historical monument
It is listed as a protected historical monument and has an important historical significance to Greece.
The bridge was constructed to establish communication and trade with surrounding communities and, until 1913, it was on the borderline between Greece and the Ottoman Empire, serving as one of the two mainland entrances to Greece.
The collapse and restoration
It was built in 1866 by the master builder Kostas Bekas, after two unsuccessful attempts by other builders. The bridge is considered among the most difficult single-arch bridges to build. During 1881-1912 when the Arachthos River was the border between Greece and Turkey there was a short-distance outpost of the Greek army and customs. The bridge, which was one of the most impressive examples of Greek popular architecture, collapsed on 1 February 2015. A flash flood caused by heavy rainfall caused the Arachthos River to rip the bridge’s foundations from the riverbanks leading the central section of the bridge to collapse and be washed away. As of July 2020, restoration work, supported by the National Technical University of Athens is over, and the rebuilt bridge was completed in the summer of 2020.
Today the bridge is the starting point for rafting or canoeing on the Arachthos River.
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