Greece is full of stone bridges that count centuries of life. You will find them in Epirus, Thessaly, and all over Greece since they served a basic purpose, that of serving people as they wanted to go from one village to another or from one side of a river to the other. The craftsmen of Epirus, in fact, built many of these bridges before they left for other countries and showed their art there. One of Greece’s bridges, however, has something special. This is because it is the oldest bridge in Europe that is still in use today. Few people know that he is in our country.
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The oldest bridge that still been used today
The oldest bridge in Europe, which is still in use and is located in Greece, can be found in the Peloponnese and specifically fifteen kilometers away from Sparta. There, very close to the foothills of Mount Taygetos is the town of Xirokampi and there is also the gorge of Anakolos, at the exit of which flows the river Erasinos. The impressive bridge, which is 2,000 years old, connects its two banks. It is an impressive structural bridge in Greece and Europe in general. The bridge of Xirokampi dates back to the late Hellenistic period and is operational today.
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It is said that it was built by the Spartans, at the time when Ceasar Augustus (at the end of the 1st century BC) granted them Kardamili as a seaport. The bridge was named by the Christians “Elliniko“, a work of the ancient Greeks, and by the inhabitants of the surrounding area “Kamara“. There is, in fact, a legend associated with the bridge that says that Paris, son of Priam and the beautiful Helen of Menelaus, passed through this bridge, heading to the islet Kranai of Gytheio, from where they sailed to Troy.
The Bridges of Greece
You might be amazed by the age and beauty of this bridge, but it is not the only one that Greece has to offer. In fact, Greece is home to many remarkable bridges that span across rivers, gorges, and valleys. Most of them are located in the region of Epirus, where nature and culture blend in harmony. There you can find the bridge of Arta and the bridge of Konitsa, two impressive stone arches that have witnessed centuries of history. Or you can admire the famous Kokkori Bridge in Zagorochoria, a masterpiece of engineering and craftsmanship that stands proudly over the Voidomatis River. But there are more bridges to explore in other parts of Greece as well.
For example, did you know about the “Symplegades” of Grevena, a pair of rocks that look like they are about to crash into each other? Or the bridge that has survived for three centuries and still serves its purpose? Or the mysterious bridge that appears and disappears depending on the water level? And finally, did you know which bridge was depicted in the iconic painting Pentochiliaro, and where you can find it? These are just some of the fascinating facts and stories that these bridges have to tell.
If you want to learn more about them, you should definitely visit them and see for yourself.
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