#161 Bridge of Arta


Legend and history come alive in front of the bridge at the magnificent sight.Well-known is the version of "Bridge of Arta", in which 45 craftsmen and 60 pupils were building it, then it was demolished and rebuilt.

Entering the town of Arta, the road that connects the city with the same name Ioannina and 4 meters in elevation, is one of the most famous bridges in the country.

The legendary bridge of Arachthos took its present form in 1612, after funding of John Thiakogiannis or Gyftofagos, an Artin grocer whose commercial activities required to build the bridge.

Over the time the bridge has undergone many additions and reconstructions.The history goes back in centuries, starting from pre-Christian era. Residents of Amvrakia created a point which now the bridge is built, a passage. Later, during the reign of Pyrrhus, when he suffered a great development in the city, the work of the inhabitants of ancient Amvrakias improved. King Pyrrhus reportedly manufactured with a bridge whose foundations still exist and are the basis of today. The work was perfected in Roman times - with the blossoming of Nicopolis and the increase in commercial traffic. During the Byzantine period were built four large chambers, including inserted eight small arched openings.

Lastly, during the Ottoman occupation was elevated road surface at low curvatures between the arches, to make easier the passage. Thus, the construction of the legendary bridge completed.

The great artistic aesthetic does not degrade the great historic role as the bridge of Arta was the borderline in the new state, after the liberation of Greece from the Turks. Major damage suffered during the German occupation, as the Germans built up of an iron bridge, the weight of which shook the balance of the bridge and virtually destroyed the north face, but in 1983, when the bridge threatened to tear down completely due to the construction of the dam of Pournari.

Construction characteristics


  The most famous bridge in the Balkans, the bridge of Arta, the legendary river bridge Arachthos we'll meet at the entrance of the city of Arta, coming from Ioannina. Legend and Crafts meet up on this beautiful building, which is the most impressive reception center.

The bridge is built in the pre-Christian Roman Law course. Its' present form became the year 1612 AD., but over time has undergone many additions and reconstructions, which did not alter the aesthetics. The famous stone bridge is an architectural masterpiece and blends harmoniously with the natural environment.

The design of the data indicates the starting point of history. From the pre-Christian, yet, years ancient Amvrakiotes created at this point a passage, a task we will certainly improve during the Hellenistic period, when Pyrrhus did Ambracia capital of the state. Pyrrhus reportedly built a bridge whose foundations still exist and are the basis of today. This is verified, according to scholar Giannis Tsoutsino from the structure of piers of the bridge. The piers of the bridge that was built with large, regular blocks in ashlar, crowned, so to remind masonry Hellenistic Mansion (3rd Century AD).

The work was perfected in Roman times with the booming of Nicopolis and increased commercial traffic.

On the foundations of the bridge Pyrrhus, during the Byzantine period built four large chambers, which were inserted between the legs, as well as in distant parts of the bridge, eight small arched openings.

The construction of the bridge was completed during the years of Ottoman rule, when it was elevated road surface at low curvatures between the arches, to make easier the passage.

Information indicates that the financing of the construction of Artin was a grocer, Giannis Thiakogiannis or Gyftofagos, who had commercial activities in the area.

The bridge of Arta is not only a symbol of great architecture, but has also great historical importance, since after the liberation of Greece from the Turks was the border of the new state. Serious blow, however, acknowledged during the German occupation, when the Germans built up of an iron bridge, the weight of which virtually destroyed the north side.

Additional historical, cultural and touristic data

  Little Theatre of Amvrakia

Basis of architectural form, theater dating from the late 4th BC-early 3rd BC, during the reign of Pyrrhus.

Located in the center of today's Arta, near the Church of St. Constantine and constitutes the smallest surviving, discovered, ancient theaters.

It came to light in 1976 together with the orchestra, diameter 6.70 m [4] , part concave and byways, and part of the backbone of the proscenium.

The hollow is made of limestone, is divided into three tiers, two scales and stone seats, while noticeable is the absence of official seats in the front row.

The theater is not based on a natural hill but on an embanked slope. [5] The embankment to support the hollow had been above to the foundations and mosaics baths, that are dating to mid 4th amCentury BC. [6]

In the theater was also found a gold stater of Philipos II, the first gold coin that found in excavations in Epirus.

Pythian Temple of Apollo Savior

It is part of the great temple of ancient Amvrakia and is dated around in 500 BC.It is located in central Arta.

It is a temple of the late Archaic period, Doric, with vestibule and long alcove, measuring 20.75 x 44 m. In the background of the alcove is the foundation of the pedestal for the statue or symbol of Apollo. The church is preserved as sacred, while in the space was identified an inscribed column,defining the borders of Amvrakia and Charadro (neighboring city in Peveza).

Panagia of Koronisia

The little Church of the Nativity of Mary, is found in the middle of Koronisia at the Gulf of Ambracian. It is one of the oldest temples of the Byzantine Arta and chronologically placed around in the 10th century.

During its long course, it has experienced numerous changes, renovations and additions, until it came to its current shape. Today, the church serves as a parish and retains its old suggestibility and mystical atmosphere.

The Castle

One of the historical monuments of the city is the Castle. The ruins that are still visible in the center of the hill are probably remnants of the palace of Komnenian while the little castle preserved on left of the entrance was the last refuge for the besieged.

Built by Michael II Komnenos and consists of three parts, the main fort, the small external walling and the Acropolis. It has an irregular polygon which is interrupted every 25 m towers of various shapes. The walls have a thickness of 2.50 m. and a height of 10 m.

Imprinting figures

  Directions: We will meet it at the entrance of the city of Arta coming from Ioannina.

County: Arta

Community: Arta

River: Arachthos

Coordinates: N 39 ° 09'06 "E 20 ° 58'29"

Elevation: 4 m.

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