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Iconic Plaka Bridge in Epirus Stands Proudly After Reconstruction

A legendary single-arch bridge in the northern Greece region of Epirus, the bridge of Plaka, which collapsed after torrential rains in 2015, has been completely restored connecting again the two sides of the Arachthos River.

Located in Epirus’ famed Zagori region, the 18th century bridge was reconstructed with local stone and mud using the building technique of Kostas Bekas, the master craftsmen who first erected it.

It now connects the villages of Tzoumerka with the Kastanochoria.

The historic bridge “is ready; it is being tested by the winter of Arachthos River; it will be tested in the most difficult conditions so that it can be delivered to the public after the summer,” said Dimitris Kaliambakos, who is coordinating the restoration project on behalf of the Athens National Technical University.

Kaliambakos added that a team of experts is now monitoring the bridge.

More than 300 people, including 30 professors and 40 researchers, worked on the reconstruction project which required the knowhow of specialized masons and experts to apply the techniques used over a century ago, explained Kaliambakos.

No modern technologies or hidden reinforcements have been used for the restoration of the iconic bridge, according to Kaliambakos, who added that the team studied and applied the notes of craftsman Bekas, who built the bridge some 150 years ago.

“The result today is a bridge that is more than just the twin brother of the original; it is a bridge with the same DNA,” said Kaliambakos.

Archive photos: National Technical University of Athens

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