The historic Plaka bridge, which collapsed due to torrential rains magnifying the flow of the Arachthos River, has finally been reconstructed. Workers rebuilt the famous bridge in mountainous northwest Greece, using the same techniques used by builders in the pre-industrial age, stones found in the district but with contemporary mortar.
The 19th century stone one-arch bridge billed as the largest of its kind in the Balkans, collapsed on February 1, 2015, after the river’s current degraded the bridge’s foundations.
The central stone, known as the “Tholite”, or, “key stone” and “sacred stone”, connecting the two sides of the arch in the middle was laid only days ago. The scaffolding on the rebuilt arch bridge will remain standing for nearly a month, until the mortar solidifies.
Dozens of stonemasons, craftsmen, scaffolders and machinery operators worked on the Plaka Bridge project, under the direction of architects and builders Christos Iliopoulos and Alexandros Papakostopoulos.
The Plaka Bridge links the uplands of northwest Thessaly with Epirus province in the rugged Tzoumerka mountains. During the 19th century it was a border crossing between the Kingdom of Greece, in the south, and the Ottoman territory in the north.