The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Monday, 02 February 2015 08:49cat

Historic 18th century stone bridge of Plaka collapses after torrential rain in Greece

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Historic 18th century stone bridge of Plaka collapses after torrential rain in Greece

The historic single-arch bridge of Plaka in Arta county, Greece collapsed after torrential rain that hit the area in the last days. The largest single arch stone bridge in the Balkans and the third in Europe was built during the 18th century, over the waters of Arachthos River by local craftsmen and was a major historical landmark in the area. 

The Plaka stone bridge was, until Sunday February 1st, a historical monument and an impressive example of the area's building architecture. The bridge's span measured 40 meters and its height at the center reached 21 meters. It was built between 1860 and 1866 by a local mason and at that time, served as the only commercial link between the local villages with Thessaly and Epirus. Later on, it became the border between the newborn Greek state and the Ottoman Empire and served as the customs station. It also withstood German bombs during World War II and it was the place where the Treaty of Plaka was signed among groups of the Greek resistance, U.K. and U.S. military forces. In the last decades, it served mainly as a touristic attraction and the starting point for rafting and canoeing activities on Arachthos River.

The bridge's arch collapsed as a result of the intense rainfall, while fears are expressed for other stone bridges of the area including the stone bridge of Arta. The rainfall has already caused extensive damage to farming land and infrastructure over the entire prefecture of Epirus, and many villages have been evacuated. No human losses have been reported so far. 


Sources: Wikipedia,,


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