World’s longest stone bridge taken under restoration
Uzunköprü, which is among the oldest and longest stone bridges in the world and on the UNESCO’s Temporary Tangible Cultural Heritage List, has been taken under restoration due to cracks in its ground, wing walls and arches.
Initial works on the historic structure in the northwestern province of Edirne’s Uzunköprü district will begin in the upcoming days, according to a local official.
“As the original texture of the bridge is stone, the building elements other than the stone will be completely removed, and its historical original texture will be restored,” Edirne Governor Ekrem Canalp told reporters.
The 578-year-old iconic bridge will have fulfilled all the necessary conditions for it to be included on the permanent list of UNESCO following the restoration process, according to Canalp.
The bridge was built between 1426 and 1443 by the head architect of the Ottoman Empire, Muslihiddin, on the orders of Sultan Murad II. The marvel is the only stone bridge connecting Anatolia to the Balkans and extends over the Ergene River.
Built with the aim of crossing the river, which was a natural hindrance for the Ottoman Empire’s Balkan expeditions, the bridge also made way for the Turkish army to sustain their expeditions throughout winters.
The 1,392-meter-long and 6.8-meter-wide bridge is also one of the most significant historical legacies in the city, which was the capital of the Ottoman Empire for 92 years.
The bridge was added to UNESCO’s Temporary Tangible Cultural Heritage List in 2015.