Landscaping to highlight splendor of Türkiye’s Malabadi Bridge
The magnificent Malabadi Bridge, built in 1147 during the Artuqid period in the Silvan district of Diyarbakır, will soon regain its final silhouette after final touches on the landscaping.
The area will include a cafe, walking trail, children’s playground, observation terrace and recreational spaces spread across about 24,000 square meters (5.93 acres).
Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Secretary General Abdullah Çiftçi stated that it is a project that will draw people’s attention to the Malabadi Bridge. “The project was tendered for TL 24.6 million. It is aimed to be completed in 180 days. Also included in UNESCO’s Tentative List, the area will be restored for local and foreign visitors to discover this historic bridge,” he added.
The Malabadi Bridge is the longest stone arch bridge in the world, with its pointed arch of 40.86 meters.
Built in the Silvan district in 1147 during the Artuqid period and commissioned by Timurtaş of Mardin, it paved the way for the construction of other great bridges such as Mostar and the Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Bridge, which were also included in the World Heritage List, and contributed significantly to cultural and engineering knowledge of the architecture world.
The metropolitan municipality initiated the landscaping update. Within the scope of the project prepared by the Department of Parks, Gardens and Green Areas, the infrastructure works have started, as an area of 14,500 square meters will be transformed into a green area with different types of trees, shrubs and flowers. The walkways will be built through different stone-laying techniques. On the other hand, a 210-square-meter observation terrace will allow visitors to view the bridge from a scenic area.
French architect and art historian professor Albert Louis Gabriel says of the Malabadi Bridge: “The dome of Hagia Sophia can be easily placed under the bridge. There is no bridge of this age and in this dimension in the Balkans, Türkiye and the Middle East. “
There will also be a cafe and a playground for children built nearby for visitors to take a short breather and sip tea while enjoying the view of the bridge. To ensure the healthy growth of the green regions, the teams will also build a water tank to provide water regularly as part of the project.
The bridge, which was used as the Diyarbakır-Tabriz Caravan Road in the past, is also a monumental structure. It is among the original and remarkable structures with reliefs featuring human, sun and lion figures. There are two rooms on both sides of its arch for caravans and passengers passing by, especially in harsh weather conditions in winter. It is said that the bridge guards also used these rooms because the rooms were connected with the corridors and the bottom of the road, and thus the footsteps of the incoming caravans could be heard. The rooms are still in use today.
Providing information about the works on the historical bridge, Çiftçi added: “We, as the Metropolitan Municipality, are making a serious effort to reveal the beauties of the Malabadi Bridge. This will be an important opportunity for the bridge to survive and be protected. We aim to complete the work and make it operational this summer within the scope of the tender.When finished, it will reveal all the magnificence of our Silvan district and the Malabadi Bridge.Thanks to the project, the landscape will highlight the full beauty of Batman Creek, which empties into the Tigris River at the site of Çatakköprü.”
Stating that the restoration processes of the registered buildings in the city are continuing, Çiftçi said: “The most important restoration processes in the history of the republic are continuing in Diyarbakır for the tourism growth. Within that context, the iconic city walls of Diyarbakır are also under restoration, nearly 50% of it completed. Thirty-seven of our bastions have been included in the tender while the work continues to restore other bastions.”
“There are serious ongoing efforts to restore the historically registered buildings within the city walls. The restoration processes of 347 registered structures have reached an important stage. To increase the tourism appeal of Zerzavan Castle, which is also on the UNESCO Tentative Heritage List, together with the landscaping works around the Malabadi Bridge, we will be unearthing the precious legacies with all their splendor and sharing them with the nations of the world,” he added.
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