Kłodzko – St John’s Bridge

History

   The beginning of the construction of the stone Gothic bridge in Kłodzko dates back to the second half of the 13th century or the beginning of the 14th century. The exact date of completion is unknown, but it is assumed that this did not take place until around 1390. Already at the end of the 13th century, a bridge gatehouse called Upper was built at its end. It was rebuilt many times to become a residential building from a three-storey defensive structure with a hip roof at the final stage. The other end of the bridge was closed by the Lower Gate, which was built before 1469.
   The Kłodzko Bridge was also called the “Bridge on Eggs”, which was associated with the need for local peasants to provide eggs from which the protein was mixed with calcium for mortar. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was rebuilt and renovated, among others, a balustrade and a brick superstructures of the pillars were added. Also in the 18th century figures appeared on the bridge founded by generous and wealthy townspeople. At the beginning of the 20th century, both bridge gates were demolished.

Architecture

   The Gothic bridge erected on Młynówka received a four-span structure, built of sandstone ashlar. In addition to the two bridgeheads, it rested on three massive pillars that formed four arcades. The two outermost of them are narrower and clearly pointed. The bridge is 52.2 meters long and about 4 meters wide.
   The pillars of the bridge received a two-level form, were strongly embedded and ended slightly below the parapet with a kind of half-octagonal squared projections. Above the pedestal, the central western pillar received six, lean out ribs, on which a flat platform rested, prepared for the construction of the chapel, which eventually was not built. Anti-ice starlings were placed in the lower parts of the pillars.
   Originally at the ends of the bridge there were fortified gatehouses: Upper and Lower. The tower of the Upper Gate was built on a quadrangle plan, had three floors with a gate passage on the ground floor and was covered with a hip roof. The Upper Gate had a more modest form, which was a kind of low gatehouse, probably topped with a battlement.

Current state

   The Gothic bridge in Kłodzko belongs to the oldest buildings of this type in Poland and one of the few in Central and Eastern Europe. Currently, due to its historic character, it is intended only for pedestrian traffic. The regulated Młynówka riverbed has been built in, which is why the bridge is now partially embedded in the pedestrian zone.

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bibliography:
Broniewski T., Kłodzko, Warszawa 1970.

Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warszawa 2005.