Malabadi Bridge was built by the Artuqids in the 12th century. The construction began in 1147 and finished in 1154. The Artuqid ruler Temur Tash started the project after the collapse of the older bridge in the same place. Even if we don’t have enough information about the earlier bridge, we know that it was the only pass over the Batman stream in the region. As a result, Artuqid ruler Temur Tash started the construction immediately to sustain the trade of his northern lands. He commissioned the architect Al Zahid to the project however he was fined for incompetence after a flood destroyed the construction site. Temur Tash assigned Amir Saif al-Din Shirbarik Maudud bin Artuq to the project. Architect Shirbarik used huge logs to support the widest arch of the world which was destructed by floods a few times during the construction. The arches were still unmerged in January 1154 when Temur Tash passed away.
Where is Malabadi Bridge?
Malabadi Bridge is in an excellent location to take a break on an Eastern Turkey Tour. After driving from one magical city to another in Turkish Mesopotamia, you will arrive at Diyarbakir city which is the last stop before exploring the east of our country. Malabadi Bridge is worth the extra miles and minutes spent on the way to Van city. It is only 1 hour away from Diyarbakir and it is a must to stop to see this masterpiece of Seljuk architecture. With a 41 meter width in between the two legs of the bridge, Malabadi holds the record of stone arch bridges of the world. Considering the little technology of the 12th Century, the engineers of Malabadi Bridge built the most impressive structure in the world in 8 years.
Numbers about Malabadi Bridge
Malabadi Bridge holds the world record with its 41-meter wide arch perpendicular to the Batman stream. The top of the arch is 19 meters above the water when the current is low. It is obvious from the construction story of the bridge that the frequent floods required a wide and a high bridge to keep up the trade and the traffic. The arch bridge is connecting to the land with a two-arched ramp. The bridge is 150 meters long and 7 meters wide. Malabadi bridge was used until the 1950s by the locals of southeast Anatolia. It was closed to vehicle traffic after the new bridge was built right next to it. Today, Malabadi bridge is visited by thousands of tourists on the way to the Eastern highlands of the Republic of Turkey.
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