Bridges

#108 Bridge of Plaka

 

The famous arched stone bridge of Plaka is still standing in the settlement of Plaka-Raftanaioi. It bridges Aracthos River at the border of Ioannina and Arta. It was built in 1866 by craftsmen from Pramanta whose foreman was Kostas Mpekas. A few years earlier, in 1863, D. Arvanitogiannis from Pramanta offered 30,000 qirsh for the creation of the bridge. The project was undertaken by Mastrogiorgis from Konitsa. Unluckily the bridge collapsed at its own opening ceremony in front of the sunned bystanders.

 

A three-year-long effort and 187.000 qirsh were needed for it to be rebuilt. The money was offered by Ioannis Loulis from Aetorrachi, Anagnostis Lytras, and Ioannis Rigkas from Pramanta and Anagnostis Marros from Melissourgoi. Mpekas, a famous foreman from Pramanta, who linked his name to the construction of other bridges of the area in Sarantaporos and in Kalntini, put all his art and effort into this project and in September 1866 he completed the biggest arched bridge in Balkans. It is said that for its construction 20.000 egg whites where used among others.

 

Apart from its architectural value the bridge played a historical role. From 1881 to 1913 it was the border of the Greek and Turkish state and in the past it was a symbol of liberty. Many historical events occurred on the famous bridge of Plaka, which begin during the Greek Revolution against the Turks and reach up to the German Occupation. The bridge was bombarded by the German troops several times but it didn’t budge and is still standing there reminding us of tough and dark ages of our history. On February 4 in 1944 in the house that is located next to the bridge, ELAS and EDES, the two parties that were in conflict during the civil war, signed the historic “Treaty of Plaka” there.

 

Construction characteristics

 

It is one of the biggest arched bridges in Balkans. It has a total length of 61m and a height of 19.70m. It bridges Aracthos River at the border of Ioannina and Arta in the settlement of Plaka-Raftanaioi.

 

The bridge was once destroyed by Aracthos River’s waters, in 1863. It was built by Mastrogiorgis from Konitsa, but the bridge didn’t last. It took its final form in 1866 when it was rebuilt by craftsmen from Pramanta whose foreman was Kostas Mpekas. 187.000 qirsh, 20.000 egg whites and the craftsmanship of Kostas Mpekas – a foreman from Pramanta, who linked his name to the construction of other bridges of the area in Sarantaporos and in Kalntini – were needed for this bridge to be completed.

 

The money was offered by Ioannis Loulis from Aetorrachi, Anagnostis Lytras, and Ioannis Rigkas from Pramanta and Anagnostis Marros from Melissourgoi.

Its big arch, which is thin and elegant, has a length of 39m and stands above the rushing waters of Aracthos River. Apart from its architectural value the bridge played a historical role. From 1881 to 1913 it was the border of the Greek and Turkish state and in the past it was a symbol of liberty.

 

Additional historical, cultural and touristic data

 

Raftanaioi

 

It consists of 21 settlements, which are both big and small, that are located on the eastern slope of a hill range opposite of Mt Strogkoula. The settlement is situated at an altitude of 960m on the southeast side of the Ioannina prefecture and is 42km from Ioannina.

The monastery of Holy Mother the “Mouxoustiotissa” is also a significant site of the area. The monastery of Holy Mother the “Mouxoustiotissa” or as it is also called the Monastery of Plaka was probably built in the 17th century in Raftanaioi. It is located between the bridge of Plaka and the village of Raftanaioi. The exact date of construction of the Monastery is still unknown but according to a sign it was renovated in 1665.

 

The temple has an exquisite gilded wooden iconostasis and is full of murals that has sustained some damage and were possibly created in 1680. The murals of the narthex were made in 1694 and depict scenes of martyrdom, parables of Jesus etc. Currently the buildings of the monastery that have survived are the church (almost intact), the main temple and a part of the precinct.

Raftanaioi developed into 14 main settlements and 7 smaller ones that have a few families.

 

Imprinting figures

 

Directions: From the villages of Tzoumerka to Ioannina and Arta

 

Regional Unit: Ioannina

 

Community: Raftanaioi

 

Location: Plaka

 

River: Aracthos River, Kalarrytikos River

 

Coordinates: N 39° E 020°

 

Altitude: 292m

 

Audio and Visual asset

 

Photos

 

Virtual asset

 

 

Your mail*


No events found

sitemap bridgetrad

Bridge

Have you visited the Bridge of Politsa?

Add a new response!
» Go to poll »
1 Votes left

Logo Bridgetrad

NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

If you not change browser settings, you agree to it. Learn more

I understand