We all know world-famous bridges such as the Rialto in Venice, the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, the Brooklyn and Golden Gate bridges in America, and the Tower Bridge in London. Slovenia also has a lot of interesting bridges that carry special stories, I will introduce you to some of them that are worth visiting because of the other tourist attractions in their vicinity. I chose two Napoleon bridges near Kobarid, the famous Solkan bridge, the photogenic Črni Kal viaduct, the historic Jelenov viaduct and the steel Maribor bridge. When you next visit Slovenia, don't forget to visit at least one of them.
Let's start at the coastal end, more precisely in the upper Soča valley, in the immediate vicinity of Kobarid. If you have ever visited the sights of this place, then you have almost certainly crossed the stone Napoleon Bridge, which stretches across the gorge of the emerald river Soča. As its name suggests, it was so named because of French troops moving in these parts at the time of Napoleon's conquest. Its predecessor was first the wooden Venetian Bridge, which was demolished in 1616, and 150 years later the stone Napoleon Bridge was built. But even this was not spared, as it was mined by Austrian military units during the First World War. After the end of the war, the Italians built the bridge as we know it today. The view from the bridge is beautiful, as it reaches all the way to the gorge of the river Soča and the picturesque surrounding hills.
Since we have just started with the upper Soča Valley, the Napoleon Bridge on the Nadiža is also worth a visit at this end, especially if you are a nature lover. Unlike the previously mentioned, it is smaller and stands above the narrow canyon of the river Nadiža. It was built as far back as 1812 and played an important role in Roman times, and today it has invaluable architectural value. In the summer months, the famous bridge and especially the emerald pool below it is a popular spot for cooling off and relaxing. You can reach it by heading from Kobarid towards Breginjski kot, which is a valley between Breginje and Stari selo. The nearest place is Podbela, from where you have only a kilometer to the bridge.
The Solkan bridge or Solkan viaduct is probably best known to fans of adrenaline "bungee jumping". It is 219 meters long, 36 meters high and is considered the most beautiful on the entire railway line from Bohinj to Nova Gorica. Originally, a steel arch bridge was planned at this location, but they later opted for a stone one. Today, it is best known for having the largest stone arch made of worked stone in the world and representing an important construction and engineering achievement in the early 20th century. It was built in 1905 as part of the railway connection between Trieste and Vienna, and experienced two wars. In the first he was mined, and in the second he withstood as many as 6 air force attacks. It was restored by the Italians in 1927. Today it is an important part of the cultural heritage and is also protected as a monument. You can admire it from many vantage points - also from its neighbor, the Brda bridge, which connects Goriška brda with Nova Gorica.
The 1065-meter-long viaduct is especially popular among photographers, who catch it in the lens in all possible weather conditions, which is not surprising, as it is extremely photogenic. It is considered to be the longest and largest bridging structure on the Maribor – Ljubljana – Koper motorway, which places it among the engineering and construction surpluses of the new era. The viaduct was fitted with 50,000 cubic meters of concrete and 8,000 tons of reinforcing steel. The bridge is very nicely visible from the remains of the defense tower, which stands between Črni Kal and Podpečje, which you can visit on your next trip to the Coast.
Another historical pearl is located in Borovnica, also called the Valley Bridge. It is 219 meters long, 29 meters high, and the structure has 12 pillars or 11 arches. It is a railway bridge made of stone and brick, which also represents a kind of transition from the Ljubljana Marshes to the Karst plateau on the Ljubljana-Sežana railway line. It was built in 1857. In 1945, the Germans wanted to blow it up, but fortunately they failed due to lack of explosives. Jelen's viaduct is clearly visible from the road that connects Vrhnika and Borovnica, and in its immediate vicinity we can also see the remains of the Borovnica viaduct, of which, unfortunately, only a pillar remains. A visit to the viaduct can be combined with a visit to the Pekel gorge, which is perfect for nature lovers.
In Maribor, we can see the main bridge, which some also call the old or state bridge. It consists of a steel structure with a mesh metal fence and lamps. It was built between 1909 and 1913 (when it replaced the old Drava Bridge) due to the increasing traffic on the route between Trieste and Vienna. This bridge did not escape demolition either, the latter was hit by the Yugoslav army in 1941, but the Germans rebuilt it the same year. In the time of Austro-Hungary, it was considered one of the most beautiful bridges, and today it is an important part of the engineering architecture of the 20th century, connecting the left and right banks of the city. When visiting Maribor, don't forget to cross it, as the view of the river Drava and the old part of the city is absolutely beautiful.
Thank you for reading.