Bridges with stories

  Since their appearance thousands of years ago, bridges have become a very important part of human transportation. From the single-plank bridges and rattan bridges in ancient times, to the stone arch bridges that have been handed down for thousands of years, and now to various suspension bridges and iron chain bridges that can cross mountains and seas, with the continuous development of human civilization, bridges have already surpassed the importance of traffic buildings in people’s hearts. The concept of bridge has gradually developed into the interconnection of people, regions and regions, and even civilizations. Indeed, looking back on human history, some bridges connect civilizations, some bridges connect eras, and some bridges connect years.
Pont du Gard: the embers of Rome’s splendor

  Most people’s impressions of the Provence region in France are “Lavender Country”, “Wine Region”, and “Provence Vegetable Chowder” in the cartoon, while Nimes is a city that is basically unheard of for most people. However, this “unknown” city in the East is a famous historical city in Europe. Nimes was already a very prosperous town in the 1st century BC. As an important town in the ancient Roman province of Gaul, there are still a large number of ancient Roman relics preserved here today. In the 16th century, Nimes became one of the important popular places of Calvinism, and it has important significance in the historical process. Today, as the capital of Gard, it is also included in the list of the top 500 cities in the world. Therefore, people call it the “Crossroad of History and Human Intercourse”, and this “Crossroad” has a bridge connecting history and recording the splendor of ancient Rome. This is the ancient engineering miracle with a history of more than 2,000 years – Pont du Gard .
  Nimes is a city developed with spring water as the center. The name “Nimes” means spring water spirit in French. In Nimes, which is close to the Mediterranean Sea and where the sun shines for more than 300 days a year, the spring water is very precious, so the people who first lived here believed that the spring water was a gift from God and that there were spirits in the spring water. The earliest building here is a courtyard built around the spring, which is a dedication to the spirit of the spring. In 49 AD, Nimes was conquered by ancient Rome and renamed Nemos, but this did not affect the prosperity of the city. Instead, it was nourished by the splendid ancient Roman civilization, giving birth to many great engineering miracles, which still stand today in Nimes. In the city of Mu, such as the Colosseum of Nimes, it is one of the most complete ancient Roman arenas in the world. Although it is not as large as the one in Rome, the sparrow is small and complete. But to say that it is a sparrow is a bit sorry for this arena. After all, this is also a place that can accommodate more than 10,000 people. It also indirectly proves the prosperity of the city at that time. What is even more commendable is that this arena can still be used today. , Every important performance and celebration, people from all over the city gather here, which can be said to be one of the best combinations of history and modernity. Although Nimes’ springs and arenas are world-renowned, if you want to see the most famous buildings here, you have to drive to the suburbs. It takes about 35 minutes to reach the gorge of the Gard River, where the famous Pont du Gard is located.

Overlooking the city of Nimes.

The Pont du Gard is a 3-story stone arch bridge, which was a high-altitude aqueduct built during the Roman Empire.

The Pont du Gard guarantees an abundant water supply for the city of Nimes.

Gard Bridge Waterway.

Landscapes such as the Fountains of Nimes were previously supplied with water from the Pont du Gard.

  Although called “Gar Bridge”, it did not serve pedestrians at first. This 270-meter-long and 50-meter-high bridge actually serves water. The Pont du Gard is part of the ancient Roman waterway system. Although there are springs in the city of Nimes, the city is prosperous and has a large population. It was transported to the city, but most of this waterway was built underground. The ancient Roman waterway built the pipeline with a certain slope, and let the water flow to the place where it is needed by gravity. Technically, it is a bit like the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in my country today. Although it is a bit less impressive than the ancient Roman waterway, which is a huge project of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, but this system But it was built more than 2,000 years ago, and it is not an exaggeration to call it an ancient engineering miracle. The waterway needed a surface section to cross the Gard River, and the bridge was born.
  Although the Pont du Gard is only a small part of this waterway, it is stunning. The bridge is a 3-story structure, each floor is supported by arched bridge openings, the bottom layer is composed of 6 huge arched bridge openings, the huge supporting columns are not square stone columns like the upper two floors, but face the river. The place was built into a diversion angle, the purpose of which was to reduce the impact of the current, and the huge 25-meter-long arch also ensured the passage of ships. When the Pont du Gard was first built, there were no plans to allow pedestrians to pass, and it was not until the 18th century that a road bridge for pedestrians and carriages was built over the arches on the ground floor. This road and bridge was criticized by many people at that time, and many people believed that the construction of this road and bridge was a “humiliating” behavior that destroyed the overall landscape of the ancient buildings. Fortunately, with this road and bridge, people can not only easily pass through the Gar River Gorge, but now they can also visit and walk on the bridge to appreciate this ancient architectural wonder up close.
  The middle layer of the Pont du Gard is composed of 11 arches. The stone columns of the middle layer arches are aligned with the bottom layer, but because the impact of the water flow is not considered, there is no water diversion angle. It is only supported by square columns made of stones. There will be many protruding stones on the front and back of the stone pillars, which are specially left to fix the scaffolding during future repairs. When people designed the Gard Bridge, they took into account the future maintenance links, which can be said to be very intentional. It is said that the arches on the second floor were allowed to pass through in ancient times, but some scholars have questioned this: the drinking water project is so important, there will be soldiers guarding both ends of the bridge, and there are no protective measures at such a high height, even if it can pass. It takes a lot of courage. The top floor is supported by 25 arches. Compared with the two floors below, the arches on the top floor are much smaller, and the supporting stone pillars are also made thinner. This is to distribute the weight and make the upper support more stable. With the large arch in the middle layer, the wind can pass through the two-layer arch faster and reduce the impact of wind on the bridge body, which is a very scientific design. Looking at the whole, the Gard Bridge is short at the bottom and long at the top, but from the cross-section, it is wide at the bottom and narrow at the top, which is very consistent with the mechanics principle. Surprisingly, only one of the 6 arches on the ground floor crosses the Gard River, and the arches on each floor are not the same.

  According to scholars’ speculation, the waterway transports 200,000 cubic meters of water to the city of Nimes every day. It takes 27 hours for the water to travel from the source to the city. Today, huge gates and circular cisterns can be seen in the city. Although with the progress of human civilization, this waterway has long been replaced by modern water supply facilities, but the city of Nimes has stood for thousands of years. This waterway has an indelible effect. The abundant water resources can not only meet the daily use of the residents in the city, but also It can meet the needs of landscape fountains, planting irrigation, etc., of course, there is also a need for “ancient Roman traditional culture” – bathing. This is why the inhabitants of Nimes love the Pont du Gard.
  This bridge, which has experienced floods, wars and social changes, is still well-preserved. In 1958, the once-in-a-century flood killed 35 people. The water level once reached the second floor of the Canal Bridge, but the entire bridge was safe and sound. This 50-kilometer-long waterway is said to have a drop of only 17 meters before and after. The water is continuously fed into the city of Nimes under the condition of only relying on gravity. It cannot but be amazed by the amazing work of ancient Roman architects.
  Pont du Gard was included in the World Heritage List in 1985. In 2000, the French government carried out a wider range of site protection engineering plans for Pont du Gard. Relevant departments and experts put forward a special concept: a high level commensurate with the world cultural heritage. The protection of high-grade cultural and historical sites, while respecting the traditional living habits of the local people. Therefore, museums, cinemas and other facilities were built near the Pont du Gard. These facilities are basically hidden in the woods outside the scenic area or built underground. There are no wires or street lights in the air in the entire scenic area. look. Visitors can also enter the Gard Bridge Scenic Area for free, and can swim in the river, have a picnic on the river beach or in the woods, perhaps for local residents and tourists, it is their favorite way to live with this bridge in a relaxed and pleasant way.
  In the warm sunshine of Provence, people gather by the Pont du Gard – some people walk on the bridge and enjoy the wonderful scenery of the river valley; some people play in the river under the bridge and enjoy the coolness of the river valley; Put up a sun umbrella on the river beach to rest, and feel the relaxation and tranquility of life; some people are paddling in the river water, coexisting with nature, just like their ancestors… The Pont du Gard connects the water source and makes the city of Nimes People have been able to create and develop this beautiful city; the Pont du Gard also connected civilization, allowing the splendid civilization of ancient Rome to continue to this day through this long waterway, for people to admire the wisdom and civilization of the ancestors, and also marvel at the changes and changes of history. Impermanence. Today, the Pont du Gard still stands, while ancient Rome has long since disappeared in the long river of history, leaving only a few embers for future generations to pay tribute to.
British Iron Bridge: The Beginning of an Era

  Shropshire in the west of England, adjacent to Wales, is one of the most sparsely populated rural areas in England. On the Severn River, there is an ancient iron bridge that records the splendor here and the splendor of human civilization. Completed in 1779, the iron bridge was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1986 because it was the world’s first bridge made of metal and had a huge impact on science, technology and architecture , and it is also one of the symbols of the Industrial Revolution.
  Even today, this bridge with a span of more than 30 meters and a weight of more than 300 tons is a beautiful work of art: the fully symmetrical design is full of classicism and elegance, and the huge span of the bridge arch is amazing. It’s not completely flat, with a slight slope on both sides. The Severn River flows quietly under the bridge, the mountains on both sides have been occupied by vegetation, and the wild flowers dotted on the meadows along the river show strong vitality… This peaceful and classical pastoral landscape is hard to compare with the magnificent industrial revolution. Linked together, but this iron bridge was an ode to industrial civilization at that time.
  In 1678, Abraham Darby was born in Worcestershire, and later he became a blacksmith and went to Shropshire to develop, because Shropshire has two “specialties” – coal mountain and blast furnace. Under his continuous research, he finally found a new method of making iron: the iron he produced using coke as fuel has higher cost and efficiency advantages than iron produced with traditional charcoal fuel. Technology has allowed Darby’s businesses to grow rapidly. Although the iron he produced could only be used in the manufacture of daily necessities such as iron pans, a new invention allowed Darby’s iron to find an important new market, which was the steam engine invented by Thomas Newcomen. Before Watt’s improvement, steam engines have been widely used, including Thomas Seville, Dennis Papin and others, who have developed steam engines. Newcomen made an atmospheric steam engine for the first time based on the experience of predecessors. Known as the Newcomen steam engine, it has played a great role in mine drainage and water conservancy irrigation. But this steam engine required a lot of coal and iron, and Darby quickly seized this opportunity, while his son continued to develop the market, almost monopolizing the production of the Newcomen steam engine, and also helped the promotion of this steam engine.
  Just before the Industrial Revolution, the trumpet of the coal and iron age was blown by a bridge engineer named Thomas Fano Burricart, who in 1773 told his client John Wilkin Wilkins, known as the “Iron Madman”, immediately agreed to realize the project together. Wilkins was an iron admirer, even his hat was made of iron, and he was placed in an iron coffin after his death, and there was an iron monument in front of the tombstone… As a leader in the iron industry The representative, Abraham Darby III, grandson of Abraham Darby, also participated in the project. The project did not go well at first, and it was not until 1777 that they used the pouring method to manufacture the arch ribs and deck of the bridge. Despite the weight, the project was successful, and the poured components were assembled together to complete the world’s first iron bridge without interrupting traffic on the Severn.
  The successful construction of this iron bridge immediately attracted people’s attention, but it was not engineers and businessmen who first came here, but artists and writers.
  The bridge overcrowded the iron-making town of Colebrookdale by the bridge, and many artists recorded the scene of the town at that time with brushes, such as “Colebrookdale” painted by painter Philip Jacques de Lutherburg. Night, which can be seen as a precursor to industrial themes, depicts the local ironworks in Colebrookdale: sparks from the melting pot illuminate the night sky, the surrounding town and the distant In the mountains, due to the day and night of industrial production, the original remote mountain town is no longer quiet, the moon hangs high in the sky, but it is quiet in the dead of night, and the carriage is ready to go… Soon, the appeal of art attracts more people , including businessmen and factory owners, for whom this fiery industrial scene is exactly what they dream of, so more industrial projects are assembled around the iron bridge.

  In 1795, a rare flood broke out on the Severn River, and the surrounding area was severely damaged. Many stone bridges were not spared, but the iron bridge was intact in this flood. This incident has left a deep impression on people – it turns out that iron buildings can be so strong, so can we use iron to make other buildings? In 1776, James Watt improved the steam engine, and the Industrial Revolution, which affected the entire process of human civilization, kicked off vigorously. Making machines with machines makes it seem that human beings have infinite power, and the iron bridge is the first cry of this revolution.
  Today, the iron bridge and the surrounding towns have long bid farewell to the scenery of chimneys and blazes. It was restored, and soon the natural beauty took over the place again. With five sites including the Iron Bridge and the surrounding Coal Mountains being included in the World Heritage List, the British government has also launched restoration and scenic spot creation projects in this area. The iron bridge area has now formed a tourist destination covering an area of ​​10 square kilometers, consisting of 7 industrial monuments, museums, and 285 protective industrial buildings, attracting an average of 300,000 tourists every year. The industrial sites between green water and green mountains are not interesting to tourists, and the establishment of this industrial scenic spot has also inspired many former industrial centers in the world. “Industrial History Tour” has gradually become a new type of tourism project. As the beginning of an era, an iron bridge will always be remembered by people.

The Iron Bridge is listed as a World Heritage Site.

Colebrookdale Nights by Philippe Jacques de Lutherburg.

Durmitor National Park is located in the Laszka Valley, which is formed by glaciers, divided into above-ground rivers and underground rivers. Walking along the river, you can see the deepest gorge in Europe, dotted with clear lake water among dense pine forests, and hidden various characteristic plants.
Tara River Gorge Bridge: Light and Shadow Record History

  There is a natural park formed by glaciers in the northwest of Montenegro – Durmitor National Park. This 390-square-kilometer park is full of streams and lakes. In addition to the dense coniferous forests, there are also many native plants. The most impressive are the peaks and valleys formed by glaciers, the peculiar terrain and the original ecology. The stunning scenery has made it successfully included in the “World Heritage List”. In the park, there is also the Tara River Grand Canyon, which is the deepest in Europe and second only to the Grand Canyon of Colorado. The river valley is 80 kilometers long and the deepest place reaches 1300 meters. On this canyon, there is a bridge with a total length of more than 300 meters and a main arch of more than 100 meters. This reinforced concrete bridge was built in 1937 during the Yugoslav Kingdom period. It overcame difficulties such as complex terrain, turbulent water flow during flood season, and the inability to use large-scale mechanical construction. It took three years to complete the construction. The bridge was the tallest and longest bridge in Europe at the time, and won great honor for the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. However, only 2 years after the bridge was built, it was bombed by Yugoslav partisans. Does this story sound familiar? That’s right, this story has also been made into a movie, which has influenced a whole generation of Chinese audiences. This movie is the Yugoslav movie “Bridge”. The movie’s theme song “Ah, Goodbye Friends” is still very popular, and the Tara River Canyon Bridge , the bridge that was blown up in the movie.
  The Tara River Gorge Bridge is a bridge shared by pedestrians and vehicles. It has been in use since it was repaired in 1946. However, most of the tourists who come here are tourists who come here. Most people park their vehicles in the parking lots at both ends of the bridge, and then Take a walking tour on the bridge. Surrounded by mountains, the canyon is bottomless, the bridge crosses the canyon like a dragon, and the moat is suffocating. The Tara River under the bridge is known as one of the cleanest rivers in the world. The river is blue and green, like a ribbon made of rough jade. The Tara River also offers rafting projects, and it is a good choice to enjoy the bridge while rafting. Standing on the bridge, feeling its history and the years it has gone through, I can’t help but think of the movie that brought its story to the world.

Monument to engineer Lazale Yaukovic.

Bust of Bozhdar Zujic, Lieutenant of Engineers of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

A still from the Yugoslav film “The Bridge”.

  Indeed, “Bridge” is based on real events: in June 1941, the Axis forces invaded Yugoslavia, the king and the government went into exile, Yugoslavia was immediately divided among several countries, and the Yugoslav partisans did not give up their resistance. In 1942, the Nazi German army, which was attacked on both sides, planned to withdraw from Yugoslavia to the country, and this bridge was the only place to pass, so they tried their best to keep the bridge. Nazi Germany moved a regiment of troops to guard the bridge ahead of schedule, installed power grids and alarm systems on all the railings of the bridge, and laid out countless mines under the bridge. The Yugoslav partisans overcame all odds, and with the help of the bridge design engineer Lazale Yaukovic, the engineer involved in the construction of the bridge blew up the bridge himself. However, in reality, the engineer did not escape the clutches of the Nazis. Two months after he helped the guerrillas blow up the bridge, he was found by the Nazi military and police who failed to evacuate in time. The furious Nazis shot him at the bridge head. . In 1946, Yugoslavia restored the bridge and embedded a monument to Yaukovych on the bridge in memory of the great engineer.
  At the bridge head of the Tara River Gorge Bridge, there is also a monument to a bust of a soldier. Many people mistakenly believe that it is the prototype of the “Tiger” in the movie “The Bridge”. Zujic. Zujic was born in a nearby village and joined the army of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia at an early age. In 1941, Zujic’s unit was ordered to retreat near Novi Sad, but soon a well-equipped Axis army caught up to them and opened fire. The commander of the unit, the Colonel, was ready to negotiate with the Axis powers, but the Axis armies demanded their unconditional surrender. At this time, Zujic rushed to the Axis commander and shouted: “What do you want? Cowards! Want to capture us without fighting?” Then he said to the commander of his troops: “We If we don’t surrender, the Yugoslav officers don’t surrender, we’d rather die!” He then took out a pistol from his pocket, turned and shot the Axis commander, killing him. The Axis army opened fire violently, and Zujic and a group of Yugoslav army officers and soldiers died. Zujic’s heroic act not only inspired the soldiers of the country, but even the enemy sighed: the commander’s self-sacrifice is the greatest patriotic act of the soldiers, which is the inherent spirit of the Serbian soldiers… Thanks to Zujic He is a soldier of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, so he was not allowed to erect a monument to commemorate him for a long time. It was not until 1966 that his mother erected this monument to him at the head of the Tara River Gorge Bridge. The inscription reads: This monument was built by Bozhdar Zujic’s mother Maria. Bozhdar Zujic, a lieutenant in the army of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, born in 1915, died in 1941. There is also a little poem written by his mother for him on the monument: You are the hero of the whole nation, this bridge and this river will always remember you.
  Time flies, but people still come to remember the brave – there are always flowers from tourists under Yaukovych’s monument, and there are always tourists who put garlands on Zujic’s statue. Many tourists walked on the bridge and hummed the famous song involuntarily: “Goodbye friends, goodbye friends, goodbye! If I die in battle, you must bury me; bury me in a high Put a beautiful flower on a high hill. Whenever people walk past here, they say what a beautiful flower.” The people will always remember the heroes who gave their lives for their motherland and nation.
  The world has undergone great changes, and the country where the bridge was once located, the Yugoslav Federation, has also disintegrated into multiple countries, and there have also been tragic wars. However, despite the constant changes in the country to which the bridge belongs, it still stands, silently recording the years.
  ”Engineer, what are you waiting for?!” “Unfortunately, it is a good bridge.” Yes, it is a good bridge!

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