Footbridge, so-called Penny Bridge, Opole
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Footbridge, so-called Penny Bridge

Opole

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The picturesquely situated bridge is an important element in the urban landscape of Opole. Recorded in numerous postcards and photographs for over a hundred years is one the most recognisable structures. For a few years, it is the place where lovers put their padlocks symbolising the durability of their feelings. The bridge is located on the Route of Historic Bridges in Poland.

History

The construction of the footbridge is associated with the establishment of a representative district characterised by the presence of villas on the Pasieka Island, included within the boundaries of the town in 1891. The present bridge was built in 1903 on the site formerly occupied by a wooden bridge. At its eastern end there is a wooden Swiss-type house, so-called Grabówka, commonly known as the place for collecting fees for going over the bridge, amounting to a symbolic penny (or rather pfennig), from which the proper name of the bridge is derived. The second name, i.e., "Green Bridge", is derived from the colour of the paint on the spans.

Description

The bridge is located over the Młynówka channel, between Mozarta Street and Piastowska Street, about 250 m south-west of the Market Square. It connects the city centre to the Pasieka Island, on which there are numerous cultural institutions and historic structures.

It is a two-span suspension bridge with fixed abutments and river pier, featuring a steel riveted load-bearing structure. The total length of the bridge with abutments is 49.22 m; the width of the usable area is about 2.70 m. Suspension of the bridge is located in the middle of its length, over the river pier. The suspension is supported by two steel posts, from which steel bands, which are reinforced with raking shores and attached to the bridge deck by means of steel slings, run towards the abutments round a curve. The abutments are made of crushed stone and faced with ashlars. The openwork steel balustrade stretches between concrete and steel pillars supporting the suspension structure. The bridge deck is a steel and wooden structure with an asphalt surface.

The abutment pillars are adorned with geometric and floral decorations in Art Nouveau style. Decorations of steel components of the bridge, including balustrades, columns, etc., are also in Art Nouveau style. In the middle of the bridge, there is a crown connecting steel columns in the form of a basket-handle arch, made of a truss covered with sheet metal roofs. On both sides of the crown, there is the coat of arms of Opole, and a decorative lantern is installed at the bottom.

The structure is open to the public.

compiled by Ewa Kalbarczyk-Klak, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 28-07-2014.

Bibliography

  • Opole, dzieje i tradycja, Linek B., Tarka K, Zajączkowska U. (eds.), Opole 2011, p. 93.
  • Immovable monument record sheet, prepared by Łabęcki Z. 1993, Archives of the Voivodeship Monuments Protection Office in Opole.

General information

  • Type: industrial architecture
  • Chronology: pocz. XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Opole
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district Opole, commune Opole
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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